As more couples opt for destination weddings, more photographers are willing to hop on a plane and follow them to faraway places. Who wouldn’t want to travel to new places to photograph a couple’s love story, after all? Whether you’re brand new to the destination wedding world or you’ve got a few trips under your belt, there are a few photographer travel tips you should know to ensure that your trip goes off without a hitch.
From how to pack your gear, what to bring, and more, we’re here to help you nail traveling so you can focus on the more important stuff–capturing the wedding!
1. What To Bring
While it may be tempting to bring all of your gear, you want to pack as light as possible for destination weddings. This means a camera bag, one to two camera bodies, a charger, spare batteries and memory cards, and a couple of lenses. The key is to pack light but bring everything you’ll need to shoot a wedding.
If there is non-essential gear that you feel that you have to have–such as external flashes, a tripod, or extra cables–put them in your checked bag. Just be mindful that most airlines don’t allow you to pack lithium batteries in checked bags, so this is something that you’re going to want to put in your carry-on.
We understand that there’s most likely a lot going through your head days before your travel, so consider putting together a packing list that you can physically check off as you pack. This will help you avoid having to buy a missing piece of equipment when you land.
Photobug Tip: Making Your Physical Packing List
Don’t forget to include items you normally need for traveling like your passport, vaccine cards, and your toothbrush.
2. How To Pack Your Camera
Once you’ve decided on the gear you’re going to pack, it’s crucial to pack it correctly to keep it safe. For starters, never put your DSLR camera in your checked luggage. Like we mentioned above, this will ensure that it won’t go missing even if the airline loses your luggage.
When packing it, bring it in a camera bag–we suggest a hard-sided bag with ample padding–with the lens removed from the body. Shifts during your travels can damage the threads that attach the lens to the body, which can lead to some serious damage if they aren’t attached.
You should also take the battery and memory card out before you leave as well. This will help prevent your camera from accidentally powering on and erasing images or draining the battery.
3. Going Through Airport Security
Don’t worry about the imaging equipment damaging your camera or camera components. Gear can go through an x-ray machine without any issues. Be mindful that when packing your carry-on that you keep the camera in a place that is easily accessible. Many airports require that you take large electronics out to scan separately—this includes your camera.
You might feel social pressure to make the process as quick as possible since there are likely going to be people behind you in line but take your time. The last thing you want is to accidentally drop your camera because you’re rushing.
Photobug Tip: Security is Different with Film Cameras!
If you shoot film, security is a different story. as the imaging equipment can damage both exposed and unexposed film. To keep your film safe, request that airport personnel inspect the film by hand.
4. Get Insurance For Your Gear
Of course, insurance is of the utmost importance when traveling with such expensive equipment. This will help cover any serious damage or the costs in case your camera is stolen.
5. Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
Last but not least, once you’ve arrived at your destination, it’s essential to be mindful of your surroundings. Pickpocketers and petty crime are very real problems in many places, and tourists tend to be targeted the most. As long as you are aware of what’s happening around you and keep your gear close by, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
Now you’re armed with our photographer travel tips and ready to jet off to destinations all over the world! If you’ve got a destination wedding coming up and you’re in need of some new gear, look no further. We’ve rounded up our favorite wedding photography gear–from bags to bodies to lenses.