Packing well for a destination wedding can be tricky to navigate. In my experience as a full-time traveling destination wedding photographer I have learned that how you pack can change per destination. I am always writing and rewriting packing lists to make sure that I don’t leave anything behind! I hope that as fellow traveling photographers you can learn from my experience and modify the tips below to create your own ultimate list!
We’ve all been there. You arrive at your destination to photograph a wedding and realize that you have forgotten something. In some cases I have even packed the wrong something that isn’t even useful to me. I’ve found myself in foreign countries hunting down flash batteries at convenience stores because I accidentally left my spares at home. After experiences like these, having a foundational list that I can tweak per location became crucial to my travel photography success.
For travel photographers, you learn pretty quickly that it’s part of your job to be well-prepared for whatever may come so that you can capture a wedding in the best way. It’s our responsibility to provide comfort and relieve the couple of any unnecessary stress. I always pack a backup camera body, lens, and flash. It’s a lot of gear to travel with, but if you don’t have a second shooter and one of those has issues, you want to be prepared. That’s the biggest role we take on as traveling photographers–we have to think ahead!
Create your packing list in Canva then print and laminate it to make sure you never leave anything behind! I’ve totally forgotten an important piece of gear before because I didn’t double check my list! No matter the differences in travel style and location, the following are the basics that traveling photographers can use everywhere!
Traveling photographers are constantly on the go! I found that having a primary packing list provided the foundation I needed to tweak and modify per kind of location (domestic/international) and kind of travel (driving/flying). We all travel and pack differently according to the type of services we offer and how we plan to experience the location. You pack differently for an elopement in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC versus an elopement spent on a moped along the streets of St. Augustine, Florida! These are tips from my own experience capturing domestic and destination weddings as a travel photographer.
Be wary of luggage weight limits in other countries! I was in Greece speaking at a photography workshop followed by a flight straight to Italy. The carry-on luggage weight restrictions caught me by surprise and I had to shove gear into my personal item just to clear security. If it weren’t for the other partially-filled bag I had with me, I would not have made my flight!
Research if you’ll need an adapter or converter since each country uses its own outlet types. Look at the amps and confirm that you have the necessary cords to charge your gear abroad. Read more tips HERE on how to prepare for international travel as traveling photographers.
For any travel photography jobs that are only six hours or less away from me I choose to drive. I typically spend the day before organizing and cleaning my car out to make it easy to find everything I need! Here are the different tools that can be used for traveling photographers to keep their car organized while on the road:
I tidy up my car each day to stay organized like hanging my wedding day clothes to reduce wrinkles. I also take a small laundry bin or trash bag to keep dirty clothes sorted. For meals, I will either pack a small cooler or buy a styrofoam one to eat healthier on the road. Don’t forget to pack jumper cables too!
Looking for someone to help you think through your own travel routines? Book a coaching call and we will discuss travel tactics that will work best for you!