As I prep for my Colorado Wedding next week, I wanted to share some destination wedding photographer packing techniques with you! Let’s start with carry on!
I’ll preface with this: I LOVE all of the fancy and adorable professional camera bag companies out there but I just can’t see myself spending hundreds of dollars on a bag that’s only holding onto my gear… thus, this fabulous TJ MAXX find that I bought for maybe $60-80!
I wanted a bag that was very neutral, as well as a two shoulder setup, I guess they call them backpacks huh? haha. I’m kind of a big fan of browns when it comes to backpacks, so when I came across this I knew it was perfect! I noticed that it had a little pouch just the right size for my macbook. I also brought my camera insert with me as I was shopping to make sure it would fit in the middle pouch, and it totally did! Yay for me!
The camera insert came from my HUGE ruck of a bag that I actually bought last year for an engagement session in Tennessee, but hated that it wouldn’t fit under my chair. There’s just something extremely nerve racking about having expensive camera gear sitting above your head somewhere for hours, and praying that everything is okay when you finally go to retrieve it!
I grabbed this camera insert from my big ruck of a bag Evecase Extra Large Travel Backpack but, as I mentioned, it was just too large for me to realistically be okay with using it for every wedding! After two destination photography events where I brought it with me on a flight, I just couldn’t take it anymore. It’s now solely for sessions where I’ll be hiking quite a bit to the area, because who wants to hike a mile or two with camera gear only on one shoulder? It’s just so bad for your body!
See how it all fits perfectly in my new bag?! I’m SO excited you guys! Seriously… If you look closely, you’ll see that there’s actually plenty of extra space! I have 3 completely empty side pockets too!
That means that in my carry on bag (or really personal bag), I can fit my macbook and charger, along with an external hard drive, my little SD/CF card carrying case, 2 camera bodies, 2+ lenses, my flashes, and the travel light stand that I’ll be receiving this Saturday! I think that’s pretty awesome…
Now for this beauty of a travel case! I found this gorgeous suitcase while walking around (of course) TJ MAXX, it was basically love at first sight. Can you blame a girl?! I was nervous to see the price tag, but for all of $80 she was mine to keep!
My preface for this one is that I do NOT plan to take this one on a plane with me! This is more for a local wedding that I’m driving to. I simply don’t trust people enough to let my babies out of my sight for an entire plane ride! 😉
Here you’ll see two fresh pick n pluck foam blocks! Of course, they were picked up from Amazon… 😀 You will want to look at the dimensions of the foam block you buy though to make sure it actually fits in the suitcase you’re using.
Next I went through and grabbed my current lenses and bodies (outside of the ones I used for these photos), and lined them up so I knew where I would need to to have the foam plucked from! I still have room for another lens or two, which is awesome!
I decided that the easiest way to go about this was to grab a butter knife and trace around the boxes that I wanted to be cut out, then I pushed all of those blocks all the way down, placing my hand along all four sides to make sure everything came apart evenly, and pulled out the block!
As you can see below, the block ends up taking out the entire foam piece. I wanted to have some foam at the bottom still for padding, so I took 2 layers from the foam block I pulled out and placed it at the bottom.
I officially have all three camera bodies cut out, and all 4 lens place holders! I messed up with my last camera body, cutting it one line too wide, but it still fits well enough without having too much room. If I did happen to cut it too wide, I could always add a line back in with my extra foam!
I decided to use the extra foam I had from cutting out the sections to add padding to the top of my gear! 🙂
I found the lenses to be the hardest as far as padding went, because of the way the foam is cut out (it goes all the way down).
While it may not look the prettiest, they still have a great amount of padding covering them!
If you’re planning to travel with your gear, or you just want to find a way to lug all of your gear around with a little less stress on your body, I hope you find this blog post to be beneficial! With the suitcase, I can store all of my gear except for my one 8′ light stand!
In my suitcase you’ll see my:
Canon 5D (backup body)
along with the different flashes I have!