This summer has been filled with endless travel, and being away from home for a total of 75 days. With that being said, I need to be able to travel efficiently and also not kill my back with loads of gear. Being simplistic when it comes to packing gear—as an adventurous wedding and elopement photographer—is key, but also has its difficulties.
Here is what is in my bag and what works for me:
I always have two camera bodies on me no matter what type of session it is. My current lineup is a Canon 5D Mark IV and Canon 6D Mark II. So far, I love this combo and I cannot go anywhere without my Hiptipico strap. Batteries and camera cards are next up. For weddings and elopements I always have 5 batteries on me…even though I only show four here. ;) Don’t forget at least 2 chargers!
Some go-to lenses of mine are the Canon 35mm 1.4, 50mm 1.4, and 16-35 mm 2.8. I find these to be my basic lenses and I rent other lenses I may need on a project by project basis (especially if they are simply just too heavy to carry on the daily ). When it comes to accessories/care for my lenses, I regularly carry UV lens filters, lens hoods, a camera duster, and lens wipes.
My laptop is always on me and 2 Solid State External Hard Drive(s). Backing up images immediately after a session is important to me, and if I’m on the road for a month…I need to back up, back up, BACK UP! Fun fact: Each SSD stays in a separate bag just in case!
I stand by Western Digital hard drives, since they have never failed me, during the 4 years I have used their products. I recently started using LaCie drives for a year now and so far no issues.
External flashes are near last on my list because I only use them until absolutely necessary. You can find two in my bag (Canon Speedlite 580 EX and Canon 470EX-AI) especially for weddings.
LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST… a headlamp and GOOD beer. Adventure sessions and elopements usually end with some celebratory beers and the need of light for the hike back. My current go-to summer brew is Goose Island’s Summer Time Kölsch.