Top 11 Things You Need to Buy After Your Camera for Travel Photography
So, you’re a traveling photographer? Or, you aspire to be a traveling photographer? As such, do you know everything you’ll need in your camera bag while you’re abroad?
News Flash: As a traveling photographer myself, I was surprised to discover several items on this list that I always seem to forget on my photography trips.
As a fellow photographer, I’m here to help save you from the headache that comes with leaving behind essential gear when you’re planning out on a vacation dedicated to photography. Listen up, Friends! You’ll thank me later.
I know what you’re thinking… a camera bag? DUH!
But, do you understand the importance of the right camera bag? If you’re a traveling photographer, you can’t settle for just any camera bag. You’ll need a durable bag, big enough in size and stature to store all of your essential gear, but small enough that you can carry it around with you on your adventure.
Another thing to consider when looking for the right travel camera bag, are the straps attached to it.
Yes, you heard that right.
Straps are important on a heavy camera bag, especially if you’re planning on traveling around with your equipment. You’ll be exhausted after the first couple of days if you are carrying around a single strap bag. Talk about major shoulder and back pain! We recommend finding a good, sturdy camera bag with two straps, similar to a backpack in design. That way, the weight of all your gear is evenly distributed among both your shoulders. It will be easier on your back as well.
Here are a few great traveling camera bag options that won’t break the bank:
We go over the best lenses for a traveling photographer in some of our other posts, so we won’t get into too much detail here.
One short prime lens (minimum)
That said, as a traveling photographer, you’ll need at least one short, prime lense in your camera bag. Adjusting the aperture and ISO rather than the zoom (like in a normal lens), will help you capture sharper photographs with less vignetting and distortion. Short prime lenses are also perfect for portraits, as they focus on the subject rather than the background, by blurring it out.
Here are a couple prime lenses that are perfect for a traveling photographer:
Wide angle lens
In addition to at least one short, prime lens, you’ll also want to consider a wide angle lens as well. If you know you’ll be camping, or spending at least some time outdoors during your trip, a wide angle lens is essential for you to capture those beautiful landscape photos.
Here are a couple wide angle lenses that are ideal for a traveling photographer (landscapes):
Camera Rain Cover
Admit it, you think you aren’t going to need a camera rain cover. Well, we’re here to tell you to think again!
Fact: Every traveling photographer needs a camera rain cover in their bag. It is an essential, regardless of where you’ll be traveling. The last thing you want is to be out, shooting gorgeous photos, just to have it all go to waste when unexpected rain shows up for a visit. It happens more than you think!
Invest in a good rain cover for your camera before your next trip to ensure you don’t have any regrets when it starts to drizzle when you aren’t expecting it to. Weather can be incredibly unpredictable, as a travel photographer you’ll need to be prepared for anything.
Here is the perfect, cheap camera rain cover:
If you’re absolutely against spending money on a camera rain cover, consider at least packing a couple of large, industrial strength garbage bags. They are inexpensive and compact, making them easy to bring along with you.
AA Batteries / AAA Batteries
Listen: As a photographer, you must already know the importance of having spare batteries in your bag. This is especially true if you are traveling to another country, where you won’t be familiar with local stores or where to purchase extra batteries.
As a traveling photographer, you never want to be in need of something and not have it on hand. Batteries absolutely fall under this category. Do yourself a favor, bring the spare batteries for your flashlight, or any other camera equipment you may have that requires battery power.
Portable chargers are one of those items that every traveler needs, not just a traveling photographer. These chargers are always essential when on the road.
Whether you need to charge your phone while you’re out and about, or need it to charge any other equipment you need, portable chargers always come in handy.
Here are some useful portable chargers to consider:
Flashlights & Headlamp
As we previously mentioned, having a flashlight is essential for any photographer, but especially for a traveling one.
Flashlights and headlamps not only light the way at night as you’re adventuring on your trip, but also come in handy if you’re shooting any night photography shots. Are you planning on exploring in the Swiss Alps? How about shooting inside a famous cave? You’ll need a headlamp and a flashlight to see your way through at night.
Here are some great headlamps and flashlights to look into before traveling around the world:
Portable and Compact Traveling Tripod
We have an entire guide on how to find, and choose, the right compact and portable traveling tripod. Click here to get help finding the right tripod for you!
That said, while in the mountains, a tripod certainly comes in handy as a second recorder while you are off photographing nearby. Tripods are very useful tools, as they do some of the work for you, and play an essential part in creating incredible time lapses. For more information on what type of travel tripod would be best for you, check out our Top Tripods Under 100 blog post.
Laptop or Computer
Disclaimer: For some of you out there, this may sound unnecessary. However, when traveling, a laptop can be a super useful tool.
By importing your photographs onto your laptop each night, you’ll save yourself a great deal of time spent importing after your trip. In addition, a laptop allows you to do work from the road, including responding to emails and looking for temporary photography jobs that could help you pay your way through your trip.
Power strip and/or Surge Protector
As a traveler myself, I’ve learned the hard way that one outlet inside a small bed and breakfast won’t cut it.
Bring along a power strip or surge protector to ensure that you will be able to generate enough power to charge all of your gear without any troubles. In addition, some countries have different power outlets than we do in the US. This is an important fact to consider, depending on where you’ll be traveling, you may need to bring a power adapter plug in.
Cleaning Supplies for your Gear
You dream of having crystal clean gear your whole trip… but it’s not gonna happen that way.
Trust me. You’ll need to bring a small pack of cleaning supplies with you on your trip. When dust or dirt gets on your lens, you’ll want the right materials to wipe it clean. If you use the wrong type of material, you risk scratching or smudging dirt around your lens.
That said, here are a few great camera cleaning kits for travel photographers:
- K&F Concept Professional 7-in-1 Camera Cleaning Kit
- Canon Optical Lens and Digital SLR Camera Cleaning Kit
External Hard Drive
Whatever destination you may be traveling, you’ll need to store all of your amazing photos somewhere.
That’s when an external hard drive comes in handy. New sights, views, and opportunities for a photographer all come along with a lot of images. As you explore on your trip, you don’t want to run out of storage space when surrounded by all sorts of great (and endless) photographic possibilities. Every reason is a good reason to take a photo.
If you’re in the market for a new external, portable hard drive, check out these great options: