In our last blog post Natalie talked us through getting ready to shoot destination weddings with her feature on DESTINATION WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS PART ONE: PREPARATION + RESEARCH BEFORE YOU TRAVEL. An in-depth look into doing research and preparing yourself for shooting a destination wedding. Today we're excited to feature her PART TWO: WHAT TO PACK + TRANSPORTING YOUR GEAR where she will show you how she goes about packing and getting her important gear to the right destination. 

If your not already following Natalie be sure to add her to your list! Natalie and I have a lot in common and her passion in helping fellow photographers is just as big as mine. She has a lot of great articles and her work is absolutely beautiful!



Today, I’m talking about the personal and professional gear that I bring with me to photograph abroad! If you’ve been following my travels on Instagram, you likely already know that in the last two months I’ve traveled up the California Coast, across the Pacific to Oahu, Maui, and New Zealand before photographing my first wedding of the year in Jamaica and attending a conference in Las Vegas.


To say that I love to travel is a drastic understatement. I’m absolutely obsessed with exploring new places and documenting love stories wherever my camera takes me! Which is why I want to share what I’ve learned in the hopes of encouraging other photographers to take the leap and go on an adventure!

The first and most important thing to remember when packing for a trip is to be intentional with every item that you bring!  With camera equipment, you will need to carry on your gear to ensure its safety and therefore it can be a heavy task to lug a giant bag around the airport and country that you’re visiting. Only bring what you absolutely need and remember to prioritize your equipment over personal items when necessary! You can also get creative with how you organize your gear and be as efficient as possible when selecting which lenses to bring in order to make your bag weight more manageable!

The Bag: I highly recommend investing in a Camera Bag designed specifically for travel. The additional padding is crucial to ensuring that your lenses are secure. I absolutely love my Think Tank Airport Backpack because it’s discrete, easy to carry, and always fits in the overhead compartment! And even on a regional flight from Oahu to Maui where there was barely an overhead compartment, I was able to squeeze it underneath the seat in front of me to prevent having to gate-check it!

The Gear: As I said before, when traveling for Destination Weddings I’m more selective about the lenses & cameras that I bring with me.

2 Camera Bodies (Nikon D4s)
4-5 Lenses (35mm, 50mm, 105mm Macro, 70-200mm)
2 Flashes (SB910s) and a Video Light
8 Memory Cards (Totaling 160GB of Storage)
Additional Batteries, Fully Charged. (AA’s and Camera Batteries)
Camera Batter Charger + AA Battery Charger

Computer + Hard Drive: I travel with my 13″ Macbook Pro and a 2TB Portable External Hard-drive. This way, I can upload all of the images the night of the wedding and back them up on an additional hard drive before we travel home. By the time I set foot on the plane, my clients images are in three places: 1) Original Memory Cards  2) Laptop  3) Hard Drive – And are secure for the trip home. This also allows me to get started with culling and editing as we travel home so that I can take advantage of every moment in the air!

Quick Tip – When traveling to a Destination Wedding, I’ll often pack one formal outfit in my carry-on camera bag just incase my checked luggage doesn’t make it to my final destination! I’ll roll up my dress, just like a burrito, and it fits perfectly in a lens slot within the camera bag!


After traveling across this Pacific, I also discovered a few personal must-haves that I absolutely love while traveling! If you’re shooting a destination wedding, these accessories have saved me time and time again!

Natalie’s Top Five Travel Accessories:
1)  External Battery Pack: This compact little battery kept my phone completely charged + alive after over 35 hours of straight travel from New Zealand to Washington DC! Battery packs can charge your phone or tablet multiple times while away from an outlet and it’s a must have for the tech-savy traveler! I recommend buying one like this Power Bank.
2)  Compression Socks:  If you’re flying for more than 4 hours, I highly recommend wearing a pair of Compression Socks to keep the circulation going in your feet. It also helps to reduce your risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) when combined with stretches during extremely long flights (like the one I encountered across the Pacific).
3)  Rest Kit: I keep an eye mask, ear plugs, memory foam neck-pillow, and Zzzquil in a small pack that I carry with me on overnight flights! It allows me to fall asleep just about anywhere!
4)  Purification Water Bottle: When you’re on the go and traveling for long periods of time, dehydration can lead to increased jet-lag! I recommend investing in a water bottle with built in purification so that you can easily refill at water fountains along the way. I recommend the Lifestraw Bottle that can easily clip to your backpack!
5)  Universal Outlet Converter: To ensure that you can charge your electronics, invest in a few universal outlet converters to bring with you on your journeys! From Europe to Southeastern Asia – you can rest easy knowing that you can charge wherever you go!

There are so many other gadgets that I’m testing out on my future trips too! If there is something you simply cannot live without while traveling, list it in the comment section below! And just a reminder that as a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program all purchases made from the links above help to fund the free Educational Content that I share on Tech-Talk Tuesdays!



If your not already following Natalie be sure to add her to your list! Natalie and I have a lot in common and her passion in helping fellow photographers is just as big as mine. She has a lot of great articles and her work is absolutely beautiful!


December 11, 2015 — Elena Ringeisen

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