How to Pack for a Photography Trip

16 June 2018

Packing for any trip can be very difficult. Photographers have it even harder, always struggling to find the perfect balance of weight and functionality.

You don’t want to be out in the field and realise you really needed that extra-long telephoto lens and will have to do without it for the entire weekend but on the other hand, you need to think about your back, seeing as you are lugging this gear around all day long.

What to pack ultimately depends on your own needs and your destination, but discussed below are a few essentials that you should consider packing for every photography trip.

How to Pack for a Photography TripHow to Pack for a Photography Trip

Lens Selection

Deciding whether to pack zooms, prime lenses, or a combination of the two is a decision that definitely comes down to preference, as each of us develops our own shooting style over time.

Again, this decision will be further affected by the location and what type of photography you will be doing there but in terms of convenience, it is much trickier to frame and change perspectives with prime lenses, so packing a combination of zoom lenses is generally the safest choice.

How to Pack for a Photography TripHow to Pack for a Photography Trip

If ensuring you are well equipped to frame every shot is your goal, a combination of two different zooms can work, covering the ground that you would need multiple prime lenses to cover.

Lens Filters

For safety, UV filters to cover each of your lenses will keep them protected from the sun, dust and other common hazards. Polarising filters are popular due to their ability to saturate colours, as well as cut out flare from shooting water, the sky or glass.

Other specialised filters can be added to your kit if you are looking to explore other photographic styles, but keep in mind you are trying to pack as light as possible!


Another tricky one, a tripod can be essential for capturing sharp and blur-free shots in certain environments but it is also one of the heaviest items in a photographer’s kit.

For long exposures, star trails, or time lapses you really need a tripod. If you are only shooting candid shots in the middle of the day, you can leave it behind. Thankfully, there are compact options available, that come in very handy when packing for a trip.

Camera Bag

Choosing the right camera bag for a trip away comes down to deciding whether you put a preference on quick access to gear, which a sling style bag can provide, or all day comfort, which is the benefit of a backpack.

One option is to pack both styles, deciding which is the best option on each day, depending on what’s on your itinerary. Remember to check that your bag is waterproof, particularly if you are headed to a wetter climate.

How to Pack for a Photography TripHow to Pack for a Photography Trip

Spare Batteries

Some cameras will give you more shots per charge than others, but it is always a good idea to carry a spare battery nevertheless. You can never say for sure if you will be back at your accommodation to charge your battery before it goes flat, or whether you will be too tired and forget at the end of the long day.

You also wouldn’t want to be in the position of having a battery that suddenly has a fault in the middle of a trip.
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