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The Shot List: Traveling Light

Posted on: January 31st, 2012 by Tom McDonald

Me in the Palm Springs Airport with camera bag, laptop and caffeine.

With the growth of Fireside Production, I have found myself traveling more and more.  Traveling isn’t always an easy endeavor and it can certainly be a challenge when you are packing video equipment too.  So here are a few tips to that might make traveling with your gear a bit easier.

First of all, pack light.  It is good to get one big hard case (make sure it is padded inside) and fill it with only what you think you will need.  I generally pack three lights with extra bulbs, two wireless microphones, a shotgun mic, batteries/chargers and necessary cables.  Also, always pack a roll of gaffers tape!  Some extras I might consider are a black backdrop, a small reflector and a camera rain jacket if necessary.  

The next bag I pack is a tripod case.  Get a hard case and if it isn’t padded, toss a jacket or perhaps your backdrop in there too for padding.  On a recent trip to Indianapolis, I watched in horror as the baggage handler launched my tripod like a missile into the cargo area of the plane.  I purchased a hard case the day I returned.

Carry your camera onboard with you always!  If it is a prosumer-type camera, put it in a small camera bag and store it overhead.  If it is an eng camera, lay it overhead with the eyepiece up on top of a pillow, blanket or jacket.  Remember to pull your battery if you have a frezzi or camera light on top.  I always like to pack a wireless microphone in my camera bag too.  If the airline loses your luggage, it won’t be ideal but you can still manage with the camera and microphone if you have to go right to a shoot.

Lastly, pack yourself light too.  You already have to drag a camera bag and possibly a laptop through security.  Throw all of your watches, keys, etc. in your laptop or camera bag ahead of time.  If possible, don’t wear a belt or extra jewelry on travel day.  Nothing worse than ten bins of belongings going through security… Except for maybe those new X-Ray machines!!  Happy Travels!

by Webolutions Digital Marketing Agency