10 tips for traveling with your camera equipment

by Jen Cooke

Whether you’re traveling for a family vacation or a business trip (Click Away anyone?), if you decide to bring your camera equipment with you here are a few helpful tips.

1. Use a well padded camera bag.

I use a bag that is sturdy and well padded for my camera equipment. I don’t like to draw attention to the fact that I’m carrying camera equipment with me because I don’t want to attract any unwanted attention from potential thieves. I use my Jen Cooke Handbag :) You’d never know I was carrying camera equipment in there!

10 tips for traveling with your camera equipment photo*Jen Cooke handbag photographed by Jen Cooke.

2. Only take what you need.

I know this is kind of obvious but I tend to over pack. Be conscious of what you’ll be taking pictures of and what equipment you need to achieve your goals. Don’t bring more that what you actually need.

3. Don’t check your bag.

If you’re flying, do not check your camera bag. Keep it with you at all times. I don’t even put mine in the overhead compartment. It stays with me and I stow it under the seat in front of me for take off and landing. There can be lots of heavy bags in the overhead compartment and with shifting of bags from take off and landing I don’t take any chances. I also don’t want anyone to walk out with my bag (on purpose or by accident) while I’m waiting to exit the plane.

10 tips for traveling with your camera equipment photo*Kelly Moore B-Hobo bag photographed by Julia Tulley

4. Don’t travel with the lens attached to your camera body.

Make sure that your lens isn’t attached to the body of your camera when traveling. If your equipment shifts during travel it could place pressure on your lens damaging the threads that hold the lens to the camera. I have heard stories of lenses that were under so much pressure from shifting that they broke right off the body. That wouldn’t be a good start to your trip!

5. Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage.

Some insurance policies have coverage limitations when you’re traveling with your camera equipment. Make sure you’re covered properly before you leave. This will give you peace of mind should anything get damaged or stolen.

10 tips for traveling with your camera equipment photo*Kelly Moore 2 Sues bag photographed by Lacey Meyers.

6. Use the hotel safe.

If you’re going out and you don’t need to bring your camera then make sure to use your rooms safe. Most hotels and hostels will have one in every room.

7. Be conscious of your surroundings.

Be conscious of when you have your equipment out for everyone to see.  In some circumstances you might sense when a place or situation isn’t quite safe enough to have your equipment out all the time. I would suggest if you need to get a shot then take your camera out, get the shot you need and put your camera away so it’s out of site. Again, you don’t want to draw any attention to yourself from potential thieves.

10 tips for traveling with your camera equipment photo*Ketti Schoolgirl bag photographed by Monica Wilkinson.

8. Download your photos daily.

This may be a pain, especially after a long day but I recommend downloading your photos daily. Anything can happen and I’d rather lose one days worth of images rather than a weeks.

9. Memory Cards.

If you have photos from the day that haven’t been downloaded yet make sure to keep them in your pocket or separate from your equipment. If something happens to your equipment or your camera is stolen, then at least you have your photos.

10 tips for traveling with your camera equipment photo*Mr. High Pants bag and Darby Mack insert photographed by Sarah Lalone of Punch Photographic.

10. Hard Drive.

I recommend in addition to downloading your photos everyday, to transfer them onto a separate hard drive as well. Make sure you keep your hard drive in a separate location from your equipment.

10 tips for traveling with your camera equipment photoJen Cooke, Alberta
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Jen is a natural light photographer specializing in newborns, children and family portraits. Her style and approach to sessions is fun, relaxed and candid. She is a stay at home mom living in Alberta, Canada with her husband and 2 kids. Jen has also spent the last year designing her first line of handbags for photographers which will be coming out this fall.


click away giveaway!

So now that you know how to pack your bag, why not put those new skills to work and go somewhere?  And we know just the perfect place… Click Away!  Today we’re giving 3 people the chance to win a 2014 Click Away registration ticket for the conference in Salt Lake City.  Enter to win below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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72 Responses to “10 tips for traveling with your camera equipment”

  1. Kathleen Collins
    Jun 29 2014 at 5:56 pm #

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  2. Kayla B
    Jun 29 2014 at 8:45 pm #

    Kelly Moore Bag!

  3. Jun 29 2014 at 9:49 pm #

    I am using the bag that came with my kit. I’ve got my eye on a few I want though!

  4. DawneC
    Jun 30 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    Wonderful tips… and very timely… thank you!

  5. Kelly
    Jun 30 2014 at 12:53 pm #

    Such great tips!

  6. Jun 30 2014 at 12:54 pm #

    Great tips!

  7. Kari
    Jun 30 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    I really want a new camera bag, but have to do some more research. I currently have a homemade one, but it is getting too small… too many lenses :) Thanks for all the tips. I am leaving for Vegas in a few weeks and this was very helpful!

  8. Jun 30 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    Love the KM bag. GREAT advice here!!

  9. Areke
    Jun 30 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    I have a handmade one but the Kelly Moore B-Hobo is adorable :)

  10. Jun 30 2014 at 1:29 pm #

    I received a Tamrac one shoulder backpack-like bag for Christmas, but it’s cramped. I’d like a bag that holds more than just my camera.

  11. Jun 30 2014 at 4:10 pm #

    I love the KM hobo bag!

  12. MelissaU
    Jun 30 2014 at 5:28 pm #

    I love my lowpro 200 bag :) Not very pretty but very, very functional.

  13. Kim Peterson
    Jun 30 2014 at 5:54 pm #

    Wonderful tips!! I agree also about keeping your bag under the seat rather then overhead compartment!

  14. Abby
    Jun 30 2014 at 9:59 pm #

    Thanks for the great tips!

  15. Lara Gowder
    Jun 30 2014 at 10:06 pm #

    Love these tips! I can’t wait to travel with my gear to Clickaway! :)

  16. Lara Gowder
    Jun 30 2014 at 10:07 pm #

    Oh! And I have a KM B-hobo, and a Jo Totes Gracie! :)

  17. Jul 01 2014 at 7:24 am #

    I have a backpack style typical bag. It does its trick, but it looks really obvious!

  18. Jul 01 2014 at 9:12 am #

    Love that new bag!

  19. Jul 09 2014 at 9:23 pm #

    I am getting ready to head to the beach for a family vacation and this was the perfect post to help me pack. I never would have thought to carry my camber body without a lens attached. Thank yoU!

  20. Jul 21 2014 at 11:15 am #

    Great advice! I also put my lenses inside a koozie for a little extra padding. I love the new Ketti bag, too!

  21. Ophelia
    Jul 21 2014 at 2:11 pm #

    I have a regular camera bag but may consider getting a purse like bag to carry my body and a lens or two. I like the idea that no one knows its a camera bag too.

  22. Hali
    Sep 07 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    this is an excellent article! thank you!

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