Traveling With Camera Equipment

Traveling can be stressful, especially that dreaded moment when the gate agent announces that it’s a full flight and they will need to check large carry-on items. I get the shivers just thinking about it. If I can help it, I never-ever-ever check my bags, even on longer trips. I always pack light and maximize my carry-on. But what if you’re not just traveling with a few t-shirts and a tooth brush?

Any gear-happy hobby will eventually put you in a situation where you have to fly with one or more of your most prized (and probably highest priced) possessions, whether it’s a guitar, a set of golf clubs or, as is the case for most filmmakers, a selection of cameras and lenses. So how do you keep your electronics safe from baggage handlers and gate agents? Photographer Todd Owyoung from I Shoot Shows has written an excellent article on the delicate art of traveling with your gear. Read the full article here – or enjoy this ADD-friendly overview:

#1 Everything is replaceable – but clothing more-so than your camera. So always check in your cotton before you check in you Canon. Carry-on is your friend.

#2 Check and double-check your baggage allowances. It’s easier to stay calm, when the gate agents looks intently at your carry-on bag, if you’re absolutely certain it meets the airline’s weight and size restrictions.

#3 Choose the right bags. Padding is key when traveling with delicate equipment, so make sure whatever bags you use are keeping your gear safe on a bumpy ride. Todd recommends the Think Tank series.

#4 Be prepared to check your gear, if necessary. If you know you’ll be traveling with gear that won’t fit in your carry-on, make sure you’re adequately prepared. Solid shell flight cases are the way to go.

#5 Make nice with the airline staff. Hopefully the staff will show some empathy when it comes time to pick out the carry-on bags that will need to be checked. If not, politely ask them if the airline is going to assume full responsibility for insuring the total cost of the contents of the bag.

#6 Don’t pack in extra or exterior pockets. Use only the ones with adequate padding and protection. Even the overhead bin can be a dangerous place when your fellow passengers are trying to cram in their duty free items.

Now, take a deep breath and get excited about bringing your gear with you on your out-of-town shoot or your epic adventures. Like this couple did:



h/t I Shoot Shows

Mads Black

About Mads Black

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Mads is a Scandinavian-born, Los Angeles-based actor and aspiring film maker. He's dabbled in stunt driving (no one got hurt) and once rescued a baby bunny from his garage.

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