Photography Weekend Part 1 - Packing My Gear

This weekend I'm heading to Steubenville St. Louis to photograph the weekend's events. There will be a wide variety of photo opportunities, from band shots/stage lighting, to outdoor portraits, to group shots and environmental shots. Thus, I will be needing almost all my gear to make sure I can have the versatility I need to get the pictures people want to see.

I'm going to try to document the whole process—packing up/readying my gear (in this post), getting outfitted with the equipment I need (once on location), processing photos, and then cleaning things up.

Nikon Roadtrip Gear
(Click on the photo to view a TON more detail about all the gear)

As you can see from the picture above, I pack relatively heavy. At least, for a solo photographer who doesn't do much commercial work :)

I'm bringing three bags, one for the bulk of the camera gear (bodies, lenses, flashes and accessories), one to use for lighter walkaround use, and one for other miscellaneous gear. For certain events, I'll bring an additional bag with two light stands, a tripod, and two umbrellas (along with more lighting accessories).

In the past, I used to just take everything everywhere, thinking it's best to have whatever I need at the ready. I've long since learned how much of a pain (literally) this can be, so now I'm a bit more modular. I only bring gear I know I'll be using at the event.

For Steubenville, I almost exclusively walk around with a camera and two lenses, so I don't need any tripods and/or stands. I will need a variety of lenses, though, and I'll frequently need to move at least 5-10 lbs. of gear between locations, thus I'm bringing my large Promaster L500 bag (for mass-gear-transport) as well as a lighter photography backpack for location-hopping (a LowePro Compudaypack).

The day before I leave, I make sure to charge (or top off) all the batteries I'll be bringing: six sets of rechargeable AAs (for the flashes), both camera batteries, and my MacBook Air, iPad and iPhone batteries. Then, I put all the chargers into my 'miscellaneous stuff' bag the night before I head out.

The morning I leave, I will double-check to make sure every lens, lens hood, lens pouch, cap, and SD card is in the proper place, and I'll turn on and off each camera body (to make sure it works, and to make sure it's OFF when I stick it in the bag for the trip!).

Since I'll be working all day tomorrow, I'm going to try having everything in the bag before the end of the day today.

You can follow along all weekend on the OYM Live site, and I'll have photos automatically uploaded to stlyouth's Flickr stream via my new EyeFi Pro card (review coming soon!). You can also follow along via Twitter with the #steubystl hashtag.