Travel is often part of the job for models and photographers. A long-distance trip can open the door to new scenery that will make the shoot perfection. Packing for these journeys can be somewhat tricky unless you have the right hacks to make it a breeze every time.
Try Packing Cubes
Packing cubes have become a favorite tool for avid travelers because it enables you to bring so much more in a smaller suitcase without wrinkles and squashed items. It organizes your bags as well. You can even divide your belongings into color-coded cubes that make it easy to grab whatever you need.
There are tons of packing cube items on the market, and you can try a variety to discover what you like. These Eagle Creek cubes are particularly popular among constant travelers.
Prioritize Your Gear
It would be nice to bring everything you have at home for your next photo shoot, but that’s just not realistic. It’s easier to travel with just a bag or two. In order to achieve this goal, photographer Jonathan Lee Martin of Fstoppers recommends setting goals for your shoot that help you prioritize your gear.
He says that he tries to bring just one lens and one tripod that will allow him to accomplish his shoot goals. “For the shot goals I had in mind [for a recent trip], I would need to bring my tripod on every hike without hesitation, so I grabbed an ultralight tripod and ballhead that fit in my daypack,” he explained in a blog post. “To shrink the tripod further, I removed the center column extension—the reduced max height of 49” cut down weight and space without compromising stability.”
Careful planning and prioritization make packing your gear so much simpler.
Get Extra Cargo Capacity
If you’re flying to your next shoot, consider paying for an extra bag on the flight. It’s an additional expense, but it gives you the space you need to pack everything without wrinkling your clothing or damaging your gear.
If you’re driving, consider a hard-shell topper for your car or a hitch cargo box like these Stowaway 2 cargo carriers. This extra storage space gives you more precious space for all the necessities of your trip. Plus, the outer hard shell perfectly protects your gear, so you can pack whatever you need without worrying about damage.
Pack the Right Clothing
Unless someone is planning your wardrobe for you, it can be difficult to decide what to wear to your next photo shoot. When you’re not certain, photo-blogger Courtney Slazinik of Click It Up a Notch recommends keeping it neutral.
“If you peek into my closet, you will find a lot of shades of oatmeal, gray, and white,” she writes in a blog post. …These are the only colors that I wear to a session…When I was first starting out, I was told that staying away from bright colors is really important because it helps to avoid creating color reflections on the skin that are unnatural. Ever since then, I’ve always taken this helpful advice!”
Carry Essentials in Your Handbag
It’s smart to carry around a portable handbag wherever you go with essentials in it. That way, if your luggage gets lost or you don’t want to dig through your overly packed vehicle to find something, it’s within arm’s reach.
Pick up a simple backpack (like this lightweight Patagonia pack) and fill it with an extra toothbrush, comb, change of clothing, facial wipes, basic makeup items, and any other items you’ll need at a moment’s notice.
Keep Things Packed
Those who travel often can always benefit from keeping a few things packed.
“It feels like I am always either packing or unpacking,” says Elizabeth Preske, assistant digital editor of Travel+Leisure. “…I’ve gotten into the habit of leaving my travel-sized bottles of conditioner, shampoo, and dry shampoo in my weekender bag at all times. Since I only use them when I travel and they don’t need to be washed or exchanged like clothes, keeping these little items in my bag leaves me a few less things I need to remember to pack.”
Plus, it’s a great way to avoid that last-minute rush before a trip. Because you’re already half packed, it’ll only take a few minutes to throw everything else together.
Images from On The Road by Cheng Po Ou Yang for MMSCENE Magazine issue 030