How to Pack Your Camera Bag Properly

Before you go on any type of photo shoot, you always want to make sure you have everything you will need easily accessible in your camera bag.  Not having everything you need could result in getting a bad shot or even no shot at all. It is important to know exactly what you need, as well as how you need it arranged for best results in the field.

Materials Needed

  • Camera
  • Lenses
  • Batteries
  • Repair Kit
  • Cleaning Kit
  • Camera Bag

Step 1: Plan Your Trip

The first thing to consider is what type of photo shoot you are going to be packing for. If you know you are going to be indoors and stationary, then you may need your AC power cord instead of batteries for your camera. You need to decide if you are going to hold the camera or have it mounted on a tripod. Outdoor shoots may require more protection for dust and dirt. You may want to bring plastic bags to cover your equipment in dusty areas. Also, be sure to have a cleaning cloth handy if the lenses get dirty. Dirt on the lens can ruin any shot easily.

It is also always advisable to plan for a variety of shots. Even if you plan on a certain type of shot, you never know what the moment could bring, so pack extra lenses to accommodate a variety of shots. If you want to use an additional light source beyond the flash, then prepare for that as well. Some lighting equipment can be much larger than the camera and may require a separate carrying case.

Step 2: Pick Your Bag

Cameras and their accessories are typically very delicate pieces of equipment. The one thing you do not want is a large bag where everything is in the same compartment. The best type of camera bag will have separate pockets and compartments for every different accessory you want to include. It is always better to have too many pockets than not enough to safely carry your equipment.

Another thing to consider is if you want the bag to be waterproof. If you plan on having shoots outdoors, this can be very important. If your expensive camera equipment gets wet, it can be destroyed.

Step 3: Pack Your Bag

In the main compartment of your bag should be the camera, lenses and your light meter (if needed). You do not want the camera to be too loose. If it has room to slide around, then it will. The best option is to pad the empty space with soft cloth or any type of cushion to prevent the camera from banging around as you move. If you gently shake the bag in your hands, the individual pieces should not be moving more than an inch or coming into contact with one another. The outside pockets are best for smaller accessories like batteries or extra memory card (digital) or film (traditional).

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