Essential Equipment for the Traveling Photographer

traveling photographer

Traveling photography is undoubtedly one of the best and most exciting professions. It allows you to travel the world, meet new people, experience different cultures, and take beautiful photographs.

However, starting a new job as a travel photographer comes with certain challenges. That’s why new travel photographers tend to struggle with choosing the right photography gear.

That’s why we decided to make a list of essential equipment for traveling photographers. Keep in mind that this is a list of basic equipment. Over time, you will, just like all experienced travel photographers, refine this list and add items that are invaluable to you.

So, let’s see all the must-have equipment for traveling photographers.

1.  Camera

The number one spot on our list goes to a camera. An essential tool for every travel photographer is a camera, of course. In the beginning, you’ll need at least one camera.

But pretty soon after, just like most photographers, you’ll come to realize that a second, backup camera is a must.

We can’t tell you which camera is the best for travel photography, because this varies from photographer to photographer. There are so many different choices, that it has to come down to your shooting preferences.

Just keep in mind that you’ll be traveling a lot with this camera, so try to go for a portable, lightweight one that takes high-quality photos. If you don’t think you can settle for one camera right away, you can always rent some cameras to see which one will work best for you.

2.  Lenses

Most cameras only come with one lens or no lens at all. This means that you’ll need to get lenses separately. Lenses can significantly impact the outcome and quality of photography, so before you settle for your travel photography lenses, do some research.

For instance, for landscapes, you can use a wide-angle zoom lens and a telephoto zoom lens. But most photographers will recommend using 24-70mm lenses for everything including landscapes and travel portraits.

24-70mm lens is a versatile workhorse lens and you can get away with just using that one. But if your finances permit, you should also get a telephoto lens to go with the workhorse one.

3.  Ultrasonic cleaner

Travel photographers tend to have a lot of different kinds of lenses that get dirty pretty fast. This can be quite a nuisance, so you should know how to properly and efficiently clean your photo lenses.

The best way to thoroughly clean your lenses is with an ultrasonic cleaner. A portable cleaner can help you clean your lenses on the go. Superior ultrasonic cleaning allows you to clean every minute crevice of the lenses. All you have to do is place the lances in the cleaner filled with a cleaning solution and let it do its job. In only 5 to 10 minutes, you’ll have perfectly clean lenses.

4.  A tripod

Because tripods can be expensive, and difficult to transport, many new travel photographers avoid them at all costs. However, a tripod is one of the most important equipment pieces for travel photographers.

Tripods are so invaluable because they allow you to take photos in low light conditions and long shutter speeds. They provide a stable base for your camera so that you can take sharp and clear images. So, if you want to make great quality photos, investing in a tripod is a must.

Most travel photographers would recommend carbon fiber tripods because they are stable, lightweight, and easy to transport.

5.  A camera bag

A great quality camera bag is yet another essential piece of equipment for travel photographers. The job of camera bags is to keep your equipment safe in transit. That’s why you need to be picky about your camera bags.

These bags should be durable and high-quality to withstand different kinds of weather conditions. They should be comfortable for you when from location to location.

Since there are tons of different kinds of camera bags on the market, you’ll need to pick a bag that works best for your needs. A bag that can fit all your equipment, a bag that is durable, comfortable, good size and that won’t break your budget.

6.  Rain cover

Since you can’t control the weather and when traveling, weather changes happen quite a bit, you need to find a way to protect your camera. Rain, snow, and extreme weather can damage your camera. So, to avoid this investing in a rain cover can be a smart idea.

A water-resistant rain cover isn’t an expensive item, and it won’t break your budget, so getting one for your trips can be a lifesaver.

7.  Memory cards and extra batteries

Every experienced travel photographer knows that having several memory cards is crucial. Running out of memory space in a crucial moment can be quite frustrating.

So, stocking up on memory cards is essential.

The number of cards you need will largely depend on your shooting style, the duration of your trip, the pixels of your camera as well as the capacity of the cards. So, a lot of cards, just to be safe.

In addition to memory cards, you should also bring extra batteries. Extra batteries are crucial, especially if you are going to places without access to power outlets.

8.  An external hard drive

Even with a ton of memory cards in your bag, they can easily break, get corrupted, get lost, and so on. To avoid losing hours of work and many beautiful shots, you should get an external hard drive.

An external hard drive will provide you with a great backup. At the end of every day, transfer your photos to a hard drive, and don’t worry about losing your hard work.

In addition to providing you with a safety net, doing this will also free up your memory card space for the next day. A win-win. 

Bottom Line

While being a travel photographer is an incredible profession, investing in all this equipment can be quite pricey. That’s why, when you’re just starting as a travel photographer, you need to do a lot of research before committing to one thing.

Hopefully, this list will help you choose your essential travel photography equipment.