I get a lot of questions about how I take my photos when I travel especially how I get the shot when I am by myself. I’ve got another blog post about how to hire a travel photographer but for everything else I’m on my own.
I started out pretty simply, I had just a camera and I would prop it up with whatever was available around me to take a photo. This resulted in a lot of photos of me on the ground. As I have continued to travel I have added more items to my photography arsenal.
Sony α7R II Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera
This is my camera baby. I quite honestly didn’t even want to take a camera on my first solo trip. I was planning on using my phone but my husband insisted that I take this one. I told him that it would have to fit in my purse and turns out it does, so it went with me. Since that trip, this camera has been my constant companion on my adventures. I still have so much to learn about photography and all the settings on this camera but I feel like this one has allowed me to grow my style and technique. One of my favorite features is that it syncs with my phone allowing me to use my phone as a remote viewer and shutter. This is how I am able to take my solo shots! I can also wirelessly transfer my photos from my camera to my phone. This gives me the ability to update my social with gorgeous, professional looking photos instantly.
Canon 2.8L 16-35mm
This is the lens that I take with me. I’m sure you are thinking, “What? A Canon lens on a Sony camera???” And basically it’s because of two reasons. One – I’m cheap, already had a Canon lens so why buy more of the same thing and two – my husband swears up and down that Canon makes better lenses. Anyway, I like this lens because it is a bit of a wide angle so I can get large, sweeping shots but it is still great for close-up portrait-style photos. It’s a good lens for when you just want to carry only one with you. I would love to carry more than one lens but the truth is that they can be heavy and hard to swap out. Right now I’m about quick and easy.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM Lens
I call this my “pretty lens.” This is the second lens I have started carrying with me. It creates some beautiful portrait shots with a nice blurred background – it’s a softer lens than my 16-32mm. While I did use it for some nice close up shots on my last trip it also captured some larger shots that I loved, especially in the bamboo forest in Kyoto.
Sigma Mount Converter MC-11
When you are putting together camera bodies and lenses that don’t match, you need a converter and that’s what this does!
Joby GorillaPod Magnetic Tripod with Ivation Wireless Bluetooth Camera Shutter Remote Control
This was the first sort of advanced selfie set up I bought. The remote works great and is easy to set up with your phone. But I really loved this tripod because it could set it up almost anywhere. I did a really cool timelapse with it on a Swiss train using the magnetic feet to stabilize it on the window frame.
Koolehaoda Travel Portable H-50 Mini Tripod
The best and smallest travel tripod. I wanted to get better photos where I wasn’t on the ground all the time or relying on having a convenient ledge to perch my camera on so I bought this very compact tripod. It has worked great for my last few trips but it still doesn’t get quite as tall as I would like for it to be. This is also the tripod pictured in the top image of this post.
Manfrotto MKCOMPACTACN-BK Compact Action Tripod
This is my latest tripod. It is able to shoot at standing person height and somehow still fits in my backpack. I absolutely loved having this tripod with me in Japan and Thailand, it helped me get all the shots that I wanted while still being lightweight and easy to to use. Other photographers couldn’t believe that I had it stashed in my backpack.
I usually take my laptop with me when I travel so I can edit some of my photos as I go along. This is the card reader I take with me. It’s so nice, I bought it twice because I lost the first one, oops! It has a variety of slots so I am prepared for any situation.
While my camera has the amazing phone remote viewer feature, this can sometimes take a while to get a photo. For one, it doesn’t allow for auto focus and the time in between shots is pretty long. It also doesn’t allow for a lot of movement in my photos. One of my goals for this year has been to take photos with more movement so this is where this remote shutter comes in. I will be able to set up my camera to take photos at an interval of my choosing and the camera will automatically focus and take a series of shots allowing me more freedom to move around. I’ll also get photos much faster. I once spent about 40 minutes in Tokyo trying to get the perfect shot of me “walking” past a large torii gate. With this I’ll be able to take that same photo in a fraction of the time.
With my new remote shutter this means I’m going to need a large SD card to accommodate the volume of photos I’ll be taking in one session. I’ve now got a huge 200GB card to store my photos!
Nothing is worse than losing an SD card so I got this handy case to keep track of them all!
The camera strap that came with my camera is super uncomfortable, it cuts into make neck making less than ideal for hours of sightseeing. I found this strap on Amazon and have been so pleased! It’s made out of a soft, stretchy material that feels more like a scarf. I also like the way it evenly distributes the weight of my camera on my neck instead of cutting into it. It also has quick release to remove the strap in case I need to get it our of the way for photos. Highly recommend upgrading your strap if you are going to have your camera around your neck for long periods of time.
DJI Osmo Pocket
I decided to up my video game with the DJI Osmo Pocket. This sweet video camera takes 4K video and it’s so stable and smooth everyone will think you have a production team with you. It fits in the palm of my hand and can be plugged right into my phone to give me a larger screen or to quickly upload videos to my Instagram. Highly recommended if you want to try out video. Read my full post post about the Osmo Pocket.
Skydio 2 Drone
I chose this drone over the others on the market for a couple of reasons. The first being that it can fly itself. Yes, you read that right! The Skydio can lock onto targets and follow them. It can also follow a pre-mapped route. This makes it really easy to use as a solo traveler. It also has incredible collision detection capabilities which keeps it from crashing. It’s easy to use right out of the box to get great, professional looking video.
I’ll keep updating this list as I get more camera goodies!
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I have recommended. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help me keep this site up and running as well as keep me traveling!