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.
My Current Camera Body
I recently purchased this new camera body. I still love my Sony, but after many years together and after having some communication issues between my Sony body and my Canon lenses, it was time to make a change. I have been delighted with my new Canon! The technology has come so far in mirrorless cameras and the features on the R5 have cut down on my process time so much. Here are a few things that I love about it: The touchscreen menu makes flipping through settings a breeze – shooting in manual has never been so easy! The back screen flips completely out so I can actually see the framing of my shots when I’m in front of the camera taking my own photos. The multiple focus modes are fantastic, I’m having a much easier time being able to take photos of myself that are crisp – this has cut down on a lot of back and forth while taking my own photos. The ease of focus has also made it super easy to hand off my camera to someone who isn’t as experienced and still get a great photo. I’m so impressed with how great this camera is and am looking forward to creating incredible content with it and I’ve barely touched on the video capabilities!
My Old Camera Body
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.
This is the lens that I take with me everywhere. 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. If you only want to carry one lens, this is the one you should get.
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. It adds incredible depth to photos and with the f/1.2 you are going to have beautiful blurred backgrounds.
When you are putting together camera bodies and lenses that don’t match, you need a converter and that’s what this does! This is what I would use to connect my Canon lenses to my Sony body.
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.
My Current 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.
This is the mount I use to attach my cell phone to my tripod. It fits my huge iPhone 12 Pro Max which is quite impressive! It gives me the option to some vertically and horizontally and is easy to switch between the two. I also love that it only takes up minimal space in my bag.
I’m always looking for ways to maximize my content creation and minimize the time I spend. I use this mount to capture video while I’m taking my photos. It’s fantastic because I’m able to get photos and video at the same time! I can then use that video for so much more content and the best thing is that I’m cutting my content creation time down by half.
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’m able to take that same photo in a fraction of the time. Here’s a quick tutorial on how I use this to take my own photos.
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!
My Current Camera Strap
I really dislike the camera straps that come standard. I spend hours with my camera hanging off my neck and I need something that’s going to be comfortable. When I bought my Canon, I immediately ordered a new strap. The strap even using with my Sony was starting to wear out and I wanted to try and find something that looked a little bit more professional. I found this one on Amazon and I’ve been using it for a few months and I am totally impressed with its comfort. I love the thick neck strap and the extra padding. I haven’t had an discomfort using this strap for hours!
My Old Camera Strap
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.
The latest addition to my arsenal of video equipment. I had the first version of this mobile gimbal and I absolutely hated it, I could never get it to work. This version has totally changed my option. It’s so much better, there’s no fuss to setting it up and it works exactly as promised. My current phone is a the iPhone 12 Pro Max. I do have to remove my phone’s case to get it to work with this. My phone also has some very impressive stabilization already built in so I primarily bought this gimbal for it’s motion tracking features. I can set it up and it will follow me, giving the illusion that someone else is controlling my camera. It comes with it’s own little tripod legs but can also be attached to my tripod to give it some height.
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.
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. You can read more about why I chose the Skydio 2 as well as check out some of my video here.
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!