I’ve shot alongside many big and well known photographic names, both paid and unpaid. Regularly I am still in contact with most of these people. All they are, are what I will call my mentors as they have had a positive influence in my photographic endeavors. I should mention that nobility and fame are two things that won’t and don’t influence my photography, personal satisfactions and personal challenges do. Thus a claim to fame yearning is not consequential with what I do.
Joel Sartore, a respected and famous photographer best known for his National Geographic and Photo Arc work is perhaps #1 in molding my direction and desired output in photography. He has casually mentioned many antidotes and all are very good but one has stuck in my head and in turn has become a useful resource.
His traveling hints and experience have probably provided me with more resource than I had ever wanted or needed, yet very useful.
I’ve experienced many personal carryon nightmares, from 7kg carryon restrictions in Dubai, Abu Dabi, UAE. Mosul, Baghdad, Kabul along with many more. His insights and generous hints along with the shared experiences have helped me immensely.
Here is a quick quote from a webpage of his, hopefully this will be useful to some.
“I always carry more than one camera body, more than one lens, more than one battery and more than one charger. It
makes for a lot of extra baggage, but better that than a missed opportunity. When traveling by air, I take the minimum I
need to hit the ground and start shooting in a carryon.
That way if my checked baggage is lost, I can still accomplish the
I should mention also that during a long lens class that he was sharing, he mentioned the difficulty of transporting gear on the local commuter jets (his local airport in Lincoln, NE only has small jets), as he has experienced a lack of overhead compartment space for his gear. Rather than risk checking in the expensive camera gear in, as his backpack wouldn’t fit, he has repeatedly carried his gear in his photo vest and around his neck, smashing the empty backpack in the small overhead bin for takeoff or seating. At first chance he will then replenish the backpack without further disruption or problems. This is a method that has worked for me also, many times. Although I don’t recommend it, it is an option that may be available at some airports.
Keep in mind that the tripod and monopod always goes into the check in luggage minimizing the carry on possible problems. For some reason a bulky tripod have not been easy pickings for some airport staff, so far.
By all means, check the airline’s website and their carryon restrictions. Being in compliance is probably your best bet. The aforementioned tips are only for if you may run into complications and not something that I recommend as a first line of strategy while transporting your valuable photographic gear.