Packing for an overseas shoot

Travelling to the USA seems like a fun idea. New places, new sites and sounds and new friends. What a great idea. Oh, I almost forgot. I’m working.

Well, that’s ok. I’ll just pack a few things. You know, a camera, a lens or two, it’ll be easy.


I’m teaching food styling, lighting and photography at the World Food Championsips Bloggers Summit in Orange Beach, Alabama. Followed by a week photographing the competition itself.

Hmmmm. I’m going to have to take more gear.

And after being asked to teach and shoot at the World Food Championships (WFC), I have since been asked to photograph a beach lodge in Port Aransas in Texas, along with a bridal brochure shoot. The Elinchrom ELB 400 from the Flash Centre is light and quite small, and their heads are tiny. So they are the ideal travel companions, although I really wanted to take both the Action and HS heads. The HS heads would be ideal to test the new Olympus HS Skyport trigger, particularly in the Texas sunshine.

Oh yeah, I’ll need a laptop.

And a tripod.

The tripod was an easy choice. I recently acquired the Marsace BT-2541T Pro Carbon Tripod from UK Highland photography which I have previously reviewed. It’s very compact and very light, absolutely ideal.

So, the case is a PhotoSEL BG504 roller camera bag. Not necessarily the most rigid, but quite light for its size. And what did I manage to get in it?

ELB 400 Pack and battery x2

Action heads x2

HS heads x2

Cables x4 (allowing me to create a four head lighting setup).

Quadra 13.5cm reflector x2

Quadra 18cm Standard reflectors x2

Skyport Transmitter Plus

Skyport Receiver Plus x2

Skyport Olympus HS Transmitter

Metz 64 AF-1 Speedlight

Yongnuo 580II speedlight

Lumiquest speedlight diffused bouncer

Nissin i40 speedlight

Olympus OM-D E-M1 x2

Olympus HLD-7 Battery Grip x2

M.Zuiko 12-40mm Pro f2.8

M.Zuiko 40-150mm Pro f2.8

MC-14 1.4 Teleconverter

E-M1 Batteries x10

Dell Inspiron 17” laptop

Various cables, SD cards and other tiddly bits.

Total weight 21.3Kg

Wondering about the battery chargers, lightstands and softboxes etc? They went into the other cases, including the tripod.

I’m lucky enough to be flying with British Airways, which have a usable carry on allowance, including an additional laptop case. Unfortunately, the allowed size of the laptop case won’t take my laptop, so all the chargers and electrical bits went in there.

Next stop, The Beach Lodge, Port Aransas in Texas.