The Photographer's Load

The Photographer's Load

A professional photographer friend of mine is in Seattle for a few days en route to several assignments abroad. I’m always interested in packing lists and gear decisions, so I snapped a picture of her kit.

I can be a little neurotic when it comes to packing. I’ll make lists, I’ll lay things out, and I’ll pack and unpack, all in the hope of getting things down to the minimum. I usually fail and pack too much. Sometimes it’s hard to resist the “what if” pull. I also like having some redundancy. There’s a saying you’ll often hear in the military – “two is one, one is none.”

My friend has been doing this for years, makes a living off it, and is mobile. She needs to be ready to hop on a plane and shoot fashion, portraits, restaurants, food, etc. That bag is heavy! Those are just the tools, though. She makes the images work through hard work, creativity, and skill.

Kit (1 of 1).jpg

I think I’ve always been interested in what we carry. I love reading the “What’s In Your Bag” articles and Outside Magazine stories about how through hikers decide what goes in their rucks. I even read S.L.A. Marshall’s “The Soldier’s Load and the Mobility of a Nation” to gain some insights. A lot of Marshall’s findings were disappointing – when we manage to cut or reduce weight, we have a tendency to negate that gain by packing more in.