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.
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.