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A photographer's holiday essentials

Updated: Jun 5, 2020

I am often asked, "which camera should I take with me on holiday?" so I thought it would be useful to share with you the things that are in my holiday camera bag and the reasons why!

Number 1: my most used and loved DSLR camera body.

Pick the camera body that you use the most / rely on the most / love the most. In my case I have a Nikon d750 and a Nikon d610 which I use at client shoots for a "back up" camera (in case my d750 were to ever stop working on me). Logic might tell you to keep the best camera at home in case the good one gets stolen or damaged - but life is short!! Use the camera that you feel most comfortable with - and for me this is my d750. The important functions on this for me are the flip out screen (because I love taking photos 'from above' and from 'low on the ground' and the flip out screen lets me see exactly what I'm doing more easily). The second important feature on this is the in built WIFI which allows me to sync the photos I take onto my iPhone using the Nikon image app.

Number 2: the lenses.

If there was only one lens left in the world I would want it to be my Sigma Art 35mm. It's sharp, sharp, sharp....consistently. Reliability and consistency is important for me, and it should be for you too.

My second lens choice needs to be light to carry - and my favourite at the moment is the Lensbaby Sol 45. It's arty, experimental, inconsistent and a challenge....which is why I love it! It really lets me embrace the messier side of holidaying with children, and create more feeling-filled images rather than tack-sharp photographs which I get with the Sigma art. They are the perfect opposite travel companions.

Number 3: the go pro.

It's tiny, its inconspicuous, its light to carry....but more importantly the super wide lens adds another layer of interest to my holiday photographs. Plus I would count this as a very child-friendly camera option (as an alternative to handing them my iPhone), it hardly takes up any space, is super light and takes awesome action photos Including's a holiday bag essential! I take an extra battery, a Go Pro battery charger and the underwater housing + handle. An added extra if I had space would be the Telesin dome which is the secret to taking those very cool 'half in - half out' of the water images.

Number 4: your oldest camera possible + a dicapac bag

An added extra, if you have the space and a very old DSLR. The majority of my underwater images are taken using this combo. My very first DSLR, a Nikon d7000 + very old 35mm lens. I daren't try my d750 inside the Dicapac bag just in case it leaks. But my d7000 was honestly just collecting dust in the cupboard....this way it gets some useage! Once the camera is inside the Dicapac bag it is really fiddly to change settings. So you can either keep it on Automatic, or pop it on Manual and choose the settings that would give you the best exposed images depending on your underwater lighting situation.

Number 5: your phone + VSCO + wifi connection

On holiday, the last thing I want to be doing is spending my evenings editing. My laptop doesn't come out. I sync my cameras or Go Pro to my iPhone; have a quick scroll through my images; and select the ones I want to share with family and friends or on social media. I import them into the VSCO app and edit in that. Export to my camera roll - upload onto social media - done!

The only downside of this approach is that once I'm home, yes I have to re-sift through my holiday images, cull, select and re-edit my favourites ready for printing or to put into photo books. Yes, it's double the work, but when I'm on holiday I want the easiest and fastest editing options possible that doesn't involve carrying hard drives / importing into Lightroom etc.

Add in my camera battery charger; 3 x 64 GB memory cards; a good handbag that fits everything....job done!

Natalie x

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