Travel Kit - One Suitcase & CarryOn

For the last two months we have been working around the clock to prepare for Europe. We have called New Zealand home for the last 22 years and have decided to follow our heart, and see where our sense of adventure takes us. And In preparation for becoming a location independent photographer, we have had to make some pretty tough decisions.

Every Kg counts when traveling and there was no choice but to reduced our life to a single suitcase and carryon bag (inclusive of clothing and everyday necessities). Cutting back to the bare essentials has been stressful, but a refreshing experience. This is not the first time we are packing for a long distance trip, but when you know it is not just a temporary inconvenience, you stop to think a little harder about what YOU REALLY NEED to remain versatile and creative.

It is surprising how heavy a modest closet can be, so the already generous 30Kg allowance of checked luggage was quickly met. Which only left the standard 7Kg cabin limit for all our photography gear (it is probably best to hand carry delicates anyway).

After much debate, we managed to strip a thoroughly bloated creative kit down to the raw building blocks which make up 90% of our work, and this is what we packed,

  • Ona Brixton (Truffle leather - camera bag)

Although the leather is heavy, this is an amazing bag which has stood up to anything we have had the pleasure of throwing at it. With every scuff and scratch it only becomes more beautiful. 

  • MacBook Pro 15' Retina (+charger & 2 x backup HDD's)

Every photographer needs a dependable laptop, and the Retina MacBrook Pro workstations have fantastic screens ideal for location independent post production work. We have an iCloud subscription for offsite backups and use the two USB3 HDD's for cloning the laptop's internal disk (using the MAC OSx 'Time Machine' application). 

  • iPhone 6s (+ USB cable)

Instagram, facebook and emergency internet tethering where WiFi is not available. Without a doubt you need a smart phone. We also use our phone as a image repository for recent work. 

  • Leica M / 262 + 35mm F2 (+ battery charger)

The legendary Leica M system was a last minute indulgence. Yes the system is expensive, but everyone has their vice. The images we have made with the camera leading up to our departure have been mind blowing and we are excited so see what we will get the chance to point our lens at.

  • Fujifilm XPro2 + 23mm F1.4 + 56mm F1.2 APD (+ battery charger)

The Fujifilm X series has been our bread and butter. Being part of the ambassador program for New Zealand has allowed us to build up a small arsenal of gear (too much to carry). So we cut back to the two lenses we know inside and out (complimented by the Leica). With this setup we can shoot weddings and continue our personal work.

  • Universal power travel adaptor

If you are traveling and you want to last longer than your built in battery, you need one!

  • Travel journal, passport and knick knacks

These are more personal items which will be specific to you. 

Embracing the 'less is more' philosophy, we are excited to see how these constraints will play out and ultimately effect our work (if at all). Knowing that we have shot a wedding with less, we can rest easy and enjoy the creative challenge of making do.

- Sven