Packing for the holidays…

For some, packing for the holidays is an adventure in itself that starts about a week earlier with your mind spinning, constantly taking note of things you shouldn’t forget. For others, it’s a nightmare and generally left until the night before you leave.

We can’t help you decide whether or not you should pack that extra pair of undies or that pretty little sequin dress, but we can help you set up a list of photography gear you shouldn’t forget to take along with you. Use this as a packing checklist so you can enjoy doing what you like best (photography of course!).

For the travel photographer

Whether exploring South Africa’s hidden gems or splurging on an overseas trip, having a few of these photographic equipment and accessories in your backpack will ensure that you document your travels in style.

So first things first, you need to pack light and think comfort. The uncomplicated Thule Aspect DSLR Backpack is incredibly comfortable to wear and has enough space to carry all of your travel gear. When it comes to your camera, the Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm Lens is versatile and compact and leaves enough space in your camera bag for other must have accessories like Sennheiser HD 200 PRO Studio Headphones and the olloclip Filmer’s Kit. For stability, strap your Benro GA268TB2 GoTravel Tripod Kit to your gear bag and don’t forget to pack a portable powerbank and rechargeable batteries.

What to pack for your photo holiday

For the straight fire photographer

Your festive schedule is already fully booked, from lazing at the beach with friends and spending Christmas at your parents’ place to a killer New Year’s Eve you are oh-so ready for. You’ll need to pack gear that combines quality with simplicity because you know that your friends and followers want to be updated on your holiday missions at a moment’s notice.

Your social schedule is fully booked up until Rocking the Daisies and your Instagram followers expect to be updated on your vacay news at a moment’s notice. This means that you need photo accessories that combine quality and simplicity. The Canon PowerShot SX70 is an excellent value for money camera that offers built-in WiFi and Bluetooth. There are quite a few mobile-friendly devices available that offer you the ability of uploading high quality footage and video instantly! DJI’s Osmo Pocket Gimbal Camera fits into your hand comfortably and connects to your smartphone for a larger display and to share live moments on the go. If you prefer using your smartphone you can choose between the Zhiyun Smooth 4 Gimbal and the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 Gimbal Stabiliser. Make sure your content has perfect light and use the iBlazr 2 Wireless Flash which easily clips onto your smartphone. Remember to pack your Instax SQ20 Instant Camera to capture those impromptu memories! All of your gear, accessories and an extra bottle of water will perfectly fit into the subtle on-trend Think Tank Signature 13 Shoulder Bag.

What to pack: The buzzing young photographer

Adrenaline junkie adventure photographer?

When action and adventure is the name of the game you need to think lightweight, practical and tough when packing your camera bag.

To make your journey simpler, a good start will be a camera bag. Evoc Photo Scout 18 L provides maximum protection and has lots of extra space for personal belongings in a separate partition. The new GoPro HERO7 is an obvious must for any adventurer but if you’re looking to get more creative with your photography there’s something like the Canon EOS M5 Mirrorless Camera. Its portable design with fast autofocus and processing to help make sure you don’t miss that unforgettable shot. Use the DJI Mavic Pro and PolarPro FiftyFifty over/under dome to capture your adventures from multiple angles. Two very practical accessories to remember is a Nitecore P10GT LED Flashlight Combo and a dry-bag like the Sea To Summit range which will keep all of your gear dry whether its pouring with rain or you’re trailing through a creek.

Adventure photograph taken by Linus Nylund

For the devoted wildlife photographer

There’s nothing like capturing a yawning lion with the African sunset beautifully framing the shot after patiently waiting for so what seems like forever. But, to create something spectacular you need the right gear and forgetting to pack even one piece of equipment can make or break the shot.

You’re going to need a good quality camera like the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II DSLR Camera in combination with a sturdy lens like the Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM MKII. These items are pricy and therefore need to be kept in a sturdy, dust-free, protection case like the B&W International’s Cases. A LensCoat will further protect the expensive lens while something like Dust-Off Spray will help keep your lens and equipment clean from flying particles. Stability is an absolute must; that means you’re going to need a Benro GH2 Aluminium Gimbal Head (a specialised tripod head for heavy telephoto lenses), a Badger Photo Gear Door Bracket (allows you to photograph from your vehicle or safari truck without having to set up a tripod system), or a Badger Gear Snuggfit Bean Bag II (useful to support heavy lenses). Lastly, don’t underestimate the importance of a quality memory card. You need speed and size; the Sony 128GB SDHC G-Series Tough UHS-II U3 300MB/s is just perfect for wildlife photographers.

What to pack: The wildlife photographer's guid to packing for the holidays. Photo Credit: Hidde Rensink

Making memories at home

Not everyone goes away for the holidays; so if you’re looking forward to time at home with family and friends, and perhaps some quality family photos, make sure that you are fully kitted from camera to flash.

To photograph those special moments in and around the home there are a few staples you’ll need as well as a few accessories. A decent camera like the Nikon D850 in combination with Nikon’s 50mm f/1.4G Lens mounted on a sturdy tripod is a good start to beautiful portraits and family memories. When lighting is not desirable, take out yourCactus RF60X Wireless Speedlight and MagMod MagSphere and there you have it, flawless light. Or maybe catch up on your reading with an interesting book like Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots.

Christmas lunch with family and friends