If you haven’t already read my article on ‘11 tips for Family Vacation Photography‘ you should check it out first.
If you have or don’t want to then let me explain that I’m away on holiday at the moment and have withdrawn myself for a few hours to help you out while it’s fresh and relevant to me. Here’s a list the kit I recommend you should take on holiday with you. I actually made a quick video before I came but then had to really strip down what I actually brought. Some things I really regretted as you’ll read below…
1. A zoom lens
If you only have a kit lens, typically 18-55mm you’ll want to invest in a zoom lens to ensure you catch the action of your family at play. The obvious choice is a 55-200mm so you have full coverage through the range but I’d also recommend looking at this zoom lens for under £100!
Keep your wider angle lens in too though as you’ll want that for your landscape shots.
2. A spare battery
You simply HAVE to take a spare battery and charger with you, if you don’t have one get one cheap off Amazon, although I bought a cheap one recently and it holds noticeably less charge than the original. That’s why I tend to stick to Amazon as you can see reviews that other customers have written.
Oh, and don’t forget to keep both batteries charged and with you at all times… Except maybe when you’re in the pool.
3. Sufficient memory cards
Either get a big card like a 32gb or a better option might be several 8gb cards so your chances of loosing all your holiday photos are lessened. You can delete photos in camera but I’d recommend only deleting the duff ones. Leave duplicates in the camera till you get home, you may find that in the back of they camera two look the same but when you look on your computer at home you see one is better focussed than the other.
4. A flash
Now you may have a flash built into your camera but mine doesn’t and I took my hotshoe flash out the bag as it was over weight, what a mistake! Several times I wanted to capture a photo of my family with the setting sun behind them but had no chance. If you do use an on camera flash take a few test shots as the results can be nasty if you’re too close or ineffective if your too far away. You’ll get it I’m sure 😉
5. A suitable bag
You don’t want to be carting a huge bag around and letting that be the excuse for not taking your camera out, neither do you want to be without everything. I personally took both my small bag and a larger one (seen in this video) as the small one took up no room in my bag and has been taken out every evening as my ‘man bag’.
6. A tripod
I had to take my tripod out of my bag, again due to it being overweight and it was another regret. Thankfully I’m pretty resourceful and used my camera bag as a beanbag on several occasions for some slow shutter shots but there were a few duff ones due to movement and you’re limited to where you can place the camera. There are some very light weight, compact options available such as the Gorilla pod if you don’t want to take a standard travel version.
7. Some filters
This one’s optional and assumes you’re near the sea. If you are, you have to try some slow shutter sea shots, they’re pretty straight forward and the results are brilliant. You can see on this post the cheap kit I have and here are some of the results I captured with them so far.
8. A cleaning cloth
Splashes on your lens or finger prints will ruin everything and can be so simply fixed by just checking it and giving it a wipe.
Well I reckon that should have you sorted, if you can think of anything I’ve missed please add it in the comments below, and no I didn’t forget the camera, I just assumed that was a given… Someone’s bound to comment on that if I don’t say it here, right!