Professional Photographer Traveling Tips
Does your photography business require you to travel a lot? Whether you're a wedding photographer or family photographer, your portrait studio may require you to travel outside of your typical business area. Here are a few traveling tips to make your life easier. Let's not talk about the ease of packing your portrait bag.
TSA Precheck / Clear
I highly recommend TSA precheck. With more travelers flying the friendly skies (after being home bound for months during COVID), the security lines are long, and it takes a while to get through. However, with TSA precheck you’re able to bypass those long lines. In addition, if you have Clear, you’re able to get through even faster. I typically get through the security line in 15 minutes or less. Doesn't that sound nice?
Apply for TSA Precheck - https://www.tsa.gov/precheck.
Clear - https://www.clearme.com
If you travel internationally for your portrait jobs consider Global Entry.
Something else to consider; do you have membership to the club lounge? I joined the United Airlines club lounge earlier this year for $355/year. With the membership, I’m able to get meals at the lounge before/after my flights. My husband even told me the Delta lounge offered Ribs…ribs?!! This will help you save money (if you travel frequently). There’s no need to purchase expensive airport food. Ladies let’s not talk about avoid long restroom lines. Did you know many of the club lounges have shower access as well? In addition to that, if you like a spirited drink, many of the lounges have complimentary beverages.
With low cost airlines is easy to be lured with by the cost. However, I ask you to resist the urge to book the cheapest flights. I encourage your to favor airline consistency, because if you do, you'll be rewarded with perks and upgrades. For example, I will be flying back to Northern Virginia this fall. Instead of purchasing an airline ticket, I’m getting a ticket for $5.60. How? I’m using the miles I’ve gained by consistently flying United Airlines. Something else to consider. If you're consistently traveling the same airline, you'll quickly receive access to get free checked bags.
If you’re a frequent flyer on the same airline, always ask/check for an upgrade. If you have the airline's app with 72-24 hours before your flight you're usually able to get an upgraded seat with extra legroom or at least the exit row. If you don't ask or check the app, you won't receive it.
Discounted Rental Cars
United Airlines has partnered with Budget and Avis Rental Car to offer a 15% discount. In addition, you’ll receive additional airline miles for each car rental.
Staying at hotels is like Airlines. You’ll be rewarded for your consistency. As a member of the Marriott Rewards program, I also get United Airlines discounts because they have partnered together. In addition, when you frequent the same hotels, they’ll reward you with room upgrades, free breakfast, dinner and more.
Now, let's talk about equipment; especially if you use off-camera flash. Traveling with off-camera flash can be difficult and tricky. What equipment can be used without having to take heavy equipment and bulky materiel? I have a great list you'll want to take note on.
Umbrella - I highly recommend this umbrella (https://amzn.to/3y8q9n3).
Umbrella cover - With the cover (https://amzn.to/3RrH5Mo)
I used it during my last job to VA and it was amazing. It also fit in my carry on luggage without issue.
Light - Godox AD300Pro AD300 Pro TTL - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086H2YX7V?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share&fbclid=IwAR1lsaubL3RYF2equywOAZNIeGiB8NchqOl0LAkfbd0vlrvEI2Nhpimb1F4
Tripod - Promaster Compact Travel Light Stand (https://amzn.to/3URhMWS)
FYI: Did you know our cameras use lithium batteries? Airlines will not allow you to check bags that have lithium batteries; which means if your bag contains those type of batteries you don't have to check your bag.
Other helpful travel items:
There are a lot of great equipment and tips that may be used to make your life easier as a traveling professional photographer. I hope this article has made it easier for your next wedding or portrait session you must travel to for your jobs. If you have any ideas that would be beneficial to the next readers, please consider sharing. In addition, if you're traveling internationally, check to determine if a working visa is required. Don't forget to bring your business cards. Just in case you meet someone else that would like to have you photograph them.
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