My flight from this year’s 2019 Styled Shoots Across America landed last night around midnight and I made it home around 2am! Definitely will be drinking that second cup of coffee today. I’ve lost count how many flights I’ve been on but now that I’ve flown with my gear a few times, I thought share my “Flying with Camera Gear Tips for Photographers” to help ease your mind!

The very first time I flew with my gear, I was so nervous! Flying can overwhelming when you’re carrying thousands of dollars worth of gear with you. Thoughts cross your mind like: What if my camera breaks? Can I have batteries with me? Aren’t batteries hazardous in a plane? What if they make me check my camera bag?

To help ease your mind when flying with your camera gear, here are a few simple tips:

1. Separate your camera body and lens. Have your camera body and lens already separated when going through security. I heard a horror story where a camera body was broken through security because the person checking the camera did not click the button to separate the body and lens. They forcefully separated the body and lens and broke it!

2. Take out batteries. Take your batteries out of your camera body and place in a baggy. Keep your batteries with you since they are not allowed in the cargo. I keep all my gear on me but definitely keep your batteries with you. This includes rechargeable eneloop batteries, your rechargeable camera batteries, etc.

3. Smaller camera bag size. If you’re on a full flight or in a smaller aircraft, chances are the overhead storage is going to fill up before you have a chance to get your carry on/ camera bag in the overhead bin. This happened to me and I’ve heard it it happening to other photographers. I was flying from MN to VA and I had my purse and carry on bag with me. My carry on bag was the standard size and once I was about to get on the plane, a man at the door said I needed to check that bag, free of charge, since there was no more storage. Luckily, I had my smaller camera bag inside along with a book, jacket, and random other items. I took my camera bag out so they could check the carry on bag. I was able to keep my camera bag with my and side under my feet during the flight.

Now I have a different, much for stylish and cute, camera bag. This bag holds almost all my gear but still fits under my seat. I would never let my gear leave my sight. I read another horror story where a photographer had the same issue; however, in their carry on was all of their gear! They made her check the bag, for free, but her gear left her sight. She said she was in tears. I imagine so!

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Sarah Botta is a Northern Virginia based wedding photographer whose work is described as soft, organic, romantic, and timeless. Sarah specializes in capturing people’s stories and building connections with each client to help tell their story. She has photographed over 55 weddings across Virginia, Maryland, and DC from outdoor estate ceremonies to elaborate winery receptions. Her natural timeless style shines brightest with outdoor locations. Sarah is available for travel and is passport ready.