What to do/bring/pack



What to do before you leave: Research, research & more research. But be open to exploring new threads and possibilities as things present themselves when you hit the ground. If you have specific assignments try to give yourself some time to explore 

your own ideas. 

Some useful travel links: 

BBCCountry Profiles 

CIA World Factbook 

Lonely Planet Guidbooks 

The Worlds Most Dangerous Places 

US State Deppartment 

Worldwide weather conditions 

Center for Disease Control 


Also, if you don't own it yet, please look into camera insurance. The NPPA offers a great insurance plan through Hays: Click Here for details. 


STUFF: We try to travel as light as possible. Priority is always given to my gear. 

So I don't take very many clothes. You'll never have everything you want on 

you...its a struggle between running light and being prepared. 


Camera Equipment. Bring two bodies if you have them. Lenses we'd recommend would be something in the 16-35mm range, something in the 24-70mm range. 

We usually bring our 70-200mm but end up leaving this in the place we stay when we go out most days. We do bring a flash but this too ends up tucked away in a bag back at the hotel. 

Batteries, please go out and get several so you can have at least two on your person each day and another charging back at your hotel. 

Don't bother with a tripod. It is too heavy and you will never use it. 

Audio Equipment. We use the M-Audio recorder but any digital audio recorder will work. Also recommended are the Zoom H2 or H4. 

Plenty of AA batteries for these devices. If using the M-Audio (internal battery) I'd recommend purchasing an emergency cell phone charger (~$20 from Home Depot). This device is small and takes AA batteries perfect for recharging your audio equip with internal batteries or even your cell phone. 

Make sure you have all the proper mics and cords necessary since this stuff is impossible to find when you don't have it. 

Laptop. Back-up your work daily on dvd, cd or portable drives. If we are 

going on a relatively short trip we back up our images on an iPod. Also...We 

have backup copies of Photomechanic, Adobe PS, Sound Slides and other valuable software on our iPods should something bad happen. 

Power strip and converters. Find out what, if any, converters are needed 

where you'll be working. You can find packages of the most widely used 

converters from most travel stores. Power strips are very handy as you'll 

be charging batteries, laptops etc and we've found some rooms only have one 


CF Cards. Things happen...cards die. Bring back ups of these. 

Mobile phones. Depending on where you are it is usually cheaper just to buy 

a local cell phone and calling cards (WE WILL GIVE YOU ALL $15 TOWARDS A CELL PHONE. Cheapies are about $20). 

However...if you prefer to use your own phone, most can be fitted with a card to 

access the local network but they usually need to be unlocked prior so check with your brand. 


Canned air. Your laptop and cameras will get pretty filthy. Keep things clean. 

Lens cleaner. 

Travel Books. The Lonely Planet Guides are recommended as well as the Moon series. 

HEALTH: Visit your doctor or travel clinic. In the Boston area Mt Auburn has a great travel clinic as does Mass General. Get your shots well in advance. 

Malaria zone? Talk to your doctor about anti-malarials. Take Deet or some kind of repellent. 

Medical kit. We always have a small med kit with plenty of iodine, anti-bacterial, and lots of bandages. Please see your medical professional for advice on taking along any antibiotics or other medicines. 

Sunscreen. If its hot and your out all day you'll need it. 

OTHER: Cash. Small US bills are best but try to limit bills over a US $20. Make sure you change some small bills into the local currency when you get there. Always change money at a bank or other certified exchange center. I find the airport to be the best, easiest and safest place to exchange money. 

Have a copy of your passport, credit cards etc. on your laptop should you 

lose them. 

Dress. Personal choice...but we never wear a watch, jewelry or anything else that might get in the way of interacting in the developing world. We don't like to wear sunglasses for this very reason. 

Bags. We don't like the "photoJ" or camera bags very much but prefer a small backpack 

or a very small lens pouch on our belts. 

Notebooks & pens. 

Biz Cards. You should be meeting a lot of people and making a lot of 

connections. Make it easy for them and print up (on your own) a bunch of 

cards with your name, # of the place you are staying or cell # and email 


TRAVELING: We travel (plane etc) with our cameras and laptop on your person. Should checked luggage not find its way to us we have everything needed to work.  

If it can go wrong...it will. So try to be prepared.