The beautiful destination is just the start
Most content creators are an entire team of 1 person, who acts as photographer, videographer, colourist, editor, writer, stylist, director, lighting director and technician for every post that gets uploaded. This can (quite rightly) seem overwhelming as there’s a lot of things to remember when creating brilliant original content, but there are some key pieces of equipment that will make life easier for you.
A lot of travel creators talk about “kit paralysis”, where they become so fixed on having the best equipment that they delay creating altogether until they have absolutely everything they could possibly need. It’s a real phenomenon, but don’t be swept in to thinking that you have to have the newest or even the most top-of-the-line equipment to make incredible content. Start now, even if it’s with a grainy smartphone and tinny sound. It’s more important to flex your creative muscles and experiment with creating than to have a £3,000 camera and no idea how to use it.
Here’s our edit of the handiest and most practical kit on the market to make shooting easier and elevate your content.
1. A super-portable LED light
For when you need to achieve a soft, diffused effect, take flattering portraits or even just achieve more studio-like light on the go, get a portable LED. Manfrotto are a trusted pro brand and their Lumimuse 8 LED Light is small but powerful.
2. An external hard drive
You quite simply can’t be running out of storage space when you’re on the go, and no matter how big the hard drive of your phone or laptop, it’s not enough. Plus, if your laptop has a meltdown and won’t start, you could lose all that content, too. Don’t trust the Cloud, either – logins can be forgotten and data breaches happen. Invest in an external hard drive that’s tough and can survive being dropped and thrown about – LaCie Rugged is a great option.
3. An underwater protective dome
If you want to shoot underwater, you’ll need some special kit to make it work, but it’s not too complex. There’s lots of GoPro-compatible options on the market that will allow you to safely film underwater while maintaining the clarity and crispness of the image. You can pick up a Telesin Dome port for around £50.
4. A travel tripod
You can’t really be taking a full-size tripod in your carry-on, so invest in a lighter option for when you’re overseas. Manfrotto are again the market leaders, so have a look at their Travel Friendly Be Fluid range and select one to match your camera.
5. A universal adaptor
Not to sound like your dad, but you’re going to need an adaptor or two on your travels. Consider buying a unit that has all the different plugs in one – three pin, two pin, three pole etc – rather than purchasing them separately. You’ll save a lot of money, and you’ll also have one cohesive unit that’s easy to pack rather than lots of loose plugs.
6. A portable charging pack
Trying to get the best shot of your life when your phone’s on 3%? Nightmare.
7. A portable WiFi station
If you’re thinking of hitting up some really remote spots, or you don’t fancy sharing your bandwidth with the rest of your hotel, consider getting your own WiFi hotspot. Skyroam offers portable WiFi hotspots that work in 130 countries. They’re small and easy to pack, and you can password protect them, connect up to ten devices at once and you only pay for when you’re using WiFi, so no contracts or SIM fees.
8. A cleaning kit
No matter how careful you are, dust is going to settle on your lens at some point, and you’re going to get into some scrapes with your kit as a whole. Don’t just reach for a Flash wipe and hope for the best – you can get an inexpensive pro kit cleaning set from a brand like Altura to slot into your suitcase instead. Trust us, you’ll be glad you packed it.
9. A stabilizer
Invest in a stabilizer if you’re hoping to film or vlog while on the move – even just walking at a normal speed can make the camera jog up and down more than you’d think, which can be irritating for viewers. The GoPro Karma Grip can withstand activities like hiking, biking and running, allowing you to continue to shoot perfectly level footage with your GroPro even when you’re in motion. Alternatively, you could get a Steadicam for your smartphone if that’s how you shoot, which will keep the phone totally level even as you move around.
10. A microphone
No matter how good the sound pickup on your camera, it’s never going to pick up crystal-clear sound when you’re on the move. You don’t need the full set up with a boom and all, but getting a small mic pack you can attach to your shirt can be the difference between grainy “What was that?” audio and super-sharp, easy to hear audio. Takstar do some great affordable options.