I'm a Maine based photographer, specializing in weddings and lifestyle portraiture. I serve all of New England and beyond as no event is ever too far.

Photographer Travel Tips


{iPhone photo from up above a nor’easter on my way to Houston, Texas}


The 2015 wedding season is about to start with my first wedding in Orlando, Florida.  I got to thinking about travel efficiency when on a trip to document a wedding story and wanted to share a few things I love that make my life easier when on the road.

I used to use cosmetic bags that required me to dump everything out on a towel in the bathroom until I discovered Lay-n-Go cosmo.  I got this last year, love it so much that it was the Christmas gift I gave to all the wonderful ladies in my life.  You can use these bags for other things like batteries or whatever you need to keep organized.

Speaking of cosmetics, I subscribe to Birchbox which delivers a fun box each month with new products for your hair and skin.  They have boxes for both men and women.  Every product is usually a super small sample size so for $10 a month, you get to try new things and these samples are easy to travel with.  Plus, I’ve been able to add to my wedding day emergency kit in my camera bag too.

While we’re on the topic of camera bags, a rolling camera bag has been a part of my life since 2002.  It’s over a decade old and looks brand new.  I have a Tamrac Big Wheels Rolling StrongBox similar to this one.  I can carry my full kit – 2 camera bodies, 6 lenses, two flashes, etc.  This bag fits in the overhead compartment of most planes.  Although, if you’re flying out of Portland, Maine, the planes are much smaller.  They will ask you to check your bag under the plane – this is where I say OH HECK NO and shove it under the seat in front of me.  I sit uncomfortably but there is no way I’m just handing over my livelihood.  I always get the stink eye but I don’t care, I’m on a job and it’s just a part of traveling.  You pretty much have to stand up for yourself in that situation because they can get pretty feisty.

I check one bag with all of my clothes and various other camera necessities like a camera shoulder bag and a tripod.  I love my Burton bag, it’s tall so my tripod fits perfectly.  I have two camera bags that I’ll bring with me so that I’m not locked into the roller bag at all times.  The Lowepro shoulder bag can stash all of my lenses or a couple lenses with a body.  I always bring along my ShootSac too which is great to quickly switch lenses, especially during a wedding ceremony and keeps things like your timeline, phone, keys, snacks close at hand.

One really important lifestyle change that can happen during travel is sleep disruption.  I need a blissful night sleep the night before a wedding so I bring a white noise machine with me whenever I travel.  I could use an app on my iPhone but it just doesn’t cover a hotel room as much as the machine.  I have one like this DOHM.  The investment is worth every penny.

I also use a sleep mask.  I have been made fun of and so don’t care.  For your sleeping pleasure, BibBon Etsy shop is my fav.

Another quick thing I can lose track of while traveling is hydration.  Years ago, I traveled to photograph a wedding in Utah and the couples guest welcome bags included a Waterbox.  I have used it everyday since.  You can fill up anywhere and it’s small enough that you can slip it into a camera bag *Danger, Danger* or a pocket in the ShootSac.

On the road, you’re also at the mercy of eating whatever, whenever.  I try to research what is around the hotel prior to the trip to avoid being HANGRY and plan a way not to eat horribly too.  I throw in some instant oatmeal packs with a plastic spoon so in times of desperation, I can always use the coffee maker in the room to heat water and make a quick breakfast.

The Lay-n-Go comes with a bag that you can store it in when it’s empty – mine never is so I use the bag that came with it to store the supplements I’ll need for the trip.  I have one of those pill packs for each day and I always add in more days than needed, just in case.  I take a handful of supplements everyday and try not to forget how important that is while I’m away from home.

Finally, stretching!  I bring along my yoga strap and follow a series of leg stretches when I wake up, before I head out to the wedding and when I get back.  I also learned to roll out too so if luggage weight isn’t an issue, I’ll bring along a muscle roller stick or I’ll use the bottom of a wooden hanger from the hotel to roll out my calves.  I use a foam roller at home but that’s a little too big for travel.

I travel frequently for events so this is how I’ve managed the lifestyle.  I hope you have found this post helpful!

xoxo . . .

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Welcome and thank you for taking the time to visit the Melissa Mullen Photography blog. I'm a Maine based photographer, specializing in weddings and lifestyle portraiture. I serve all of New England and beyond as no event is ever too far. Please feel free to take a look around and introduce yourself by leaving a comment of affection at the bottom of any of the posts. Or drop me a note as I would love to hear from you.

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