As a Boston video production team who go out on 100 plus jobs per year, we are always revising our equipment list. There are things we need on every shoot, and then there are those things that might come up once or twice a year. But there's one part of my personal equipment arsenal that stays pretty much constant. There's always that one bag, that "never check on an airplane" bag, THEE essential bag. For me that's my main camera bag. The philosophy is simple. If all my other cases got lost, could I somehow deliver a professional shoot with just the contents of this one bag? The answer, for the most part is yes. The musts are in there: the camera body, 3 zoom lenses covering focal lengths from 14-400, 3 primes ( a 50mm portrait, a 45mm macro, and an 85mm). For audio, there's a Rode camera mount Shotgun, and A Zoom H4N stuck in a side pocket. My "one bag lighting kit" consists of an onboard shoe mountable led light and an led wand flashlight. Together they might give you just enough extra light to help that superfast prime, and they will also help you see the tripod bubble. In case that tripod goes missing in baggage, there's an edelkrone pocket rig which can stabilize the camera until Delta delivers.
Packing THE bag is a sacred ritual every shooter goes through. For me, it harkens back to that old Radiohead tune. Everything. Everything. Everything. In its right place. It's my system, and I know it better than the back of my own hand (which frankly I rarely look at-kind of a crazy saying when you think of it. But I digress). Lens cloths? Top Upper Right. Extra batteries and AC adaptor? Outer middle. SD Card Case with that one 64gb spare Sd? Left side pocket. Spare Tripod plates? Right side pocket. Velco Strips and Extra Camera Mount Screws? Small side pocket. Headphones? Top Zipper. Hard Drive? Inside flap. Business Cards, headphones, and an extra IPhone charger? That's easy-Outer pocket (you know, the one with the never-used raincover in it). Oh sure it gets heavy, but a well packed camera bag, a little longer in the security line, and a sore shoulder are a small price to pay when you're on the road and something bad happens. Like when your audio case and wireless mics never make it. Or you swear you have an extra camera battery but...you realize you left it and the other five in the charger back at the studio. But what if the unimaginable happens? What if somehow, THE bag goes missing? Or worse, gets stolen!? Not to worry. We left just enough room for one other item in there. It'a a tracking TILE, tucked discreetly into the lining. The pocket that one's in? That's top secret. KP