Fine art photographer Keith Dotson’s travel gear setup

Fine art photographer Keith Dotson’s travel gear setup

Pictured below is my compact but efficient collection of gear that goes on the road with me when I travel to photo locations

I travel a lot, and I prefer road trips over air travel. For a lot of reasons I have written about before, winter is my main time to shoot and I log a lot of road miles every winter. This winter has been no exception. Since October, I’ve worked locations in Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Tennessee, and Massachusetts.

To be efficient requires a system that I’ve honed over several years. Read on to see how I organize my gear for travel.

Keith Dotson's travel gear organized for travel, as seen in a hotel room in Virginia.
Keith Dotson’s travel gear setup, as seen recently in a hotel room in Virginia.

My travel gear organization:

(A) Camera backpack: bodies, lenses, memory cards, batteries, filters, etc. My backpack is here on Amazon.

I try to carry everything I could possibly need to shoot in the field. I’m often hiking at a distance from the car and can’t easily go back for something I forgot. Not pictured: tripod.

(B) Back-up Disks: When I travel, I bring a full set of back-up hard drives. I use these to keep new work copied to multiple locations in case of disk failure. When I get home, I also send a full back-up to the cloud. Stays in the car or hotel room while I am out in the field.

These are also handy if I receive a rush print order and need to send a digital file to a print shop while I’m on the road.

(C) Accessories / tools: I use an affordable fishing tackle box with two plastic bins and a zip lock pouch to hold card readers, cables, lens cleaners, and assorted accessories and tools. This bag doesn’t accompany me in the field, but instead stays in the car or the hotel room. You can get this bag on Amazon for current price $21.00.

(D) Clothes and toiletries: I try to travel light, but I always bring more than I need. I prefer to drive (rather than fly) to destinations because it allows me to brings several types of hiking boots, hats, rain gear, extra jackets, clothes, sunscreen, and store them in the trunk of my car.

(E) Not pictured: I also bring another full-size backpack that carries my laptop, iPad, assorted power cords, and other miscellaneous gear. This stays in the hotel for photo editing, back-ups, and communications in the evening hours.

See also this blog post with my complete photography gear list.

Thanks for reading!

Be sure to visit me on FacebookGoogle+ or Pinterest, or on my website at

~ Keith

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