What gear to bring on a road trip as a photographer?

In August 2017 I was traveling with a friend of mine from Europe. We drove together from Chicago to Yellowstone National Park. I had a hard time to decide what to bring - and ended up with lots of gear in my trunk. Why this was a good decision in the end and made for an awesome travel video. Please skip to 2:14 if you just want to see the travel video itself. 

Engagement Photography (and video!) at Japanese Garden at Delaware Park in Buffalo NY

First of all, I think the engagement session is by far the best way to a) get to know your photographer and the way they work and b) will help you get a lot better wedding photos. So I highly recommend spending a little extra for engagement photos even though you might think you won't really need them. 

Why you should definitely do an engagement session

Most people are not very confident about seeing themselves in a photograph. They are used to selfies with wide angle lenses that make their nose look gigantic. If you are not confident about your own picture there is a high chance that you have never been photographed by a professional. 

Here is why I recommend all my couples to hire me for their engagement session. First of all, we can get to know each other in a different way than sitting down at my studio. Walking around together, finding cool photo spots and being directed by me for the first time will also help you two a lot to be confident about your wedding photos. Chances are, you will like yourself in your engagement photos way more than all the photos of yourself you have seen so far. 

Another reason is that engagement photos will give you images in more regular clothes. Even if you dress up a little, chances are that it won't be as fancy as on your wedding day. That gives you a lot more variety overall. You can of course also use the engagement photos for your save the dates or wedding invitations. 

To give you a quick overview about what a typical engagement session with me looks like, just watch this video below. While I focus on taking pictures most of the session, I also take a few video clips and try to film you with my drone as well. We usually end up going to two different locations, as for example a park for a pick-nick and the Niagara river for the sunset. The idea is that we make your photos and videos look like you are on a date. The more natural and candid, the better.