Temperate Palm House Glasshouse at Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom

The Travel Photography Gear I Use & Love

One of the things people most commonly ask me is, “Which camera do you use?” or “which lens did you use for that shot?”. At the same time, so much of what makes a photo interesting and exciting is a blend of location, skill, and luck with things like weather and a lack of crowds. You can do so much to control how photos will turn out, like choosing the right photography equipment. Here is a list of the travel photography gear I use and love. I take these with me whenever I travel. I’ve included examples of the photos each of these lenses/cameras takes below each item.

Read my photography tips!

Glasshouse Greenhouse at Berlin Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum in Berlin, Germany Travel Guide Itinerary Trip Planning Information by Annie Fairfax

Above: Tulip from Holland Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan

This post contains affiliate links of things I have purchased from the exact shops I bought them from, things I routinely use, and they are all things I personally love. At absolutely no extra cost to you, I receive a small portion of the proceeds from any purchases you make by clicking these links, which helps support my work. 

Canon 5D Mark IV
This is my main photography camera. I love how crystal clear and sharp images turn out, and the colors in the photos I create with this are as true as it looks to my eye. It shoots in 4k video at up to 60 fps, making it an excellent choice for videographers, bloggers, and photographers. This camera is also weather-sealed, meaning it can resist light rains, high winds, dust, snow, and other weather conditions that would cause other cameras to fail or corrupt. Plus, it has a vast temperature tolerance, meaning it can work in extreme cold and extreme heat. I take this camera with me everywhere I go.

This camera requires CF Memory Cards; Sandisk is my go-to brand, as they are swift and reliable. I use this UGreen reader and this attachment to make it compatible with my laptop.

Nearly all of my images are taken with this camera. See examples of how these photos look in my photography portfolio here.

Mountains and Beach at Olympic National Park Travel Guide on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington by Annie Fairfax

Above: Olympic National Park, day trip from Seattle, Washington

Canon 50mm Lens
I primarily use this lens for photographing people, my outfits, and sometimes food photography. It is a great lens for photographing people because it doesn’t distort the human body as much as some other lenses do.

Above: Left: Picnic at Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island      Middle: Sunflower Fields      Right: Picnic at Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island

Canon 16-35mm Lens 
I love using this lens for my day-to-day photography needs. This is generally the lens I carry when taking photos of things close to me, like food, buildings, and botanicals. If I’m not photographing a person or something far away, I use this lens 9 times out of 10, especially when traveling. If you’re only going to invest in one lens, let it be this one. 

Osaka Castle in Osaka, Japan History Architecture and Cherry Blossom Viewing in this iconic feudal Japanese Imperial Castle Historical Buildings in Japan Built in 1583

Above: Osaka Castle in Osaka, Japan

Canon 70-200mm Lens
This is my favorite lens to use when photographing far-away things or doing macro (close-up) photography of something like plants or sometimes food.

Mealt Falls on the Isle of Skye Scotland's Scottish Highlands Photographed by Annie Fairfax

Above: Melt Falls on the Isle of Skye, Scotland 

Zhiyun Stabilizer
This stabilizer is one of the very best money can buy (and it’s not even that expensive!). I use this for making videos, primarily.

Laptop
I use a MacBook Pro to edit my photos and videos and to write all of my posts. It’s fast, compact, and the screen colors are as true to real life as I’ve found. I’ve tried editing on my husband’s gaming laptop, and even with its advanced graphics cards, the photos didn’t quite look right. Of course, people who see my images will notice they look a bit different from device to device based on what they’re using to look at it, but that’s unavoidable. 

Dynamic Tripod
This tripod is amazing – it’s lightweight, very sturdy, and can be configured into a myriad of positions, allowing me to shoot straight up, straight down, at a 90º angle, and everything in between. For only $39, this is the best tripod I’ve found for traveling and photography, and I’ve tried nearly a dozen different tripods over the years.

Waterproof GoPro
I love using this GoPro as a quick and easy way to film things or for underwater photography. It’s lightweight, compact, and an excellent camera for beginners or those who want an easy and reliable way to capture their travels. I recommend buying a stabilizer stick, 5-10 extra batteries, a double battery charger, and a lens cap to keep it safe.

Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Gran Cenote, Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Above: Gran Cenote in Tulum, Mexico

Extra Camera Batteries
I have 10 camera batteries, and if I spend a full day shooting with this camera, I may go through 3 or 4 at the absolute maximum. The battery life with these canon batteries is insanely long and much better than any other camera I’ve ever used. I have so many batteries because sometimes, when I’m away from a power source, like when I’m hiking, camping, or staying somewhere without reliable power access, like when clamping or at eco-chic resorts like Azulik in Tulum, I may not be able to keep all of them charged easily.

Each battery lasts about 4-6 hours of continuous use and takes about an hour and a half to recharge. In colder temperatures, batteries do not last as long, and their use may be cut by as much as 80%, depending upon how cold it is, which is true of any battery. So, if you are traveling or live somewhere where it regularly dips well below freezing, buy twice as many batteries as you think you may need. No matter how good the savings may be, never buy off-brand batteries. They could damage your camera irreparably or void the camera’s warranty. 

Portable Hardrive
This Samsung Solid State Drive is something I use each day when traveling to back up my photos, make extra room on my laptop or memory cards, and protect my work.

Camera Bag
When I’m somewhere it might rain, I keep my memory cards stored in waterproof silicone Stasher bags, my camera, and lenses in resealable plastic bags with moisture-absorbing packets at the bottom, and I use this camera bag. Of course, if you’re going somewhere stormier or where you might fall or drop your bag into water ( for example, when sailing or hiking near a river), I recommend a waterproof bag like this one.

Above: Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, IL    Middle: Louis Vuitton Bandoulière at Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City, MI    Right: How I Pack My Cosmetics

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12 Comments

  1. These are really great recommendations! Did your husband help you pick these out, or how did you find such good selections for gear?

    1. I’m a photographer. Like any other, I did my own research. I rented gear to test it out and then went with what I liked the best. Selecting photography equipment can be a very personal decision as everyone’s style is different.

  2. SO helpful! I’ve been thinking about getting the Canon 16-35mm so I’m glad to hear you actually like using it. I definitely trust your recs and your work is amazing!

  3. Stephanie says:

    This is fantastic! I always wonder what kind of gear different bloggers use, so it’s interesting to read your selections. I use a few of the same or similar products and have had great results. I just got a new camera last year, though it is an older edition in the Rebel series, so I know it’s not as fancy as yours. One day I hope to level up 😉

  4. Ok this is SO helpful! I’m bookmarking so I can keep coming back to it! I completely trust your recommendations, you’re my favorite photographer!

  5. Your gear is GOALS!!!! I need my husband to take a class just to figure out how to use my smaller Mark VIII lol. You take the most gorgeous photos and I can see why, with gear like this and your amazing talent!

  6. I am always interested in reading photography equipment recs because it can all be so overwhelming with all of the options available. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Carrington Barfield says:

    This is so good to know! I have been trying to find some good camera equipment lately, so I’m going to check these out! Xx.

  8. This is cool! We have the Canon 5d and love it! I need to try the 35mm lens!

    Xo, Steph

  9. These are such excellent recommendations, I’m adding these to my holiday wishlist, like literally all of them.

  10. This is such an amazing post. I emailed you awhile back to inquire about this, but I understand that you’re busy and can’t reply to everyone, so thanks for sharing your recommendations this way, it’s so helpful!!

  11. Your photos are incredible, and this answered all of my questions about the gear you use. Now if only I could buy your acumen in photography! LOL!