June 26

Essential holiday camera gear for parents – Summer Photo Series Part 2

 June 26

by Ania

Camera Equipment to Take on Holidays

I used to be that person who packed every single lens, my big camera, and all the add-ons for a holiday. My camera literally had it's own luggage allowance, while I squeezed my undies into the kids suitcases.

The pressure! The stress! Nowadays, I’ve become much kinder to myself (and my back) and more confident in my ability to still capture great holiday moments, even if I don't have the most perfect camera set-up to hand. I go for maximum function and portability because with active kids, that's how we roll.

Here's my streamlined packing list to ensure I capture all those holiday moments without the hassle.

Disclaimer - the links placed in the blog are affiliate links which means that if you purchase through them I will receive a small proportion of the sale. I only recommend products I use so all my recommendations are all tried and tested! 

My All-Rounder Camera Setup

The Camera

  • Sony a7iii: This trusty old friend is small enough to be portable but mighty enough to capture anything and everything. It’s like the Swiss Army knife of cameras – versatile, reliable, and always up for an adventure. 

Two Essential Lenses

  1. Zoom Lens: Listen, I'm a prime lens girl at home. I have close to a full prime range, some in duplicates. But I do not love having carry and swap multiple lenses while on holiday so I take a versatile, all rounder zoom instead. My zoom of choice for my summer adventures is my Tamron 28-200mm. It’s got everything I need when traveling – wide enough for sweeping landscapes, and zoomy enough to capture details from afar. For such a long zoom, it’s reasonably light, making it the perfect travel companion. At the widest end, it can even go down to aperture F2.8 which makes it useful in darker spaces.
  2. Prime Lens: My pancake 35mm lens. It’s my favorite for storytelling with its classic focal length. Plus, being tiny and light, it slips into any bag with ease. Mine is a Samyang brand - I own multiple Samyang Primes and I really like them - and they're budget friendly! 

The Bag / camera insert

  • I like equipment that is multifunctional. Like this sling bag which can be used either as a camera insert and simply jammed into my regular day backpack #mamacamel, or as a standalone bag when I don't have to carry lots of other stuff. It keeps everything nice and safe and protected. win - win. The one I use is from K&F concept, but plenty similar are available from other brands.

Comfortable Carrying

  • PeakDesign Strap: I can't remember the last time I used a camera strap that came with the camera. I like to switch between cross body and neck carry and that's just not possible with those. I tried many straps over the years and this one is my favourite. Comfortable for long days out, easy to adjust, and I love that it comes with quick release anchors that make it easy to detach it quickly if need be. 

Optional Essential Accessories

  1. Spare Camera Battery: My camera’s battery life is pretty solid, but having a spare gives me peace of mind. Nothing worse than running out of juice just as the perfect shot appears.
  2. Spare Memory Cards: Memory cards can be fickle creatures. They break, they corrupt – it’s just a fact of life. I always have a couple of spares tucked away, just in case. I use Sandisc ExtremePro because they are fast and I don't have to worry about my camera buffering
  3. Polarizing Filter: If you’ve ever taken photos in bright sun, you know the struggle with washed-out colors. A polarizing filter is a game-changer, cutting out stray light rays, boosting color saturation, and reducing glare. Your images will look so much better straight out of the camera. Important - if you;re getting one, make sure it's the right size for the lens you will be using it with
  4. Microfibre Cloth: Sand, dust, fingerprints – they’re the enemy. A soft microfiber cloth is our secret weapon for keeping our camera and lenses spotless.

For Water-Based Fun

My family love water. It always features in our holiday planning - be it a pool, a lake, the sea or anything in between. So we've had a lot of practice in working out what works with water photography and what doesn't. I own hard and soft shell casings for my camera and lenses, underwater light setup - the works, but that's not what I take for water based photos on holidays. Instead I take this >

Action Camera - GoPro or similar

  • GoPro: This little gadget is brilliant for anything water-related. It captures a wide-angle view, perfect for action shots and unique perspectives. Plus, it’s shockproof, which is a lifesaver with clumsy kids. OK fine, clumsy me. 
  • GoPro accessories - These are not essential but make using the camera so much more enjoyable! ,
    • Dome: If space allows, I pack this for those awesome half-underwater, half-above-water shots. It’s my secret weapon for unique holiday photos.
    • Extendable stick that turns into a mini tripod - love this thing. It mans you can put the gopro on and actually get in on the action!
    • Floating Strap: This is a must in open waters. It attaches to the GoPro and ensures it doesn’t sink to the bottom of the ocean – a small but crucial piece of kit.
    • Extra GoPro Battery: GoPro batteries can drain quickly, so having a spare or two keeps you going.

For the Kids

  • Kodak PixPro WPZ2: We discovered this gem last year. It’s shockproof, waterproof, and easy for kids to use on auto mode. For the budding photographers, it even has a manual mode. And it’s pretty affordable too ( as far as cameras go anyway!) - I will be doing a deep dive ( excuse the pun) review on this camera so watch this space. 

For When the Big Camera Stays Home

Waterproof Phone Case

  • Phone Protection: Sometimes, you just don’t want to worry about your camera, no matter how portable it is. A waterproof case for your phone, ideally with a lanyard, lets you dive into the water with the kids and still get great photos. It’s the ultimate in convenience and peace of mind. You can get either a soft pouch style universal case or a hard case ( which looks and works just like any standard case, just a bit more bulky) - that's what I prefer because I stick my phone into this at the start of the holiday and I don't need to worry till we get back home. 

Anything else?

Have I forgotten anything? What do you take with you? Packing light doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice capturing amazing holiday memories. With the right gear, you can have it all – stunning photos and a stress-free holiday. Happy snapping!


How do you photograph your child on the swings, on the beach, at sunset, playing with bubbles???

We have all the answers - 20 Photography Guides Collections all about photographing the kind of stuff the kids do on the daily basis - especially in summer! With practical advice at your fingertips, just when you need it! 

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