Chris Crisman Photography

How We Travel.

chris crisman photography how we travel tips and tricks

We travel a lot. So much in fact that you could say we have it down to a science. Before we even arrive at the airport, Chris and our team know that everything is in order – when you’re on the road and up in the air as much as we are, you can’t leave anything to chance. How do we do it? Keep reading for an in-depth look at how we travel…

chris crisman photography how we travel tips and tricks

First things first when it comes to really moving around the country or the world – choose an airline and stick with it. Join their frequent flyer program and reap the benefits. Depending on who you’re flying with this could mean anything from free checked bags to early boarding, to first class upgrades. Yes, it’s tempting to always search for the cheapest flight, but it’s important to weigh the value of working the airline system. Once you’re really starting to haul a lot of gear, make sure to check and see if you can qualify for a media rate. It varies from airline to airline, but as a photographer you can qualify for media discounts on the number of bags you can fly with and how much they weigh.

chris crisman photography how we travel tips and tricks

This is a pretty standard kit for us to take to the airport. Two lighting cases, two stand cases, a monitor case, pelican case and a cart; this is how we take our show on the road so to speak. The best part about hauling all of this to the airport every time we fly? The multicart. It might seem crazy, but airport travel is so much easier when you can load it all up and roll through the terminal.

No matter what you shoot with and what kit you own, you should value and appreciate it. We have quite a bit of equipment, and when we’re flying for a shoot, we bring as much of that kit as we can. You might be asking yourself – why not rent it all? Why deal with the hassle when you don’t need to? The answer is simple. More often than not we’re working on the edge, shooting in environments and locations where gear rental just isn’t a realistic option. When we are working in areas where we can get our hands on equipment, then it’s an issue of familiarity – we own our gear, we know our gear, so we might as well use it. Why pay for someone else’s when we don’t have to?

chris crisman photography how we travel tips and tricks

That being said, you can’t always fly with everything – I don’t want to imagine the look on an airline employee’s face if we tried to roll up to the ticket window with combo stands or a superboom with us. So what do we do when we need the big stuff? When we’re shooting somewhere new and need some help? We trust the locals. Whether it’s a local grip house that can source us some big boy combo stands and a 12×12′ scrim, a local photo assistant who knows the best place to get a burger and beer after the shoot, or a location scout that can help us remotely find the perfect spot for a shoot – you’re always better off trusting some local expertise.

chris crisman photography how we travel tips and tricks

Most importantly though, you have to know what you’re getting into. Want to know one of the best purchases we’ve made in the last few years? A luggage scale – I like it so much that I even took a photo of it. It may sound crazy, but with airline restrictions getting tighter and tighter in terms of baggage, we’re always trying to stay one step ahead of the game. In this case, it means that each of our equipment cases weights 49.9 lbs. So this is a really specific example but there is a serious point here. It mean’s were prepared. In a sense, traveling for a project is just like going on a shoot itself – being prepared ahead of time and ready for anything leaves no room for mistakes.

chris crisman photography how we travel tips and tricks

There it is – my favorite sight after getting off a long flight. There’s nothing quite like watching our multicart roll off the baggage carousel. When we’re just setting foot into a new and sometimes strange place, getting ready for a few adventure, there is something very reassuring about seeing our kit come down the baggage belt.