Do photographers bring their cameras on vacation?

Photographers are creative people, and we definitely want to bring our cameras everywhere. But even photographers need to unplug. The problem that I personally have with bringing my camera is that I won't be able to completely unplug when I'm supposed to be relaxing on vacation. If I don't relax, I'll end-up with a few problems when vacation is finished:
  • I'll end up turning my vacation into a training session and put pressure on myself
  • If I don't completely unplug and relax during my vacation, I'll still be burned-out when I return from vacation
  • I'll have vacation images to go through when I get home that'll put off business
One thing I like do to when I'm on vacation is bring a small point-and-shoot. These cameras are pocket-sized and can take the photo as well – though not nearly as impressive as my entire rig can – but will at least preserve the memory and allow me to later contemplate how I would have shot it professionally had I had all my equipment at the time of the shoot. 

Also, friends and family don't want complete rigs in their faces when they're trying to relax. I can't imaging hauling around my equipment while we're trying to have fun. Thankfully, it's this last point that completes my guilt-free transition into vacation life. 


Should I bring hats to my photo shoot?

I love when parents bring accessories to photo shoots! Considering I have a full time job at a worldwide advertising agency in New York City, it's less I have to think about. It also breaks up the flow and sends us on another track, often with great results. A few of my clients have brought hats that have given them what seems like a whole new set of images!

I photographed one little girl after Hurricane Sandy at Avalon Park in Stony Brook, on Long Island, New York. While the gas lines stretched down the road behind us, we walked the length of the pathway up the hill and through the woods. I photographed the girl and her sister the whole time, but when we put her hat on, another personality came out completely. Something about hats makes children concentrate more on the hat than their fear of the camera. So you end-up with more genuine photos of your kids.

What's great about clients like that girl – besides the hat – is that she would perfectly pose  even before I was able to make my own suggestion. What a great scenario! Because when tensions are still high from a natural disaster like the one we had, and the photographer has multiple sessions in one day, throwing in a hat to throw off tension is a suburb idea. At the point we photographed Hat Girl, the holidays were also right around the corner, so even if her mom wanted to, putting off the shoot wouldn't have been an option. But between the great model, wonderful location and sweet little hat, it was a success.