What to do when your bag gets confiscated?

Filed in Pro Photographers by on February 15, 2011

I received an interesting email from Lowepro photographer Julie Dermansky about her travels to Egypt to cover the transition from former president Mubarak to the new leadership. I thought you’d find her comments interesting on many levels.

“I got to Cairo just in time for the key moment when Mubarak stepped down,” writes Julie. “Unfortunately my gear was confiscated at the airport. I managed to bring in a flipcam and a pocket camera, having hid them in advance, knowing that my gear might not make it past customs. I’m shooting with a point and shoot, but longing for my SLR. It’s hard to rely on limited gear in such an electric situation. That being said, I’m up for the challenge at hand.”

“The Embassy wrote a letter on my behalf to help get my gear back. There’s a room at the airport with over 100 confiscated bags/boxes of camera equipment.”

Tahrir Square in Cairo after Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman stated Hosni Mubarak's stepped down. Photo by Julie Dermansky.

I responded to Julie asking her to please keep me updated. The next day I received this note from her:

“I recovered the gear today with a dose of tenacity and luck! There are still hundreds of bags of confiscated gear — some nice Lowepro models among them.”

Yaay for happy endings! If you want to know more about the reporting of the event, here is a piece on The Atlantic website with video clips shot just after the VP announced Mubarak had resigned.

Derrick Story is the Photography Evangelist for Lowepro.

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About the Author ()

Derrick Story is a professional photographer, writer, teacher and photography evangelist for Lowepro. He has authored several digital media books, including his latest, The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers and The Digital Photography Companion (O'Reilly Media, publisher). Derrick is a Senior Contributor for Macworld magazine where he writes a digital photography column, and he's a regular presenter on the popular training site, Lynda.com. Online, Derrick has formed a virtual camera club called The Digital Story (www.thedigitalstory.com) that's open to all photography enthusiasts. The site features weekly podcasts, daily posts, training videos, and reader-submitted photos. You can reach Derrick at DStory@lowepro.com

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