Editor’s note: Brandon Page of Columbus, Ohio is pretty much a Renaissance man: creative director, photographer, fine artist and musician. He just finished shooting a documentary-style visual campaign – consisting of video, stills and Instagram – for a major U.S. brand.
The assignment involved some serious packing, a road trip, a plane trip, a dedicated and small crew, plus the thrill of deadline pressure. And the locations included: Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Shanghai.
Brandon gave us some time between assignments to talk about his work, his POV, his packing choices and his impressions of Lowepro bags. Please enjoy, along with some very cool shots from his trips.
As you prepare for an assignment, how do you make your camera and gear choices?
Well earlier in my career, I always felt the need to schlep around all of my gear. I’d end up using 50% of it and wear myself out from the weight. I then experimented with traveling ultra-minimal, only to find that I really needed that wide-angle lens I left behind. These days, I really sit down and make a list of needs. This matrix helps me figure out the best lens kit to pull together. I also prefer to carry no more than two bags on a long trip. Clothes always come in last to my photo gear.
What types of content are you creating for this campaign?
This particular campaign is very unique to what I normally do out for a client. However, I see this kind of project possibly becoming more common in my future.
What kind of photography style informs your distinctive POV?
A great question, but very hard to answer in my case. My style varies drastically depending on what I am doing. It ranges from very clean cut, colorful food photography, to refined fashion, to very stylistic fine art mobile photos. The campaign I am working on this week is a mixed bag. Both mobile photos and pro photos, plus video from my Canon 5d mkiii. To answer the question more directly though, my POV is very much from the fine artist and storyteller in me.
How are you using the different bags to organize, carry and shoot out of during this trip?
The first leg of this trip, I drove cross-country, so no planes were required. However, I still had two other people on staff with me in a mid-sized car. So, sitting down as a team to discuss the organization of the trip was paramount. The first thing I said was “no clothes suitcases”. Backpacks only. This way, we were able to comfortably pack the photo and video gear in the car as needed. We traveled with a Pro Runner x450 AW, a Nova Sport 35L AW, and two Transit Backpack 350 AW bags.
The roller backpack was our main (larger) bag where much of the gear was kept. It worked out great when we needed all of the gear out at once, or just needed to get it into the hotel at night. The Nova Sport 35L AW and Transit Backpack 350 AW bags were perfect for our “on the go” exercises as we ventured out into towns, cities, and the countryside. The second leg of my trip consisted of jumping on a plane and heading to Shanghai for a week. For this trip I’ll only traveled with two bags, the 350 AW as my backpack, and the Pro Runner A as my suitcase. Basically, most of my gear was packed in the backpack, and the roller carried extra lenses, the tripod, and my clothes on the top half of the partition.
Do any particular features help with your workflow (such as access, organizational pockets, tripod holders, weather-protective covers, adjustable divider systems, etc.)?
Yes absolutely. I love the quick access to my laptop on the Transit Backpack. The hook/loop partitions for the camera equipment are also quite easy to use and move around. The weather protector is great since I live in a rainy city, and travel to many destinations with diverse weather. With the Pro Runner roller/backpack, I like that I can repartition the inside to hold half gear, and half clothing.
Can you talk to one key feature you enjoy using on each of the bags?
Transit Backpack 350 AW
The overall balance of this backpack is perfect. I also appreciate that it doesn’t look like a camera bag. It helps keep a low profile when traveling internationally. The laptop slot is the perfect size and makes it easy to grab either my 13″ laptop or tablet.
Nova Sport 35L AW
I like that this bag is a workhorse. It’s usually the bag I take along that holds all of the gear for local shoots. It also has a slot on the back that allows it to slide onto the handle of your travel suitcase. That feature along makes it very easy to take along flights.
Pro Runner x450 AW
I prefer not to check bags, so taking a suitcase that carries my gear, but also turns into a backpack is ideal. If for any reason the bag does not fit into the overhead bin, the wheels and frame can come off, giving it more room to fit. It’s extremely versatile.