Self Assignment: 2018 CHOA Annual Christmas Parade – The Packing List

Tomorrow I am going to cover the 2018 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Annual Christmas Parade in Midtown Atlanta. This is my first photojournalism self-assignment in which I have two goals.  First, I need to build a strong photojournalism portfolio. I researched building a portfolio over the last month, and my biggest takeaway is to start making great photographs of the mundane. The reality is editors will, on a day-to-day basis, assign photographers to make mundane news photos. So, I need a strong portfolio that shows good camera work, composition, editorial style, and captioning. Second, I am continuing to build my stock portfolio. I am a contributor to Shutterstock and Alamy.  I have been contributing to Shutterstock for several months but only recently began loading content in my Alamy portfolio.  Until now, I have only loaded commercial photographs. I want to build a strong editorial stock portfolio, as well. Check back for the follow-up post on the shoot.

I needed to do some refitting of my camera backpack to get ready for tomorrow. For the last few weeks, my back has been packed for portrait work, which made the pack extraordinarily heavy.  This was not a problem because I was not carrying the bag for long periods of time. I only needed to carry it to an event/portrait session.  This past week, I was in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida and was packed for landscape, as well as, portrait.  Usually, I carry a light stand and S-type mount, shoot-through umbrella, two speedlites, triggers, receivers, and one camera rig with extra batteries and lenses.

For this assignment, this is my set-up:

Along with the camera gear, I packed:

  • Snacks
  • Rain gear
  • Large, plastic freezer bags to use as a “raincoat” for my cameras
  • Cold-weather gear (e.g., gloves, beanie, etc.)
  • Notebook and pens
  • Lens cleaning supplies

One thing I found amusing was how difficult a decision it was to take my tripod out of my bag!  My tripod has been in my bag without exception for the last year-and-a-half!  I keep trying to convince myself that I will need it at some point.  I don’t know.  I may put it in my truck and, at the last minute, stick it in my bag . . .

I plan on being on-location at least two hours early to scout out the parade route.  I am going to be looking for good vantage points to get above the crowds.

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