Something a bit different for you today. I’m currently winging my way down to London to stay overnight at Gatwick, and get an early flight over to La Rochelle tomorrow morning. This weekend is my food styling workshop with Karen of Lavender and Lovage, which I won as part of the #YogurtStylist competition. I’ll be keeping you informed about what I’m up to while I’m there, as well as a full rundown of my stay and what I learned when I get home, but to tide you over, I’ve created a post all about travelling with food in mind.
Camera + Lens As a blogger, the most important item in your kit is arguably your camera. Colour psychology in food marketing plays an important role for buyers, so hiring a food PR agency is a great idea when conceptualizing your ideas. A picture speaks a thousand words, after all. Great photography can transport your reader right to the action, and come on, they deserve it. Pack your camera, plus all its extras with a lot of care – you’ll be needing a charger or spare battery, a back-up memory card and you need to think about your lens choice too. If you have enough space – take a few, especially if you might want to photograph people, landscapes and action too. For France, I’ve packed my Nikon D40x with my 50mm f/1.4 lens, as well as the 18-55mm kit lens. Getting to know your camera on manual will help you tackle dim restaurant lighting, and make a smaller kit more versatile.
Battery Pack This is Blogger 101. Running out of battery is the cardinal sin, is it not? Can’t instagram? Might as well not exist. You, and your travels, are redundant (I’m only semi-joking). On the serious side though, running out of battery somewhere you’re not familiar with can be scary. A battery pack is compact, light and can really save your bacon. It also helps if you’ve forgotten the name of that restaurant someone on Twitter recommended, or you need a quick Google Map to find that coffee shop with the killer iced lattes. I have the EasyAcc® 8200mAh Aluminum Elegant Power Bank. It’s easy to charge, compatible with a lot of devices, and can recharge my iPhone 100% up to five times.
Notebook & Pen A lot more subtle than a DSLR at the dinner table, and a great way to jot down details about the menu, dish or atmosphere of a restaurant before you forget about them. Also comes in handy when you’re out exploring and you stop to catch up for a moment. You can plan your posts on the go without having to pause your trip for a second. Lighter and slimmer than any tech alternative, it’s no wonder old people like them so much, eh?
Comfy Shoes You’ll be needing these as you hot foot it from the chef’s table to that artisan donut store. As I learned last year in Portland, if you’re going to be stuffing your face multiple times a day, it’s important to be comfortable. You’ve got a consumption plan, now make it easy on yourself. This way, you can sprint to catch the last portion from the food truck that’s about to close up, or walk off a late night tasting menu (and sober up on the way home) without getting blisters.
VSCO Cam A simple, easy to use app which will improve your iPhone photos tenfold. With VSCO, you can add filters, edit brightness and contrast, vignette, sharpen, rotate and crop in seconds. You can’t have your DSLR with you all the time, after all, and sometimes you want to snap and tweet in real time. Take your pics in your Camera app and import them to your VSCO library. When you’re done, send them to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. #Winning. Download from iTunes for free.
Extension Lead This may sound extreme, but how many times have you had to rotate which device you charge because there are only two sockets in the hotel room? I like the Masterplug Indoor Power MSF3/NK-MS 3-Way Fused Adapter £1.75. If you’re abroad, you’ll only need one adapter, and you can charge multiple devices at the same time.
Mini USB I hate travelling with cables. They get tangled, they’re obnoxious, I hate them. Mini USB cables are a great alternative. They’re compact, they won’t get ripped or damaged and they cover the charging and connection needs of most devices. The Griffin USB Adapter Mini Cable Kit £12.54 is one of the more expensive options, but they’re sturdy.
Card Wallet This maybe the freelancer in me, but whether you’re into networking or not, chances are the people behind the food you’re photographing are going to want to know who you are. Meals are usually fair game, but it pays to ask before you start snapping pics of servers in action or nipping behind the scenes for candid shots. When they ask you where you write, it helps to have a card to offer. It’s not arrogant or pushy – I find that having a quantifiable thing means that people take me more seriously and offer me a bit more of their (precious – value it!) time. You can be as bashful as you like when you hand it over, and from someone who doesn’t exactly relish talking to strangers, I find it to be a nice, quiet way to explain who I am and what the hell I’m doing. I’ve got a pretty Brit Stitch card wallet that I keep in a handbag pocket to whip out and hand someone a card when they ask. And it doubles up too – I tuck in any cards I pick up along the way, small notes I’ve made or foldable fliers. I look back on them at the end of the trip and I know who I’ve met and where I’ve eaten – plus, I have the social media details of most of the spots I’ve visited.
Bonus Item: Lipstick By no means mandatory, but personally, I’m never far from a bright lip colour. It’s an easy way to look “done” without really putting in much effort, and I swear it makes anyone 100% more photogenic. You’re going to be eating and drinking a lot, so you’ll need something long-wearing. My favourites are the Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balms. I’m taking the Elusive and Showy shades with me on the road.
And that’s it! Let’s catch up soon – au revoir!