I took my DSLR, two lenses, and a travel tripod, in my backpack that doubled as a diaper bag for us (I WISH someone would design a diaper bag that doubles as a camera bag! My husband is onto me to get on the market with my idea, but I haven’t the time, so someone reading this take my idea so I can buy your new product!) It got heavy over the day, I was glad I only took the two lenses, and even then I only switched out for the fantasy parade, the moments happened too quickly to mess with it, but I’m photographing kids so…) I actually left the telephoto lens and tripod in my room for the third day of the parks and didn’t miss it, and my bag was so much lighter. I probably would have wanted more if our plan had us going to AK this trip. I agree with the external flash though, I left that behind and regret it. My tripod folds up small enough to fit into the side pocket of the backpack, where one might usually keep a water bottle, but everything together adds up weight-wise. The walking didn’t get to me, as I am a marathon runner and my legs are used to it, but carrying the bag got to be hard, so in the end it comes down to what can you live without, and what can you do with minimal equipment- will it satisfy your desires for whatever shots you’re thinking of? If I were going without my kids, you’d bet I’d lug along the whole shabang! So many unique photography opportunities there. but as it was I was only out to capture my kids’ experiences for this trip, so the minimal route worked for me. There are a lot of things you can do with perspective and light if you have the time to take to do it.
For Space Mountain I actually had my husband take the bag, and I took the camera out and put the strap across my chest, the camera was in the gap between my armpit and the side of the seat, I was worried about it getting knocked, but I just kept mindful of it and the ride wasn’t so rough that I was thrown around enough to knock it.
I used a poncho inside the bag to keep it dry. It was very rainy on our first day to the Magic Kingdom and the poncho worked well. We purchased them at dollar general once we got to Orlando. I could easily shoot through the arm hole of the poncho and keep the body dry. It was raining when we met Aurora, and I know I looked odd with the thing over my camera, but I wasn’t going to miss that (Aurora is my personal favorite)
The only time anything was roughed up, was when we were watching the parade and I set the bag down near my feet so that I could pick up my four year old without falling over She got very excited and lept off my body, knocking the bag over and kicking my lens across the walkway. It all turned out okay, but moral is to be sure everything is always secure, even if it means missing that split second where everything is perfect for a photo. We were literally running from Elsa and Anna to see the parade, and in the rush of all that and switching lenses, and trying to get my kids’ expressions in with the parade, I just forgot to zip it up and forgot that little people can get unpredictable