The Olympics are in full swing, and no doubt you have seen the photos and videos coming out of Rio so far. But, do you ever find yourself wondering what sort of equipment and gear a photographer sent to the Olympics takes along?
Polaroid University caught up with professional sports photographer Marc Serota as he prepped and packed his bags for his trip to Rio to cover this year’s Olympic Games. In the roughly four-minute video, Serota takes us through his process from clothing to gear.
You may have seen the coverage lately of Canon’s “war room” full of cameras and lenses for photographers to use at the games, and it is true, many photographers get access to these facilities full of gear for free or as part of a membership program. Not only do these places help when the need for repairs arises, they can provide loaners, helping photographers to pack light. But many still bring a lot of their own gear, and Serota goes over everything he brings with him, from his Canon EOS-1D-series camera bodies to his enormous 300mm f/2.8 lens.
But beyond the obvious items like cameras and lenses, Serota also brings a few backup phones. Since an Olympic photographer will be out of the country for an extended period of time it would be really bad if a phone went missing, so having an extra or two is an important safety measure. This was a common theme throughout the video, multiples of almost everything — including laptops.
If there is one thing that is worse than being across the world when you lose something or it gets broken, it’s having that happen without a backup option — especially in a case such as the Olympics, where there will never again be an opportunity to shoot these events or athletes at these venues again.