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What’s in a Commercial Photographer’s Bag? Find Out From Erik Almas

By Ryan Filgas on June 18th 2014

Traveling as a Commercial Photographer

Erik Almas is a commercial photographer that regular readers of SLR Lounge have come to know slowly, but surely through his amazing work, tutorials, interviews, and behind the scenes videos. His workshop DVD, On Aspects of Image Making is a popular resource (available HERE). Today, he’s sharing the equipment he works with from his family’s summer home in Norway, and he has some valuable insight about his gear in addition to finding your visual language as a photographer.

[Rewind: Ballistic Mountain Bike In A Breathtaking Landscape Composite | BTS With Erik Almas]

Aside from the camera talk, Erik had much more to offer in this video. He starts off with how he works, and the first step to traveling internationally is having a portable workflow that can go through an airport. He makes sure to negotiate in whatever way possible to bring his gear as a carry on, which I’m sure is due to the possibility for the luggage to be abused, lost, or delayed at an airport. Here’s an equipment list in case you’d like to chase some of it down or keep tabs.

On the topic of gear, he brings up an important point while talking to Aaron over at Phlearn to discover how you see as a photographer. By opening up the metadata in Adobe Lightroom, Bridge, or Capture One, you can discover which focal lengths you gravitate towards, and through that, make a more informed decision about where to head next when purchasing lenses.


Erik’s Image for Saatchi LA & Toyota Honoring Nature Conservationists

What’s more surprising is that Erik’s medium format camera is left in the bag a lot of the time in favor of a Canon 5D Mark III, and he says even that isn’t necessary; you could buy a Canon 7D or something cheaper and still make extraordinary images. In the end, it’s still about an idea, a personal style, and having a good foundation to work towards and from. It’s about content.

Erik has around 15 years of commercial photography under his belt, and he had to start at a place where his work wasn’t being noticed. Over that time he’s progressed gradually, and he’s offered his experiences in the form of a DVD, which isn’t as simple as “how to shoot this,” or “how to Photoshop that.” He gives real world advice that goes beyond the camera, explores marketing, and defining yourself as a photographer. Here’s an excerpt from the DVD which offers some really inspiring advice on how to get your work noticed.

As you can see this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what’s available since this is only seven minutes from a fourteen hour compilation of in-depth tutorials which he collaborated with professors in the US, and Norway to put together. Check out the video in the store here, see what it offers by chapter, compare it to other products and workshops, and if you like what you see, consider making a purchase. You won’t be disappointed.


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Ryan Filgas is an aspiring portrait photographer and studio arts major at Humboldt State University. His life consists of talking with friends, taking classes, and planning his next outdoor adventure. You can find his work on his website, Facebook, Google+, or connect with him via email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Jordan Buckway

    Good read and Erik seems like such a cool guy.

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  2. Kurk Rouse

    Thats a ton of gear

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  3. Greg Faulkner

    I actually LOL’d at 27″ iMac in a travel case. Amazing

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  4. Jared Stewart

    Love his work, but to be honest, I would have a hard time pulling out my 5D with a PhaseOne sitting in my bag unless it was for action shots or candids.

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  5. Steinar Knai

    Erik Almas is certainly one of the major commercial photogs out there and one of the few who dares to share his real secrets with the rest of us. I am always inspired watching one of his videos.

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  6. Ryan Hanson

    His face where the video is at before it plays is great!

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  7. Matt Walsh

    These posts about Erik Almas are great. A really inspiring photographer. Definitely someone who makes me want to quit the day job.

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Agreed, seeing people like Erik at work makes me reconsider calling myself a photographer, versus someone that just happens to own a camera ;)

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    • Stuparu Sorin

      beside tech part, photography is about do it with your soul, and with pleasure, and the result is awesome. [ except commercial part when the client have the tend to ruin it :) ]

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    • Tyler Friesen

      100% with you on that one Pye!

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  8. Anthony Thurston

    Good stuff Ryan! Interesting read.

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  9. Shelly Garcia

    Always fun to see what’s in other peoples camera bags and hear their reasoning. My tastes seem to constantly change throughout my career

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