Chase is On the Case

Seattle photographer Chase Jarvis (whose background music is always kosher) gets all logistical in his latest video, showing how he and his group roll with all of their gear. The video above is the short version, clocking in at ~10 mins or so, and hits the basics.

If you want a master class in the logistics of transporting still, lighting, video, misc. gear and the like, be it by car, plane, expediter or donkey (seriously) hit the jump for the long form. In addition to being much more informative, it is half an hour of pure gear porn.

There are also links to learn about how to subscribe to Chase TV on iTunes, if you are so inclined.

You wanna know what is cool about Web Photo 2.0? This is cool about Web Photo 2.0:

No one else has done anything like this, totally pulling back the veil on the tricks it took them many years to learn about packing and transporting imaging gear.

How many people who watch this over the next ten years will not suffer damaged (or lost or stolen) gear and blow an assignment because of these tutorials? Chase, you rock.

And that gear. Sweet mother of pearl... I needed a cigarette after watching this. And I don't smoke.

If you learned something of value, swing by Chase's blog and give him a shout out for putting this stuff together for free. And while you are at it, you can learn how to subscribe to his stuff via iTunes. So you can put the long form vids (and the short ones) on your iPod for portable motivatin' and educatin'.

As you are checking out his channel, explore a little in the iTunes "arts" area for more neat stuff that's waiting for you.

:: Chase Jarvis on Packing Photography Gear ::
:: How to Subscribe on iTunes ::


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Blogger A J FRENCH said...

isn't this great - a pro photog. doing things he doesn't need to do, but just to spread the knowledge - huge immense kudos to Mr Jarvis for being there and doing this and sharing with the rest of the world!

November 28, 2007 3:00 AM  
Anonymous Karel said...

Apart from all that gear & bags - I bet it must have been beer from Pilsen/Czech republic on the table, right? :-) Strobist, many thanks for running such illuminating site! Wanted to say already many many times. Lot of inspiration and learning....

November 28, 2007 5:15 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

Once again. Great stuff.

November 28, 2007 7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice videos. A little overlap on the two, so if you only watch one, make it the second one at 30minutes or so.

This makes me appreciate the efforts these guys go to to get the shot. I try to always keep to a Lowepro 650AW, two 500w studio lights and fours stands even for the big stuff. Even this takes an effort to get about. Day to day my 650 is the case of choice.

Really good video production and scripting. Thanks a lot.


November 28, 2007 8:21 AM  
Blogger Nicholaus Haskins said...

Sweet stuff. Nice tip on no idea.

November 28, 2007 8:41 AM  
Anonymous grubernd said...

great stuff. hint: lean and mean is the baseline of every photographic gear packing.

"consider the donkey" is going to be the standard t-shirt for all assistents working with photographers that dont travel really light..

November 28, 2007 9:02 AM  
Blogger chadw said...

Awesome gear porn... I feel so inadequate. :(

I wanna be Chase Jarvis when I grow up too!

November 28, 2007 9:58 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

I have a lot of respect for Mr. Jarvis - like the first commenter said, he doesn't have to do this, and yet he does.

Though, it does get his name out there....

For the person who said there is overlap - yes, on Chase's blog it says that the 10min one is the condensed version of the 30min version for those who can't sit and watch gear porn for 30min :-D

Now I have a hankering for some Pelican laptop cases and a few more bag...

I love his version of "traveling light"....

November 28, 2007 10:55 AM  
Blogger Benjamin said...

Ha! Yes David, that music is very kosher!

Seeing all the equipment and logistics of what Chase does makes me pretty intimidated as well. How can I EVER get to the point where I can fly out that many assistants and that much equipment for a photo shoot? Wow.

I also like how his assistant just sits there and says absolutely nothing the whole time! I hope he got paid for that screen time ;)

November 28, 2007 11:22 AM  
Blogger Larry_L said...

Says video no Longer Available :-(

November 28, 2007 11:36 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

I'm drooling over the gear and secretly dream of being Chase as much as anyone, but if I was already successful enough to be flying to international gigs, I hope to heck I already know how to pack and label my stuff.

Not saying there are no nuggets of wisdom in there, but I think the web photo 2.0 lessons to be learned here have more to do with marketing and brand equity. Quick, what was the assistant's name again? :)

November 28, 2007 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great video! I did have a question about the TSA regulations covering carry-on bags. After searching the site I couldn't find anything specific about carrying on camera bags in addition to carry on luggage. A call to Alaska airlines was equally fruitless though the gentleman I talked with thought it was worth a try. I travel with the Think Tank airport security. Is there a link someone knows that they could share?

November 28, 2007 12:20 PM  
Blogger Chase Jarvis said...

@ Larry: just checked in with both links and video was definitely available... Also had a couple friends in a few diff time zones - had no issues. Can you clear your cache and lemme know if you're still having probs?

November 28, 2007 12:52 PM  
Blogger Chase Jarvis said...

@ everybody: thanks for the kind words friends. your comments are much appreciated - I'll try to answer individual questions as promptly as possible, but bear with me (and consider the donkey - that's me in this case ;)

November 28, 2007 12:55 PM  
Anonymous ryan photography said...

What are the chances of getting to see all of the equipment used by one of the top pros? This is totally unprecedented. I loved seeing how he packs, but even better, what he brings. Super Helpful.

November 28, 2007 12:59 PM  
Blogger Larry_L said...

Duh Working now!!!
Thanx for looking into that don't know what happened.

Great Videos!

November 28, 2007 1:27 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Every time I go awhile without seeing a picture or video of Chase Jarvis, and try to think of what he looks like, the only person's face I can think of is "Toby" from The Office. Anyone?...

Great video.

November 28, 2007 2:23 PM  
Blogger Chase Jarvis said...

@ richard: what a complement! Toby is actually much better looking than I am, for sure. We just had a survey here in the studio... Consensus is that I have more hair that he does (and will always...I'm never going bald, hair as thick as a horse's), but he has me in every other category, hands down.

November 28, 2007 2:35 PM  
Blogger Domen Colja said...

Kudos, man.

November 28, 2007 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have $116,457, you too can make photos like Chase.

Wait, then you'd have the gear anyway. Still need to come up with that creative bit on your own.

(Honestly, it's a slow day at the office, so I plugged everything into B&H, or at least everything he showed us (gear bags, etc).

November 28, 2007 3:01 PM  
Anonymous Dave C said...

Here is the link to the US TSA rules for 3 bags. 1 camera bag, 1 carry-on bag and 1 personal bag. But the airline's rules may be different.

November 28, 2007 3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good tips Chase thanks a lot!!

I want to put an example, I went on a production to a neighbor country with the Studio I worked before, the airline said there wasn't a problem to carry the Profoto 7B pack (we gave them the specs of the gear to check it out) in the plane, we arrived at the country with no problems at all.

When we were headed back to our country after finishing the job and BAM!! the problem arised... the airline security called and I had to go to where the bags are stored until they are put in the plane, they said they couldn't had the profoto 7b pack in the plane, because of security regulations of course somewhat mad but with lots of respect I told them that the airline in our country said that the 7b was safe for airline transportation, and they started to say that the equipment must stay on the ground and be transported in another way... now I wouldn't allow my boss yelling at me for leaving that $3,500 equipment in another country, so I asked them to call their supervisor... she came and cleared that up -telling them that gear was covered in their training as safe for flights-


1)Always check (and double check) with the airline and the country of destination rules that apply to your gear.

2)Even if you are seriously pissed off, don't ever leave the diplomatic and polite side of yourself and whenever in doubt there are supervisors that will try to find a solution.



November 28, 2007 3:44 PM  
Anonymous conrad said...

great work chase.

one thing to keep in mind while working - don't advertise your expensive stuff. I go so far as to gaffer's tape the 'canon' over on my bodies, and I use the lowepro speedster strap instead of the goofy, bright-red canon strap.

another great article to help you think more about traveling with gear (particularly for those who don't have the gear budget that chase does or are petrified of checking any body or glass!) is the 'Fear for your Gear" article series from the good folks at think tank gear (one of lowepro's competitors).

this is definitely worth reading if you are planning to fly with photo gear anytime.

you need to provide your email address to get the pdf.

if you don't want to register your email, download here:

November 28, 2007 4:39 PM  
Blogger Brenton C said...

Hey David, You probably got the email as well, but Rosco just sent me some promotional stuff about there new LitePad product. Thought you might be interested:

November 28, 2007 5:17 PM  
Blogger Chet said...

Wow, what incredible timing! It just happens that I was up until 3AM last night reorganizing my stuff in almost exactly the same way! Except I have WAY less stuff!

So as a new photographer who is trying to figure things out, videos like these are invaluable. I mean where on earth can you learn things like this. They don't teach this stuff in any class I've been to.

Learning how people do things and seeing how things are done by pros adds not just a bunch of good information, but also a lot of confidence to my ability to do the daily routines.

Thanks for the great video Chase!

November 28, 2007 5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoy your site... tons of useful info. Take a look at Litepad by Rosco.

Mike B

November 28, 2007 8:06 PM  
Blogger The Vault said...

I understand the aim of keeping a low profile with black cases. Having worked for many years in video and photography in the NY Metro area I've exclusively purchased Blaze Orange Pelican cases. Why? The black cases scream "money and other valuables inside". The black cases can disappear on busy set if you work with shoestring budgets and crew. The orange cases are so incredibly loud anyone walking off with one will be too easy to ID and track, or at least that's been my hope. The downside is everyone can see you walking around with it as well. I figure if anyone is nuts enough to grab an blaze orange case they are too crazy for me to challenge them on it. No thefts in 15 years and Pelican keeps on making them.

Great video

November 29, 2007 2:00 AM  
Blogger jakub (co jozef) said...

my coment is of topic, but Chase also drinks best beer ever - pilsner urquell

November 29, 2007 10:09 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

Wonder how many hits the TSA website got after you posted this..hah.

November 29, 2007 11:06 PM  

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