What I Use for Holiday and Family Travel Photography

Written By Stan Foxworthy

Being a long time professional photographer, it’s always been tough for me to separate my personal fun shooting from my professional shooting style. I get too caught up in the moment and think I always need to have the full complement of pro gear (much to the chagrin of my wife) in order to capture wherever and whatever we are doing. The downside to this is that the gear overwhelms my enjoyment of the moment and I don’t pay attention to Sharon. My big fear is that I won’t get good quality images if I substitute my gear with an iPhone or a point and shoot. I also don’t care for shooting with a screen and much prefer composing with a viewfinder.

I have tried a number of different cameras from Canon, Nikon, Sony and even Fujifilm and never felt 100% comfortable with either the way they handled, lenses available at the time or the look of the files. Lots of great gear, but none resonated with me.

This past year I found my solution; the Olympus Pen-F. I already shoot with their pro line with the OM-D E-M1 MkII’s and a full compliment of fast, weatherproof, freeze-proof & dust-proof PRO lenses, so I know what kind of quality the sensor produces. To best describe the Pen-F is to think of it as an old-school range finder style with interchangeable lenses, an electronic viewfinder and awesome in-body image stabilization (this last part allows me to not need or bring with a tripod!).

I love creating with this camera! I find it so easy to have fun in the creative process with this little gem. I have added a set of Olympus’s Premium line of prime lenses (12mm 2.0, 17mm 1.8, 25mm 1.8, 45mm 1.8 & 75mm 1.8), giving me a nice range of 24mm to 150mm in 35mm field of view. I know using primes is not a convenient as one or two zoom lenses but I enjoy their compact size a relatively fast apertures. It keeps the camera in a small footprint and is rarely noticed, other than the occasional query asking what kind of film camera is it.

I’ve included a few samples from a recent trip to Washington DC, as well as the kit I take with me. All of this gear fits in a small bag (6x8x12) along with charger, spare reading glasses, extra memory cards & batteries, breath mints, cleaning cloth, iPad and other sundry goodies!

I hope you have happy travels and fun image making!


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