My ambition at 18 was to 'see the world..at someone else's expence'..I've been reasonably successful at achieving that goal, although there are many places I would still like to see.
..I also wanted to have made images for an international bank, an Oil Gas Energy company, aerospace and an international minerals mining company…all good there then.
The down side of photography in international locations is the travel..or at least the stress of "airline baggage roulette". Any photographer who travels will always keep their cameras, lenses etc with them at all times - investing in 'carry on compliant' roller cases from companies like ThinkTank..who do really great bags for photographers. I'm pretty sure most of us photographers bend the weight and size rules a little to keep our primary kit close.
However traveling with lights, stands, tripods, chargers, spare batteries, gels, triggers, tape, reflectors, soft boxes and those essential clips and claps will need to say good bye to them at check-in on thier journey to the aircraft hold..or could just as well be a black hole in space.
It causes anxiety when we loose sight of the hard plastic Peli cases - wondering if we will see them ever again, it's not so bad if the flight is a single hop, but adding connections is a whole world of worry.
So..yes the airline lost my light kit case and tripod/chargers bag..which also all my clothes and personal care 'man bag', Oh yes and my work boots/PPE etc it's the moment when you are the last person at the belt at luggage reclaim you worry..but still hope..only then the belt stops and you are facing the empty conveyor wondering what next.
So you head over to lost luggage to see whats what and in your best school boy Latvian (I have no Latvian!) enquire.."yes sir..they were delayed due to the short transfere time" (the connectiing flight was an hour delayed!) "we will possibly get then on the last flight in tonight (01.00) -then tomorrow courier to you on an overnight to your address"
Point 1 - I need them this afternoon to start the photoshoot..Point 2 - I am traveling to several locations as yet unknown, with this realisation and some paperwork that you cannot read in your hand you leave the airport to find your driver..who at this point has rang his office several times to see if I have made contact or am being detained for transporting lithium batteries the size of house bricks by aircraft (just for the record..all my kit complies to the rules and regulations set out by the TSA and CAA with regard to power capacity, size and airworthiness - I have the certificate of testing!)
So..no kit and no clean clothes..
The client was great, they made some calls..arranged for the driver (cheers Maxims) with a copy of my flight details, boarding card and Passport to return to the airport at 02.00 to collect and drive 150klms to deliver the kit so I could sart shooting the next day..also very appreciative to have my clothes and work boots.
It still causes me concern that one day I'll never see the bags again..unless it's on one of those "airport salvage container wars" programmes where the bags are auctioned off, and how to overcome the problem of no kit and the delay in working. Kit can be hired if you are somewhere near a big city..clothes can be bought..
Aircraft hold roulette..the game you cannot win.