The weekend before (Canadian) Thanksgiving, my boyfriend and I headed to lake Weslemkoon to stay at his family’s cottage, celebrate his birthday and have some me time to get work and editing done. With there being quite the array of wildlife, mud, cold fall weather and travel expenses, here are some items I wouldn’t leave for a trip like this without.
A trip to the cottage is filled with photo opportunities. With all the animals and scenery, I obviously needed my camera equipment. I have been shooting with a Canon 5D MK III for the past 3 years or so. I have a Canon 70-200mm f2.8 and a Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art series lens. My 70-200mm was perfect for keeping a distance from the animals while being able to capture sharp and detailed images of them with creamy bokeh. I love both of my lenses but my sigma is my baby and I use it pretty much everywhere I go. It’s perfect for portraits and I’ve taken some decent landscapes with it. I don’t have a macro lens (yet) so I also used my sigma for pictures of tiny things like mushrooms and it worked out well. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that portraits are my specialty. I don't often shoot landscapes, nature, and wildlife. I would love to add more lenses in the future, but being a photographer who concentrates on music, portrait and lifestyle photography, this makes the two lenses I do have, extremely useful.
As many of you may know, I have a huge passion for music and it is a definite necessity to have some playing while I'm working or doing almost anything. I purchased a Bose Soundlink Bluetooth speaker a couple years ago and I absolutely love it. As always, the Bose sound quality is amazing for the size of their products. The speaker is small and very lightweight, making it easy to pack in my bag on any of my travels. My Soundlink easily fills the entire cottage without having to max out the volume. They have come out with a few updates of this model since I bought mine, including a waterproof version (which would be even better for a cottage), but I've had no issues with the one I have so far and I would highly recommend Bose to anyone who wants a lightweight, compact speaker that delivers amazing sound quality.
For those of you who know me, I get cold super easily. Hats, scarves, mitts and whatever else I can use to keep warm are a definite necessity for me. Last year I found a $300 Under Armour insulated jacket at National Sport for about $60. It's the best jacket I've ever owned. It's lightweight and perfect for fall, winter, and spring because I somehow don't get too hot in it during the fall and spring seasons but during the cold Canadian winter we had last year, it still managed to keep me super warm. It was perfect to wear going outside and I wasn't cold on the chilly boat rides.
Going to a cottage in the fall can not only be cold, but very muddy. When hiking, we came across a lot of it and my Hunters were perfect. They kept my feet dry and are easy to wipe off because they're made entirely of rubber. Obviously, any rubber boots are pretty well rubber boots. As long as you don't get a hole you can't go wrong with any type, they all have the same purpose in the end. I love my Hunters because not only can I wear them on hikes but, because they're "trendy" I can wear them anywhere I want. Plus, I got mine on sale for $100 (regular $190) at Winners. They're also great for me because Hunters have inserts available to keep your feet warm in the winter, meaning they're boots for any season and, because I don't like winter and don't go out in it very much, I can get away with not needing to buy another pair of boots.
As a freelance photographer, heading to the cottage to take pictures and have a quiet area to work for the weekend, involves some travel expenses. The easiest tool, that I've discovered for myself, to keep track of these expenses is with the Quickbooks app available for Android and iOS. You can connect your bank accounts to the app and all of your transaction histories will appear instantly. You can effortlessly categorize your business spendings such as supplies, motor vehicle expenses, meals, and more. You can mark all of your business income and swipe anything that’s personal away. Not only can you do this with expenses and income, but Quickbooks can automatically track your mileage from point A to point B and you can categorize any business related trips as well. You can create invoices directly from the app to bill your clients and get a tax summary report with all of the information you categorized within the app in order to make a freelancer’s life that much easier during tax season. Quickbooks is fantastic for anyone running their own business and for a limited time, they’re offering 50% off of your monthly subscription when you sign up. Use my referral code to take advantage of this offer https://quickbooks.grsm.io/RachelCallan.
Those are the main items I use when traveling to the cottage and will continue to use pretty much anywhere I travel to. Let me know what your "never-leave-home-without" items are in the comments!