The biggest issue is getting all this gear to my destination when flying. I don't want to check my gear, since I don't trust that my checked bag isn't going to be thrown around and stomped on by gorillas. This means I have to carry it on. I have a hard carry-on case that will hold my underwater housing and a couple of lenses with adjustable pads and Velcro so I can protect my precious cargo. I also use a backpack to carry my camera and one lens that I can use on the plane if desired. This backpack also carries my wallet and any essentials I need from my purse. Because my backpack will fit under my seat, I am able to bring both bags on with me: one under the seat and one in the overhead compartment. I pack my tripod in with my checked luggage. I'll admit, it's a bit of a pain, but for me, it's entirely worth it.
When we go to Hawaii, it's all about the beach and being in the water. I want my photos to reflect not only the beauty of Hawaii, but the feeling that we have when we are there. To capture that feeling, I find that my EF 16-35 f/2.8L USM lens is essential. I often get down as low as I can, and shoot at 16mm, so that I can get nice and close to my happy kids. This allows me to get up close and personal with my kids while also being able to showcase the environment. Even if you don't shoot as wide as 16mm, many other lenses would be appropriate for wide-angle shots. Shooting focal lengths of 24mm or 35mm give a great wide-angle feel without as much distortion.
For many of my photos of the kids in the water, I have my camera in underwater housing. This allows me to not worry about my gear getting wet. Is it difficult to cart all this stuff to the beach? Yes, sort of. But again, it's worth it to me. I don't bring it on every outing. My kids have a limit on how much they want me behind the camera, and I don't want to worry about my stuff being stolen while I frolic in the water. On my last Hawaiian vacation, I chose to bring my camera to the beach three times during a 10 day trip. This means I didn't capture every single awesome moment that happened on this trip with my professional gear. But, that's okay. I had a gorgeous time with my kids, made memories, and have some amazing photos of some of the fun things that happened. The pictures shown in this article highlight our last two trips to Hawaii. Gosh, I love that place. You probably want to hire me to come photograph your next Hawaiian vacation, right? RIGHT???