Photographer Steve McCurry Explains How to Pack Your Suitcase for an Assignment

We never thought we’d write that headline, but thanks to Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey you can now learn how to best pack your bags for an assignment from the one and only Steve McCurry — the iconic Nat Geo photographer behind the Afghan Girl photograph.

This particular video is number 5 in a series of tip videos that Harvey is putting together for budding photographers and Burn magazine readers who want to learn from the best, and it actually came together entirely by accident.

Harvey ran into long-time friend McCurry while shooting in Dubai, and since there wasn’t time to do a full interview, they instead covered how to best pack your bags… something McCurry is particularly good at.

(via ISO 1200)

  • Sean Israelson

    One would think a pro photographer would speak towards the microphone. Can someone like a video with cleaned up audio?

  • Michael Palmer

    Well that was 5 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

  • DLCade

    It’s five minutes watching two of the most talented photographers of our time hang out. Even if it wasn’t as useful as it could have been given Harvey’s laid back style, is it really five minutes wasted?

  • Michael Palmer

    I’d have to say yes. I’m sure these guys have some really useful stuff they can (and have) shared. Sadly this was not it.

  • OtterMatt

    Hate to say it, but I agree.
    I’m not the typical PP commenter thought-nazi demanding to know why you had the gall to post yada yada blah blah blah, but I wouldn’t call it helpful by any stretch. I’ll sum up for those who don’t feel like watching:
    “Distraction, mumble, mumble, mumble, keep your essential gear on your person, unintelligible audio.” If you didn’t know these “tips”, then you’re most likely not getting assignments or shoots that involve travel.

  • Adam Cross

    David Alan Harvey – a man that clearly does not know how to get to the f***king point. I hate those kinds of people – talktalktalktalktalk

  • Ibrahim Cetindemir

    Make that 6 minutes with you typing a response.

  • Geoff Adams

    Half the questions weren’t even answered, just went off on a tangent about something else.
    Nothing was explained. Cool suitcase though.

  • Tim

    When David Allen Harvey finally f@&ks off out of Steve’s room, Steve will be cursing him for emptying the contents of his suitcase out onto the floor Also, if i see that suitcase i’m having it.

  • Rick Scheibner

    I’m a little disappointed. I thought he was going to show us how he packs all of that Kodachrome.


    Hate to be negative in regards to a photo legend, but this was a waste of 4 minutes and 46 seconds that I’ll never get back. It was so frustrating to watch the dialog between the two.

    1) Don’t pack your gear, take it on the plane with you.
    * Everyone pretty much knows that one

    2) Make your luggage noticeable.
    * Again, pretty basic stuff I learned years ago.

    I was really hoping to get something useful that I could use.

  • James

    These are photographers, not video personalities you ****ing moron. If anything, the video camera person should be using better audio equipment, but if you think about it, the camera person is likely Davids photo assistant and not an actual videographer. You should be thankful these types of videos even exist.

  • Michael

    OMG, James, having an anger management problem??? If you are thankful this lam video exists, you must be not much of a photographer, at least a working one…. Let me ask everyone here: How many of you really working pros heard something you didn’t already know in this video?

  • Remus

    so, what were the tips?:-)