Packing Tips from a Professional Photographer

Meet the destination wedding photographer from North Carolina who travels like a boss.


“The more I traveled the more I realized that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends” – Shirley MacLaine

Meet Stefanie, she’s from outside Charlotte, North Carolina and has one of the coolest jobs on earth: a destination wedding photographer. She’s photographed weddings everywhere from Boston to Aruba and everywhere in between. As a single lady traveling for weddings, looking professional and being comfortable are her top priorities. She firmly believes that every dress should have pockets. You can find out more about her style and business over at SMM Photography.

Q. How often do you travel?

A. Last year I traveled about 30 weeks out of the year for business. I am usually on the road about three days each week that I travel. I love to explore new cities, but I’m fortunate enough to frequent Charleston and Savannah often, which are two of my favorites.

I end up staying up too late, but I sleep better knowing my bags are ready to grab as I walk out the door.

I almost always travel alone, but hopefully one day I’ll meet someone to travel with me! I firmly believe everyone should travel alone a few times in their life!

I am type-A to my core. Most of my travels are planned out months in advance. As a creature of habit, traveling can definitely be hard on my well being. For a short trip, I usually make a list of 3-5 places/things I want to do in the city I’m traveling to and make a point to do at least a few of those things. Between the few planned stops, I try to go with the flow exploring whatever captures my attention. At each city I travel to, I try to take a walk around the city center documenting my favorite doors, windows, and street scenes for my Fine Art Print shop.
Q. How do you pack for a trip?

A. Packing for a trip is a little difficult for me. Since my job on the wedding day is very active, carrying bags, squatting up and down for photos, and doing lots of walking, I want to be comfortable, cool, all while representing my own business well.

One thing I always put in my bag is a little black dress.

When I travel for work, I do not travel very light. Usually, I am driving so I can pack one medium size rolling luggage bag. The thing that makes packing tricky for me is that my days are spent in very different ways when I travel. The day of the wedding I may explore the town a little bit but it’s usually down time until I get dressed for the wedding. For me, I feel like I need two work outfits, yoga pants, and one jeans & blouse outfit.

My personal favorites include three-quarter sleeves and a good pencil skirt. One thing I always put in my bag is a little black dress; my favorite one came from Spiegel many years ago; a stretchy ponte fabric makes it ideal for throwing in the bag. My other work staple pieces of clothing come from Cabi; their ponte pants are amazing and each collection of clothing is made to mix and match for easy looks. I love the blazers I have from them; my favorite one has a zip-off peplum!

Q. How do you prep for a trip?

A. I keep two of everything as far as toiletries are involved. It is much easier for me to not have to wonder if I remembered the hairspray or deodorant if I have one at home and one in my travel bag.

My preflight ritual: 12 hours prior to departure, I make a list, I throw in a final load of laundry, and begin packing. Inevitably, I end up staying up too late, but I sleep better knowing my bags are ready to grab as I walk out the door.

Capsule Conversations is a Q&A series featuring women who love travel as much as me. The goal of this series is to showcase the tips and travel habits of women from different places and hopefully share inspiration along the way. Want to be featured? Email me at 

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Hi, my name is Andrea and I'm a digital content creator. I'm obsessed with packing light without sacrificing an ounce of style. Follow my adventures as I share my tips for curating the perfect travel capsule wardrobe that fits in a carry-on!

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Welcome to The Capsule Suitcase

Hi, my name is Andrea and I’m a digital content creator who works in tech, loves fashion, and travels a lot. I’m obsessed with packing light without sacrificing an ounce of style. This blog was born from a desire to share my tips and tricks from years of business travel and travelling on a budget. Follow my adventures as I share advice for curating the perfect travel capsule wardrobe that fits in a carry-on, travelling comfortably without breaking the bank, and staying healthy along the way. 

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