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Tariq Zaidi is an author and award-winning photographer who focuses on documenting social issues, inequality, traditions and endangered communities around the world. Tariq is no stranger to Head On Foundation. In the 2019 Head On Photo Festival, he exhibited his Sapeurs Portrait Series taken in Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo. Tariq is showing his El Salvador – a nation held hostage series as part of this year’s Photo Festival. He shares with us what he carries in his camera bag. You can follow Tariq on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. His website is


The gear in my bag

  • Sony a7 III
  • Sony FE 4 / 24-105mm G OSS
  • Sony FE 2 / 28mm
  • Passport
  • Note book + pen
  • Extra camera batteries
  • Think Tank card holder & cards
  • Lowepro camera belt (main + 2 pockets)

Why I use what I have?

I try to carry as little as possible and as lightweight as possible. I usually don’t use a tripod or flash. I need to keep my total luggage (clothes, camera equipment etc) to between 10-13Kgs max for small planes and also to avoid any check-in luggage where possible.

After trying many different camera brands, I opted for a Sony a7 III body – for the kind of work I do it is perfect – light, small, quiet, great video and super high quality – full-frame 24MP.

Similarly, I have tried a whole bunch of different lens brands, focal lengths and fixed lenses in the past. Again, I wanted the smallest, lightest lens which matches my needs and that’s why I opted for the Sony FE 4 / 24-105mm.  95% of my images are made in the 24-70mm area. The extra focal length 70-105mm is a nice bonus.

I also wanted a backup lens – the smallest / lightest I could find was the Sony FE 2 / 28mm – it is also perfect for lowlight imagery – so a perfect super compact companion to my main lens.

Header image: Tariq Zaidi


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