(OK…. YES I know I look “special” in the photo below. That is the point…. )

Ask any videographer, photographer, or filmmaker who is on the road a lot these days, and they will bitch and moan about all of the extra fees we are being hit with by the airlines. Every time we stand in line at the airport now we come away with less money, and for the most part, we have a hard time passing these costs along to our customers. There are overweight fees now, there are extra bag fees, there are even bag fees if you bring ANY bags. One airline just charged me an extra bag fee, and then on top charged me because the bag was overweight! It was a double whammy!

There is a simple solution that will help mitigate this. It seems a bit humorous, (it is…) and a bit self serving, (it is…) but it works.

For those of you who dont know, most airlines (except US Air) will allow the media to check extra bags, and some give waivers to overweight items.

This is a great help with one simple exception. If you are an independent contractor, or shoot commercial rather than news, you really dont have any ID to prove you are a photographer. And really what is the difference between a photojournalist, and a commercial photographer?

Here is the simple solution:


This ID took 45 seconds to make. Aim the laptop camera at your mug, click the shutter, throw it into Illustrator, add your type and logo, and print! Then off to Kinkos to use the lamanator and your golden.

Now whenever we fly, this comes out of the camera bag and around our necks. When the ticket agent says, “Im sorry sir, there will be an additional $100 fee for that bag,” we pull out or “official” ID’s and say, “Its all right. They usually waive those fees for us.”

Never underestimate the old “Jedi Mind Trick.”

Good luck!