Fashion Forward – My Camera Bag Collection | Los Gatos child & family photographer

I was sitting here wondering about what I could possibly follow up the many Christmas in Norway posts I put up over the last couple of weeks. Yea, I’m behind on posting recent photo sessions, especially after the rush of the holiday season. But I’m still in the I-want-to-write-about-something-different mode. Then it quickly came to me…Christmas presents! Well, one Christmas gift that I knooooooooow that I and many other female photographers have been drooling over. A new camera bag! No, not just any camera bag. We’re talkin’ red hot, leather-lookin’, sassy, no-guy-would-ever-use-it kinda camera bag. It’s got attitude. It’s got style. And it says woman all over it. That’s my Lola bag by Epiphanie and I LOVE it!

Camera bags in general are somewhat non-distinct. Dark colored. Functional and boring. Some call them man bags. But over the last few years or so, some female photographers took action. They probably figured that as long as we’re in this industry and as long as we’re always carting around our cameras, we may as well have a bag that has some personality. Style. Color. Something like a purse or handbag. But roomy and pretty. To be honest, I’ve never been the kind of person that changed purses very often or had a purse to match every outfit or occasion. No, I’ve always been practical about my purses. I needed one for everyday work. And one for dressy evening occasions. But when I retired from the corporate hi-tech world, my needs changed and I usually carry around a black boring fanny pack and (you guessed it) my camera bag. I began to miss having a nice leather bag to carry my stuff. I missed the elegance and soft velvety leather I found in the classic Coach handbags. And I began to want need a camera bag that matched me.

But as I searched for camera bags, I realized that like purses, I needed different ones for different reasons. Mainly because of size but also because of the different occasions I use my camera. And after a few years of collecting, I believe I finally have a complete line of camera bags that match me in color, style and function and for different occasions such as portrait sessions, school activities and travel. With my new Epiphanie bag, my collection is now complete and each has a specific purpose for which I use it.

Jill-e camera bag is my storage bag. It holds all of my camera gear. It rolls around and saves my back. It is made of red leather. If you didn’t know what was in it, you wouldn’t guess it was a camera bag at all…just a nice red leather travel bag on wheels. It usually stays in my car at a shoot. I just like to have all of my stuff with me when I go on location. Not real practical for on-the-shoot use, though.

Shootsac lens bag is my workhorse during shoots. This is the bag I wear on-the-shoot that carries my extra lenses, car keys, iPhone, CF cards, etc. It’s lightweight and hugs my lenses tightly so that I never worry they’ll fall out. I also have a couple of different covers – one is a solid bright red and the other is a colorful floral one.

Glee bag from The Joy Bag collection. My other workhorse camera bag on-the-shoot. When I decide to carry two cameras where one is loaded with my 70 mm – 200 mm lens, this is it. With my camera and zoom lens in here, I don’t worry that I’m going to bump my camera into something while I’m shooting with the other.

IT bag by The Joy Bag collection. This is a camera bag insert that you could put in any tote bag. It makes any tote bag a camera bag with its cushiony sides and velcro inserts. This is the ultimate in flexibility! I have a black tote bag I put this in and use it when I want to bring several non-camera-gear type things in a single bag with my camera. It holds a bit more than my new Epiphanie bag. It just suffers from lack of style and color. Otherwise, it’s quite useful.

Lola bag by Epiphanie. This brings me to my newest and sweetest acquisition. One look at it and you just know what I mean by personality. This is the smallest of my camera bags and I anticipate using this one practically everyday. It’s large enough to carry my camera loaded with a 50mm lens and my 24-70mm zoom lens along with a few lens cleaning supplies and extra CF cards. It also carries my wallet and an assortment of other necessities (e.g., checkbook, chapstick, pens, iPhone, Digital Elph point-n-shoot camera, business cards, reading glasses). Another nice thing about this bag besides the many pockets? The interior is in lavender  (rather than black), so it’s easy to find things.

Yea, yea, I know. Most people ask a professional photographer, what’s in your camera bag, hoping to glean a bit of information about what gear that photographer finds most useful and necessary for her work. But as I mentioned earlier, I’m still in the writing-about-something-different mode and decided to answer the what is your camera bag question. And honestly, it’s a question I’ve been getting just as often. Hope this helps!

More to come…stay tuned.

An original post to Life as we see it, the official blog of Solheim Photography.

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