Until not so long ago, I left the house looking like I was going into battle! I wore battle pants, white t-shirts with the camera strap cutting through my torso and my big black Lowepro backpack on my back. Not very feminine. But what other options did I have…, or so I thought… I do carry around quite a lot of equipment, climb up trees and lie on the ground, so I need practical clothes and big bags.
Wanting a more feminine looking bag is not only about the looks. As a professional photographer, I am walking around with a lot of expensive equipment. Being a women, I do feel like I can be more of a target for ill intentioned people when I have “photographer” written all over me. A more feminine shoot bag is a form of camouflage!
This doesn’t go only for pro photographers. Almost everyone today has a camera that we like to take on outings and travels. While walking around a market in a foreign country, you want to blend in and be able to quickly catch your camera to snap your memories, and not stick out as the tourist with the big camera.
However, things are starting to look up a bit with several companies now offering really beautiful and feminine shoot bags that don’t scream “expensive photography equipment inside”.
Jill-e bags ( http://www.jill-e.com) holds a line of beautiful and sophisticated shoot bags that come in many different colors and finishes: from a really small purse looking bag to carry your point and shoot, to the extra large rolling camera bag capable of carrying three cameras, flashes, extra lenses and your laptop.
Epiphanie bags ( >http://www.epiphaniebags.com/) offer true camouflage for your camera. Their three fabulous looking and very different stylish bags absolutely don’t look anything like a camera bag and are very well thought out, with external pockets and flexible velcro sections inside.
Emera (http://www.emerabags.com/) offers a sophisticated quilted bag that holds two pro camera bodies, a laptop, purse, phone and keys. This is not so much a “shoot bag” because it doesn’t have a strap that allows you to carry it while you are working, and it doesn’t close completely… but it’s really good and stylish transport bag to go on “home” or “corporate” assignments.
Shootsac (http://shootsac.com) is a lens bag with has a customizable cover allowing you to choose different looks without changing your entire bag.
Personally, I’ve started working with my Emera bag and really enjoy to be able to dress up while working, and walk around more discretely. As a photographer, my clients expect me to give them guidance, and I do feel that a little more femininity helps me establish a better rapport with the moms and children faster than if I come clucking in with all my “black equipment”. And that’s fine when I go to a clients house or office and can put my stuff down…. however I still haven’t found an alternative to my big Lowepro backpack when I have to climb down rock pools and shoot with my feet in the river… (photos of that coming very soon!)
Next on the list will be one of the gorgeous big Jill-e bags for when I transport more than my two cameras and three lenses.