Saturday, June 18, 2011

#21 Tog girl chic

WARNING: Today's blog entry includes a lot of girl bag talk and no street photos.

What to wear? Which handbag goes with my outfit? Now all girls (and yes, some men too) struggle with those questions pretty much everyday of their lives while every photographer spends a lot of their time looking for the perfect camera bag. And if you are a girl photographer, oh boy are you in trouble! For too long camera bag manufacturers have been ignoring the female population of photographers assuming than we want to be carrying around our kit in bags that are not particularly flattering. Don't get me wrong, when I am heading to a studio shoot or for a photowalk in the countryside, I couldn't care less what I am wearing as long as it's comfy and the same goes for my bag. My priority is that I carry as much of my kit as possible without my back ending up in pain but if I am heading out to shoot street, a formal event or a fine restaurant, I want the bag I am carrying to go with what I am wearing. I want to look stylish, I want to feel like a girl.

I am on the quest to find the perfect girly camera bag but it seems the US are doing so much better in that department that the UK.

I looked at Jill-e Bags and I quite like the look of small red bag but it wasn't just quite what I want, not entirely my style. The interesting and shocking thing though is that if you live in the UK, you need to pay double the price, it costs in the US. It actually costs less to buy it online and have it sent from the US.

Continuing my search, I came across Kelly Moore bags and loved the cranberry croc one. I was just about to press Add to Cart when I noticed the magnetic snaps that allow you easy access to your gear all the time. Fabulous idea! Except not for shooting street in England when well, let's be honest it rains a lot. Have you heard the term British summer? It means 'not summer, autumn really with lots of rain and plenty of miserable faces' so I sighed with resignation and continued my search.

River Island have just released three camera bags as a part of their bag range and I absolutely loved the look of the navy one. I was a little concerned that it's fairly narrow strap might not be the best one for my fairly heavy Canon 5D Mark ii and 24-70mm f2.8 L beast but I thought I'd give it a go and order one since let's be honest I absolutely love the look of it.  

When the bag arrived, it left me wandering what the River Island bag designers know about camera bags? My guess is not much. It's a beautiful handbag but there is nothing about the bag to suggest that it is a camera bag. There are no cushioned compartments to protect your camera from accidental bumps. It fits my beast and a Speedlight nicely but there is nothing to protect the two from knocking each other as you walk. It's a handbag and not a camera bag as they claim so I asked for a refund.

Frustrated by River Island fiasco, I searched the net again and found this beauty from Jill-e Bags designed for Canon. Sadly, for most of us UK peeps it's only available online in the US. After a few inquiries with friends across the big pond and the help of fabulous Maite (thank you Maite for your kind heart and internet for online friends!), I am now waiting for this beauty to be delivered to me. I just hope I love it as much as I do when I look at the photos of it as no chance of returning this one. I'll let you know if I've found THE bag when it arrives.

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