Prior to social media and blogging, I had zero interest in photography. I didn’t carry a camera in my purse and was perfectly content to go through life without snapping pics. When we adopted Midnite, the ex-pupdaddy and I began to take shots of the furbaby and our adventures hiking on Oahu. But, holidays, birthdays, nights out with friends and travel still went undocumented.
My how things have changed, I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t snap a pic on my iPhone, point & shoot or with my new DSLR (the Canon T3) I got for Christmas. One of my favorite things to do online is to look at photography, all of it. Everyday shots on instagram, artistic, fashion, design, photojournalism, you name it, I’m in awe of it all. Being that I’m such a camera neophyte, I’m still struggling learning how to take a quality shot with the Canon. Exposure, aperture, white light…all new terms for me that go flying (whoosh…) right over the top of my head. There are several items on my action plan titled, “Learn how to take a decent manual photo”. Read, take a class and PRACTICE. As I learn how to use my DSLR, I’d like to carry it with me on a regular basis, take more shots on the fly, maybe even do a future photo a day challenge using my Canon.
I did receive a great Canon nylon camera bag for Christmas. It’s huge with a ton of protective inserts. I can fit all my lenses, filters, battery and other accessories in this bag. However, it’s bulky, square and awkward for me to carry on a regular basis or on a day trip where I might be enjoying shopping or other activities in addition to taking photos. I’d like something smaller that can also serve as a handbag. I’m thinking cross body with a shape that will lie flatter (I’m short, 5’1″, with rounded shoulders, a shoulder bag will slide off with a camera in it.). I want something well designed, a bag that marries style with function. Here’s my short list starting with Ona Bags…(more after da jump!).
Tracy Foster, the founder of Ona, says “I love photography. There’s something truly magical about taking a photo that tells a story and captures the essence of a moment in time. So I carry my SLR camera everywhere. On dreamy vacations. To Sunday brunch with friends. To family gatherings and trips to the park. But I loathed carrying a camera bag that was clunky and distracting.” Ona’s philosophy is to create camera bags that are discreet, stylish and functional. They have succeeded, especially with the Venice pictured here in stone and plum. Handcrafted in full grain leather, the Venice can hold up to 3 lenses and can be worn on the shoulder or cross body with its adjustable strap. It also comes in all-purpose black and a beautiful camel. Ona also carries a selection of messenger bag and backpack styles if you’re looking for something a bit more unisex and less handbag.
Kelly Moore Clark is a photographer who for years dreamed of having her own handbag line. Her mission was to offer women more options while also focusing on their craft. She developed her Kelly Moore line with the idea of function, style and fun at the forefront. Her line has a ton of variety including ladylike top handle bags, crescent hobos, totes and messenger styles, just to name a few. She also offers a wide variety of colors including basics plus fun colors like raspberry, mustard, grassy green, lavender and teal. My two picks are the 2 Sues and the B Hobo pictured here in grey and black, respectively. The bags are made out a water resistant man-made material and both come with a shoulder strap as well as a longer cross body strap. They also carry several unisex styles.
I’ve always loved a quilted chain bag so was delighted to discover THEIT bag. Nicole Fajardo, the founder and director of THEIT has traveled internationally as a flight attendant and has a love for fashion. She developed the concept for her line after a search for a fashionable camera bag appropriate for her lifestyle came up high and dry. The brand name is a cheeky nod to “the it” bag and the styles successfully bring together function, modern design and a sense of playfulness. I absolutely love the grey color pictured here (yes I’ve got a thing for grey bags). Materials are water resistant and man-made and come in luxurious neutrals. The bag can hold 2 to 4 lenses depending on size. THEIT is based in Canada but they do ship to the US, pricing is in Canadian dollars.
Robyn Porteen began her custom designed camera bag line, Porteen Gear, out of her own burgeoning love of photography. The great thing about this line is that you can choose your leather, your strap and your canvas material. You can even opt for a fabric piece to accent the bag flap in the front. She also sells gorgeous camera straps and waist bags to store your lens cap, batteries and other small items while shooting. I love this metallic grey (again with the grey, what can I say) bag and this exotic fabric on the leather strap, both listed in her online etsy shop.
Cheeky Lime’s bags are right on trend with their bright color options including lime, pink, teal (more like a turquoise) and purple. These nylon bags are fun and I love the satchel shape. These bags hold up to 3 lenses and have a ton of pockets and compartments for your small items or wallet/keys, etc. I don’t think Cheeky Lime is an everyday option for me due to my week day wardrobe but I’d love it for fun weekend day trips.
What do you carry your DSLR in? Any suggestions for fashionable camera bags? Update: See my final pick here.
I must give a shout out to fellow blogger Veralana. She is a portrait and commercial photographer living in Virginia. My google search for stylish DSLR gear led me to her and her post is permanently bookmarked. Each and every one of these suggestions were listed on her post along with many other options which weren’t quite me but that some of you may love. I’d definitely check it out here if you’re also searching for a great bag.
All images via merchant’s online store.