How Would You Describe Your Relationship with Your Bag?

How Would You Describe Your Relationship with Your Bag?

Our gear is a major investment, and what we use to carry and protect it – our bags and cases – say a lot about us as photographers. I have collected quite a few bags over the years, but I find myself returning to the same one when getting ready for a shoot. My mainstay organizes all of my usual suspects, from my camera to my lenses and memory cards, in just the right way. My equipment, including my bag, has joined me on all of my exploits. My bag of choice isn’t just protection and security for my gear; it’s practically a partner in crime. So we wondered... what about your bag makes it your partner?

A quick survey was put together by a friend of mine to learn more about the accessories photographers use, including bags, tripods and mobile devices. We would really appreciate it if you took a few minutes to talk about your equipment of choice, why you chose it and how you relate to it by taking this quick survey here:


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Ralph Berrett's picture

There is a basic flaw with this poll for me. I will use different bags and carry systems for different jobs. If I am shooting in a suit and tie I am using my thinktank urban disguise bag. If it is Photojournalism or sports I am shooting with my teneba photo harness or a general shoot my tarmac backpack. It is like when shooting anything matching the right tool the job.

John Bradford's picture

I agree with Ralph. Your survey assumes that you only carry one bag. I use 3 different size bags by 3 manufactures and your survey doesn't handle that info.

Spy Black's picture

There's a stand-up routine in that title somewhere...

Jaron Schneider's picture

You know, sometimes you make me laugh really hard man. I like it.

Charlie Thiel's picture

Ah, my favorite topic - bags! I've gone through so many bags for so many different reasons and purposes. Here is my rundown: for weddings - Think Tank Airport International. I also have a Think Tank Airstream when I can get away with a smaller bag. The best thing about Think Tank is the ability to lock the bag and secure it to something for pretty good piece of mind at weddings. I have a Think Tank Logistics Manager in which I can store 90% of my studio. It is amazing. I used to be in love with my Think Tank Shape Shifter backpack, but for my non-wedding travel and backpack carry option my loyalty has switched to my Dakine Sequence Photo Pack. Holy moly, that thing is incredible. Fantastic capacity without looking like I'm headed out for a spacewalk, Bright interior, access from the back side. Camera Compartment is removable as a separate case. The best ever. Those are the big ones for me. I own many other bags, but those are my go-to bags.

Mark Davidson's picture

Bags are a necessary evil for me. As a commercial photographer I often have to bring a lot of small bags or a few larger bags. Either way it is a pain. As for what is better, they all seem to check the important boxes (keep your stuff safe and dry). Probably the biggest issue that pushes my button is crappy wheels. Most are too small and some are very fragile. ThinkTank excel here but they are still too small for me.

James Nelson's picture

I like the concept of this survey, but I thought the questions were well, questionable. Do I have a cover for my cell phone and if so what brand did I buy? Hate to say it, but this was poorly done. Sorry guys.

Merben Pix's picture

I’ve been a commercial photographer for 30 years, the past 17 shooting for 5 monthly magazines. I’ve hated every camera bag. For me, the designs are not conducive to good organization or quick swapping and equipment retrieval. When you’re fashion shooting on location, you need to swap quickly, pack up and move quickly. Sometimes I don’t use the same assistants but I want them to know where everything is without having to explain the dynamics of the bag such as,” right pocket, under the flap, second zipper, etc”. The bag should be more than a camera bag/case. It should function on some level as a piece of equipment also such as built-in charging station and hooded viewing box to review the camera back or monitor in bright sun. Stacking lenses and cameras in bags drives me nuts. There needs to be a revolution in bag/case design, especially now when we are carrying audio equipment in our bags as well these days.

Jason Whitman's picture

Like Ralph, I use different bags for different gear in different situations. Having said that, my favorite bag is my Pelican camera and laptop bag. I shoot a lot on cattle drives and from horseback and that case will take a beating.

Juan Muino's picture

Like so many, I use different bags for different jobs...however, there is one bag that's (nearly) always been by my much so, I blogged about it here: