My Search for the Perfect Cute, Functional Camera Bag

My beautiful pricey camera came with this very useful camera bag that looks like a cross between a fanny pack and a colostomy bag.

Feb 28, 2012 at 12:00pm | Leave a comment

For Christmas 2010, my boyfriend gave me a Canon T2i DSLR camera. This was a badass gift. I gave him…nothing.  That’s not entirely true, I gave him a watch the following Valentine’s day. That counts, doesn’t it? 

All I do with this expensive toy is take pictures of my dogs and random buildings. Along with this beautiful pricey camera, he gave me a very useful camera bag.

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Yeah. Very useful. But um, BARF. It’s so ugly. It looks like a cross between a fanny pack and a colostomy bag that you wear on the outside of your clothes. No, thanks. I only use it if I am packing up my camera for a trip. For the longest time, I just wrapped my camera up in my scarf and shoved it in my purse. It seemed like that was probably subjecting my camera to more bangs and bumps than I desired, so I went on a huge search for the perfect, cute, functional camera bag.  
 
First I found this awesome quilted faux-Chanel look chain bag made by Theit, called "The Bossi." What took someone so long to make this bag? From the outside, nobody can even tell it’s a camera bag. This not only makes it so much cooler, but it also seems you might be less likely to be mugged, as who would know that you have a $1,000 camera in your purse? It comes in 5 colors but of course I am all black everything.

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The only reason I don’t currently have one in my hot hands is because they are backordered. So annoying. I am the least patient person. Today I was wildly hitting all the keys on my computer because it was running slow. My boyfriend came in and said, “Have some friggin patience!!” Before he even finished his statement I started shaking my head no, I could not do that, and started making my horrible crabby face that I always make.
 
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"The Bossi" bag retails for Canadian $159, and right now the Canadian dollar is about even with the US dollar. This bag holds your camera body with lens attached, an extra lens, flash, etc. in neat padded pockets.  Plus there is room for your actual lady gear like wallet/lipstick/shades. You can move the padded inserts around to suit your stuff or your mood, or just take them out completely. I really wish this bag were leather rather than pleather. But hey, it’s vegan!

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Since I am still waiting for my Theit bag, I kept looking around for a solution.  I found this amazing girl on Etsy named Kimberly who makes these ridiculously clever camera cubes that you can pop in any purse or tote. Now any bag can be a camera bag!  This is seriously the smartest thing ever.

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Kimberly makes these cubes custom for each order, by hand, at her house in Southern California.  You just send her the measurements of your camera or whatever other gear you have.  n her Etsy shop she only has black and red right now, but I somehow got a hot pink one! I ordered mine the exact size of my camera but now I wish that I’d had her make it a little oversized, so I can pull my camera out of it easier.  
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Kimberly is originally from Colorado and got into photography for the same reason I did, to take pictures of her kids. My kids are furry animals with 4 legs, but still.  What she is selling is basically the inside guts of the camera bag, which is all I wanted anyways. Kimberly’s mom taught her how to sew as a little girl, and now Kimberly made one of her kids a Taylor Swift costume for Halloween.  ESUS, BE CUTER!!
 
She also makes one that has a top flap so you camera is covered completely.  I am ordering this one next. They are about $20-$25 plus nominal shipping, and mine arrived lightning fast.

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The other thing that gagged me about my camera was the giant horrible strap it came with. Not only was it unattractive, it was huge and bulky and dug into my neck like crazy.  Now I’ve replaced it with this insanely cute Tokyo Dreamer strap.   

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It has a mini pocket for a roll of film!! So retro. You could put your extra memory card in there I suppose. The inside of the strap is all soft and flocked and it’s made to hold a heavy-ass camera like mine.  It is also very thin, a little over 1 inch in width. It doesn’t dig into your neck at all.  Plus it’s cheap-$20+free shipping. The other straps I like were all $60-$120.  I’m a serious slave to fashion, but that’s way too much cash for a cute camera strap.  

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This is another cool strap I found, called the Handy Dandy Hand Strap. I go back and forth between using this one and the Tokyo Dreamer strap. It is good for parties, or anywhere you set your camera down a lot. It obviously doesn’t mess up your hair like an around-the-neck camera strap does. This is a big issue for me!  
 
I also use it when we go to a parade or on vacation where I know I will have my camera out for a good hour or so and will want it right in my hand to snap the weird stuff that always happens around me. This strap is also nice because it isn’t constantly swinging down into the picture and getting tangled up in all the junk in my purse. 
 
I was really surprised at how hard it was to find cute stuff to girl-ify my camera. My local camera store was a bust. All they had was a bunch of heavy boring black ballistic nylon bags that might as well belong to Teva wearers or granola bar eaters.  Come on, camera gear makers, there are a lot of snazzily dressed girl photographers around. We are people too!