“If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera.”—Lewis Hine
When a photographer leaves the safety and security of the studio and goes on location, they need to start packing. It doesn’t matter whether you’re slinging gear into a Land Rover or a baggage handler is stuffing it inside a Airbus, you need tough dependable bags and cases that are up to the job. Bags and cases must protect your gear but what else do you need?
- Access. You can never be too organized for a location shoot.
- Fast set-up. Upon arriving at the location, it’s critical that you easily be able to get to everything that’s inside the case out of it.
- Comfort. Make sure the bag is comfortable when packed. Ergonomic carrying options, such as handles and harnesses, reduce the fatigue but the most overlooked feature is the shoulder strap. Many are designed to look good but how well do they stay on your shoulder when the case is loaded?
- Capacity. Some photographers have a habit of overloading cases. Think about how much weight each bag can carry but don’t overload it. Remember you still have to be able to pick it up.
- Organization. How many different ways can your case be configured? A photographer should be able to move dividers inside the case to customize the interior for the equipment needed for a shoot.
- Portability. The photographer’s away-from-home base must be mobile. Maybe you need a rolling case?
- Durability. Many location photographers are hard on their cases. Think sixty pounds of gear, tossed in and out of cars, dragged up and down stairs, and flung on and off airplanes. When they fly, some photographers prefer double duty by packing camera bags inside luggage or hard cases
- Details. The final decision to select a particular case may boil down to the finishing details. Wedding photographers need silent zipper pulls, which are great for when everyone is listening and watertight zippers are indispensable for when the location gets wet.
PS. Look for an upcoming review of a new Tenba camera bag…real soon now.