Camera Bag Check List

When a photographer leaves the relative safety and security of the studio and goes on a location shoot, they need to start packing. It doesn’t matter whether you’re slinging gear into the back of 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?

Lightware caseFast set-up. Upon arriving at the location, it’s critical that you easily and conveniently be able to get to everything inside inside the case.

Comfort. Make sure the bag is comfortable when packed. Ergonomic carrying options, such as handles and harnesses, can reduce the fatigue of carrying a lot of equipment. 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. That’s why consideration must be given to how much weight each bag can carry? But don’t overload it. Remember you have to be able to pick it up.

Think Tank Airport SecurityOrganization. How many different ways can your case be configured? A photographer should be able to move every divider 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.

Access. You can never be too organized for a location shoot.

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.

Author: Joe Farace

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