This weekend, I took a photo walk with my cousin, who is also a professional photographer. We were joking about a bottle of nail polish in a mesh pocket of her camera bag. “Have you ever considered writing an article about the content of a girl’s camera bag?” she asked. “As a matter of fact, I have.” I’d totally forgot about it, and I’m glad that she reminded me. You know, it’s always fun for me to find out what other photographers use for the job. We took a peek inside a wedding photojournalist’s bag thanks to Ben Kelmer. Even the former White House photographer Pete Souza showed the gear he normally has in the bag. But I wanted to make this a little more personal and fun. So, I open my photography bag for you to give you an answer to the question you never asked: what’s inside a girl’s photo bag?
Before we move on, keep in mind that I’m a hobbyist, and I mainly shoot nature, landscape, and travel photography. Although I have a convenient backpack, for some reason, I prefer my Lowepro Aventura shoulder bag I bought around ten years ago. It’s a little faded and shabby on the outside, but I think it doesn’t look that bad. I added a Pink Floyd badge to make it more personal… And to cover up a cigarette hole that someone poked in it when I was photographing a party some eight years ago.
But enough about the outside, let’s see what’s inside! I usually carry my gear when I travel, no matter how near or far. I don’t always carry an extra lens, only the one on the camera – but it’s rarely the case when I travel. Since I hate carrying one bag for the gear and another for personal stuff, I just cram everything into the camera bag before I go out shooting. And all the things you’ll read here were inside my bag after a recent trip to Belgrade. As far as the gear goes, here’s what was inside:
And now for the non-photo stuff:
- Lens cleaning brush/pen that I never use
- A pen… Sometimes two or three more pens end up in the camera bag; I swear I don’t know how.
- A notepad. You never know when an idea for an article or a photo will pop up.
- Paper tissues
- Wet wipes
- A mask and a disinfection hand gel, because coronavirus
- My wallet
- My phone
- Lip balm. Thankfully I don’t often wear make-up; otherwise, I’d cram that in the bag, too.
- Chewing gum
- Who knows when I’ll need to shut off the outside world with some music
- Menstrual pad, because there’s one in every bag I wear, either for me or to help another lady in trouble
- Chocolate/granola bar – this is the only thing that wasn’t in the bag when I opened it for this article’s sake. But it’s something I always have with me when traveling or walking in case I need energy… Okay, who am I kidding? I just love sweets!
If you’ve read this article about camera bag essentials, you’ll notice that I keep most of those with me, plus some more. I also sometimes have a plastic bag with me, in case it starts to rain. Although I rarely carry it in the bag itself, it’s usually in my pocket. And it’s definitely a useful thing to have.
I must admit that I was amazed when I opened my bag and started writing down everything I found inside. Honestly, I have no idea how I manage to fit all these things into a relatively small bag… But I guess that’s one of the superpowers girls have. Or is it a superpower of camera bags? Anyways, I showed you what’s in my bag, and now it is your turn! I’d love to hear what gear is with you most often, and what other stuff just has to find its place in your camera bag. Is it as crammed as mine? Share your thoughts in the comments.