"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Photographer's Kit, Part 3: Camera Bags

"It was hard being between photographs and not knowing when or how another image would reveal itself."
  - William Albert Allard, "The Photographic Essay"

The conundrum? Where oh where to find a camera bag that is: a) built like a traditional camera bag on the inside; b) totally diva-fantabulous on the outside. Of course I Googled it. And though I only found one post, I hit pay dirt...

From a woman's point of view, camera bags are a...dissapointment. Especially if you need a large one. They're typically made of black or dark gray nylon and look like a drink cooler or a backpack. Boring boring boring! What's a Diva to do? I wrapped my camera and extra lens(es) in Coco's old sweaters and stuffed them into my pretty large(ish) purses.

But as I became more serious about my craft, carrying at least one camera with me at all times, this just would not do. Because, while the typical camera bag is oh so ugly on the outside, the interior perfectly fits a photographer's needs: a soft safe designated place for your camera and lenses and lots of pockets and compartments.

The conundrum? Where oh where to find a camera bag that is: a) built like a traditional camera bag on the inside; b) totally diva-fantabulous on the outside. Of course I Googled it. And though I only found one post, I hit pay dirt: "Stylish camera bags for women photographers". There are nearly 20 different companies/bags reviewed.

Paris, Coco, and Ginger = the perfect day!

After months of looking (at dozens of pictures), reading (reviews) and comparing (prices, style, interiors etc). I settled on my favorite - Epiphanie. Founder and owner, professional photographer Maile Wilson designs the most amazing camera purses!


"Ginger" ("Lyric" is in the background)

The interior of Ginger is hot hott Pink (love!)

This bag is gorgeous and the thick panels protect my camera and lenses beautifully, and gives me plenty of room for my essentials. But the real test was how Ginger performed in the field - she does and how. I sent a review to the ladies at Epiphanie and they posted it. So, for the lowdown see here

While I love "Ginger," her only drawback is that she's too bulky for me to wear across my body - a must for when I'm running around a football field or through the streets of Paris; that's when I really need to have my hands free. Epiphanie's "Lyric" is perfect for that. She's not as roomy as "Ginger" but that's the point ;-)  

Diva aspects (exterior): there are currently 7 different styles that come in high fashion colors (purple, turquoise, hot pink, and red) and neutral colors (soft gray, brown, black and lilac).

practical aspects (exterior): made of sturdy faux leather, water resistant, thick and comfortable straps (all Epiphanie bags come with a body strap), and lots of great outside pockets.

The interior (the best of both worlds): well padded throughout, brilliantly bright color interiors - I've never seen anything like it; super thick and soft moveable velcro panels (they don't move or scratch anything) - so you can configure and reconfigure your bag to your heart's content ;-)

The only downside is that these bags are pricy ($160 - $185) - but the quality, style and ease of use is amazing. And after all, you get what you pay for. An Epiphanie bag is worth every cent.

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!



  1. Hi there! I just stumbled onto your blog & love it (definitely adding it to my feeds!). I also have the Ginger bag & after returning a Kelly Moore B-Hobo for showing premature wear, I really miss having a smaller, thinner bag for running around with. How would you say your Lyric has held up the past few months of use? I'm concerned that the braided strap would take a beating most of all!

    1. Hi Vonnie,

      A pleasure to meet you ;-}

      I LOVE my Ginger and she's holding up well. And, believe me, I put her through her paces: rain, sand, mud, gravel, airports, etc.

      But I find that I have the same problem as you - Ginger's just to bulky for daily use. So I just use her for major shoots. Even Ephiphanie's new "Belle" bag looks too large and bulky - sigh.

      So, I've taken matters into my own hands and have literally built from scratch my perfect camera bag.

      You've inspired me - I'm going to write a post about it. Look for it later today (25 May). And Please let me know what you think - I want to start a dialogue w/ my shutterbug friends.



  2. Hi Temple,
    I came across your blog while looking for a new camera bag and ironically the two ephiphanie bags that you have are the two I have been debating on! I wondered which bag you would choose if you wanted to use it as an everyday bag? They both look so nice! I will look forward to hearing from you!
    Cheery Smiles your way...Laura
    p.s. I have really been enjoying your blog!

    1. Hello Laura,

      So nice to meet you and I'm so glad that you like my blog ;-} In advance, please excuse this tres long reply...In deciding which Epiphanie bag to choose - Ginger or Lyric - you need to decide which is more important: room or ease of carry.

      Ginger easily carries everything my diva-shutterbug heart could ever desire: camera, extra lens, flash, iPhone, makeup bag, reporter's notebook, street map, a paperback (always have at least one with me), etc. And, in a pinch, I can fit another camera body too. Plus her flat bottom allows me to set her down anywhere - she takes a licking and keeps on ticking. The only drawback is that she's too bulky to wear while I'm shooting. When I get into the thick of it, I have to put her down (thank goodness for Mr. Gorgeous).*When I'm 'shooting'/traveling far from home, Ginger is ALWAYS my pick.

      Lyric: holds my camera, an extra lens, a small notebook+pen, iPhone, and lipgloss (gotta have!). Best part is that I can wear her across my body when I get in the thick of it. She too takes a licking and keeps on ticking. But I only use her when I'm home, alone, and in my car (where I keep all of my other shutterbug-gear in my trunk (2nd camera, + its 2 lenses tripod, etc).

      So, which describes your shutterbug life? Close to home or far afield? Answer that and you've chosen your perfect camera bag.

      Please let me know which one you wind up getting and let me know how it goes. Send me pix of you and your bag in the field so I can post them here.




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