As a keen amateur photographer I don’t really have that much gear. A DSLR camera body and two lenses. Easy enough to traipse around with I suppose.
When you get a little more serious about your photography that can also come with a significant increase in camera gear. Additional camera bodies, multiple lenses, graduating filters, light metres, flash equipment, battery grips and more… Certainly at this point a dedicated ‘camera-bag’ is an absolute must to keep everything safe and in place.
To be honest even at my level a camera bag would be a good idea. Particularly on dedicated all-day photographic sorties. Nothing had really piqued my interest in terms of seeking out such a bag until quite recently. It happened as I was perusing my Twitter feed and something incredibly creative caught my eye. That something was…
Founded by photographer Robyn Porteen in 2010 these fashionable camera bags are sure to appeal to the creatives amongst creatives. They are truly bespoke.
You select each component of your bag. The size, leather, highlight fabric, wax, interior and heck… even the strap! It will be as individual as you are!
Your design is then hand-crafted. Nice!
I found the Porteen Gear website user experience to be very intuitive and easy. A big tick there as I’m sure this design portal was not easy to build. I should say that I was on a laptop with a super fast connection. Personally though I’m not sure this would be something I would be designing on my phone in any case. Each to their own of course!
Before getting into the steps of creating your bag there is a handy form that you can submit beforehand if you are not sure what size bag you will need. Porteen Gear states…
We want to create a bag that caters to the way you work and matches your sense of style…
Step 1. Chose your size and style of camera bag.
Ok pretty obvious so far. If you need additional assistance about sizing and suitability and don’t want to have to submit a form you can also do some research on this useful ‘Which size bag is right’ page.
Step 2. Design your camera bag.
You select and click on the each component of your bag. From top to bottom these are:
As you click on an option it will instantly appear on the ‘virtual’ bag being created in the top left hand corner. Now that is very cool and extremely helpful.
Now ready, get set… go! Unleash your creativity. Almost as much fun as photography right!? Ok maybe not, but close.
Step 3. Check out.
Now you may arrive at this final step after 2 minutes. But I doubt it. Like many creatives you will probably think and re-think about your design several times. Ebbing from loving it to hating it and back again. No matter. I know how it is. Take your time. No rush.
Once you have settled on your design you simply then click through to the check-out. Oh and you can select from one of five major currencies at the design stage. The default being the US dollar of course. I really liked this as it can save on nasty currency conversion surprises later. (Find this converter top right just above the main menu)
Porteen Gear Review. The Nitty Gritty.
As you would expert prices vary according to size and the combinations you select. Each bag is actually hand-made by Robyn and her team in Grand Rapids Michigan. Bearing this in mind expect delivery of your camera bag to take around 2 – 3 weeks in the USA and longer elsewhere due to postage.
Prices range from between US$120 – $235 depending on size and excludes postage.
When your Porteen Gear camera bag does arrive it comes replete with a thorough set of instructions on how to care for it. Also when you open up your bag there will be another high class surprise tucked inside. But you’ll just have to wait and see what that is. And no I’m not on commission!
A great story.
Often great ideas emerge from adversity and this perfectly describes the genesis of Porteen Gear. In 2010 having been recently laid-off and with “plenty of time” on her hands pro photographer Robyn Porteen made her first camera bag. It was constructed with thift-shop materials for only $20. Her friends loved it! By the end of that year she had set up an Etsy store and sold more than 700 bags!
Now in 2016 Porteen Gear has sold more than 50,000 camera bags around the globe and is going from strength-to-strength. Porteen has found her calling. In her own words…
“My niche is the ‘Design-Your-Own’ camera bag with over 100 fabrics and 50 leathers so you can create a bag in your own personal style. Made by a professional photographer who knows the importance of function, durability and lightweight design.”
A Porteen Gear camera bag is as much a lifestyle as it is a textile. An identity hanging off your shoulder that cradles your precious cameras. Fit for purpose yet also a stylish statement.
We love them and we think you will too.
Visit Porteen Gear for all the details.