Easy Style hack - How to turn any handbag into a camera bag

February 18, 2015
Posh Broke Bored - Make your own stylish camera bag

How does a stylish woman reconcile her love for fashionable handbags with her need to carry heavy camera equipment? Ah, that enduring blogger conundrum (don't say 'Emasculate your boyfriend into being your full-time camera monkey'). Shock, surprise, but yes, you can carry a limited edition Lady Dior handbag on a day out with your girlfriends with a camera, two lenses, a stack of business cards, two polarising filters, AND your other everyday bits and bobs! The solution is so painfully obvious, that I can't believe it's taken me so many months of letting my Canon 600D get knocked about in my purse and my lenses wrapped in scarves to protect them from getting scratched.

The answer, my fashionable friends, is camera bag inserts.

Let's say you already have a perfectly functional camera bag but it just doesn't go with your outfit - some days you just have to carry your beloved Birkin or favourite Prada Saffiano without having to compromise your camera. Odds are your camera bag comes with a removable insert, if so, voila - just whip it out, transfer the insert to your handbag; and store your DSLR and lenses as you usually would. When it comes to camera bag inserts you're spoilt for choice for colour, compartments, and even price points - shop around at camera shops; or online at eBay, Amazon, etc. I've got my eye on The 'ONA' Any Bag Camera Bag Insert. I'm also drawn to the utilitarian look of the bestselling Ciesta Flexible padded camera insert (so many partitions!) and I want this waterproof camera insert just because it's such a sunny yellow, and so cheap, too! 

Suppose your handbag du jour is a dainty clutch with no room for a camera bag insert? Do what I do - invest in a Longchamp Pliage tote. 

Posh Broke Bored - Make your own stylish camera bag

The Longchamp Pliage large tote bag is a discreet, unpretentious, design classic whose simple lines and utilitarian function compliments most daytime outfits. Slung over and behind your shoulder, it's practically invisible especially if your Pliage is the same colour as your outfit of the day - and at such a reasonable price it'll hardly break your budget to have a few in different colours for different occasions (last I checked, I have two in black, one in red, one in pink, one in purple, and one in navy) - and the long straps make it ideal for a busy day of running around the city looking for the perfect backdrop to shoot. Even with a camera bag insert, two lenses, and a crop frame camera; the Pliage is roomy enough to accommodate my wallet, my smartphones and tablet, a couple of chargers, notebook, makeup...this bag is a bottomless wormhole, like Doraemon's pocket. The Pliage is made from nylon -  I can carry it without being too precious about setting it down on the street, grass, or floor (unlike my mother's Kellys and Birkins that get their own seats at restaurants).



A quick peek at my current go-to-neccesities for a day of shooting...


...my Longchamp Pliage large tote bag (naturally), and my new Adidas training shoes. Training for what? To be an awesome photographer, obvs.

In my camera bag I always carry my Canon 600D, business cards, two filters (polarising and UV) and two or three lenses.


LENSES

The 24mm f2.8 is a portable wide angle lens that I use for landscapes, street shots, and interior snaps. 

My favourite lens for portraits, the 85mm f1.8 (not pictured) is my lens of choice for Regimental Vintage shoots and for taking sneaky portraits of subjects from a distance. 

Then there is the 'nifty fifty' - the 50mm f1.8 portrait lens that every fashion blogger swears by, and no wonder! Unbelievably cheap, with a bit of clever handling it takes street style and outfit photos with that wonderfully soft background that 'people photographers' can't get enough of.








That's why my camera bag is so big, it's full of secrets. Photography secrets.

I'll do a proper blog post on all my camera lenses (and their individual pros and cons), soon! In the meanwhile here are some blog posts on cameras, lenses, and photography tips that I've found very helpful. Hopefully you will, too - have a look!

8 BLOG POSTS ON CAMERAS AND PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS YOU MUST READ

1. Urban Pixxels - What’s In My Camera Bag 
2. My Pale Skin - The Bloggers Guide To Camera Lenses - Introduction
3. My Pale Skin - The Bloggers Guide To Camera Lenses - Part One - Focal Length
4. Media Marmalade - Top 5 Blog Photography Tips
5. A Beautiful Mess - Photography Gear
6. A Beautiful Mess - All About Prime Lenses & Focal Lengths
7. IHeart Organizing - IHeart Blogging Series: Photography Tips
8. Posh, Broke, & Bored - Hello, Darkness! Shooting In Low Light

If you've got any photography blogs for me to follow on Bloglovin' (I'm new to BL!) let me know - you can find Posh, Broke, & Bored here! x

Let's get social. Find me on: Twitter Instagram | Bloglovin | Google+ 

14 comments:

  1. Thanks for the mention! And I do exactly the same with a camera bag insert when I want to bring a more ladylike handbag while shooting. I have a 'Lowepro passport sling' that comes with a separate insert: perfect. Don't have the Longchamp tote yet, but might be a good idea to get one.

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    1. You're most welcome, it was too good a post not to share! I'm going to check out the Lowepro passport sling - a lady can never have too many bags ;) And so you should get a Longchamp tote too! x

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  2. I often hate carrying around my cumbersome camera case that doesn't go with what I am wearing. I love the idea and possibilities of using the bags I love with some clever adaptation. Thanks for sharing Lucy

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    1. Camera bag inserts really are a game-changer! Just think - now ALL your handbags are camera bags! *mind blown* x

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  3. Thats a brilliant idea, I hate having to carry my boring camera bag! xo

    http://rachelnicole.co.uk/

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    1. Say NO to boring camera bags and YES to camera bag inserts! x

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  4. That's what I did when we went to Cuba! That's how I managed to carry my DSLR around with me all day haha, I took the inserts from my big camera bag with me and fashioned a little cubby hole for the cam inside my bag. So useful, much easier than lugging around a full camera bag full of kit.

    C x
    Lux Life

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    1. Ohhhh so THAT'S how you kept producing your DSLR out of nowhere - I didn't even notice because you were so discreet yet efficient about it! Eh, why didn't you clue me in on that hack earlier?! ;) x

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  5. What an awesome idea and this is very helpful!
    Lots of love,
    Angie
    SilverSpoon London

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    1. Just think, now we'll NEVER have to worry about matching our camera bags to our outfits! *screams* x

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  6. Camera bag inserts are the way to go! They're also super easy to make if you have access to a sewing machine and a little bit of time. It's a little more energy intensive then just buying the inserts, but it's cheaper and you can make sure it suits your camera/lens set up [=

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    1. Emmy! I WISH I could sew - I have a sewing machine someone left in my house - but the very idea is so daunting :( I really envy people who know how to make things! x

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  7. I have the ONA insert - no regrets! Love that it has smaller pockets all around too - great for lens filters, chewing gum, random post its etc

    steph / absolutely-fuzzy.com

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  8. This is such a good idea. Alas, I carry too much nonsense around with me, so I'll probably keep hanging my camera around my neck, but if I ever clean up my life this would work well. ;)

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