Recently, my friend Francis Abbey let me in on a little secret. Although, he has no children (that he knows of!), he carries a diaper bag. He has found it to be a great way to carry his camera incognito.
After seeing how well Francis’ worked diaper bag for him, I started the hunt for the perfect diaper bag for MY baby! (That is, for my Canon 60D. I, like Francis, am childless, unless you count one very spoiled Boston Terrier.) The selection is almost overwhelming! There is a size/color/pattern/style for just about everybody. So many more options than there are for “real” camera bags! Here are a few things on my must-have list:
- Magnetic or zipper closures (NOT velcro) – who wants to make noise every time they’re switching lenses? Especially if you’re trying to shoot on the DL!
- Top flap – to keep the weather away from your precious baby!
- Inner pockets that will hold lenses – I’ve tried out a few at the store and baby bottle pockets seem to be just the right size for most of my lenses!
- Style, style, style! – I’ve got to have something that looks like what I would carry as a purse – otherwise, I wouldn’t look very undercover, now, would I?
It has also occurred to me that there are a few other nifty benefits to using a diaper bag for your undercover or casual shooting. First, they usually come with a changing pad, which I imagine would come in handy if you were ever shooting outside and needed to put your gear (or your butt) on the wet ground for a minute. Second, most of the newer diaper bags have clips that will attach to the handles on a stroller. Now, I have a rolling briefcase for my laptop and I bet those clips would work to hook the new diaper/camera bag onto the handle, so I could roll everything together! Third, they have ample room for personal necessities (which is a HUGE plus for us girly girls who have to carry everything all the time!) And finally, do I have to say it again? STYLE! Diaper bags are so much cooler looking than camera bags! Why? Who knows! It makes absolutely NO sense. Why should moms get to look cooler than filmmakers and photographers? Not fair. I’m taking cool back and adopting a diaper bag.
I’m a big fan of the Skip Hop line, especially the Dash, but gentlemen Filmmaker/Photographers may prefer the Eddie Bauer line:
Bottom Line: A great idea for carrying your camera without looking super obvious, but be forewarned: they can be EXPENSIVE! Don’t pull a Tara and fall in love with the $375 one (unless you’ve got buckets of money, in which case, I’d like this one, please)!