Top 5 DSLR Bags for Women

Owning a DSLR is a bit like having a baby.  Well not having a baby exactly but being responsible for it.  Like a baby your DSLR usually goes everywhere with you – to the park, the zoo, family functions, Christmas parties etc. etc.  It also is of considerable weight and comes with a variety of accessories lenses, filters, memory cards as opposed to diapers, toys and snacks.  And like a baby you have to be very careful with it.  It must be protected against knocks and falls and all accidental bumps and boo boos.

So if you are a mommy and are already toting around a 1 year old and hate to miss any of those special moments, you also need to take the big DSLR around with you too.  As you might know I have two little girls and I love to take pictures so I do a fair amount of lugging!  So when I recently got a new DSLR even bigger than the last I set out on a mission to find the perfect bag to accomodate my camera and make it easier to take along on more outings.

What I wanted was different to my other camera bags.  I already have the massive camera bag that can hold 2 bodies and 2 lenses, the laptop etc.  This time I was searching for an every day bag which main job is to keep the camera safe and protected but it also  needed to look cute and not necessarily like a “camera bag”.  I did a lot of investigating and got a lot of feedback from you guys and here is a round up of some of the bags that I really liked and my top 5 DSLR bags for women.

Shoot sac – Tote and Shoot

The Tote and Shoot was a very strong contender for my bag of choice.  I love the clean design of these bags and they seem practical without being boring.  They also have a very unique pocket that lets you access your camera without having to go into the main compartment which I really like.  These bags really seem to be in high demand as they have just recently become available again and now come with a messenger strap which I think I would definitely need.  The have pretty colors too that are spunky enough to add a little spice to your wardrobe without being over the top.  You can find out more here on their website.


When I asked the crowd on Facebook which was their favorite camera bags the Ephanie range seemed to be the favorite.  These bags are totally unlike a traditional camera bag and have been designed with the modern lady in mind looking like a high end designer purse.  They have such a fab range of colors and styles there is bound to be one to suit you.  In fact you might find yourself needing several, depending on what outfit you are wearing!  Epiphanie bags are available through Amazon or on the Epiphanie website


Kelly Moore 

The Kelly Moore bags have also been designed to look like fashionable purses but with lots of padding inside.  Kelly is a photographer and was frustrated with the lack of choice out there for woman photographers.  Her camera bags rrange from huge full kit travel bags such as the Libby to the more compact 2 Sues which I personally LOVE.  Kelly Moore are also available on Amazon or check out Kelly’s website for lots of videos demonstrating her products.


These bags have been around for a while and although they are differnt to the traditional camera bags ie black canvas with a lot of velcro, they are more traditional in design than some of the bright colors of the Ephanie and Kelly Moore Bags.  They are also very reasonably priced which would make them an affordable gift.  Free shipping available from Amazon


These bags are the winners as far as I’m concerned.  I LOVE  the 3Annnies range of bags which are stylish purses in their own right AND they are made from real leather.  The colors are absolutely stunning and the designs are to die for.  World renowned photographer Sue Bryce is a big fan of these bags and since they are currently a little out of budget for me I’ve asked Santa for one.  You can buy them from the 3Annies Facebook page here


So Santa – I promise I’ve been nice and you know a girl can never have enough shoes or handbags!

What kind of bag do you use?  Are you happy with it?  Let me know in the comments below!



How to Photograph Christmas Lights and Decorations

This is post from last year – just giving it a little bump – ’tis the season ‘n all!

How to photograph christmas lights

I’ve finally got my tree and my decorations up.  I know, I’m super slow but as my daughter’s birthday is in December we try to keep things separate so we don’t decorate for Christmas until her celebrations are through.  This leaves everything a bit rushed so I’m kinda late getting around to trimming the tree and taking pictures of it but hopefully I’m not too late in sharing these tips with you on how to take some beautiful Christmassy pictures of your lights and decorations.

1. Turn off your flash.  That’s right.  Do not use a flash when shooting any kind of Christmas lights or anything that is illuminated for that matter.  Most digital cameras will allow you to turn off the flash by way of a shortcut button on the back of the camera body although you might have to move out of Auto mode into P to manually override your Auto flash.  This will depend on your camera model – dig out that manual if in doubt! How to Photograph Christmas Lights

2. Raise your ISO.  This will make your camera more sensitive to low light and give you a better chance and getting those beautiful sparkly lights.  Again the ISO is usually controlled by a shortcut button on the back of your camera and how you can raise it will depend on your specific model.  I suggest using an ISO rating of 800 to capture indoor Christmas lights.

3. Keep steady.  Because you have turned off your flash, the camera now has to do something to let more light in and in most cameras that’s going to be slow the shutter speed down.  When this happens, any kind of movement or camera shake will blur your image so use a tripod if you have one. If not improvise with a stack of books a table or anything steady to rest your camera on Photographing Christmas Lights


4. If you want to take a picture of your little ones in front of the tree try using the night portrait mode in your cameras scene modes.  You’ll recognize this icon as it has a little image of a person with stars.  This is a combination of a slow shutter speed so that the twinkly lights are correctly exposed and a burst of flash to correctly expose your subject.  It gives a great effect and its one of the only scene modes that I recommend to my students to use.

5.  Get up close.  Fill your frame with lights and close-ups of specific ornaments so that there is no doubt about what you are trying to capture. You may want to switch your camera to Macro mode to allow you to get super close.

Have fun trying to capture that Holiday feeling!

Merry Christmas