What’s in the Bag?  Gearist and photographer Gretchen shows us her choice day pack and what she stuffs in it.

THE BAG

Depending on the adventure I choose either my Lowepro Fastpack BP 250 AW II or LowePro Photo Sport II 300AW. The Fastpack for travel, school, work and the Photo Sport for outdoor adventures. The two(of many) reasons both of these bags rock so much are 1) That they carry heavy loads well without putting too much strain on my neck and back, and 2) that they can carry a DSLR with 24-70mm lens attached that can be accessed from a side compartment while leaving one strap securely over my shoulder.  Before using either of these bags from Lowepro I had never experienced a side access pack, and let me tell you, it was pretty life-altering.  Once you try it, I guarantee you won’t be able to go back – and chances are you will miss fewer shots by not having to rummage through layers of padded pack ever again.  Both of these packs also have plenty of other pockets for accessories, extra layers, and each have a water bottle pocket on the opposite side of the camera opening.  The Fastpack has a side-access compartment for up to a 15″ laptop and the Photo Sport II has a sleeve for a water reservoir. [SHOP LOWEPRO PHOTOGRAPHY BAGS ON AMAZON]

STRAPS

TAP AND DYE STRAP

A high quality leather strap is a necessity for every photographer’s arsenal.  Durable, lightweight, and flexible are the characteristics I look Tap and Dye Strap | Gearistfor in a good leather strap, and I am happy to say that the Tap & Dye Legacy fixed length neck/shoulder strap more than fit the bill.  I choose this strap when I am shooting with a single camera body and want something that is durable and can withstand the elements but still looks super classy. [SHOP TAP AND DYE]

OYO STRAP

Topo Designs Camera Strap | GearistThis heavy duty climbing rope strap sold by TOPO Designs is made in Colorado and perfect for adventure photography.   It is durable, lightweight, available in four colors, perfect for any photographer who spends lots of time in the outdoors.  I love how this strap rolls up and fits around my camera for easy stowing, is super friendly with the elements whether rain, snow, sweat and the durability can’t be beat.  Also prepare yourself for compliments galore, this strap doesn’t cease to impress my friends. [SHOP TOPO DESIGNS]

HOLDFAST HARNESS

Any photographer who has ever tried to shoot with two camera bodies on two different straps for any extended period of time knows theHOLDFAST HARNESS | Gearist frustrations that comes from getting straps tangled around your neck and not being able to pull the right camera up to your face when the straps overlap in the wrong direction. When I think camera harness, my first thought does not lead me to the classy design of the Holdfast Moneymaker Harness, but rather to something far more bulky and unattractive. Wedding, sports, and event photographers rejoice- this harness not only is the most effective piece of equipment for nullifying the two-tangled-strap problem, it also makes you look sharp in the process. [SHOP HOLDFAST ON AMAZON]

ORGANIZATION

SEA BAGS WRISTLET

SEA BAGS WRISTLET | GearistMade from recycled sails on the working waterfront in Portland, Maine USA, this wristlet is durable, and sustainable. Measuring 5″x8″ this bag is perfect to wear the comfy cord around your wrist, or use the pouch as a clutch or change purse inside a larger bag. I use it to stash my phone, keys, cards, and a granola bar and clip it to myself on long shoots and then use it as a small purse to go out with friends after a long day shooting. The wristlet comes in a variety of colors and prints and makes a great gift for any lady on your list( whether she’s a photog or not). [SHOP SEA BAGS]

HOLDFAST WALLET

This is the mother of all wallets for photographers.  It has a sleek leather and canvas outer with a heavy duty metal zipper and a clip toHOLDFAST WALLET | Gearist attach it to your moneymaker harness, belt loop of your pants or strap of your camera bag.  There is a large pocket on the outside that fits most small smartphones, and plenty of little pockets on the inside to fit all of the essentials: passport, credit cards, business cards, and a dozen SD or CF cards. This wallet is a bit too heavy for me to use on a daily basis, but it comes with me every time I go on a shoot, or travel out of state.  I love the clear card slots – they make it so much easier for me to stay organized on the go! [SHOP HOLDFAST ON AMAZON]

LONG DAY SHOOTS

SKIDA BANDANA

SKIDA BANDANA | GearistWhen shooting in the cold I really like to stay as toasty as possible while not looking like the michelin man.  One of my go – to accessories is one (of my half dozen) Skida Bandanas.  This neckpiece has the classic bandana shape with velcro attachment in the back. The bandana has a printed cotton outer with super soft micro-fleece lining to keep your face and neck warm.  The best part is that these bandanas come in more than a dozen fun prints, so you can find the perfect one to finish your look whether you are going for a more professional aesthetic or something bright and fun for outdoor photography. [SHOP SKIDA]

GORILLAPOD FOR SMARTPHONES

The mini Gorillapod with smartphone adapter is the best little accessory for anytime you want to snap a group shot with your phone, or GORILLAPOD FOR SMARTPHONES | Gearistget a behind scenes shot of yourself taking photos without lugging around more equipment. It’s lightweight, but sturdy enough for a phone and can be adjusted to hang from a tree branch or attach to a pole.  I recommend making sure that your little bendable tripod legs are secure and have your phone balanced on a sturdy platform as a strong gust of wind may knock it over as it doesn’t weigh much, but given that it only weighs a few ounces, this is a great little accessory to bring along on any photo adventure. [SHOP GORILLAPOD ON AMAZON]

ARC'TERYX RIVET GLOVE

ARC'TERYX RIVET GLOVE | GearistI’ve tested a lot of gloves for cold weather photography and have found that gloves are either one of two things: too bulky to use my camera with or too cold. The Arc’teryx Rivet gloves are both slim and warm, the durable air permeable Polartec Power Stretch fleece with Hardface Technology  fabric makes it possible to shoot outside with temps in the 30’s for quite some time before the elements take over.  A bonus feature of these gloves is that the conductive polyurethane pads on the thumb and index finger improve grip and allow the use of touch screen electronics while wearing the gloves. These gloves are also great for running/xc skiing in the wintertime as well so a very versatile addition to your winter weather collection. [SHOP THE ARC’TERYX RIVET GLOVE AT BACKCOUNTRY]

Gretchen Powers
Gretchen Powers is a Maine based freelance filmmaker and photographer. She specializes is branded content creation and outdoorsy weddings. When she’s not wielding a camera she loves xcskiing, hiking, knitting, drinking tea and exploring with her pup Ella. www.gpowersfilm.com

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