Girls On Film - What's In Your Camera Bag?

When I empty out my handbag, I'm much more likely to see discarded film canisters and pieces of lens tissue tumble out than I am lost lipstick tubes and old receipts. With a huge collection of vintage camera bags moonlighting as regular carry alls, their cavernous segments are perfect for hiding and holding all of my everyday junk.

For a vintage loving, self confessed photo geek, those slightly battered, hard cased cases from the 60s and 70s are the stuff of dreams. If you shop smart, they needn't cost a fortune and are perfect whether you're using a compact such as the Lumix Super Zoom cameras or a SLR camera with a range of lenses.

Both the cine film (left) and camera bag (right) were found on a camera stall in Camden Stables Market at different times, and have been companions at my side ever since. Both were priced around the £6 mark as the owner gets them cheap when importing cameras, and isn't selling to an inflated vintage clothing market. eBay is also wonderful for camera bag bargains (vintage, or otherwise!) with lots of great deals scored in the last few seconds of an auction. My favourite vintage Sacar box bag was a lucky eBay find - almost perfect condition and a fraction of it's worth despite being as old as I am!

Aside from the usual stuff you can find at the bottom of any handbag, mine is at times an Aladdin's cave of photographic accessories. Spare batteries for flash guns, lens tissue, elastic bands and the ever important emergency vinyl tape. I think I probably have a roll of tape in every camera bag I own. Being black, it's perfect for stopping light leaks when shooting with film, essential for taping down flapping backdrop paper and even great for running across clothing to pick up dust and fluff.
When seeking to obtain inexpensive camera and film stock, I've always found 7 Day Shop to be ultra reliable. They are my go-to place for memory cards, and always offer cheaper prices when bulk buying 35mm film. Handy if you're the sort of person who like me, often has a fridge stocked with more film than food!

The most important thing when getting ready for any shoot can't be stuffed into you camera kit, and that's preparation. I always pack the night before and make sure I include things to counter the bigger potential problems. Spare batteries, extension leads and more memory than you could ever possibly shoot in a day get packed in with my lights and lenses. Over the years I've also learnt to include small snacks such as nuts and cereal bars for when the shoot runs over and food is but a distant memory.

Whether you're a seasoned professional, an intrigued hobbyist or someone just starting out, photography is a fun and wonderful way to show the world your (quite literal) point of view. I'm currently in the final stages of putting together a new portfolio website, so will be sure to link it here once it's live.

Until next time,

(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos unless otherwise stated. Please do not reproduce without written permission.)


  1. I really wish I had stuck to photography I love taking photographs but you lady are way better at it than I xx

    1. Aww, you are so sweet! :) Nothing to stop you picking up that camera again, and I am always happy to give advice. ;) xx

  2. haha mine is very much the same! I collect film cameras and have a display of them in my kitchen on those Ikea cubes :)


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