Saturday, March 5, 2011
I almost want to keep this one all to myself. But it's too awesome to keep a secret! I just stumbled onto this new little business, Porteen Gear, who makes 'design-your-own' custom Camera Bags. And these things are amazing, and Beautiful! And I really, really want one, so bad!
Ms. Porteen hand makes each one for you in 2-3 weeks. You get to choose the leather panels, the color of the waxed canvas shell, the strap color, the interior canvas color (this is where you get to add a real pop of color!), and the unique fabric pattern that gives your bag its own individual style!
They really are perfect! Heavy duty materials, quality craftsmanship, great storage, and style. I love that it's made perfectly to fit a DSLR snugly, plus 2 detached lenses, or a flash. (Looks like it would fit our Canon 7D just right, since she shows hers with a 5D inside!)
It's got great front pockets for lens caps, a pen, and an iPhone; and a great big easy-access front zipper pouch. There's another perfect Velcro interior pouch that fits an iPad, with foam padding between it and the exterior shell. Oh and there's the handy foam padding walls that fit inside to protect your lenses & camera body, and they move or come out to customize the storage space/shape inside.
The whole design is just so perfectly utilitarian, and beautiful! I sure want to carry it around! It's also really practical, because any photographer that travels knows that thieves know what camera bags look like, and we usually have to cover up the camera brand on the neck strap or not use it at all, to keep from making it more attractive and easy to spot as something worth snatching. So these pretty bags help conceal what's inside making it less of a target.
She even offers other fun useful stuff, like Gift Certificates, and these wrist straps so you don't have to worry about dropping the camera (I use an annoying less cool version on my tiny point-n-shoot, so this would be a great idea for something like our 7D).
And Porteen Gear will also be offering equally-stylish full camera straps (which also solves that aforementioned problem of advertising your high-end camera brand to the world). Judging by her preview photo, they're gonna be really cool.
You can visit her web site/blog for all the details and customizable options. But you order the actual product through her Etsy* shop, where she sets up your custom item to order. Her shop also offers the Gift Certificates that include the shipping amount so the recipient doesn't have to worry about a penny!
The other little extras include- the fact that she sends you a FREE cute little zipper pouch for passports, or whatever, with every bag, and apparently she does a really lovely job with the presentation; gift-wrapping them for no charge, too!
Okay, so I might have gotten a little carried away, and sounding like I was paid for this endorsement or something (I wasn't); I haven't even touched one yet. But you know when you just find a great product, and get really excited about it? You gotta share! And so I am; incase one of you is lucky enough to get one, so that I may then live vicariously through you, until it's my turn ;)
Oh! And even if you don't order any of the products, she's a got a pretty useful blog there too, sharing traveling and photography tips & tidbits along the way. I already learned something useful with her advice on keeping these forms in your new bag when traveling abroad, so that you won't have to be stuck paying reentry fees for your gear that was already bought in the US.
Alright, so that was my PSA/wishlist post of the day.
Happy March, by the way!
*Oh yeah, and if you've never heard of, or visited, Etsy.com....you're missing out. It's a site for small online businesses to solely sell their hand-made goods. Each Etsy shop offers something amazing from handmade jewelry, clothes, paper goods & stationery, to all kinds of art, and useful tools & trinkets! It's like a giant arts & crafts bazaar or cool online boutique mall. If for nothing else visit their shop-by-color page and scroll around on all the colored bubble dots!
PS- (sorry it keeps getting longer) Porteen Gear also has a new smaller bag design that features a nifty circle pattern on the lid. Check it out here too (Though I'm still a fan of the big, original bag).