Female Photographers: How to Choose the Right Camera Bag

I have to be honest with you. When I first got into photography, my biggest concern was not knowing how to use manual mode or booking clients: it was the fact that I couldn’t find any good-looking camera bags.

All the bags that I could find were massive, masculine, or looked like I was ready to go on a expedition through the alps (wish I was).

While there is definitely a time and place for those kinds of camera bags, I was simply in the search for camera bags that were functional, easy-to-carry, and something that could look cute as I brought it along with me every day.

As I continued my search, I narrowed it down to features I needed in the bag, which then later on helped me find the bag I was looking for. 

What To Look For In A Camera Bag 

When looking for a camera bag, it can quickly become overwhelming because every company is showing off all of these “must-need” features they have in their bags. Honestly, while some of these features may be cool, they’re not necessary.

Here are some features that you need to make sure you’re looking for, because they are completely necessary for your needs. 


I have no upper-body strength, so it was super important for me to find a bag that properly distributed the weight of my equipment. For me, that usually means a backpack, especially if I’m going to be on my feet for long periods of time.

Along these same lines, padding is essential. You’d be surprised to see how many camera bags don’t have any sort of padding to make their straps more comfortable. 

Water Repellent Materials

You don’t want rain to be a reason why you can’t shoot. There will be times where you have to shoot in the rain whether you like it or not. That’s why having a bag made out of waterproof materials is important. Make sure it specifically says in the product description that it is waterproof. 

You Might Need More Than One

Depending on what you photograph and how wide your niche is, you may need a different kind of camera bag depending on the situation. Some situations may call for a more durable bag and some situations may call for a cute tote bag. Being open to having more than one bag may open up some of your choices and options. 

Places For Your Equipment

It’s important to be cognizant of the equipment you use during every shoot. You should find a bag that has a place to house all of that equipment. The last thing you want is to have to lug around a tripod because your bag doesn’t have a place for it.

Do you use a tripod during every shoot? Do you need a place for your laptop? How many lenses do you need?

Map out what equipment you want to put in your bag and make sure the bag you’re looking at is actually going to do its job. 

Best Camera Bags For You

After searching and searching for camera bags that are both fashionable and useful, I’ve come up with a list of bags that are perfect for you. 

Ona Bags

Ona Bags make consistently stylish, yet functional camera bags. Just looking at them, you would just think that they’re super cute tote bags that you want to carry around everywhere. But, surprise! They’re actually super-well made camera bags, that you will still want to carry around everywhere.

Many of their bags are made out of Italian-tanned leather that is actually waterproof. The inside is padded and holds different compartments for different pieces of camera equipment such as a camera bodies and lenses.

Ona offers a wide variety of styles including backpacks, messenger bags, and shoulder bags. While some styles are clearly made with female-fashion in mind, there are also more gender-neutral bags as well. 

The Leather Bond Street $219.00
The Ona X Passion Passport Bowery $189.00

Peak Design

This is the camera bag that I am currently using. I have been using their Everyday Backpack bag for a couple of years now for the majority of my shoots. They have multiple different designs, but each of them is very intelligently designed and I am always amazed by how much stuff I can fit into this backpack.

There are three FlexFold Dividers that you can reconfigure into different ways to help fit and perfectly pad all of your equipment.

I currently house two camera bodies, an extra lens, my computer, all of my batteries along with chargers, and extra memory cards in it. There’s also space for more. I just went on a trip and was able to put in an extra change of clothes in this backpack as well, along with much-needed airplane snacks. It’s pretty versatile to your needs.

Admittedly, it’s not as cute or as fashionable as the Ona bags. It’s made out of a nylon canvas (which is waterproof) which makes for a more utilitarian look. 

Everyday Backpack $259.95 - $289.95
Colors: Black, Charcoal, Ash & Tan

Kelly Moore Bag

Made in collaboration with the blogging duo, A Beautiful Mess, this Kelly Moore bag is absolutely adorable. It’s designed as a transformable bag and comes in a variety of cute colors including blush (I can’t get over how cute this one is) and gold.

It can be carried in a variety of different ways including a backpack, satchel, and cross-body. As someone who doesn’t have the strongest back, this is so important to be able to switch when necessary.

Inside, there are three different compartments for you to put your camera equipment and other necessary items. There is also a pocket for your laptop or tablet.

Another added bonus to this bag is that it is completely vegan and completely waterproof. 

A Beautiful Mess - Vegan Satchel Backpack $229.00
Colors: Blush, Tan, Black & Gold

Finding a cute and functional camera bag doesn’t have to be hard. Have you used any of these bags? Do you know of any other ones that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below. 

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