If my bag could talk, it would ask, “What is it about reality that you’re so attached to?” I’ve spent the last few weeks traveling across Asia and Europe studying different forms of Buddhism, trying to answer this question.
I became obsessed with photography the minute someone put a camera in my hands. There’s just something about wandering around the world, making observations, then documenting what I see that ignites my soul. That’s, however, where the struggle lies for me. When speaking of photography, I use the word document instead of capture because moments are not beasts that need to be wrangled. After embracing the Buddhist way, I can see now how moments are fleeting butterflies that drift in and out of our existence, an impermanent essence by their very nature. Yet, I also see my desire to keep the past in the present through photography. I’ve reasoned that perhaps creative expression is really about celebrating the frailness of our reality and being with it for as long as we can be. When the camera is before me, I’m not anywhere else except right there — not in the past, not in the future, just there — which I think is the truest form of living.
Through it all, I could say that my Lowepro bags have carried my gear around the world, but really I feel more like they have carried me. Ten years ago, when I began my path as a travel photographer I started using the SlingShot 102 AW, and I still love this bag. In times when so much in my life has been in flux, she’s been my one constant. She’s stuck with me on adventures through one of the deepest canyons in the world in Peru, across the sand dunes of the Middle East, and through a monsoonal downpour in the Costa Rican jungle. With just a few essentials, I’d slide my camera, a lens, and a backup hard drive into the bag along with my wallet and passport, then off we’d go.
Finally, I retired her this year after traveling thousands of miles, and I think she must be grateful to relax. Her new sister the FreeLine BP 350 AW is equally as special. When I began vlogging, I needed a larger pack to handle my expanding kit, which now includes not just photography gear but also equipment for video creation as well.
Its CradleFit laptop pocket holds and protects my computer, so I no longer have to struggle with uncomfortably cramming it into my carry-on suitcase. The FreeLine’s three-tier divider system and dual side access allow me to easily separate my vlogging and photography tools into different sections, so I never miss a moment while on the road. I still haven’t taken her into the jungle yet to road test its water-resistant high-grade Nylon exterior, but as I continue my journey through Europe winter is coming, as are the rain and snow.
As I continue to both document this beautiful world and question the nature of our existence, I’m happy to carry a versatile bag that allows me to continue focusing on the big picture
The gear you will find in Megan’s bag…
Canon 5D Mark III
Canon M6 (vlogging camera)
Canon EF-M 15 – 45mm f/3.5 – 6.3 lens
Canon 24 -105 mm f/4L lens
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 fixed lens
Manfrotto Befree Travel Tripod
Manfrotto MVMXPro500 Xpro Monopod
Joby GorillaPod 1K Kit
DJI Mavic Air