Hi, my name is Carol and I'm a bag collector.
Phew, there it's out in the open, my weakness is for bags.
Not shoes or dresses or cars or one of many, many other things I could collect.
I'm not sure when my fascination with bags first started. I wasn't interested in them in high school and I lugged a backpack to work when I first started working. Nothing flash, just a plain old backpack. It kept my stuff dry as I cycled to work. Job done.
I guess the first time I can really remember thinking about bags was when I was looking for a decent camera bag after I bought my first slr. I wasn't happy with the cheaply made bag that came with my camera and I started looking at better quality waterproof bags. Especially Lowepro bags. At that stage back in the late 80's, Lowepro was the only bag type I really knew about and knew I could buy here in New Zealand. I first spotted them mentioned in an American photography magazine. I looked at British Photography magazines too but couldn't find a lot of the brands they mentioned there, over here. Anyway over the years I've owned many different camera bags as my equipment has grown and changed and then shrunk again. (Over the years I've owned a Minolta film camera and large lenses and huge flash unit and correspondingly large bag. Then a couple of Canon dslrs and lenses plus a large backpack and then I downsized drastically to a Canon G11 that could nearly fit in my pocket, while I saved up for the gear I now have. My Olympus OMD EM5 and lenses that I carry in a Golla Riley Pro shoulder bag. A much smaller and lighter kit than my Minolta and Canon gear.)
Over those years I tried out numerous backpacks for my heavier gear and since buying my Olympus gear in 2014 I've tried out 3 or 4 shoulder bags too. I have to say here, that I think most photographers are on the lookout for the perfect bag but I don't think it exists. The perfect bag is really a couple of bags. One larger one to fit all your gear in when you need it and one smaller one to carry only what you need when you need to travel light. The one perfect bag is a myth. Which is a shame really. (I really like Hermione's bag in Harry Potter. Could carry everything including the kitchen sink and still be light to carry. I think that could almost be the perfect bag.)
Somewhere during that time I started to get interested in other shoulder bags. Not purely women's handbags per se but a mixture of messenger bags, handbags, cross-over camera bags and bags for your electronic devices.
I must say here that I've never been interested in designer or high-end handbags. They clash with my hiking boots and I find them a bit gaudy and sparkly for the places I like to hang out. Most birds would be scared off by shiny sparkly bits on a bag except perhaps the Magpies and after having been dive-bombed by a nesting Magpie in the past, I'm not too keen to attract them.
Anyway, that brings me to my current collection of bags which I had stashed in my wardrobe. I pulled them all out to go through them and donated three handbags to the local Hospice shop. This has left me with five bags left. One handbag, one colorful bag my sister brought me back from Thailand and three messenger type bags. I didn't really want to stash them all back in the wardrobe and I was sick of shifting my currently used bag around the house as it didn't have a set home. So I came up with the idea of hanging my current bag on the wall where I could easily get it when needed. Then I put the handbag I wasn't using in the larger messenger bag along with a smaller messenger bag and hung that and my Thai bag on the wall too. (see the picture above) (My current passion is for army style canvas bags. Soft and moldable to your body whilst being tough and hard wearing.)
I've found the bags on the wall have added a bit of color to my bedroom whilst also adding some extra storage space. (Storage space is sadly lacking in our home. No hallway cupboards and no linen cupboard either so any small places I can add storage is good.)
So what do you think? Do you have some bags or baskets tucked away in a cupboard that might look good displayed and provide some extra storage?