In your bag 930, Cassandra Silva
Cassandra shares her fine art bag with us today. Packed to the brim with all sorts of goodies too. Check it out.

I’m Cassandra, 27, born a Native in Hawaii, lived in Oregon and Chicago, Illinois, currently staying with my mother at my late grandmother’s estate in Arkansas, and relocating to the gulf side of Florida, all in that order.

In my extreme boredom I stumbled across your website (not that I’m saying I was desperate to read anything that popped up in a Google search, but the fact I’m desperately bored in AR). I can’t tell you how much JCH has kept me entertained for hours at the local library (internet is simply not offered in the “Back of Dodge”).

I’ve decided going through the “What’s in Your Bag” articles is better than a fashion mag featuring the autumn/winter collections and like a voyeur, I just can’t stop at looking after one. Confession: I feel like the “creeper from afar” signing in to local library wifi only to go through bag after bag without the owner knowing it.

I’ll admit it.  I like going through everyone’s camera bag more than I like reading DailyMail’s gossip section.

Then I got to thinking about my own bag and what people would think and if they’d respond.  So, I’ve decided to join in the fun and open up my own bag, as it only seems fair.  But I do warn you, there’s a lot of explaining but all for good reasons.

First, I’d like to state my bag: ThinkTank. Like a girl’s “Little Black Dress” this bag is my LBB: Little Black Bag. No idea what size or model it is, but it’s the one that is small enough to tote around yet big enough to hold all my “essentials.”  A typical day starts off “exploring” so it needs to be rugged and waterproof, functional for work shoots, sporty and urban to go into town and not scream “CAMERA BAG!” but be sleek’n’chic enough to end the day with me at a wine bar (YES, there IS a wine bar in the “back of dodge’).

Keepin’ it simple with:

EQUIPMENT: Nikon D700 + AF-S NIKKOR 24-70 + Nikon MB-D10 battery pack  w/UV filter

Nikon F3 + 1.8 50mm  w/UV filter + IR720 filter

Polaroid SX-70 Alpha 1 w/original leather bag + Polaroid Accessory holder + close-up lens (full set of accessories stays at home but have come out to play)

Film (as of today): Fuji Superia, Ilford SFX200, IP Color: Gold Frame Edition & IP B&W: Black Frame Edition with rolls of AMAZING CineStill Film on the way!

ESSENTIALS: *el cheapo paper booklet tabby thing to write down reminders and little notes because I’m convinced Siri has quit me

*various packages of Kleenex because I have severe allergies to mold and wheat

*amazing outdoor allergy drugs I purchased in Denmark

*more amazing headache tablets from Denmark

*rose water spray (hydrates and freshens face)

*ebony hair stick my BFF’s dad hand carved for me

*strawberry protein meal bars to curb “hangry” incidents-that’s American for “so hungry you get angry” (shown with wrapper because I got hungry while writing this. But not angry.)

*HURRAW lip balm: Earl Grey flavor for all day tea time and it’s vegan (but I’m not)

*Eel skin wallet in my favorite color, red

*fat book to read (right now it’s Game of Thrones series)

*champagne 64GB unlocked iPhone 5s (they were out of the 32GB ones that day) for directions for I often end up someplace else than where I started and I need constant weather updates

I do have to point out that this bag is HEAVY but I cannot and simply will NOT part with any of my cameras, each for it’s sentimental reason:

Nikon D700 acquired right after my beloved grandfather passed away in Hawaii.  My grandmother and I flew specifically to Honululu just to get the camera because the shop on Maui refused to ship it from Honululu to Maui even though it was the same damn shop!!!  So there I was, in Honululu just to go to CameraHaus- the SAME shop you featured in your “Hawaii Camera Hunter” article.  Jeff even sold me the camera and apologized for the inconvenience but didn’t pick up our plane ticket tab, sadly.  My grandparents meant the world to me and since then, my grandmother has passed away so this camera is a momento of that crazy (and expensive) trip.

The SX-70 Alpha 1 was an eBay acquisition (I love me some eBay) one miserable winter snowstorm-y Chicago night.  I already had an SX-70 but I have to have “evens.”  I found out there were Alpha 1’s and 2’s and gold ones too so as the weather got worse, the more I played on the internet until I bid the damn thing up beyond my comfort zone.  A few days after my win, I received a message from the seller informing me she would soon ship it.  Turns out the camera belonged to the woman’s late husband who LOVED this camera and never wanted to part with it.  She said she had to sell it as part of his estate because she needed the money to help pay for his last expenses.  I admit I did get a bit emotional. I wrote her back that I was a student and really just loved taking film and that I had purchased the camera with intentions to keep it.  I told her I would think of his story when I used it.  To this day, I still do.

Finally, the Nikon F3 was a recent addition to my collection.  It came from my art collector Great Uncle Jerry who purchased it back when it first came out for a trip to Alaska with my aunt back in the 80’s.  He said he didn’t need it and gave it to me a few weeks ago.  It came with a kick-ass vintage ZERO Halliburton case with ALL the possible goodies too.  I loaded the camera with some color film just to test it out and never made it out of the bag.

Thanks so much for reading my email and if you got this far, congrats for enduring my ramblings!


PS, I’m really an independent fine art photographer and I’ve done work for fashion magazines and stuff, but mostly I photograph for other artists-much of my work is done for musicians in the prog rock world.  During the fall I’m a photography student in Chicagoland.  So far I’m lucky that I’m getting work in what I want to do, but I still believe strongly in the need to get a formal education.  I pay cash as I go so it’s taking me extra long time to finish and due to work, I can only attend fall classes.  One day, I hope to afford a new Leica M9 in super shiny silver so I can sparkle too.

Thanks for sharing your bag with us Cassandra. I hope you get your M9 (or and M6, hehe).
Make sure you come and comment, as there are no links (oops).

Keep them coming folks, we need more submissions, so get your bag on Send me a hi resolution image of the bag (please make sure it is horizontal) and its contents, with some details about yourself and what you shoot. Oh and don’t forget your contact details (twitter, flickr, tumbler et al). Send the bag shots here. Please understand that there is a long wait now as there is a backlog of submissions. Not all make the cut, so make sure yours is funny/interesting/quirky. And please make sure the shot is of good quality, as the ones that are not do not go up.