Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Hand-made tote camera bags

A good friend of mine, Chikako, handmade a new tote camera for me. It is wine red. This is it! I'm really excited to use it. It is extremely neat and smart so I'd like to share it with you.

Made of synthetic leather and well sewn together, it is lightweight, sturdy, and water repellent so you can carry it anywhere you go even on rainy days. You can use it as a shoulder bag as well. 

I think I'm a little bit shy. I don't feel like carrying a showy camera bag that stands out or that obviously reveals what's inside. Instead, I want to carry a stylish, lightweight, and versatile one that I can use not only when I go out taking pictures but also when I do shopping or have business meetings. 

I'd been long looking for an ideal camera bag (I usually carry a lot of stuff, including a big camera and lenses), but what I found in stores were traditional ones which looked alike.  

Last spring Chikako made me a black tote camera bag for the first time at my request. This is it! It is also made of synthetic leather. The bag has always been so useful and convenient that I asked her to make me the same bag in a different color.

For the wine red bag light colored floral pattern lining cloth is used while for the black one light colored yellow camera pattern lining cloth is used. The lightness in color helps me to find small items in the bags. If the linings were black and dark, I think it would be harder for me to find small things such as lens caps in them. 
Each bag has five pockets in total inside and outside and five metal rivets are installed on their bottoms to keep them from getting dirty when they are put on the ground. They are also just the right size so when an inner padded bag is needed, it can be inserted smoothly into them. ↓

My cat was very curious about the bag.  

To my surprise and delight, two accessories she crafted, a small pouch for the wine red bag and a smart phone case for the black one are attached to the bags.

I think good hand-made things are suffused with the makers' warmth, thoughtfulness, creativity, and in my case friendship as well that store-bought products can't ever have. These tote camera bags are the only two of their kind in the world. I think I'm so lucky to have such a good friend who is a very talented designer and good at leather work. Thank you so much Chikako! 

Tulip flowers were beautiful on the day when I took pictures of the wine red bag. 


Linda Starr said...

wow, your friend is very creative and quite the seamstress, love the tulips.

Suze said...

I want to send Chikako my compliments on something done with true excellence. The lining on the inside surprised me! It's like a secret.

I am so happy that you are able to carry around your precious cargo in something that feels true to your personality and style, Harumi. I thought the wine was lovely and liked the black even better! But black doesn't always do the trick so it's nice that you now have the option of two exquisitely-crafted camera bags.

What a lovely post. The final blossom images are almost unearthly in their beauty.

la-reverie said...

beautiful, bac and flowers...

Laoch of Chicago said...

It is important for the beloved feline to inspect all new objects!

Jude said...

They are lovely bags. You deserve them the best to store your equipment, as your camera work is so lovely as well as sensitive. I always enjoy looking at your work.

N Buckles said...

I too don't like to carry "camera bag" so instead I usually use sturdy leather bags. Yours is extra special handmade especially by your friend. So lucky... I wonder if she will make me one too? Just a thought...Noriko

Anne said...

Your friend has created these bags thinking of you and her presents are those of her heart, that is why they are perfect. The bags are smart, full of details as useful as pretty and just for you. I send to Chikako my congratulations.
Thank you for the beutiful pictures of tulips. Srping is coming, what a pleasure !

☆sapphire said...


Thank you! "quite the seamstress" Yes. I think she really is!


Thank you so much. I'll be sure to tell your words to her. The bags are so versatile that I can carry them around for everyday use, not only when I take pictures.


Thank you!

Laoch of Chicago

You are so right! I think Naotan already inspected the bag completely.


Welcome to my blog and thank you so much for your kind words.


Oh I wish you were in Japan. I asked her about it. Sorry that she doesn't ship overseas. She always wants to hand what she's made to the person placing the order directly in Tokyo. And thank you for your another comment on "Turner" . Your words are very encouraging!


Thank you so much! I'll be sure to tell your words to her. As you say, the two bags are perfect!!

Hikarino Chou said...

What a beautiful handbag with so many compartments and pockets, it's very practical!
I loved your spring photos too! Your tulips are already in bloom!

Kind regards from Romania,

Brigitta Huegel said...

Dear Sapphire,
both tote camera bags are oh so lovely! I love the wine red and the black one, and they are made with an ingenious inner design (and so beautiful lining!) Of course you are right: bright inside makes it easier to find everything.
Now that you are the proud owner of 2 beautiful+useful+love-lined tote camera bags: can you think it is possible that your friend will make other ones (of course not copies of your originals) to sell them? As you know: my new camera + macro are on the look-out for a fine tote camera bag :-) I am aware that it is a lot of work to do - so, if she does not have the time to do it: couldn't she offer her ideas to Panasonic - I am sure a lot of women will buy it (again: me for sure)

Brigitta Huegel said...

PS: Oh, I see - I always read the comments after I wrote mine: you've already answered that your friend only sells in Tokyo (another fine reason to go there, among many others)to persons she knows (I can understand that - so much precise work to do, and with leather not easy. I know a silversmith who made a beautiful coffee can an ebony handle - and though it was very expensive it was worth much more if he would have counted the hours)
So no need to answer to my request; sorry of having been so unattentive.

Sarah Laurence said...

I would buy one if I lived in Tokyo. Gorgeous and practical!

cosmos said...


stardust said...

チューリップとともに楽しいトートバッグ撮影会でしたね。シックな外見なのに内側のライニングがとても可愛い。便利なポケット付きの軽くて防水のおしゃれなトートバッグ、しかもご友人のハンドメイドとなるとプライスレスですね。うらやましい~! 仕切りのあるインナーケースもサイズがぴったりですね。私は両手をあけておきたく、ペットボトルや折りたたみ傘など荷物が多いのでリュックで出かけますが、おでかけついでに撮影の場合は交換レンズなしでカメラ+レンズのみを普段のバッグに入れていきます。ミラーレス一眼なので小型で軽いので。


☆sapphire said...

Hikarino Chou

Thank you so much. The bags are extremely practical. Some tulips have begun to bloom in March here.


Thank you for reading this post, Britta. Please don't mind!! I posted about the bags because I thought this post might be a little bit helpful to those who are thinking of getting a camera back because most of so-called camera bags look like they are mainly for males. I think females are different from males in physical strength. Generally, women don't like carrying around heavy bags.
As for my friend, she actually doesn't make bags for profit-making business, but her works are always so excellent and special that a lot of people around her constantly ask her to make some handcraft articles such as bags when she is not occupied. Your macro lens!! I'm looking forward to your new photos!!


I think I'm really lucky to have the ones she's made. I'm very clumsy...


コメントありがとうございます。リュック、いいですね!カメラのバッグ類って、なんかいつも男性向けのような感じでしょ? もっといろいろ女性向けをつくってほしいですよね。いいリュックが見つかりますように!


ありがとうございます。奈良の方はみなさん、リュックで本格的ですね! びっくりしました。こちらでも本格的に写真をなさる方は必ずリュックで三脚を持ち、颯爽と撮影されています。

YONKS said...

This is a great camera bag. I carry one that is too big and heavy so would love one of these. Does she have a website?

Linda said...

That is a lovely camera tote! Your flower photos are beautiful.

☆sapphire said...


Thank you for reading this post. I'm glad that you also liked the bags. Her blog is as follows. It is written in Japanese.


These are some of the posts on my wine red bag:




Welcome and thank you so much for your kind words.

sanam arzoo said...

They are charming purses. You are entitled to them the best to store your devices, as your Steadicam perform is so charming as well as delicate. I always enjoy looking at your perform.leather handbags

you-wee because said...

What a great camera bag for a willowy Japanese lady... ;-)
It looks a bit different from mine (I wear a black "slingshot" rucksack from lowepro) but for you in your urban jungle it seems to be perfectly!
Great to have a friend like Chikako! Great piece of artwork!!!
Regards from Germany,

Mrs Black the shoppe keeping cat said...

What a wonderful bag, so beautifully made. All the more precious as it was created for you by a friend. I love all of the detail and little touches. Beautiful.

☆sapphire said...

sanam, YWB, and Mrs. Black

Thank you so much for reading this post and for your kind words!

Sarah marry said...

Fantastic blog! Handbags are really essential for women because they carry their makeup items in that and so many things. The smarts girls and women buy handbags with coupon codes.

Magia da Inês said...

Linda, prática e versátil.
Amei todas as fotos desse post.

Bom fim de semana!
Beijinhos do Brasil.

helen tilston said...

Hello Sapphire

I love the design of your camera bags. You friend Chikako is a professional. Her attention to detail and style put her in the designer's category.
You are indeed very rich to be the sole owner of two highly collectible bags.

Helen xx

you-wee because said...

Thanks a lot for your appreciated comment on my latest post, Sapphire!
I hope you are doing well and you are just to busy to continue blogging. I hope you already had the chance to capture sakura in or around Tokyo.
Take all the time you need to care and look after your family, your job and last but not least - after you before publishing your next post.
All the best from Germany to Japan, Uwe.

shikha chauhan said...

Love this! Really wish to want that gorgeous Bags...

Designer Bags

Elizabeth Jeffer said...

Many compartments in the bags..... I like it

Women Briefcases

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