I have been into photography for the last ten years, but over the past five years, my photography journey has exploded from hobby to driving passion.
This passion has morphed in terms of the type of photography that interests me. Initially, my interest was in landscape and travel photography. I loved to capture the majestic scenes or remote locations and people. Now I also love documentary family photography and portrait work.
About eight years ago I was travelling through Vietnam with my girlfriend (now my wife). This adventure was an experience of a lifetime. We travelled from North to South Vietnam stopping at the main cities but also more remote locations. The wealth of subjects to photograph was almost a full-time task.
Why did I design a camera bag?
Over the years while travelling more of SE Asia my camera gear grew; bigger cameras and more lenses. To the point where I had the challenge of deciding what to bring or just accept lugging around a ton of weight. Now like most I can find it hard to travel without that large must have lens. You never know what you might need.
My biggest challenge was that I often needed everything when going overseas but not on every day of the trip. This is where I saw a need for two different types of bags, a day bag and a camera luggage bag. Could there be a versatile bag that could be both?
The driving force
After arriving home from a trip to Thailand I started to research into camera bags to find a better solution. Most camera bags were a single purpose to take everything on a journey. For me, this meant I would be carrying a bulky bag every day with laptop compartments and general storage. Why couldn’t there be one bag that scaled and I could remove features when not needed.
I decided to design my own camera bag to meet my core needs. My design was for a padded camera case that could be carried inside my normal bag which might contain a laptop, clothes etc I needed on my travels. Then design a sleek day bag that would specifically hold just my camera case for a lightweight solution.
It isn’t so easy…
While designing this bag I started researching into how to manufacture bags, this opened up a world of new challenges. It was a daunting period as I had never created anything like this before and I was risking it with my own money and money I borrowed. I needed to learn a lot and quickly.
What is the process of material product design and manufacturing?
How do you ship products efficiently?
Where and how do we sell the bags?
At times I hesitated with all the risks but I knew if I built a product I’d use then I knew others would like it too. I kept working away on my main job to fund all the materials labour and other business costs. After a number of months, I found a highly experienced factory to bring to life my ideas.
When we push through we can find successIt was a nine month process of improving samples to meet my high standards before we had the product we use today. This design process had the usual fraught moments of quality control, measurement discrepancies and costs that come with making anything at scale. But now we had a final product we could ramp up production for launch.
This was how the Agile Messenger was born. It is one of the worlds lightest camera bags, providing a spacious and durable bag for your essential everyday camera gear.
I use my Agile Messenger to bring my camera with me every day and never miss a potential portfolio shot. But it also has me covered when travelling overseas with other equipment by packing it inside a larger carry on bag. The padded case protects my camera and lenses while the messenger bag collapses to take up minimal room in a larger travel bag. This is a new level of flexibility and freedom I now have.
This is not the end of my product journey, as there are many more ideas and solutions we want to pursue. Stay tuned…
If you want to learn more please check out our bags at PocaDesigns.com