Finding the right camera bag for street photography is a very subjective choice. Some street photographers will prefer to travel light, heading out on the streets with just one camera and one lens in hand and a spare battery or memory card, whilst others will opt to carry the proverbial kitchen sink with them when out shooting – multiple cameras, lenses, flashes – the works. Personally I’ve always shied away from using a backpack for street photography as they have traditionally appeared a little overkill – hulking great black monstrosities festooned with zips, buckles and compartments that absolutely scream “I’m a camera nerd!”. Packed and bursting to the gunwales with a bit of camera gear for any eventuality, such backpacks for me epitomise the excesses of gear acquisition syndrome, and are exactly not what the street photographer needs. Plus I’ve harboured a somewhat irrational dislike for wearing backpacks ever since reading one of those dreadful style-magazine type articles which said a grown man should never be seen wearing a backpack – something about them making the wearer look like an overgrown schoolboy together with their excessively utilitarian appearance, which has also stuck with me.
As a result, I’ve always preferred the single strapped messenger bag style (practicality and back pain be damned!). For my street photography camera bag needs over the last few years I’ve been relying on the Lowepro Event Messenger 250 (with space for laptop and several cameras or lenses if I want them), or if travelling lighter, the nifty Cosyspeed Camslinger Streetomatic. But, things are changing. Backpacks are getting trendy – or at least it appears that way judging by the sheer number of Fjällräven Kånken backpacks I see being worn by students from my local art school. So, I figured it was time I put my initial misgivings aside and try a camera backpack for street photography. Something that looked more ‘casual street’ than Terminator-style uber photo machine. Enter the K&F Concept camera backpack.