Finding a photography bag that actually caters to a professional (or a very serious enthusiast) has been no easy feat. It seems even the best of them fall short in one area or another. Fortunately, Hawkesmill, a new company founded by pro photog Taylor Young, has just launched its commanding and impressive line of handmade bags.
Young, an American residing and working in England, was tired of bags that were missing one or (usually) more essentials that he felt were required to provide what could be termed as the ultimate bag to both carry and protect his equipment. He set out to produce what a pro really needs. He has definitely hit the mark, with several options available.
Renowned portraiture photographer Felix Kunze was fortunate to acquire one prior to the official launch. Here is what he said about his bag on Instagram: “Needless to say, it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with this baby. I could go on and on about all the details in the water resistant fabric, the perfect design, fast access, security and wonderful craftsmanship, etc, etc. But then you’d just want one.” His bag is the Hawkesmill Jermyn Street Large Messenger, a deep olive triple layer waterproof canvas with a Lovat Harris Tweed flap, shown above (photo courtesy of Hawkesmill England).
Let us take a closer look at the design and materials, which definitely set these bags far apart from the rest of the pack. As a note, they are all hand crafted in England. The canvas is made in Scotland while the tweeds are woven there.
There are bags, such as the Sloane Street Large (pictured above), with black triple layer waterproof canvas and a charcoal Harris Tweed flap, featuring Italian leather straps and accents. As well, there is the Marlborough Large (below) featuring 18oz Superdry canvas and flap. Images that follow are all courtesy of Hawkesmill England and Taylor Young Photography.
Refinements. Many high-end bags do not have detachable straps. Pity. All Hawkesmill bags come with a rugged and stylish adjustable military-grade webbing strap, with a cushioned shoulder pad, that detaches with ease. The straps have custom branded nickel trigger hooks with rotating rings. So, if you detach the strap what is left? A nicely cushioned and very comfortable hand strap that is securely riveted to a steel bar, running the entire length of the flap. Rivets are used at all stress points, including the turn lock and the front and shoulder straps.
Inside, there is a removable insert with room to fit up to a 15″ MacBook along with your needed gear. Depending on what you decide to tote there are removable Velcro dividers that can be repositioned virtually anywhere. The insert cradles your precious camera gear and may be removed in the event you decide to utilize it as just an exceptional messenger bag. I can comfortably stow the following in my Sloane Street Large: Nikon D7100 w/Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 attached; SB-600 SpeedLight in soft case; Nikon D7000 w/Nikkor 70-200 f/4 attached; 2nd SB-600 Speedlight in soft case; Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 in soft pouch; Apple iPad 2 w/Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard.
The back features a flap with a snap containing a removable portfolio organizer, perfect for memory and business cards, passports, and other smaller items.
For security while on the move or traveling, the nickel and leather buckle system provides peace of mind that your gear will not accidentally fall out. While on site, the center Italian turn lock can be used for one hand entry while wearing the bag or when it needs to be moved a short distance during your photo shoot. There are custom branded nickel feet on the bottom to protect the bag from the elements, which are replaceable when worn. The overall dimensions are 15.7″ wide x 11″ high x 5″ deep (39.88cm x 27.94cm x 12.7cm).
The attention to detail is simply phenomenal. For instance, the gusset folds into the flap, thereby stopping water and dust from entering the bag.
Suffice it to say that no other bag on the market combines all of the precision, features, quality materials and workmanship that make Hawkesmill the absolute tour de force within the photographer’s messenger bag market. And, when one couples the above with a lifetime warranty against defects you just cannot lose.
If you are serious about quality accessories, you may want to check out the camera straps offered by Hawkesmill. They are crafted with Horween Chromexcel leather and come in either brown or black and for Nikon mount (the Westminster) or Canon mount (the Borough).
They may seem a bit pricey. However, if it lasts for a lifetime of capturing images, and could possibly even be passed down to the next gen photographer in the family, the annual cost is almost nil.
All of the above, and more, may be seen and ordered at Hawkesmill.
Over For Now.
Main Street One