I recently (and finally!) got a DSLR camera, something that has been on my wish list for years. To say that I am excited about my new purchase would be the understatement of the century. Although, now that I have it, I am pretty dang intimidated by all of its settings. It takes stunning photos on auto-mode, but I bought it hoping to learn how to take beautiful photos manually. Hopefully, I’ll get to that point sooner rather than later!

This long-awaited purchase not only means a new hobby for me, but also means gorgeous photos for the blog. Confession: thus far I’ve been using photos taken from my mom’s camera, which she graciously allowed me to borrow for a couple of weeks, and my iPhone. Yes, my iPhone. I can’t wait to step it up a notch in the photo department!

The reason that it took me so long to make this purchase is that I wanted to invest in high-quality equipment. To many that probably means the body and lens alone. However, I probably put as much research into the accessories as I did the key items – specifically, a bag and a strap.

First, can we talk about how ugly most camera bags are? How people can invest so much money into quality camera bodies and lenses and carry them around in those hideous things is beyond my comprehension. So, if you’re in the market for a camera bag that is attractive, well-made, and functional, look no further! I scoured the internet for hours searching for camera bags that I’d be proud to incorporate into my everyday attire. Even better, despite their appearance, they are bags made specifically for cameras. Between being made with sturdy genuine leather and having protective inserts with adjustable dividers, these bags are worth the splurge.

For now, I went with the insert pictured in photo #9. I am currently way too indecisive about which splurge-worthy camera bag I want. Also, I absolutely love how it fits into most regular bags that I already have. When I’m in the mood to venture out and snap some photos, all I have to do is throw it in the bag that I’m already using that day.

1. Isaac Mizrahi – The Liz // 2. ONA – The Chelsea // 3. Jill-E – Juliette // 4. Kelly Moore – Songbird // 5. Timbuk2 – Snoop // 6. Etsy – ionnoi // 7. Jo Totes – Siena // 8. Etsy – MagnusLeather // 9. ONA – The Roma // 10. ONA – The Palma // 11. F-stop – Smoky Mountain, Millar Series // 12. Epiphanie – Charlotte

My search for the perfect camera strap was much simpler. It started on Etsy and ended on Etsy. There are tons of options, but when I discovered that I could order a custom, personalized camera strap from viveo, I was sold. The price for the quality of leather and craftsmanship is insane!