ONA Bags


Last week I posted a photo on instagram and it led to a few queries and email regarding my new camera bag. You see, when I was at WPPI Conference earlier this year, I was on a mad hunt for a bag I could use for my gear, but I didn’t want it to look distinctly like a camera bag.

Ideally, I wanted something I could travel with (and look like a purse or satchel) and not look like a tourist. It has less to do with appearance and more to do with not wanting to highlight my photo gear…thieves know a good camera when they see one, so I prefer to fly under the radar with a bag that fashionably blends in.

As I walked the WPPI tradeshow floor, a friend suggested I check out ONA Bags. It was the first year the company had a booth, but the minute I saw the leather camera bags from a distance, I was smitten. There were so many cute options I couldn’t decide which bag I wanted…I finally chose the Brooklyn sidebag because it was nice enough to use on a wedding day as a representation of my brand.

I’ve been using the bag for the past few months (and even traveled with it to Malaysia), and it’s been great so far. My favorite aspect of the bag is the quality leather…just by touching it, I knew it was going to age well with time. Here’s an inside peek of how I travel to an engagement session…

It holds a camera body and the 50mm lens, as well as pockets for the 85mm and the 35mm…(yes, these are only lenses I take with me to an engagement session). On a wedding day, I’ll carry my camera and load up to three lenses in it (for a total of four lenses on me at any given time…you can read more about the lenses I carry on a wedding day, CLICK HERE).

Like I mentioned in this post, all my gear is transported in a large backpack, but I carry only the lenses I need on me in a shoulder bag…and this is why I appreciate ONA so much! Stylish, discreet, and protects my gear…love it.

Happy Monday!

**Updated to Add in Response to Questions**
@Shahed: No, I don’t feel tempted to take flash to an engagement session…my sessions are timed around sunset, so given that as my main light source, I’m fine during a shoot! πŸ™‚
@Christian: When I shoot the ring during the engagement session, I make it part of the entire picture, and not the picture itself. I like to use the ring as part of the story-telling, not as a stand alone. The legit ring photos happen on the wedding day (which can be photographed along with the wedding band and the groom’s ring), so that’s when I’ll use the 100mm macro lens.
@Lisa Cunnington: The black dress is from J.Crew and I absolutely lovelovelove shooting in it!
@Mary Veterano: The leather is real leather, so it’s taken a while to break in, but in the few months I’ve had it, the flexibility has improved. It doesn’t lay flat on my body, but the upside is that it stand up when I place it on the floor…it’s a give and take, I suppose! πŸ™‚
@Karena Dixon: Yes, the leather does make it heavier, but when I decided to purchase this bag, I knew I was making an investment…this bag was made for durability, so I was okay knowing there was a tradeoff. πŸ™‚

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  1. Sharon Ku

    July 22nd, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    You should be a bag model! πŸ™‚

  2. amanda

    July 22nd, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    I have the Brooklyn too and I do love it. I just wish it held a little more and I find it surprisingly heavy (like, before I even put gear in there). It is a beautiful bag, though.

  3. Shahed

    July 22nd, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Great post as ever Jasmine! Do you ever get tempted or feel the need to carry a off-camera flashgun set up or video light to an engagement?

  4. Christian

    July 22nd, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Jasmine! Thank you so much for always sharing your knowledge with the world. I’m wondering how you manage to get an incredible engagement ring shot with the lenses you take to the e-session. I’ve always been under the impression I needed a 100mm. Thank you : )

  5. Lisa Cunnington

    July 22nd, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Hi Jasmine,

    Great post – thanks!

    Could I ask where the dress in the B&W photo comes from?

    Here in the UK we are going through a heatwave and I’m finding it hard to keep cool yet still look smart on a wedding shoot!

    Also, who are your go to’s for smart black dresses (you always look smart but functional!)?

    Thanks! Lisa xx

  6. Mary Veterano

    July 22nd, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    It’s definitely a gorgeous bag! I like that you can fit your camera body in it! I have the Kelly Moore Hobo that I love for travel and engagement shoots but I don’t think my camera fits in there the way I want it to. Is the ONA made of flexible leather? What I like about my shootsac is how it wraps around your hip, you know?

  7. Karena Dixon

    July 22nd, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    I’ve had my eye on these bags for a long time. I wasn’t sure how practical they would be to shoot a wedding. Does the leather make it heavier?

  8. Kate O'Brien

    July 22nd, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    That bag is so cute! I have a Kelly Moore bag and it has saved my life at weddings!

  9. Paulina

    July 22nd, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    oooooh i was so excited to read about this post (i was checking twitter this morning, lol) because i’ve been eyeing these bags for a while now! glad to read your review of yours, jasmine! =)

  10. Whitney Lane

    July 22nd, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    I’m addicted to brown leather! Love those pants to do by the way super fierce!

  11. Paulina

    July 22nd, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    ooooh i was so excited to see this post on ONA bags because I’ve been eyeing them for a while! thanks for your review, Jasmine! =)

  12. Claudia

    July 22nd, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Have loved that Brooklyn bag for a long time…from afar πŸ˜‰ I’m always in amazement that you hold your camera all day without a strap! Have you ever posted about that? Just curious, since my Rapid R strap is so comfy but then with a bag too I feel like I look like Rambo, lol!

  13. Julie Greer

    July 22nd, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    What are the LV and other little pouch that you carry…..assuming one is for battery and one is for cards. I haven’t been able to find a good card holder that I like.

  14. Johane

    July 22nd, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    I thought you were using the Shootsac which is light! Why did you changed?

  15. Christopher SoulΓ©

    July 22nd, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Jasmine, you are such an inspiration to so many people. Never forget that sister!
    – Christopher

  16. Laura

    July 22nd, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    I misread your "updated responses" and mashed two together and got: "The black dress is from J.Crew, so it’s taken a while to break in, but in the few months I’ve had it, the flexibility has improved. It doesn’t lay flat on my body, but the upside is that it stand up when I place it on the floor…it’s a give and take, I suppose! :)"

    Oh man I was so confused as to why you’d want a dress that stands up when you put it on the floor πŸ˜€

  17. tim king

    July 22nd, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    It’s not a purse, it’s a satchel!!

    Awesome post – looking into getting one of these as I type this!

  18. Tanja

    July 22nd, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Nice! It looks awesome. πŸ™‚

  19. Evonne & Darren Wong | U Me Us Studios

    July 23rd, 2013 at 4:49 am

    The ONA bag looks great… very stylish! πŸ™‚

  20. Jackie Lamas

    July 23rd, 2013 at 5:21 am

    what a great bag!

  21. Fairy Princess Genevieve

    July 23rd, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Wow, stunning satchels. I’m pinning these bags right and left now. Thanks for the introduction!

  22. Norma Skinner

    July 23rd, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Super blog. This should cure end-of-shoot-wrist-ache beautifully. Thank you.

  23. Rebecca

    July 23rd, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    I guess that little back purse/bag is fofr memory cards. Where did you bought it? Looking for one for years but didnΒ΄t found anything! =(

  24. Leon Bailey

    July 25th, 2013 at 3:39 am

    I am going to buy this for my Mother’s birthday in November. She would love this!

  25. Steamboat Springs Photographer

    July 25th, 2013 at 4:07 am

    Love it… I am still swinging camera’s from both sides.

  26. Diana

    July 25th, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    I have wanted this bag for like 2 or 3 yrs now. OMG. <3

  27. ashley goodwin

    August 15th, 2013 at 12:16 am

    YO! How did I miss this booth at WPPI? Oh, probably because I was too busy CRYING! Looks beautiful!

  28. Shawn Cooper

    August 16th, 2013 at 11:36 am

    What bag does JD carry?

  29. Denny

    August 18th, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    The Onas look great! I am on a hunt myself right now for a bag. I am interested to see what JD uses.

  30. Jean

    August 21st, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    I have the Bowery from ONA and LOVE IT! And I do think that having it helps keep away the bad guys from trying to steal our precious gem (camera/gear). I once whipped out my camera & my friend was like, where did that come from and I showed her my Bowery! I love ONA!

  31. Aiman

    January 21st, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Hi Jasmine. May I know what JD uses as his camera bag? I am trying to get one myself. Thanks!

  32. Becky

    May 13th, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Hi Jasmine,

    Do you use the same bag or backpack to travel?

    Thank you so much!



  33. Reagan Jobe

    August 20th, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Great post. I love the Ona Bag you use and have used it for almost 4 years now. They really have grown as a company in that time as the Brooklyn was the only bag they sold originally. They are made to last for ever and I can say that after 4 years of breaking it in the bag has a great look to it and many of my clients comment about what a great bag it is and that it doesn’t look like a photography bag.

  34. Maggie

    December 1st, 2014 at 5:49 am

    Hi Jasmine,

    What bag does JD use? I want to get a camera bag for my husband (and dynamic duo business partner) and not sure where to get him one that’s manly and pro πŸ™‚

  35. Tatyana

    February 16th, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    I’ve been debating between the Palma and the Brooklyn! Love these bags.

  36. Faith

    June 1st, 2015 at 4:08 am

    Doesn’t it get tiring carrying your bag around the whole day? Do you take the bag off to a private area while you’re shooting a reception?

  37. Devanie

    October 24th, 2015 at 4:14 am

    I was wondering what you do with all of the little things, like the lens pen, rocket blower, etc? just omit those?

  38. Danielle

    December 20th, 2015 at 4:45 am

    Just bought one. Can’t wait to use it. Thanks for the post!