Under the category of so-ridiculous-that-I’m-not-sure-it’s-real-but-kind-of-a-cool idea is a video that chronicles the life of a “fanny pack photographer.”
I had heard of fanny packs, as a child of the 80s. I know what a photographer is (I think). I did not know what a fanny pack photographer was. Is it a camera that also serves as a fanny pack? A fanny pack that doubles as a camera? The answer is that is none of these things.
As YouTuber and photographer Omar Gonzalez defines it, a fanny pack photographer is a photographer who opts to use a fanny pack to store their photo gear and related items instead of a backpack or shoulder bag as is more common. And then, I really thought about it. I actually started life as a fanny pack photographer. My first digital camera was the floppy disk-based Sony Mavica MVC-FD83. It could fit about six pictures on a 3.5″ floppy disk, which my students recently called a “VHS tape” when I busted out the camera in my photography summer camp and asked them what it was. Because of this, I often traveled around with a fanny pack full of floppy disks so that I could keep shooting. So yes, I am, in fact, a fanny pack photographer.
While I have not rocked the fanny pack in quite some time, there are some modern-day riffs on this. I recently reviewed the HEX Ranger DSLR sling, and I would say that this is the spiritual successor to the fanny pack. It is eminently more practical though, with specialized pockets carved out for lenses and accessories, and some degree of weatherproofing. Though you could probably find a weatherproofed fanny pack.
I also thought about some classic digital cameras that would make perfect fanny pack cameras. A lot of micro four-thirds cameras came to mind, such as my evergreen Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1. A more modern take on this would be the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV with the added bonus of a viewfinder on that camera.
What are your thoughts on fanny pack photography? Are there cameras that might make a better fanny pack camera than others? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.