A small bag with big attitude

written by:
Sharyn Hodges


A small bag with big attitude

This is my third National Geographic Bag review, my first for the African Collection. An being a South African, I just knew, this review will be done in the “bushveld”.


Today, I’ll be reviewing the National Geographic African Collection, Camera Pouch. Don’t be fooled by the size of this bag. Like all National Geographic Bags, the materials are of the highest quality, which features a brown canvas exterior, with brown leather flaps and straps and brass clips. While the interior lining is complemented by the Massai inspired accents. A small leather strap on the front carries the iconic rectangle logo.

One of the reason why I choose the Camera Pouch bag was that I knew it would used for more than it was designed for. Designed to hold and protect a small Point & Shoot / Mirrorless Camera with some media accessories. I have used this bag for Weddings, I packed the Camera Pouch with extra flash batteries (8 x AA), camera batteries, Memory Cards, mobile phone, chewing gum, lip gloss, energy sachets, a snack bar and the most important item, the wedding program. The bag was attached around my waist for 13 hours with no discomfort. Having all my accessories close to me and easy accessible makes my job a lot easier.


The bag sits comfortably around the waist. Easy accessible to media accessories.

Putting The Bag To The Test

My annual holiday is usually spent on my uncle’s small game farm in Bela-Bela (Limpopo Province), where during sunrise walks you could spot Kudu, Wildebeest, Rooibokke, Giraffe, Nyala and Waterbuck, just to name a few.

This holiday is also taken over my birthday and this year, I decided to spoil myself with a Hot Air Balloon with Bill Harrop’s Original Balloon Safaris. I have a serious fear for heights but this is something that I have been wanting to do for years. It’s an unbelievable feeling being guided by the wind, you hear nothing other than the pilot blowing hot air into the balloon, that is rather loud, but you get lost in your own thoughts up there. Since it was my birthday and there were French clients on board too, they sung to me in French, another new experience, but then the pilot and co pilot decided I needed to hear “Happy Birthday” in English and Afrikaans.


An unbelievable and unique experience with Bill Harops Balloon Safaris, something that I definitely recommend.


While I was in Bela Bela, I did a family shoot with my Cousin and his beautiful family.  I never done a bush family shoot and I had such fun with the different colours, textures and surrounds.

Wedding Day

My wedding season started on the 8th October 2016, there is always a nervous excitement with the first wedding of the new season. It’s difficult not to get caught up in the emotions of a wedding day, the more I photograph them, the more I seem to be emotionally involved.

I am not sure how other photographers work, but I like to get there early (30 – 45 minutes), I like to walk around the venue with a coffee, taking it all in. Knowing that in a few hours the chaos that is happening around me will fall silent for a few minutes, before the next stage starts.

The venue for Nicci & Craig’s wedding was the very impressive Baroness Lodge inside the Plett Game Reserve, just outside Plettenberg Bay.


Nicci’s final moments as a “single lady”.


I absolutely love the rustic theme for this wedding. Don’t get me started on those Proteas, stunning!


The beautiful ceremony, there was not one dry eye in the “house”, me included. Congratulations Mrs & Mr Coltham.

Schotia Safaris

Where do I even begin to explain the 12 hours I experienced at Schotia.

Schotia Safaris is situated just outside Port Elizabeth. We were treated like royalty in one of South Africa’s exclusive private safaris. There are two camps, one with Lions and one without (but with Elephants and Rhino’s). Our camp, namely “Bush Camp” was literally just that, a camp surround by bush in the “Lion’s Den”, I woke up at 04h00 to hear the lions, magical is the only word I can describe that.

But let me start with the arrival day. We got to get really close and personal with the Ellies and especially, “Ou Baas”, he literally rested his tusk on Sean’s leg while we were in the game viewing vehicle, I think we all forgot how to breathe.


“Ou Baas” playing with one of the younger male Ellies.

The next morning we could up at 04h30 for our game drive at 05h00. We tracked down the Lions for a few sunrise photos, little did we know they had other plans. They were on the hunt. To put what we witness in perspective, our game ranger and son of the owner of Schotia has probably only seen 5 live hunts in his entire life and he grew up in Schotia. Yes, we witnessed a hunt, chase and kill. It all happened so quickly.

Embed the follow for a video of the Schotia Safaris, by Dean Cothill.


The Lioness enjoying her catch. I’ll never see this again in my life.


The Camera Pouch Bag fits perfectly in the bush.


My Fujifilm X70 fits perfectly in the bag.

What’s in my bag:

Camera Fujifilm X70
Lenses None
Flash None
Laptop None
Tripod / Monopod None
Camera Accessories Kenko ND Filter, 8 Flash Batteries, Batteries, Memory Cards
Personal Accessories Lip Gloss, Snack Bar

Let’s talk bag specifications:

Camera Mirrorless / Point and Shoot
Lenses 0
Tripod Connection No
Rain Protection Cover No
Personal Storage No
Zips or Velcro Velcro
Material Canvas, Cotton and Genuine Leather
Unisex Bag Yes

Bag Summary:  This bag is really one of my favourites, it might be small, but as mentioned before, it carries all my wedding accessories. As always the materials are of the highest quality. You can either carry the belt around the waist via the strap connections, via the secure belt loop connection or over your shoulder using the shoulder straps. This bag is perfect to someone who has a small camera (point and shoot) that would like keep it safe while enjoying the benefits and status of owning National Geographic bag.

Sharyn Hodges

South African

Sharyn Hodges likes to describe herself as “just lucky”. Home is Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, a sleepy little sea-side village where the sun rises and sets in colours one can only imagine.

She is inspired daily by nature’s ever changing canvas of textures, colours and patterns.

Her work varies from weddings and events to nature and landscapes, but her heart lies buried in the vast expanses of Plett’s beaches and the sheer splendour of the surrounding Garden Route and South Africa.

Photography is in her veins; her mission is to capture those fleeting seconds of beauty which characterises this fragile adventure we call life.

Her travel companion, Nikon D750.

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