Gear Guide for Film Photographers and Road Trip Lovers

A roundup of the 12 most useful and best-selling film items every analog lover and avid roadtripper needs.

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I'm Isabelle Baldwin, a professional film photographer, road trip enthusiast, and desert dweller based in Tucson, Arizona.

Making lists of perfect gifts or product roundups really gets my creative juices flowing. And it's not just for my benefit; I thoroughly enjoy sharing these lists with fellow creatives. If you've ever stumbled upon my TikTok or Twitter threads, you might have noticed my Christmas and Valentine's Day gift guides or essential photo book recommendations.

By now, most of my friends and family have realized that gifting me film is an easy (and incredibly appreciated) choice. My mom, by some bout of magic, has even managed to fit a 5-pack of 120 Portra 400 into my childhood stocking. Over the years, my parents have embraced the challenge of finding unique and imaginative gifts for me – an Annie Leibovitz MasterClass course, a Kodak x Knickerbocker hat, a William Eggleston book, and so on.

So, this year, I'm encouraging you to tap into your creative side! Whether you're curating a wishlist for yourself or on a mission to find that perfect gift for a fellow photographer, I'm here to guide you through the process.

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1. Moment Tech Tote

I wish I could say I'm exaggerating, but I'm not when I tell you I've taken this bag everywhere. It traveled with me in the back of a minivan from the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina to the dunes of White Sands National Park in New Mexico and through the rugged landscapes of Yosemite and Yellowstone. This year alone, it's been by my side in tents on trips to Zion National Park and the Sahara Desert in Morocco, and most recently, it walked the streets of Paris, France with me. Remarkably, it still looks brand new and fits perfectly as a carry-on. I've easily packed a Hasselblad, flash gear, books, and a Hydroflask all at once without any issues. This bag is a travel essential that's hard to underestimate! And, of course, it's cute (especially when you add a personalized pin to it).

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2. Moment Fanny Sling 2L

The Fanny Sling is like the adorable younger sibling of the Tech Tote! I could go on and on about both of these bags (and I have, to anyone who will listen), but the Fanny Sling truly proved to be a game-changer on the road. Whenever I didn't want the bulk of a large camera bag or tote and didn't require all the gear that those bags could hold, the Fanny Sling was my go-to. It was perfect when I wanted to carry a 35mm camera and some film or stow away my point-and-shoot until needed.

You'd most frequently find me with my Fanny Sling on a hike, perched on a park bench overlooking a stunning mountain range, or casually strolling through a bookstore. It always had a special place for my America The Beautiful Pass and National Parks Passport, ensuring I always took every chance to collect a stamp and sticker from park stores. On occasion, it even accommodated a handful of Polaroids, a trusty light meter, and a protein bar.

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Fanny Sling 2L - Clay

Moment

This is our daily, go-to fanny sling. It’s comfortable, adjustable, and fits your daily carry from wallets to keys to phones, and even a 35mm camera. The seven different adjustment points mean the pac...

Add for $70
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3. Reusable Travel Film Pouch -1L and Reusable Travel Film Pouch - 2L

Remember that trip to Morocco I mentioned? Well, these film pouches were an absolute lifesaver. You might have heard all the arguments about using ziplock bags, but let me assure you that these pouches are so much more than just a replacement for plastic bags. They're perfect for navigating the TSA and for getting organized in advance. I used to dread opening my backpack, grabbing 3 to 4 handfuls of film, tossing them into a bin, and crossing my fingers. Now, I neatly organize my 35mm, 120, and Polaroid film in these pouches, tuck them away and easily hand them to a TSA agent for hand checking. Plus, on a personal note, when you're the type of person who spills honey mustard on themselves the moment you reach the gate, having a water-resistant pouch to protect my film is absolutely necessary.

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4. Moment Film Stuff Sack or Long Weekend Film Pouch

This sack accommodates all my favorite things: food, gear, and film. Like the reusable pouches, it's a perfect choice if you want to reduce your plastic waste and need a versatile bag that can handle various sizes. It seamlessly integrates with your other gear if you're a backpacker or rock climber!

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Film Stuff Sack - Black

Moment

The simple bag you never knew you needed inside your backpack. Organize your film rolls, bits, pieces, snacks, lunch, clothes… the options are endless. The main pouch is large enough for lots of film ...

Add for $10
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5. Photographic Storytelling with Joe Greer

As someone who used to watch Negative Feedback videos while studying photography in college, it's no surprise that I'm also a massive fan of Joe Greer. He's an incredible photographer and, on top of that, comes across as a genuinely kind person. I'm an avid follower of his YouTube channel, but his Moment course offers a deeper dive into his creative process – something I've always valued as an artist.

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6. Cross Body Phone Strap

I've lost track of how many times my phone has slipped into the passenger seat of my car. It disappeared into some hidden crevice, only revealing itself by the strap. While I'd love to claim that I'm the kind of artist who grabs my camera and leaves my phone behind when I head out to shoot, that would be far from the truth. I enjoy creating viewfinder videos with my Hasselblad and capturing behind-the-scenes photos to recall my shooting locations' exact lighting and environment. So, my phone is an essential companion. This strap was a perfect solution for those moments when I'm not wearing overalls or pants with generous pockets. It ensured I knew where to find my phone: right on my body!

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7. Portra 400 and 400TX

It wouldn't be me if I didn't include two of my all-time favorite film stocks on this list. Kodak's Portra 400 and 400TX have been my trusted choices for the past decade. They possess the three qualities I seek: enduring beauty, unwavering consistency, and unmatched forgiveness. The latitude these film stocks offer is a godsend for someone like me, who frequently forgets to pack a light meter or is still in the learning phase. As a medium format enthusiast, I'm always delighted to receive 120 film as a gift, but the 35mm stocks also find a special place in my film fridge.

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8. Fujifilm QuickSnap

For those who can't afford a point-and-shoot camera or aren't ready to invest in a reusable film camera, the Fujifilm QuickSnap is the perfect choice. While it might seem unconventional to include a disposable camera on this list, I have to be honest — there's nothing quite like the sheer joy of holding a lightweight plastic camera and capturing memories with your friends and family. Regardless of age, almost anyone can quickly figure out how to use it, making it a fantastic choice to pass around and discover what everyone has captured once the film is developed. Plus, you can customize it with stickers, glitter, or gems, and there's no guilt involved! And let's not forget, who isn't a fan of Superia 400?

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9. RETO 35mm/120 Film Case

Now, we're diving into the classics! You'll NEVER catch me packing for a trip or a shoot without a film case for my 120 and 35mm rolls. These Kodak cases are sturdy but, dare I say, sexy. I adore that they can snugly hold up to 5 rolls of film and don't take up too much room in my bag. I find myself ordering more of these each year.

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10. Rugged Camera Accessories Case

Where else can you seamlessly organize essentials like Zyrtec and Emergen-C alongside your cable release, hard drives, and loose camera batteries? This case has genuinely elevated my gear organization to a whole new level. On specific trips, I rely on it solely for organizing my gear. In contrast, I find it invaluable to others even when I'm not actively shooting, as it neatly divides my accessories and personal items. And it provides extra protection for my Olympus OM-2 or SureShot.

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12. Benro Slim Travel Tripod

Why not wrap things up with a dream item from my Christmas list this year? The Benro Slim Travel Tripod has been on my radar since 2021! Over the past two years, I've deliberately included 'stop buying cheap plastic tripods from Amazon' in my New Year's Resolutions. As a photographer, I've realized how easy it is to justify significant investments in film and camera accessories while skimping on everyday items that can be found for $20-40. My collection of broken tripods serves as a testament to that!

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Slim Travel Tripod - Aluminum

Benro

The Benro SLIM Series has been expanded and now includes two new models that are the perfect travel tripod. Each has 5 sections and the reverse folding design reduces the folded size to only 12.9" (33...

Add for $119.99
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Enjoy the holidays, and remember that more gear and film = more excuses to shoot in the New Year!