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Mark Condon is a British wedding photographer living on the Tweed Coast of Australia with his wife and 3 kids. Mark shoots weddings in Australia and all around the world, and is the founder of popular photography website Shotkit. Mark is also the author of More Brides, LIT and various other books for photographers.
In this article, Mark is taking us back to his first reviews of our products, and announcing a new one soon. To find out which one, read the full article!
Words and photos by Mark Condon
Mark here from Shotkit. This is the first time I’m writing here on the f-stop blog, and it’s a real honour to brush virtual shoulders with such talented photographers and content creators from around the world ;-)
I’m a Sydney wedding photographer based on the sunny Tweed Coast of northern NSW, Australia. If any of you are familiar with Byron Bay, we live about half an hour north of there. It’s a truly beautiful part of the country - an endearing mixture of tropical and coastal.
I’ve shot many weddings in and around Sydney, as well as some further afield in Europe, Canada and Asia. Getting paid to shoot happy people in far flung places has been exciting and rewarding, but with the constraints of a family of 3 children under the age of 5 (and an understanding wife whose patience is wearing a little thin!!), it makes more sense to stick to local weddings.
Destination wedding in Bali | Mark Condon | @goldhatphoto
Aside from that, I also run Shotkit, a popular website for all things photography and gear related. We publish several articles a week on everything from the latest Sony mirrorless lenses, Fuji Lenses, compact cameras, travel tripods, and everything in between!
Shotkit is a friendly environment for everyone from beginners to pros to learn about photography and camera gear, as well as to sneak a peek at the equipment used by talented photographers from all over the world.
After receiving so many submissions to Shotkit over the years, we’ve been given a unique insight into the most popular gear in use today… and of course, f-stop is a name that keeps cropping up!
The f-stop Ajna in use by London family photographer Helen Bartlett | @helenbartlettphotography
‘Rugged’, ‘versatile’ and ‘reliable’ are the words most commonly used by featured photographers about their f-stop backpacks. Built to withstand the harshest outdoor environments, it’s evident that all genre of photographer can take advantage of the high quality and efficient design of f-stop products.
We reviewed the f-stop Tilopa several years ago and were impressed with its performance when put to the ultimate test in the ever-changing climate of Iceland.
The author, a traveling wedding photographer himself, called it his “all-time favourite travel bag”, remarking that if he ever had a desire to climb Everest, this would be the bag he’d choose to bring!
The f-stop Tilopa in use by New Jersey wedding photographer Jay Cassario | @jaycassario
Away from the mountains, the f-stop Urban series made it to the top of our annual best camera backpack guide, a review that saw us putting over 30 popular products to the test.
Needless to say, it was the humble and un-assuming f-stop Dalston that turned out to be our favourite minimal camera backpack of the year.
The f-stop Dalston stood out from other camera backpacks on test | @shotkit
Weighing in at much less than its rivals at only 0.8kg 1.8 lbs (!), the Dalston is actually my first choice when heading out for the day with a camera and a couple of lenses. I love its simplicity in design and functionality – a true breath of fresh air in a market dominated by complicated backpacks with numerous storage options.
It’s a similar story with the f-stop Fitzroy, a camera sling bag interestingly named after Melbourne, Australia. Small, light, easy to use, and great-looking – check out what our reviewer had to say about it here.
The f-stop Ftizroy in use by Seattle wedding photographer Jacquelyn Portolese | @jacquelyn.portolese
(In coming weeks, we plan to put the latest f-stop Dyota Series to the test too – stay tuned to read our review on the Shotkit blog.)
Whether it’s the rugged dependability of the f-stop Mountain Series or the hip simplicity of the Urban and Dyota Series, one thing’s for sure – f-stop is a much-loved brand that’s steadily gaining in popularity both on Shotkit and in the photography industry as a whole.
With innovative designs, tried-and-tested durability, efficient access and attractive colours, f-stop bags stand out from the crowd. Everything’s held together by the innovative ICU inserts, which ensure that no matter your camera gear, you’re sure to find a bag to suit.
(I actually used an f-stop Large ICU inside a regular rolling suitcase when traveling to shoot a destination wedding in Sri Lanka recently.)
If you’re reading this and thinking that you’d like to have your photography featured on Shotkit, then come on over and get involved! Whether you own one camera or ten, we’d love to have you on-board ;-)
Now let me leave you to ogle over the gear collections of a handful of other photographers featured on Shotkit, who rely on f-stop bags for their photography work.
Photos by: Bron James | @mrbronjames, Enrico Fossati | @enrico.fossati, Bhagi Siva | @bhagi_siva, Daniel Laan | @laanscape, Of Two Lands | @oftwolands, Gavin Gough | @gavinggough, Ulla Lohmann | @ullalohmann