Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Photography Training: How to Protect your Gear from Being Stolen

Buffaloz Photography Training: How to Protect your Gear from Being Stolen 

I am on vacation right now and I am really having fun. I was going to wait back to do a post but after yesterday I decided I should just do a quick post. Anyhow, I am in a big city with my family and I never thought I would need to be concerned about someone robing me and taking my gear till yesterday. I was on a local transit system and saw three fights yesterday.  I grew up in Kansas City and was not too worried about my safety, but I have now lived in a small town in Montana for over 20 years.
I have been carrying three cameras on this trip, My Leica M3, my Contax G1, and my Lumix G1.  I am carrying several expensive lenses. I know that Leica has the MP version which is mostly unmarked, thus safer to carry when in a dangerous area, but I really thought it was kinda stupid till yesterday. I mean, why wouldn't you want others to know you shoot a Leica(I'm a bit of a camera snob). I now understand. Anyhow here are a few tips on how to be safe in a dangerous area. I must note that I am not even in a bad area, I am just in an area that I feel uncomfortable with. I am pretty sure when I was 16 and in areas of Kansas City I did not worry at all. Living in a small town has changed me a bit.

Leica MP

1. Use an old bag. This way you do not draw attention to yourself and your gear.

2. Try to fit in and not look out of place. This way others will not notice you as much

3. Pay attention to your surroundings.  Look around  and know where the danger is. If someone is making you uncomfortable get away from them. Large crowds are good. Don't go somewhere where you will be by yourself.

4. Use the buddy system and if at all possible stay with a group of people. One thing that is really nice is that I have children. People have actually apologized for bad language and smoking weed in front of them several times since we have been here. I am not saying that you should use your children for protection, I would never put my children in harms way but I know from past experience that others are careful what they do around children. But be careful and NEVER put your children in danger. In fact, if you do get in trouble and your children are with you, your first responsibility should be to protect them. I would give my life to protect mine.

5. Switch out your memory card every once in a while. That way if you camera is stolen, at least you won't lose all of your images.

6. Carry your bag in front and keep it zipped up. It might look weird but are you concerned more about your appearance or not losing your gear. For me, my gear is worth more than my two cars combined. It would be devastating to lose it.

7. Make sure your gear is insured. This way if it is gone at least you will be able to replace it.

8. If you are carrying expensive gear use tape to cover the logos and anything that might attract attention.
Leica owners do this all the time.

9. Be careful and trust your instincts. If you are unsure about something don't do it or go there. Is it really worth losing your life, or gear? I think not.

That's about it. There are a lot more things you can do. I have just named a few and you are welcome to add some more of your own. Leave a comment and I am sure that others will appreciate it.!!


Buffaloz Photography Training: Free Online Photography Tips, Tutorials,  and Training


  1. Good tips for street photography in general, not just holiday!

    But, you forgot the most obvious one. If you really don't want your shiny Leica or Nikon stolen, put a Canon strap on it. ;)

    1. Haha!! I love it when people have a sense of humor!! Very funny!! Thanks for the great comment!