Tracy Joy Camera Bags | Interview * 3 Prizes * and more

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Today I have the privilege of interviewing Tracy of Tracy Joy Inc. She is a very generous person. Read on to learn about her 5% donation program through the end of May and about 3 prizes she is giving away on my blog (see the bottom of this post for details).

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Tracy Joy | The Interview

How long have you been designing and sewing?

Since the 7th grade when I ‘discovered’ sewing class in junior high. I was prob such a dork, getting all excited on how to make a “grocery tote bag” and sweat pants, lol. I haven’t stopped sewing since (or being a dork)! I’ve always found more enjoyment in creating & sewing my own things, vs buying “store” products. From curtains, to bags, to my babies nursery decor/bedding… I try to add my own creative twist on it all. I also don’t use “store” patterns, never have, never will (such a rebel, ha? lol). All of my items are my own design, which I find to be very important, and very satisfying. I never want to be a copy cat, and think it’s important to be known for your own creativity, not someone else’s. Plus… I don’t follow instructions or rules very well, haha!

How did you decide this was a passion for you?

When I graduated high school, I went to college for Fashion Merchandising. I dreamed of creating my own fashion line (didn’t know what of yet; clothes, bags, etc). Sadly, due to financial reasons, I had to drop out in my first year. It always “haunted” me, as designing was my passion and I knew I could create something wonderful that people would enjoy. It’s so amazing (but not surprising) to have found myself back in the design world again, coming full circle. Being creative is in my blood, and flows throughout my whole being.

Before Tracy Joy Inc, I was working for a corporate office, helping to run all of the daily necessities as an assistant manager (of sorts). Being in that business for 7+ years has given me the knowledge and strength to run Tracy Joy Inc. Not only can I be creative and design & sew my own line, but I also know how to run a business inside and out. It makes things run so much more smoothly, than just being creative alone.

What gave the idea for Tracy Joy Camera bags for photographers?

Actually… A couple of women PHOTOGRAPHERS piqued my interest in designing a bag for their needs. And WHALA, it took off from there. My original bag, the KIMBERLY (which is now on hold), blossomed into the KRISTINE & JOEY bags. The REESE bag came after a few clients expressed “wishes & dreams” of a TJ bag w/a zipper on it.

What is your favorite bag you sell?

The KRISTINE. I love the option of flap changes. It’s so convenient to be able to change your flap when you want to change the look of your bag, instead of your entire bag itself. And it doesn’t get much easier than a Velcro flap, coming off to exchange w/another one.

Which ones do you personally use?

Honestly… I have 2-3 of each, lol. I use the REESE as my daily bag, since I have 2 kids under 2. It leaves room for all my necessities and still space for my DSLR camera w/28-75mm lens attached. When I go on a photography shoot, I use my JOEY bag (Velcro flap and extra padding). I can comfortably fit my DSLR in it, with 3 lenses and my wallet & keys. My hubby uses the KRISTINE bag, he likes to have his own “man flaps” for the bag, lol.

What do you typically keep in your photo bag (what camera, lenses, and other stuff) .

Oh all the goodies! lol I have a Canon Rebel XTi, and ALWAYS my Tamron

28-75mm lens attached. I also carry my 50mm 1.8, and my 75-300 for outdoor shots. I LOVE nature photography, so my 75-300 comes in handy when we are outside. I’m adding a 430ex Speedlite to my gear in a few months… but since I use natural lighting 90% of the time, I don’t really need it for the spring/summer months.

What is your favorite print?

Oh gosh, this is NOT an easy question! I have way too many prints, and so many more than I am itching to buy. I can tell you my top 3 favorites though, lol. The Acanthus, Boho Orchid & Disco Dots. Choosing fabrics is the hardest part of my job… seriously! When it comes time to add a new print to my collection, I could go w/o sleep looking over all the choices. Honestly, I wish I was creative enough to design my own prints. This is a far off dream of mine, but you never know… nothing is too far out of reach!

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What is the strangest thing you have ever used your camera bag for? (if nothing we will skip this one)

Does a beach bag count? lol We went to Florida last summer and it was the only bag I had large enough to stuff our towels and flip flops in when we went to play in the ocean.

What type of photography do you do?

I adore newborn and maternity photography, esp when it includes a touch of whimsy. I recently did my first “real” maternity shoot, and oh was it fun! Seeing the glow on a pregnant woman is sometimes so surreal, and knowing that new life is just under her skin… simply amazing. I have 3 more maternity shoots now lined up…. and I’m “biting at the bit” to get shooting! I dont currently have a photography website, but I do have my flickr account, where I post my favorite shots. Http://flickr.com/photos/tracyjoy

In addition to maternity and newborn photography, I hope to learn the unique and creative style of Trash The Dress photography. I just love TTD, and always find them exciting and fun to view. I have 2 of those sessions lined up as well (for when the temps warm up a bit).

What are your favorite 3 photographers (with links)?

Well I have to give “props” to the wonderful and VERY talented 2 photographers who helped me launch my camera bags. The are the 2 girls who I mentioned above, regarding “the idea for Tracy Joy Camera bags for photographers“. Both of whom are AMAZING and talented photographers, friends and mentors!

Lisa Hodnet http://www.lisahodnetphotography.com/

& Jessica Leigh http://jessicaleighphotography.com/

And I absolutely LOVE Lisa Julia Photography. She captures so much whimsy and innocence in her child photography… they always make me smile and give me the “warm fuzzies”. http://lisajuliaphotography.com/ . She truly is talented, and such a wonderful person too. A great mentor!

What is the one thing you cannot live without (besides your photo equipment and family):

My Gingher scissors! Ha! They are so uber duber sharp, and cut through fabrics like butta’ I cant go a day w/o my Ginghers :)

Tell me about the current donation you are doing for the American Cancer Society…

Tracy Joy Inc is currently running a donation to the American Cancer Society through the month of May. 5% of ALL my sales will go to ACS, in honor of my late sister in laws, Kristine and Amy Beth. They both would have celebrated birthdays in the month of May, so I am honoring their memory w/a donation.

Tracy Joy Inc also runs donations in the months of November, giving to a few different charities at Christmastime. Last year we donated to The American Cancer Society and Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

Giving back is a very important aspect of Tracy Joy Inc, and something we truly believe in.

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Now for the contest and prizes:

Tracy is going to be giving away one Tracy Joy® SUSIE camera strap covers for each of three lucky winners.  The winners to pick the fabric from her amazing selection, and trust me, that will be the hardest part.

3 winners will be picked using random.org – from the comments below. With 3 prizes, you have a greater chance to win!!! Winners will be picked on May 21st and notified in a blog post, so check back to see if you are one of the lucky ones!

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Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets that make editing faster, easier and more fun.

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Comments

  1. 2

    says

    Oh my gosh…I would love a camera strap, I was just thinking about that the other day on a shoot, I could get one from my local camera shop but it advertises them and not my creativity!….beautiful!

  2. 3

    says

    Oh yeah! I forgot to mention ginghers are my favorite also…I covet them ….when I first got them my kids were ages 8 and 10 and they knew they were only for fabric. No paper allowed!..lol I completely understand!

  3. 6

    Maria says

    I love those camera straps and all the fabric choices! I think I need to get one for my mom and sister too.

  4. 8

    Erin Cookmeyer says

    I have yet to get a bag, but I will have it on my want list. I would love a camera strap cover. I already have the fabric picked out!

  5. 10

    Lindsay says

    I have been dying to get a new camera bag. I will be checking it out as soon as I am done with this comment!!! By the way I would love to win!

  6. 11

    ~Jen~ says

    Please excuse me while I wipe the drool off my keyboard… Okay, better now. LOVE Tracy’s bags! And great interview – it’s so cool to get to “know” the person behind the products!

  7. 13

    says

    Just found out about Tracy Joy while perusing ETSY!!! In need of a new bag soon and the cameras straps are fantastic!!!!
    Lovely pieces of art to wear!!!

  8. 19

    says

    I definitely want one of these camera bags. They are so cute. Love the straps. Would probably be a lot more comfortable then the one mine came with, kills my neck! Thanks for posting this, so fun!

  9. 23

    says

    These are so cool! Didn’t even know about these until now so good thing you interviewed her. Now I have other things on my wish list! :)

  10. 24

    says

    Wow, I have been eyeing a Tracy Joy bag for a while because my husband picked out the three bags I currently have to choose from and I hate two of them!! They’re gorgeous. Also, how wonderful to have a skill like sewing. I wish I knew how to do it. My mom was incredibly talented at it and also had Gingher scissors. Oh how upset she would get when I would use them to cut paper!!! Tracy sounds like a really neat person to boot. Jodi, thanks for doing this interview, I love reading things like this.

  11. 25

    Casey Cooper says

    I love the dandy damask and coriander! They are so yummy looking! Awesome job on the patterns Tracy!

  12. 26

    Tara Wally says

    I would love to win one of these – I just started in photography with my sisters old slr camera~

  13. 32

    Olivia says

    These are SOOO beautiful! I’ve been looking for a cool camera bag that’s roomy enough to fit everything!

  14. 35

    Jeanine says

    Loved every minute of reading the interview. Thanks for your time, ladies. I’m lovin’ my Kristine bag in Carnival Bloom. I keep arguing with my friend (another TJ bag owner) that it is the best! I’ve been getting lots of great comments on my bag.

  15. 41

    says

    Fabulous bags! I am actually getting ready to purchase one myself.. have been gawking for about a month. lol I just can not decide what fabric pattern to choose. lol
    The camera strap is such a fabulous idea :0)

  16. 42

    Adrianne says

    Wow!! Thank you for bringing us such great interviews, Jodi! Tracy, you are an amazing woman. Even when life got in the way, you found a way around the obstacles to fulfill your dreams. I know some day we’ll be seeing TJ fabrics, too. You rock, lady! And to donate to the ACS is wonderful. We just lost four people in our lives to cancer last month. I’ve been saying “Cancer sucks” forever. Thank you for doing something for the cause. ((hugs))

  17. 43

    Karly says

    Tracy’s Bags ROCK! My friend and I argue that our bags are cutier than the other persons…my of course is!!! I just purchased the Kristine and it surely won’t be my last bag from Tracy Joy!!! There should be a group to deal with our addictions to TJ!!!!
    Thanks for your generosity to the Cancer society!
    Karly

  18. 46

    Rene says

    Love the Tracy Joy bags. Hmmmm…..I have a birthday coming up, might just have to ask for one!!! A camera strap cover would be nice too!

  19. 47

    Julie Cook says

    what a great interview. It is fun reading about you. How generous you are. These straps look like SOOO much fun. and I have had my eye on the bags for a LONG TIME> they are sooo FUN. I LOVE FUN!

  20. 48

    Krista says

    These bags are SO CUTE! I love them!! I will definitely be getting one very soon :) Thank you for your site Jodi. I have learned so much since joining!

  21. 49

    says

    How awesome! I would love to have a camera strap! I have been looking at the bags for months but need to put my money in to a new camera first:)! Thanks!

  22. 51

    Laura says

    I love your interview! One of you bags is on my wish list and I have told hubby that is what I want for my birthday this year. I have been a very good girl!
    As for the straps they are so cute. Why did you have to have so many great fabrics to choose from! I’m glad you are doing a donation to ACS they are very close to my heart. Thanks.

  23. 53

    says

    tracy. . .
    you gave me warm fuzzies inside when you mentioned me. you are precious.

    i, too, would LOVE to win a cool camera strap. sign me up!!!!

  24. 56

    Niki Thiel says

    How great of you to give some of your earnings to a great foundation. These are super cute bags and straps and I think many people are greatful for your creative dorkiness. lol

  25. 58

    Cassie R says

    Just discovered the exciting line of Tracy Joy bags!!! I was looking for an awesome, colorful bag that’s expresses a little bit of my personality and I found it!! LOVE her bags and accessories!!!

  26. 63

    Pam L. says

    Loved the interview segment. I keep Ginghers in my pajama drawer so nobody but me can use them! Those camera bags are awesome and I LOVE the straps! Gotta get me one of those.
    Jodi – thanks for sharing yet another free action. I was able to download it without a hitch.
    For those of you reading this I would just like to give Jodi a big kudos for her excellent, above and beyond customer service. She stuck with me until I got something right that I was having a problem with. You don’t find that much these days.

    Best of luck to you Tracy!

  27. 67

    Kristyq says

    That was a great interview. It’s fun to learn a little bit more about her. I’ve been ogleing Tracy’s bags for awhile. She is so talented. Thanks for the chance to win.

  28. 71

    says

    I need a new bag – we are busting at the seams! I love fabric – so I am just ewwing and awwing at these bags – and my husband is giving me funny looks….aww…love the strap too!!! Great post!!!

  29. 72

    says

    Wow! This is my first visit to this blog. I can’t believe I’ve never seen these before! I would love one!!!!!! They rock!

  30. 73

    says

    The fabrics are awesome and remind me of my quilting mother. Do you combine the prints with the stripes in any of your products? I will check out more of what you offer online.

  31. 78

    says

    I just found Tracey Joy 2 weeks ago and bought the Kristine in the acanthus print. Its on its way and I can’t wait to get it!! I really need the strap to match. Pick me pick me!! -tanya

  32. 84

    says

    I don’t usually win anything ….. but there is a first time for everything, and I would love this to be my first time. Gorgeous prizes and so much fun – a real attention grabber!!

  33. 88

    says

    omg!! a camera strap??
    we don’t have them in this country. i would LURVVVE to own one.
    and of course i’d have to order the bag, later on, to go with it!
    *giggle*
    holding thumbs madly for myself!!

  34. 89

    says

    Oooooh – I really want to win a beautiful strap to give to my business partner, Diana. She has been coveting Tracy Joy products forever and would be over the moon!!!!!!!!!!

  35. 90

    says

    I’m planning on getting (or winning!) a bag, so if I win a strap, I’ll have to make sure to get a coordinating strap cover. I sure hope this will make my new (read: stiff) camera strap a lot more comfortable. :D

  36. 92

    BB says

    Oooo…gorgeous fabrics! I love the Boho design. Both Boho Orchid and Clementine are just gorgeous! Thanks so much for the chance! :)

  37. 93

    says

    I have been eye balling Tracy Joy bags for a while now, dropping suttle hints to my dear hubby. Ok….not so suttle, he’s a man and ya just have to tell ‘em what you want straight up, ha!
    I would love to have a strap for my new camera. It looks like it would be very comfortable and stylish at the same time. Can’t wait till May 21st when you announce the winners! YEAH!!!!

  38. 95

    Gail says

    OMGoodness! I would soooo love to win one of these strap covers to hide that ugly Canon strap on my camera. I have no clue how I would ever decide which fabric, but I would!

  39. 96

    Bobbi says

    These are super cute! Thanks for giving us photographers better choices so we don’t have to stick with the boring~ old~ scratch -your- neck variety. :)

  40. 97

    Heather K says

    The interview was fantastic! I love hearing success stories that incorporate giving to a good cause! Tracy, you and your bags ROCK! I love the bags, they are so cute and girly!
    Us photographers not only have to look good while taking pictures we have to have awesome style and fashion too :)! The new strap will look great on my camera and it will also match my personality! I am fun, energetic, and of course I always have style :)!!
    Thank you!! :)

  41. 99

    says

    Wow i hadnt heard of Tracy Joy stuff before – but its all so cute!!!! I hope i win but if not, i might just have to purchase something!!

    great interview also

  42. 100

    Sarah Henderson says

    I didn’t realize she made Camera Straps! How cool! I would love a bag too. Fabric choices are gorgeous!

  43. 105

    says

    Wow what an awesome interview! I enjoyed reading every bit of it!! I own the Kristine bag and love how it fits all my stuff!! Thank you Jodi for allowing us to get to know Tracy more. And I sooo would love to have a strap match my bag hehe!!

  44. 107

    says

    I loooove Tracy Joy bags! Of course I *need* ;) lol a matching camera strap – helllo! ;) My camera will thank you.
    Great work Tracy! My MIL said it was so easy to get a gift for me, going through you.

  45. 108

    says

    Super cute idea…. The camera strap reminds me of the older 60’s and 70’s weaved type that I have even went to pawn shops to try and find. I need this product :)

  46. 109

    says

    I absolutely am in awe of these bags!! I recently purchased one after looking everywhere in Australia,but nothing can compare to Tracy Joy!! I will be adding to my collection don’t you worry!! Got mine in the HOT COUTURIER PLATINUM and it rocks…even had my hubby say it’s very sexy!!

  47. 113

    Jennifer says

    Would love to win! Got my first dslr for my b-day a month ago from my dad. Ofcourse I received a plain jane boring strap (I am greatful for the camera) but, would love to have a more girly strap and going to get me a bag soon. Love all the choice.

  48. 115

    Crystal says

    I just ordered a bag 2 days ago. I can’t wait to get it! It would be soo wonderful if I won a strap for my camera! Good luck to all!

  49. 116

    Shar says

    I adore Tracy Joy and have a few of my own. I now think that I should “fancy up” my camera as well. One more way to be an original!

  50. 117

    Taryn says

    These bags are GREAT!!! I never understood why camera bags were so boring! Beautiful designs!!!

  51. 118

    Billie says

    I’m so glad to have found TracyJoy’s site, and because of that, to discover this one as well! Thanks to you both for sharing your fabulous knowledge (not to mention style!) with the rest of us! :)

  52. 119

    says

    I’ve never seen such cool camera goodies…and after all, it is all about the accessories!!! LOVE these so much…even if I don’t win one, I’ll have to have one!!!!

  53. 120

    Kari says

    Oh my gosh these bags are TDF!!! I don’t know how I will ever decide which one to buy-there is not one that isn’t absolutely stunning! One of each please!!! heehee…

  54. 121

    Teresa Pomerantz says

    I love TJ bags- don’t own one though :(. I love reading your blog Jodi! Thanks for all you do!

  55. 122

    says

    I love Tracy’s bags!! I’ve got one of her original Kimberly bags and love it!! But now I’m totally eyeing the new Joey style! Of course my husband will probably not be too happy if I ask him for yet another camera bag lol!

  56. 123

    Jenzee says

    I LOVE THEM!! They are soooo cute! This is the first time I have ever seen them. Did I say I love them!!!

  57. 124

    Tina Harris says

    I just got my first SLR camera today for an early birthday(May 20)gift. A Nikon D40 with tow lenses, I love it. Took over 100 pictures of my girls today and oh how fussy they were today. My husband, and parents told me over and over today, you need to hurry up and get a case. So everyone is in bed and I began the hunt for a girly, trendy looking camera case. Little did I realize how hard the hunt was going to be. Finally I tyeped in Girly camera case and found the Tracy Joy site, I am in love. I love to stand out a little bit and the Tracy Joy camera bag and camera strap covers are all about me. I’m hoping to get a little birthday money on my actually birthday and I will be making my purchase.

    Thank you for this interview, it us always nice to know something about the person who is making, designed a product you are considering. How much cooler these camera straps look compared to the boring black one on my camera. I will be the envy, hope I win! Happy Birthday to me!!!

  58. 125

    Gina Fensterer says

    Well, now I know what my next wish-list item is!! Gorgeous bags. And how awesome are those strap covers!! I never saw any before. Tracy, what a generous donation, too. :)

  59. 126

    says

    Great interview and such stylish bags! I will definitely become one of Tracy Joy’s newest fans….who wouldn’t covet one? Thanks for the interview and introduction to a fun, beautiful, product.

  60. 132

    Jennifer says

    I LOVE Tracy’s bags! I bought a wallet to check out the fabric and its so cute. Now I am ready to get a bag. I’ve been drooling over these for a long time. So a camera strap would complete my collection then! Thanks!

  61. 134

    Amara says

    Great interview! I love hearing details about the person behind the product. Super cute fabrics – the camera bag is going on my b-day wish list.

  62. 139

    says

    I LOVE these camera straps! They are so creative and unique and I would love to win one and have extras! I just discovered Tracey Joy and mcpactions and would really like to get one of your joey bags as well and also need some serious help on my website and blog. Thanks for making these great products! Katie

  63. 141

    says

    These camera straps are gorgeous. I’m just starting out on photography (with the goal of doing something out of it in the future), but I’ve already grown to love my camera so much. These straps would be a unique, colorful, and inspiring touch to my camera.
    And thank you for your help to the American Cancer Society. It personally means a lot to me.

  64. 142

    says

    Thanks everyone for all the comments – glad you loved the interview. Keep watching for wednesday when the winners are announced.

  65. 143

    says

    “oh oh pick me pick me pick me” (Donkey jumping up and down)…from Shrek!
    I’m in the process of trying to decide which fabric I’m going to order my Kristine bag in right now…spending my birthday and Mother’s day gift $$. A matching strap would just be awesome!!

  66. 144

    Janna says

    Wow! What cool bags! I need one of those! And I also need a cool camera strap. Thanks for the contest.

    Janna

  67. 146

    says

    I Love Tracy Joy bags! I’ve been wanting to order one for some time now, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Thanks for the chance to win :)

  68. 148

    Larry Green says

    I and my wife quilt but I think your camera straps are great. It looks like you’ve taken two great loves and joined them.
    Keep up the great works of art.

  69. 150

    Veronica says

    I LOVE these camera straps! They are so beautiful and look so much better than the standard issue ones that come with your camera. What a great way to show off your creative style. Plus, no one else would get their camera mixed up with mine.

  70. 151

    Nancy says

    An interesting interview. It sounds like Tracy has had an interesting journey to get to her goal.

  71. 153

    says

    Oh My…I would love a camera strap! I am a mom of three little children and my how I soooo want to be trendy! This would help me to become well on my way…don’t you think. :)

  72. 155

    Flo Raines says

    I Love the camera straps and bags. I just discovered your site and have added your blog to reader so now I can get every post.Thanks and I will be ordering some actions…..

  73. 156

    says

    You may continue to add comments but I am ending the contest now – at 155 entries. I will be announcing the winners in a little while. So check back. Note – after 99 – it looks like the numbers started at 00 – the 1 is getting cut off. So remember your number if it is after the 00 is 100 and something…

  74. 157

    says

    How stinkin adorable!! I’m always looking for ways to add personality into my shoots and love for photography! It just makes things that much more fun!! Hope to win!! Thanks for your creativity!!

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