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08/01/08 - Mark Your Camera Equipment & Never Leave Anything Behind
One of the most commonly asked question is "why is your equipment covered in pink tape?" (about a year ago I was asked "why is your gear gear covered in purple & orange tape," I changed tape colours this year to simplify things).
The answer to "Why is your equipment covered in pink tape?" is easy.
I started the practice of placing bright colourful tape on my equipment when I covered hard news, politics and a lot of sports. Every photographer's equipment looked essentially the same when placed down. By putting very bright tape on my cameras, lenses, monopods, etc, I could easily identify which gear was mine in the media room or on the sidelines. Many photographers use blue, red, yellow and green, so I avoided these colours and went for incredibly bright coloured tape.
As my work shifted away from news, sports and politics I continued to tape my equipment out of habit. I found having my bags taped made picking them out at the baggage carousel easy following a flight. Bright tape on a bag also made it easy to find my bag on a dark overnight flight when looking in the overhead storage bins.
With the progression of my work towards environmental portraits and corporate work I found the tape had another extremely valuable use. This new use? Never leaving my gear behind!
Over the past few years I have taped every piece of equipment (except my Canon 70-200f2.8L for some unexplainable reason, it's just wrapped in black gaffers tape). From PC cords to lens caps, camera batteries to camera bodies, everything has tape on it. When I tear down after a shoot I can quickly scan the room and look for the hot pink tape. When I pack up and leave a hotel room, I always scan for bright pink tape. When I am unpacking my bags it is hard to not notice the bright tape inside the solid coloured fabric of a camera bag.
In addition to the pink tape, all of my photo gear (within reason) also has a white label on it. This white label is printed with my name and contact information. Should I leave something behind, and it is not likely, it increases my chances of someone looking at the label of giving me a call to tell me that have my gear.
A funny side affect to this equipment labeling once caused question of my gear on a flight from Minneapolis (MSP) to Philadelphia (PHL). I had received a lens back from repair just before departing for a job. My tape and label were removed from the lens during the repair, and I didn't relabel them before leaving, so when going through a routine TSA secondary screening at MSP they wanted to know if the lens was mine and why it didn't match the other equipment! (they didn't question the 70-200f2.8L with no tape, they were questioning my Canon 85f1.8 USM)
Looking for a great place for a wide selection of funky coloured quality tape? Check out Tape Brothers at www.tapebrothers.com They have a great selection of Fluorescent Gaffers Tape
So for those of you who have e-mailed me to ask "Why is your equipment covered in pink tape?" hopefully this answered your question.
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