Photo by Sara Armijo

Tara Low is a photographer from Broomfield, Colorado who specializes in photojournalism-style wedding and family portraiture. Tara started her business in 2011, and is gearing up for her first wedding season this summer. You can see her work (so far!) at


As a photojournalism-style photographer, I’ll do anything to get THE SHOT. I’ll lay in the muck (or on a grimy city street), wedge myself between rocks, and balance precariously on whatever object gives me a creative vantage point.  All while carrying thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment on my back. My insurance company loves me.


Mountainsmith was my first stop when I started camera pack shopping primarily because of their reputation for making bombproof backpacks, and because they offer a Lifetime Warranty. (Although I’ve never needed to use the warranty for Mountainsmith products I’ve owned, a little peace of mind goes a long way for this new business owner).  Total bonus points for being a local Colorado company committed to reducing their environmental footprint.

For example...I am wedged in a tree getting this shot!

The first pack I chose was the Borealis AT. Built for photographers who hike and ski, it’s the perfect choice for active outdoor engagement and family shoots. The padding around the equipment compartment is sturdy without being too inflexible or awkward. The clamshell design offers quick and easy access to my gear, and accommodates my  backup camera body, extra lenses, and flash without crowding.

On outdoor portrait shoots, I re-purpose the laptop sleeve as a sheath for a folding reflector kit, a must-have in bright or direct sunlight. The feature I geeked out over the most was the small zippered pouch on the left hip pad, featuring mesh pockets clearly marked green for clean cards or full batteries, or red for full cards or spent batteries.
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The roomy pockets above the equipment compartment carry my accessories plus whatever props we’re using that day – a ground cloth, bubbles, or snacks for grumpy kids. And if an unexpected rain or snow shower hits (we are in Colorado after all) there’s a built-in rain cover that fits snugly to the pack frame.

My one request for the next generation Borealis AT? Adding a fixed external water bottle pocket so I can stay hydrated on the job.

At weddings, where things like expensive white dresses and red wine coexist in close quarters, a small lumbar pack is a much safer choice for carrying extra equipment. Here, the Borealis AT morphs into my mobile command center. With space for my laptop, several chargers, and necessities like sunscreen and energy bars, I can keep everything I need for a 10-hour workday in easy reach.

I’m taking a break from the spring engagement circuit this weekend for a quick trip to Moab with my husband. A little hiking, a little camping, and A LOT of photography. I can’t wait to see how the Borealis AT’s suspension performs on slickrock!


Check out the Mountainsmith Borealis and the rest of the Mountainsmith Camera Line at!

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