Since I upgraded my ThinkTank Logistics Manager 30 with bigger wheels (link in post), my next thing to improve was how I transport tripods, stands and lighting modifiers such as umbrellas and softboxes.
When I only bring two lighting stands and two umbrellas, I can stick them in the pocket on the front. But for larger assignments with more equipment, I need a separate bag. And together with a backpack, that is not making my back happy.
Base: a plastic laundry basket
Instead of building a frame from scratch, I looked around for products that could be easily modified into what I needed. And that was something that could hold my stands and lighting modifiers, but nothing too heavy, yet still a bit rigid.
Make it fit outside the case
A plastic laundry basket is lightweight, quite cheap and would fit perfect if it wasn’t too big. So I cut it into two halves, and removed a bit in the middle that I didn’t need.
With the two halves, I had the parts for a basket wide enough to hold my equipment, but not too big for my rolling case.
Tape the parts together
Some duct tape, or textile tape, was strong enough to hold the two pieces together, and now I had a slimmer version of the laundry basket with the right measurements.
Just to be sure not to make it too fragile, I strenghtened the holes I had to drill with additional tape. This kind of plastic can crack, and I didn’t want that to happen.
Build foldable legs
The thing above is a hanger for clothes that you can put on a wall and lock in different positions. It is unnecessarily heavy, but I went with it anyway as it gave me the foldable legs I wanted my basket/case/bag to have.
Two legs plus two tubular parts from a broom gave me both a foldable leg thing plus something that would act as the thing to attach it to the rolling case with.
My plastic laundry basket was too fragile to screw things onto it without something that gave it a bit of support. Two parts from a wooden shelf made it more durable.
The reason for the ruler in the photo above was to make it a perfect fit into the large pocket of my Logistics Manager 30. When I use them together, I stick the legs down the pocket and the width holds it stable outside of my rolling case
The final product
It is not the prettiest rolling case attachment, but it is mine. And it works perfectly well for what I need it for.
I might call it: Piggyrollin’
How I use the Piggyrollin’
A lot of my assignments as a freelance photographer in Stockholm, Sweden, are quick ones. But I try to give my clients as much variation in the portraits I deliver as I can in the time I have. That has proven to be something many appreciate, and more portraits sold for me.
If I can trim my workflow on-location, so I spend as little time as possible on setting up and breaking down my lighting setup, there is much to win.
Having a rolling case with larger wheels (my DIY project) has made transporting lights and other equipment much easier. With this I also have a good way of using my rolling case to carry all the lighting modifiers and stands as well.
It is much easier to have the heavy stuff on (large) wheels, plus a backpack sometimes, than to carry multiple bags.
When I get to a location, I take my piggyback thing, fold out the legs and can have it standing there while I set up the lights. If I need to move to another location, I can either put everything together, or carry this thing to where I need it while I roll the rolling case with my other hand.
I hope that the companies that make transport equipment for photographer will soon adapt a more modular thinking. Until then I will continue to build stuff that I miss, even if they are not as pretty as the bags they sell in the stores.
Total cost for this project, my time not included, might be somewhere around 400 SEK (40 EURO or USD).
If you have a smarter way of transporting all your photographic equipment and lights, please let me know.