Mark Your Camera Equipment & Never Leave Anything Behind

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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 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.

Happy Flying!

–Click On The Image To Enlarge It–



  1. John

    The hot pink duct tape (and feel free to find your own fun colour, my daughter chose pink for me, she was tired of the orange/purple she has chosen for me when she was around 3) can be found at Home Depot, Lowes, even WalMart (not that I advocate shopping at WalMart).

    The best place for a wide variety of tape types, such as electrical tape, plastic based tapes, duct tape, etc etc is Tape Brothers. You can visit them online here

    Happy Flying!


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