Photogs as inventors
Check out American Photographer magazine story on photo tools, it gives Domke credit for meeting a need and covers some new tools that aren't aimed at snapshooters.
"Itís a moment that most serious photographers have experienced: Youíre in the middle of a shoot, and you realize that none of the off-the-shelf photo gear at your disposal can solve the particular technical problem youíre facing or produce the creative effect you want. You cobble together a solution and move on.
Then there are those photographers who stop and think, ďIím likely to have this problem or want this effect again. What can I build myself?Ē Of those who actually go on to make such a tool, a few figure out how to produce their invention and sell it to the rest of us. Some whose names you might know include photojournalist Jim Domke, whose eponymous photo bags were the first good soft-sided ones available; beauty photographer Peter Gowland, whose custom-built view cameras served a variety of exotic purposes; and commercial photographer Gary Fong, whose light modifiers helped redefine on-camera flash photography."
When I designed the bag, they only had suitcases filled with foam to cut to the shape of your gear. You couldn't work out of it. It was simply storage to help carry to and from a location. Camera makers thought the camera bag was simply a storage container.