On The Things I Carry

Much like John Carey, I’ve also always had curiosity for the things certain people carry with them on a daily basis regardless of how simple they may be because these items have the potential to illustrate a person’s character, personality and what they may intend to represent.

My need for any of the following items doesn’t really vary regardless of whether I’m photographing or at work. I would say that 99% of the time these items are always with me.

Things I Carry

1. Pocket-size Ruled Moleskine Notebook - First of all, you could just about walk into any local office supply store or bookstore and find dozens of different brands of notepads for jotting notes but what makes these well-liked black notebooks popular is their quality, their design and the history behind them.

The Moleskines truly do fit everyone’s needs and purposes. I’ve own a couple large softcover ones but when it comes to having just one to use and abuse, I’ve opted for the traditional black cover, ruled sheets in pocket-size format. The paper in them is thick enough that it doesn’t bleed through and just the idea of having random writings in one single place far exceeds having to dig for miscellaneous pieces of paper in your pocket that might have contained information of value and that’s easy to lose.

Here’s something to remember about notebooks. You’re unlikely to use them if they’re not portable, easy to use and if the don’t cater to your workflow. As far as notebooks, the idea of going paperless is overrated for me. As much writing as I may do by means of a keyboard, nothing beats traditional pen and paper every now and then.

Something I’ve noticed about people who use Moleskines is that once they embraced them, they generally become very devoted to them and often find themselves buying more and more regardless of whether they may need a new one or not.

2. Moo Cards - Other than being unique and aesthetically pleasing to look at, the huge advantage for a mind changing person like myself in using Moo Cards is their Printfinity feature - the option of printing a different image on every card in the pack. As a photographer, it’s a very creative way for me to showcase a variety of my work as oppose to opting for the traditional one-image only design.

On top of all that, most people don’t expect to be asked to choose which business card design they would like, so there’s always a wow-factor when I’ve given them out to people who have interest to follow up more on my work. At the moment I’m in dire need of more business cards and despite the inclination to experiment with something different, it’s unlikely I’ll deviate from what I’ve been accustom to carrying with me for the past 3 years.

3. Jetstream Pen - I have to admit that office supplies fascinate me, particularly pens. When ever I see them aligned neatly in their corresponding aisle in a store, I fantasize about how much more writing I could produce on paper if I simply had the perfect pen.

Ballpoints pens are the workhorses of the writing world. They’re the most common in the market due to their low price and durability but I prefer Roller Ball Pens. I find writing with them tends to be more both elegant and effortless. When I find a pen I enjoy, I do everything I can not to lose it because there’s something satisfying about using a pen all the way until it can no longer pinch another speck of ink. The converse is also frustrating. When you’ve found a pen you love and it stops working despite having a lot more ink to offer.

4. Louis Vuitton Card Holder - I’m just as obsessive about leather wallets as I am about my pens. I seek to find one that’s minimalistic, appealing, slips easily into a pocket and can withstand consistent usage. At the moment, I’m using this Louis Vuitton Card Holder that was given to me at work. This handcrafted wallet is mainly intended to hold a few credit and business cards and leaving very little room for any cash unless you fold it it neatly several times into 1 of its 3 inserts but even that is a stretch.

My wife finds my penchant for rarely carrying cash intolerable, so this card holder doesn’t do much to assist me in advancing myself in that department. I’ll be upgrading very soon to something as simple but with more compartments but if you were to pick my pocket in the street at this very moment, this card holder is what you’ll find.

5. iPhone 4 - I never upgraded to the iPhone 4s in spite of the acclaimed enhancements such as a 5MP camera or voice-command software Siri. To me, those two features were never enough to convince me to modernize what I have now. With the amount of “iPhone 5” unconfirmed rumors, I’m willing to just wait it out and see how much of the growing speculation materializes into an actual product.

Much like every iPhone owner, perhaps it’s superfluous to say the device is with me 24/7 as well and since day one, I’ve always been the type to sport a case with it and at the moment I’m using an PhoneSuit Elite Battery Case. I read countless reviews and received several suggestions about which battery case were the most proficient and practical to handle and I eventually settle with the one you see now. I’ve owned it for about 3 weeks and eventually I’ll get around to writing about my experience with it thus far. What I can say about it so far is that it carries out everything you’re told it would do.

6. Stainless Steel and Silicone Fossil Watch - People often assume that in view of everyone practically carrying a cell phone now a days, there’s really no need to sport a watch anymore. According to this article from back in 2006, there is a correlation between increased cell phone usage and decreased interest in people purchasing watches, and that the cell phone is partially responsible for the reduction. I’ve always worn a watch. I feel absolutely lost without it and there’s been times when I’ve risked being late for work because of the rash decision I’ve made to turnaround on instances when I’ve accidentally left the house without it.

I own 3 variations in color of the Fossil watch you see in the photograph. This particular style retails for about $125 but I snagged this one for $75 tax-free while vacationing in Grand Cayman Island 2 years ago.

7. Tungsten Carbide Wedding Band - With the exemption of this ring, I don’t own anything that you would classify as jewelry and that includes any fancy gold piece that some men can’t seem live without. I never cared for it which is probably a good thing because I can’t imagine how much money I would have spent buying gold if I were the flashy type.

I chose an extremely minimalistic Tungsten ring as my wedding band. The strength of tungsten carbide has made it widely used for decades in industrial applications - it is four times harder than titanium, twice as hard as steel and are 100% scratch-proof. I love the ring and I very often get compliments on it. The one characteristic to know about Tungsten is that because the material is extremely hard, wedding bands made from metal cannot be sized like gold, silver or platinum rings. When you are ready to purchase, make sure that you take extra care in determining the proper size.

That’s it. This is pretty much the things I carry. Nothing ostentatious but simple things that define in a way how simplistic I guess you can say I am. If you’re curious as to the things I carry when I’m out photographing, there should be no surprise in stating that it’s just as minimal as what I’ve shared today but that’s for another article.