Who we are
Founded in 2005 out of a desire to help photographers see the world and capture the moment, Think Tank designs and creates high quality travel gear for the world’s venturing observers.
Our sophisticated travel gear raises the bar in carrying solutions — durable across the miles and versatile in every situation. Armed with insights from our community of photographers, Think Tank’s product designers meld form with function so that what you carry is a help, not a hindrance.
Our philosophy is simple: To inspire illuminating experiences.
A brief story
Motivated by climbing and adventure, Doug Murdoch started making gear for himself and friends at The Harness Factory, in Sunland, California. Doug later worked for Mountain N’ Air Sports, Adventure 16, and Lowepro, as well as being a design consultant. Dissatisfied with the pressure to lower costs by reducing features, Doug struck out to design products that out-performed the stripped-down, less effective offerings from other companies.
On top of Half Dome after climbing Tis-sa-sack with Matt Oliphant, 1986.
Photo Credit: Matt Oliphant.
Doug called Mike Sturm asking him to be part of a yet unnamed company focused on designing products for photographers. Mike was an expert designer, pattern maker, and sample maker with the ability to think “outside-the box.”
Kurt Rogers became friends with Doug when they designed The Sideline Shooter belt pack, which became a standard for photojournalists. Inspired by the possibility to create innovative products for professional photographers, Doug called Kurt and said “Hey, want to create a new company?”
Kurt says, “We should get Deanne involved!” Deanne Fitzmaurice and Kurt worked as photographers for the San Francisco Chronicle and were married. Deanne won the coveted Pulitzer prize 12 months later.
“Luck is a state of mind. I find that showing up and expecting that the universe will deliver actually paves the way for it to do so.”
— Deanne Fitzmaurice
To launch the company, Doug and Deanne went the Canon Super Bowl party in 2005 and gave away free Speed Demon belt packs to photojournalists. News about the new products traveled fast among the tight-nit group of photojournalists, and the rest is history!
Think Tank becomes the Gold Standard in Rollers. As our community of sports photographers grew, word got around that our rollers were the best in the industry. Now, if you visit the Press Room in sports stadiums around the world, you are sure to find Think Tank rolling camera cases.
Lily called Doug and said, “When the company gets big enough, please hire me!” Lily was also an expert designer and pattern maker and responsible for some iconic Think Tank bags, including the original Retro collection and the StreetWalker backpacks.
2005 — 2015
The original founders of Think Tank. Left to right: Steven Harrison, Brian Erwin, Deanne Fitzmaurice, Mike Sturm, Doug Murdoch, Pam Austin, and Kurt Rogers.
“Our goal was to create products that help photographers Be ready before the moment™”
— Doug Murdoch, CEO and Lead Designer
Andrew Hutchins joined as President in 2008. As an experienced business manager, Andrew helped guide Think Tank to profitability. He was also instrumental in establishing new markets in over 55 countries around the world through partnerships with international distributors.
Chris Butcher joined as National Sales Manager in 2009. With his deep experience in photo retail, Chris immediately set out on the road and landed numerous retail accounts across the United States. Currently Chris is the President of Think Tank.
Doug and Rawmin Ehyai accept the RedDot design award for the Rotation180 Backpack. Rotation 180 technology was an unique Think Tank innovation and was initially launched on Kickstarter. When photographers team up with product designers, you can address unique needs with inventive solutions that stand out from the competition.
Joe Hanssen joined Think Tank in 2015 as a product designer and is now the Lead Product Designer for our Travel products. Way to go, Joe!
Our team is always striving to help our customers find the right bag for their gear, so don’t hesitate to contact us!