A PROFESSIONAL photographer from Penarth is desperately appealing for help after her camera bag containing more than £4,000 worth of equipment was stolen.

Katrina Dimech, a freelance photographer and videographer, believes the kit was stolen from her car in the Marks & Spencer car park at Culverhouse Cross at around 4.45pm last Thursday, August 7.

Katrina, who set up Shutter Hire in Penarth in May this year, said that she had spent her life savings on the kit and that she was “distraught” without it as she was unable to work.

All of the kit was in a distinctive bright red bag that "looks like a tortoise shell" when being worn.

In a heartfelt appeal for help she said:

“I saved my whole life to purchase the items that were in that bag and photography is my career and my livelihood.

“You will never know how much that equipment means to me and my family, without that equipment I can't work.

“I have a 17-month-old son and those cameras are irreplaceable.

"There will also be a reward for the bag and equipment's safe return."

She added that her business cards and contact information were also in the bag, and that she was hoping whoever found it would get in touch.

Former Stanwell School pupil Katrina said that she was unable to claim off her camera or car insurance for the theft, but she believed whoever had the kit would be unable to sell it.

“I’m trying to appeal to whoever has stolen it as they can’t do much with it.

“There’s no way they can sell it as I’ve gone to all the pawn dealers in the area, I’m checking all the online auction sites and only a camera like that would be owned by a professional photographer.”

She added that her copyright information was embedded on both of the cameras and that she had all of their serial numbers and other registered information that could help identify them.

Katrina, of Laburnum Way, said that her friends had rallied around to support her.

“I’m just distraught by the whole thing,” she said.

“I worked my whole life to get that equipment and its only three months old.

“All of my friends have been pitching in and appealing online for donations so I can manage to pay for some more equipment so that I’m able to work.

“Today I’m going to the bank to take out my son's life savings to buy another camera just so I’m able to work.

“There were two cameras in that bag and one of them hadn’t even been used before.

“One of the cameras was on finance and I’m still paying for it.”

Katrina, 26, is also offering a reward for anyone that can return her kit.

The kit stolen includes: One Canon 5D Mark III with silicone cover and battery grip, Tamron 24-70mm lens.

One Canon 6D with Canon 50mm lens

One Zoom H4N Audio Recorder

One Yonguo Flashgun

One LED Videolight

Spare Batteries

SD Cards

If you have any information about the stolen kit contact Katrina on 07703774166 or Info@shutterhire.co.uk

You can also donate to her gofundme page after it was set up by Penarth businesses Alley Cat Ink and Tute Cute http://www.gofundme.com/helping-shutterhire