The best camera straps for me…
Recently, the beautiful Gina England asked me which camera strap I prefer and the question prompted me to blog about my strap evolution.
When I first started using my husband’s Nikon D80 (my first camera body), and prior to doing any major shoots, I was SO excited to get a super cute little girly strap for it. I thought I was going to be SO stylish. My husband rolled his eyes at the thought of me girli-fying his camera, but I didn’t care. I searched high and low for what was to be the perfect replacement for the boring old black strap he had on it at the time. I ended up with this adorable ruffled goodness from Xcess Rize Designs on Etsy:
I couldn’t wait to use it! I’m seriously laughing at myself as I write this, just for the record. What in the world would make me think that having a super heavy camera around my already prematurely curved neck/spine would be a good idea? Now, don’t get me wrong, this strap is made very well and could be used with a lightweight camera or for your head shots to add a little flair! However, I discovered after my first shoot using this as my main strap that if I kept this up, I would end up looking like The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Before I get to my next big strap purchase, I wanted to mention that I have been using the Hubuka LH Camera Grip/Strap for a long time now and I LOVE it! It takes the pressure off of my hands and fingers and I can’t imagine shooting without it.
(photo by Heather Allison)
The next strap I purchased is the Black Rapid Women’s R-Strap. I had read a ton of great reviews about this strap. Overall, I like it quite a bit. The only thing you have to be really careful of is to REALLY tighten it to the bottom of your camera so that it doesn’t come loose. Here is a photo of me and the Black Rapid in action:
(photo by Frank Blau)
The only problem is that I still had so much weight on my shoulder and spine when I wasn’t holding the camera. And I had upgraded to the even heavier Nikon D700 and added heavier lenses to my collection to add to the weight. I have an old gymnastics injury that plagues my shoulders every so often, along with my spine curvature, so I started to think that maybe I could find something even better for my body. Not that I won’t continue using the Black Rapid here and there, but for long weddings, I wanted zero weight on my neck and shoulders.
I then came across the Spider Holster. Now, I certainly won’t be winning any style awards with this fanny pack resembling holster, but it’s cool. I’m beyond that now.
I had my eye on the Spider Holster for a while because all of the weight is on your hips with this thing, but I wanted to wear it around before I bought it, so I waited until I went to the trade show at WPPI where I could try it out. The thought of slipping my camera in and out of a metal holster made me a bit nervous. What if it came detached? What if it wasn’t easy to quickly slip it on and off? After wearing it around with a camera and a 70-200 lens and taking the camera on and off the holster probably 500 times, I realized that I didn’t have to worry about those things. It was actually way easier than it seemed and I can see myself adjusting to it very quickly.
I haven’t shot a wedding with it yet, but I’ll update this after I do. The thought of having zero weight on my upper body is so liberating! Although, I will probably attach my Black Rapid to my camera for my first wedding that I use the Spider…just in case. I get into the zone during weddings and I can see myself just dropping my camera to my hip expecting it to be caught by my strap
p.s. These are just the things that have worked for me. I’m not in any way saying there aren’t a ton of awesome other options out there!