Why I stopped using camera straps

Whoever decided that cameras should be hung around our necks, clearly didn't care about our health. That has to be the worst idea ever. Why would anyone purposely put weight on their neck? Then carrying that weight for long periods of time, it doesn't make sense. For the majority of my wedding photography career, I've shot using camera straps. I started off with the factory strap that comes with the camera, and had a hard time carrying two camera bodies while shooting weddings.

derrel ho-shing camera straps 2.jpg

I'd have one strap around my neck and then one on my shoulder (as you can see above). It was difficult because it was hurting my neck and back, and the strap on my shoulder would slip off. I'd waste time fixing it, thus potentially missing a key moment. So I got rid of the factory straps, and got some shoulder straps. While those took the weight off my neck, it still put weight on my shoulders and back. 

Derrel Ho-Shing camera strap.jpg

I also hated how the cameras would dangle and swing around, banging against random things. With the camera swinging around, it ran the risk of unscrewing and falling off. I've witnessed photographers drop cameras, and damaging expensive lenses because of this exact reason. I found myself every 5 minutes tightening the screw at the bottom of the camera attached to the strap, to prevent it from falling. My mind was constantly on the screw, thus not allowing me to focus fully on the wedding and the couple. And not to mention, the straps would also crush and wrinkle my shirt. Can't be having wrinkled up shirts at weddings, gotta stay fresh. 


Then, everything changed when I was introduced to the Spider Dual Camera Holster. You can get the single holster or the dual. I got the dual because that's how I roll. Everything about it made sense. It took the weight off my neck, shoulders and back, and shifted it to my hips and legs. Now anyone who goes to the gym, knows how strong our leg muscles are. No more coming home after a wedding with a sore neck, back and shoulders. 

Derrl Ho-Shing SPider Holder-1.jpg

I love the fact that it doesn't wrinkle my shirt, allowing me to stay fly and dapper throughout the day. Also, wearing a ties with camera straps can be very distracting. I don't have that problem with the Spider Holster. I've also worn blazers with it too. Nothing worse than wearing a blazer with a camera or shoulder strap. It looks so tacky and uncomfortable. All these are non-issues with the Spider Holster.

Jellyfish Restaurant in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Jellyfish Restaurant in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

The first time you put it on, you'll feel like a cowboy or Yosemite Sam. It looks totally gangster. I've had this for almost 2 years now, and almost every wedding I've shot, I've gotten guests just staring at the holster. Many have even commented on it. It's definitely a great conversation starter. Not only is it easier on my body, but it makes me look official. It gives you a "I mean Business" type of look. It puts my cameras right by my hands anytime I need it, and it doesn't swing on wiggle around. My camera has NEVER dropped from the holster. NEVER! In a way, it helps me take better pictures because it allows me to focus on my creativity and not worrying about my camera falling.

photo by Dan Granner

photo by Dan Granner

The holster is adjustable for various waist sizes, and has a snap buckle at the front. It's a bit of a task to put it together, but once it's done, you'll never have to worry about putting it together again lol. It comes with a plate that screws onto the bottom of your camera, that's how it locks into the holster. The plate has a tripod screw as well, so you don't have to take off the plate when mounting your camera to a tripod. My plate hasn't come off since I bought the holster almost 2 years ago. It has a lock on the holster, so your camera stays locked in preventing someone from grabbing it when not in use. During the wedding, I usually keep it unlocked for quick access. 

There are a few cons. Sitting down with the holster and lens is uncomfortable, at least for me. When seated, I end up taking the cameras off the holster, and a lot of times taking the whole holster off my waist. The sides of the holsters are pretty firm (which keeps the camera from swinging), but it's super uncomfortable for me when seated. Depending on how I'm seated though, I sometimes can get away with keeping the holster on, but not the cameras. I haven't mastered that yet. If any of you readers have, please drop a comment and let me know how you do it. Another con, I don't find this holster conducive when on vacation with the family. I feel a little clustered. When I'm shooting a wedding, I'm in the zone, the holster feels GREAT on me. But when I'm on vacation, I'm in relax mode. I don't want to be weighed down with a heavy camera and lens. That's why I got a compact camera for vacations, but that's a story better left for another time. 

Overall, I highly recommend this to every professional wedding photographer. You will not regret it, and you probably won't ever go back to using straps. In addition, you can check out their website http://spiderholster.com for more details and info. 

What system are you using for your camera? How is it working for you? Do you currently use the Spider Holster? If so, let me know your thoughts and opinions. Leave some feedback.

Thanks for reading guys.

Cheers, Derrel.