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Going Strapped

For someone who has carried around a camera with him for years (if not decades), I really doen’t like camera straps. I have friends who agonize over which strap is right for their camera, and me, I can’t stand the darn things.

If I’m working, my camera is in my hand and I’m using it to take photos. If I’m not using it, it’s in my bag. Simple as that. A strap is for very occasional use when I’m working with two cameras with two different lenses and the shot demands I switch quickly between the two.

So when it comes to choosing a camera strap, my needs are a) small and unobtrusive, b) nothing else. And I’m not alone. I assisted a large number of photographers when I first started out, and there would be hours of downtime on the shoot as we waited for the client to arrive or the light to change or any one of a hundred different things. Inevitably, we would talk about gear as we waited, and long discussions about the merits of various lighting systems or lenses or whatnot would spring up. Not once, though, did we talk about camera straps. They just are not that important for a working pro. We’re more geeked about a new Lightroom plugin or some other thing that affects the process of taking pictures, not how we carry around a camera.

There’s a metaphor with guns here, I think. I am concerned about two things with my defensive pistols: How I shoot them, and the holster. My gun is either in my hand being used, or it’s on me somewhere, ready for use. How I carry a gun is important to me, but it’s only important to me in terms of how it affects the process of taking a photo. Having a comfortable holster is a big deal for a lot of people, especially new gun owners. Once you carry for a while and start to take a class or two, you realize that other concerns, like fast access to your gear and reliable, repeatable placement on your body are more important than comfort.

Camera straps? Not a priority. Good pictures, those are my priority.

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