What is the best camera strap for wedding photography?
Don’t want to read all of my musings? Scroll down the page to my recommendations!
Many of you know that I am a professional wedding photographer. For more than a decade, I have lugged gear around to capture the big day for couples around the world. As many times as I have upgraded my cameras, I have changed camera straps. I have had the chance to try out and use four different strap combinations and finally found the perfect way to haul around my cams during weddings. See below for my personal experience with several popular professional camera straps.
The straps that come with the camera
If you bought your camera new, then it probably came with a camera strap. When I started I shot with Nikon cameras and their straps have the model number of the camera on them. As a new photographer, sporting a D80 strap is not what you want to do at weddings. Why? Because there is always some rich doctor there who will come up to you with his new D810 and ask why your shooting a wedding with that low end camera. Believe me, I am a proponent of being a better photographer than Dr. Knowsalot, but it does call into question your abilities. (p.s. I don’t use a D80 anymore, but I did for about a year.)
My first pro strap – Black Rapid
I replaced the OEM straps with straps by Black Rapid and they were great….for a while. Black Rapid offers straps that cross over the body with a sliding metal connector that lets you bring the camera up quickly and easily. You can get straps for a single camera, or you can go completely “Delta Force” by outfitting yourself with the double strap. (play Mission Impossible theme song) They’re some really great straps and I highly recommend them.
The issue I found was carrying around two fully tricked-out Nikons with stupid-heavy lenses all day killed my neck and back. I found myself hurting for two days after an 8-hour wedding so I had to find a different solution.
Enter the Spider Holster
I had to hunt down a different camera strap solution! Each week I was hitting the chiropractor to recover from my weddings, so it was costing about $200 per month. Through a Facebook Ad, I ran into the Spider Holster. The belts are more expensive, but they sure are nice. I am able to carry the two cameras all day without any back or neck pain at all.
The only issue I have found is that it makes your hips pretty wide, so squeezing through crowds can sometimes be a bit tricky. I had to replace a lens a few years ago (insurance) because a kid ran into it with his forehead.
High End Camera Straps?
For those who have everything and want to look super-stylish while shooting, you could get straps and bags from Hold Fast Gear. These are some gorgeous leather straps made in the USA. They’re similar to Black Rapid straps in that they go over the shoulder, but they certainly are attractive.