Let’s be real here. There are a number of tools that wedding photographers consider must-have, that they never leave home without. However, more times than not, wedding photographers just love the ability to go hands-free. I get it - more mobility, and they can position their subjects around like a conductor of a grand symphony.
Have you ever attended the WPPI show in Vegas? I’ve been there a number of times, and it’s one of my favorite annual photography trade shows. What you’ll see so ubiquitous are wedding photographers walking around with one of those Spider Pro Holsters. At first glance, these photographers remind you of gunslingers at the O.K. Corral - camera at their side, hands-free, and eyes scanning the room. Well, that was one heck of a visual!
I vividly remember the day that I tried one of these on. It was at the 2012 Photo Plus Show in NYC. Like many others at the show, I was carrying my camera around with my neck strap, periodically complaining to my wife that I should have left my camera at the hotel. You know what I’m talking about… regardless how comfortable a neck strap might be after 10 minutes, after 2-4 hours, your neck and shoulders are ready to fall off!
I saw the booth for Spider Holster, and they had people lining up all over the place waiting to try on one of these camera holsters. I have to admit, I let curiosity get me, and I waited something like 30 minutes to get my turn to try one on. After all, with the combination of always seeing people walking around with them on, and that huge line just to try one out… I had to see what the deal was. What’s funny is my wife got in on the action and tried one on too, even though she’s not a photographer.
One of the guys who were getting people in and out of these belts (who I later found out was the owner) swapped out different cameras in the harness that was now wrapped around my waist. We tried a camera with a small lens, and even one that had something like a 70-200mm on it in addition to a flash. I couldn’t believe how natural it felt!
At that point in the day, I was just thrilled that my hands were emancipated! As I write this… I have this Southwest Airline slogan running through my head: “you are free to move about the country.” Herb Kelleher (or whoever wrote that for him) nailed that one. And that’s what my hands were doing – moving about freely. I seriously understood why so many photographers were wearing these camera holsters. Spider Holster understood the photography industry and what photographers needed to make their lives so much easier and productive.
Something like two weeks after that show, my Spider Holster Pro was delivered to my doorstep. Yeah, if you know me, I’m not even a wedding photographer. I shoot landscapes. What prompted this article is that I was walking in the park with my son over the weekend and I saw yet another wedding photographer with one of these slung around his waist. And this photographer was hardcore… he had the dual camera holster set up.
It’s been three years since I first got my Spider Holster and I absolutely love this thing. If I have my camera, you’ll find this Spider Pro around my waist. In retrospect, the title to this article really could lose the “wedding photographers” part and just read “photographers.” I guess I’m giving tribute to the all the wedding photographers that I saw wearing one of these back in 2012. Really, these camera harnesses are the quintessential hands-free devices, and all photographers should at least try one on. Your neck and shoulders deserve it!
- Alex Schult