Often times people will strike up conversations with us about our gear. And they may all be the kind of questions you might expect for a video and photography production company.
“What kind of camera is that?”
“I see your white lens. So you are a Canon guy, huh?”
“Have you ever thought of using LED lights?”
“I have that same drone (Phantom 3P3 and Mavic Pro) at my house.”
“What kind of microphones do you use?”
The Question We Never Hear
While these questions do all address very important pieces of equipment for any production studio, we have never been asked about the straps we use. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t realize even myself how critical solid straps are until one of our recent international shoots.
We’ve been blessed since Day One to have a nice pair of straps that were given to us by one of our founding board members. I’ll go ahead and give away the brand of our straps: Black Rapid. We started using their straps in 2011, while they were still a new company. Our straps never gave us any problems through seven years of abuse, supporting our cameras over our shoulders in the mountains, the desert, the rain, snow, any kind of environment you can think of.
But then, the moment happened that caused my stomach to drop as if I had just been punched in the gut. While filming in a city with one camera, the other camera hanging from the strap over my shoulder suddenly dropped to the hard sidewalk. If only it would have happened in slow motion (like it did in my mind) so I could have had time to catch the camera before it smashed against the concrete. Fortunately, the camera was fine, but the lens suffered damage rendering it unusable until we returned home to have it sent in for repairs.
While this moment was extremely difficult to swallow, it forced me to re-evaluate how we carry our expensive cameras and lenses around the world. I was never comfortable with the straps Canon supplies with their cameras. Since these Black Rapid straps had been donated to us from the beginning, and I liked them, I never explored what else was out there. In my recent research I came across many photographers that spend a lot of time and money searching for just the right strap. After reading many reviews on different straps, I still felt as though I had the right one all this time. My fault was in not staying current on how Black Rapid had been improving its straps over these years.
So when I went to the Black Rapid website, I discovered they have improved their strap technology. I also found that they offer a trade-in program for their used straps. I was impressed and reached out to see about purchasing some replacement straps through the trade-in offer. However, when they heard my story and what Lantern Vision does, they provided us two new replacement straps and a new double harness strap, free of charge. I was stoked! We have since been using all three straps (The Classic Retro and Double Breathe) for various shoots and have loved them.
Lesson learned: Never underestimate the importance of a good strap, and keeping straps current.
Get Your Own Strap
If you are interested in purchasing a Black Rapid strap, check out their collection on their website, and if you access their website via this link, Lantern Vision will receive a small commission (thank you!): http://www.blackrapid.com/?a_aid=5b83e3a79e535