Laura Carbone photos by Jerry Cadieux
Product photos courtesy of SpiderPro
By Laura Carbone
As one of the staff photographers for Elmore Magazine, I shoot live music from narrow, cramped photo pits, only to pack up and cross muddy festival grounds to get to the next stage. I love my SpiderPro Camera Belt System, which gives me the mobility, speed and cool factor that backpacks and other holsters just don’t offer. In addition, every photographer knows how heavy a rig is by the end of a shoot, and hanging the camera from a belt around the hips takes 20 pounds of dead weight off a back that has been fractured in the past. The ease of carrying equipment at my side beats finding a place to stow—and keep my eye on—a backpack full of gear in a crowded photo pit.
First, there is the versatility of carrying two camera bodies in the dual holster setup, perfect for fast decisions. I have one body with a zoom and one with a wide lens, both absolutely necessary to capture all aspects of rapid-fire concert photography. The attachment to the holster is a quick smooth on/off motion, with a swivel ball allowing me to position the camera’s hang. With a flip of a switch I can lock the camera in place and dance to the music or have both hands free for a swig of water or glass of wine.
I recently added the hand strap, which eliminates the neck strap that dangles from the shoulder and swings a camera like a slingshot—instead the camera becomes an extension of your hand: comfortable, secure, and cool! (There are plenty of color choices, and mine’s red.) Slip your hand through the strap, grab on to the camera and start shooting. The hand strap has an extra strap to snap around your wrist so the camera cannot be dropped, giving me peace of mind when shooting from chair lifts, racing vehicles or dangling precariously from tall ladders—cheap insurance for a few thousand dollars of delicate equipment. The written instructions on how to attach the hand strap were a little confusing to me, but the video on the SpiderPro website made it easy. No more shoulder straps for me!
I also added the large lens case that attaches to the belt to carry an extra lens, either the 70-200, or the 28-70 lens with a hood. Lightweight yet nicely padded, the case folds flat when not in use. The zippered pouch’s clever design does not allow the lens to slip out, and one can grab the lens securely at its midpoint. The rear lens cap tethers to the bag so lenses can be changed rapidly with a minimum of fumbling, and an attached rain hood slips over the rear lens cap to protect the lens inside the pouch.
As a female rock and blues photographer, the dual holster’s hip-swinging style rocks the photo pit.
There is no other way to shoot major festivals other than to be quick and agile, and I’m locked and loaded with the dual SpiderPro Camera System. Next on my wish list is the medium lens pouch for my midsized prime lens, then I will be able to be have all of the photographic choices hanging from my hip.
The SpiderPro Camera System is designed to carry one or two full size DSLR with lenses attached. The Spider Pro System includes a belt holster, camera plate and pin that slides into the holster and secures to the belt with a two- position lock system. Accessories include a SpiderPro hand strap, black Spider attachment for small cameras, a large and medium lens pouch and an Arca-Swiss clamp for tripod mounting.