Should I Use a Camera Strap? | Jasmine Star

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Should I Use a Camera Strap?

July 31, 2013 - FAQ, Gear, Photography

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Dear Jasmine
I would like to know your thought process of shooting with only one camera on you and also why you choose not to use a strap. I would also love to know how you go about focusing your camera i.e back button, one shot, ai servo etc and your reasoning behind this.
Your friend,
Interested in England

Dear Interested,
When I was a kid, there was a guy who went to my church and he often wore a purple t-shirt with the following blazed on the front: I’d rather go TOPLESS!!! And, yes, the shirt bore that many exclamation points and the writing was in neon yellow. I was struck how weird it was. Like, why would I want to see him topless? It wasn’t until I saw him one morning get into his convertible Corvette that it all made sense. And I laughed. Like, really, really laughed because he immediately changed from being creepy to witty.

At least that’s what my nine-year-old mind processed. In retrospect, he was probably a little creepy too.

AND WHY AM I RECOUNTING THIS STORY?! Well, since then, I’ve always wanted a reason to wear a witty t-shirt. Because I don’t use a camera strap, I’ve been tempted to make a t-shirt that reads: I’d rather go STRAPLESS!!!, but it doesn’t have the same zing. So let’s get down to the real reasons I don’t use a camera strap:
1. It gets in my way.
When the strap is dangling, I get distracted (squirrel!) and worry I’ll trip if the camera rests in my hand and the strap rests near the floor. And, yes, I’m so clumsy, I’d trip on a camera strap.
2. Vanity.
Yes, you read that right. I prefer my camera to be a stand alone, a focus in my hands, without the distraction of a strap, regardless of how cool/bedazzled/buttoned it may appear.
3. Professionalism and trust.
When I was an amateur photographer in college, JD bought me a film camera and I immediately connected the strap to the camera. The strap would rest around my neck and the camera would dangle when it wasn’t used. However, when I became a professional photographer, I never wanted my camera out of my hand. I wanted to be ready at a moment’s notice to bring my camera up and shoot. By constantly carrying a single camera, I’m always aware of my settings, what focal length is available at any moment, and it feels like I’m in constant communication with my tools (my camera and lens).

To answer your last question, I focus using back-button focusing and shoot in one shot. I focus in between each photo to ensure every picture is tack sharp and take the time to be in each moment. I know it sounds silly, but shooting in continuous mode feels like a disservice to waiting for the perfect opportunity when a photographer should press the shutter. There’s something to be said for patience, a moment, and a focused photo.

I hope this helps and I wish you all the best in England.

I’d rather go strapless,
j*

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