Photography has traditionally been a very male-dominated world, despite the fact that nowadays there are at least as many women who’re serious about taking photographs as there are men. It’s probably due to its association with technology – I suspect that the reason my beginners workshops usually have significantly more women than men in them is because of the title: Digital Photography for the Technically Challenged.
Anyway, you’ll be relieved to know that this is not going to be a polemic on gender politics. It’s just that one of the manifestations of the male bias in photography is that when it comes to photographic equipment and accessories, they’re designed with men in mind. For instance, if you want to buy a camera bag or strap, you can have any colour of black you like – or you might just find brown, khaki, or navy if you’re really lucky. Good, plain masculine colours.
Now I’ve always believed that even utilitarian things should be pleasurable to look at and add something to the aesthetics of the world and, really, I’d just like to get a pretty strap for my camera, or a brightly coloured camera bag – I don’t want girly pink, just something bright and cheerful. So I’ve been searching the web to see what’s available and this is what I’ve come up with. Unfortunately, nearly all these suppliers are in the US, although they’ll ship to the UK.
A quick search on Etsy brought up loads of fun, pretty, camera straps at fairly reasonable prices – just be aware that some of them are camera strap covers rather than actual straps. Sassystrap have a particularly good selection of proper straps and do some fantastic designs; here’s just a sample:
Phatstraps do a good variety of straps, some of which are rugged enough not to embarrass the most macho man, while also being far more interesting than black webbing. As this is for the girls, I’m not going to show the more masculine ones here, but I like these two:
Also worth looking at are
- My Funky Camera
- Spice Up Your Camera (although these are quite expensive compared to other sites)
- Capturing Couture (see below for their over-the-top rose covered straps)
And finally, if you’re a voluptuous sort of woman you’re probably aware that, worn across the body, normal camera straps are less than comfortable. Someone has finally come up with a solution, although sadly only in black and at an extortionate price – it’s a specially designed camera strap made to fit a woman’s shape. UK readers can find it at Picstop, but just do a Google search for Black Rapid RS-W1 Women’s Camera Strap and you’ll be able to find a stockist wherever you are.
Part Two – Camera Bags – coming soon
I was going to look at camera bags as well, but now I’m thinking that would be better left for another post. For the moment, is there anyone out there in the UK who’d like to design and sew some fun camera straps? I’m convinced there’s a gap in the market.