Vue.Dog | Dog Photography | Focused On Dogs

Before I set up Vue.Dog, I was, and still am a professional wildlife & adventure photographer, and therefore I’m used to heavy camera equipment. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve ever used 500mm+ lenses and pro-bodies. However, in most situations, these larger-then-normal set-ups are used in conjunction with super-study tripods with gimbal heads and or other supports such as bean bags etc, which comfortably take the weight and more importantly, the strain.

So, when I set up my concurrent pet photography business a few years ago I was obviously able to rock up at my on-location dog photo sessions with a lot less equipment then I had generally been used to, which was awesome!

Or so I thought!

On most dog photography shoots there are often periods where I’m holding a pro-body, with a 200mm f2.8 or 24-70mm f2.8 lens attached, in my right hand while using my left hand to attract my subject’s attention with squeakers, toys, balls and treats etc. I’m using my thumb to control back-button focusing while using my index and middle fingers to control a multitude of features. I may be crouched, lying down while looking up, standing while looking down, in water, in snow. You name it. I’ve done it!

Now, I’ve always been a fairly fit individual and have looked after myself, so when I started to suffer from a few unusual aches and pains, the alarm bells rang.

First off, I started to experience chronic muscle twinges and aches in my right shoulder. Then, depending on the demands of the shoot, I frequently suffered from lower back pain. These two issues were bad enough, but the most painful affliction was in the index and middle fingers of my right hand. I only had to knock these two digits against something and the pain, although momentary, was excruciating.

So, a few surgery appointments and a couple of x-rays later the verdict was in - Repetitive Strain Injury or RSI. (I just want to point out that the x-rays gave me the all-clear). It was pretty much confirmation of what I had suspected though having chatted to a number of colleagues with comparable stories. 

However, my fellow sufferers shared a common quality. They were no longer sufferers. And further more, two of the three credited their freedom from pain and increased productivity to a couple of products from Spider’s SpiderPro range. The SpiderPro Camera Holster and the SpiderPro Hand Strap.

This was endorsement enough for me test-drive the system for myself and find out if I could benefit. First of all the SpiderPro Camera Holster . . .

SpiderPro Camera Holster

My immediate impression, when first wearing the holster (I have the single camera version), was just how comfortable and secure everything felt. The build quality is excellent with stainless steel and hardened aluminium. The plate and pin system that screws on to my camera’s base and engages with the Holster, feels bulletproof and is definitely not going anywhere.

SpiderPro Camera Holster system ©

SpiderPro Camera Holster system ©

The SpiderPro Camera Holster takes the weight of my pro gear away from my upper body relieving the strain on my upper back, especially my shoulder areas, and distributes it at my waist, which according to Spider is “the most ergonomic place to carry heavy gear - just ask a carpenter with a full tool belt!” And I have to agree.

SpiderPro Camera Holster system ©

SpiderPro Camera Holster system ©

The holster system allows my camera to hang safely on my hip when I’m not shooting or when I’m using a second body, but is positioned for “quick-draw” as soon I’m ready for it. If you want a camera on each hip, then there’s a dual camera system.

The SpiderPro Hand Strap

Over the years I’ve experimented with numerous hand straps and none, and I mean none, have worked for me. They’ve all lacked one or two crucial features such as comfort, performance and or ergonomic functionality.

SpiderPro Hand Strap ©

SpiderPro Hand Strap ©

The SpiderPro Hand Strap however is different. It has all of the features that I consider make a good hand strap and has been an absolute game changer for me.

My hand slides in effortlessly. The "S" curved leather strap is particularly snug and follows the contour of the back of my hand to ensure the weight of the camera is distributed evenly and securely. But more importantly, the straps clever design ensures the correct position for shooting while allowing my thumb, index and middle fingers to operate the camera unrestricted. Trust me - that’s a major coup.

SpiderPro Hand Strap ©

SpiderPro Hand Strap ©

The Strap is compatible with extended battery packs, vertical grips any tripod or Spider plate and there’s also clear access to the memory card slots on my Canon 1DX and Canon 5D3.

And, it’s available in a variety of colours, which I think is an extra neat touch.

SpiderPro Hand Strap color selection ©

SpiderPro Hand Strap color selection ©

I’ve been using the SpiderPro Camera Holster System in conjunction with the Hand Strap now for over a year and my strain-related pains have dissipated.

Photography, like a lot of professions, can be physically demanding and we need to look after ourselves. So, when a brand, like Spider, takes on the challenge of designing and producing a product that not only enhances our lives but also increases our productivity, then I have to take my hat off to them.

My only regret is I didn’t start using this system earlier!

Is it the Best Hand Strap & Camera Holder System? Well, for me it definitely is!

If you would like to experience these or any other Spider product, you can receive a 15% discount for a limited time by going to SpiderHolster and entering the following coupon code “vuedog”. The coupon code can only be used once per customer and cannot be combined with other discounts or used with products that are "on sale".

It just remains for me to say that I have no affiliation whatsoever with the Spider brand. This is a genuine article written by myself with the sole intention of sharing my experience and hopefully educating fellow sufferers about a potential product solution that has worked for me.

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