My camera strap idea came to me as most of my hair-brained ideas arrive: uneventful. I was walking around a Guitar Center with my son Riley and discovered their collection of guitar straps. Wow, what a variety, furry straps, leather covered in spikes, simple patterns and wild materials. How fun! Camera in hand, I looked down at my boring little black camera strap. “And I call myself a creative professional” I said to myself. Riley (my 18 month old son) reached out and grabbed a handful of guitar straps.
The idea simmered in my brain for a few months, sharing my idea with my close friends and fellow photography colleagues. Most of the feedback was positive. So I did more research on what is out there, who is making straps, what they look like, how they are made. I wasn’t very impressed. Until I came back to those cool guitar straps, and not just those Levy straps from Guitar Center. Cool, custom straps from all over: leather, cloth, vinyl, even found guitar straps from recycled materials. Even more cool.
Since Riley and I have plenty of time during the day to drive around, we did some exploring. Visiting local upholstery shops, scoping out materials, thread, needles. At one of the shops, we met Leo. He owns his own auto-upholstery business here in San Diego. We looked at some of his cool leather and vinyl materials and it all came together. There on the floor, on old bench seat off a 1980’s Ford pickup, ready to be re-upholstered. Wow, distressed leather. Leo hooked me up. And so did several other upholstery guys. Old stuff, 10, 20, even 30 year old materials. I found my self in my garage with my mom’s old Bernina, sewing up some prototypes.
After several tries at different designs, I have a few working straps to try out. WPPI is a few months away… maybe I can sponsor a few photogs…