There’s nothing I love more than lights, smoke + reflective anything, especially when it’s in a different color. So I figured, wouldn’t it be so cool to shoot with a camera hanging from something that glimmers in the light. Not being able to find something myself, I attempted at adhering a 3M reflective strip on my black camera strap + it looked awful. Maybe if I sew it on it’ll look better but adhesive materials are tricky to work with.
And then, I found this wicked looking camera strap by Smiling Pup Designs on Etsy. Called the Bunker Gear Camera Strap, Firefighter Turnouts Camera Strap, Reflective Firefighter Camera Strap (phew!), I just love the whole utilitarian look + feel of it. Made by a fire photographer, this custom, handmade strap is made with safety + comfort in mind. And seriously, for $42, how can you go wrong?!
Using repurposed firefighter bunker gear, this camera strap is a sturdy + wicked alternative to other fashionable straps out there not to mention, a hell of a lot cheaper. It has a heavyweight nylon webbing as liner, a piece of a genuine firefighter’s bunker gear sewn around that webbing, then accented with reflective striping. A non-skid shoulder piece, made from the actual leather trim from turnouts, is attached inside to keep the strap from sliding off of your shoulder or irritating the back of your neck, as seen below.
Antique brass bolt snap hooks with fingertip sleeves plus 1/2” split rings, allow this strap to easily fit most cameras from point & shoot to DSLRs. The strap measures 1-1/2” wide by 44” long but can be made at different lengths as needed. If that’s the case, simply leave a message in the Comments section of your order if you require a different length, as this style is not adjustable.
Available in Black (above) or Brown Turn Outs (below),
with four different Reflective Ribbons to choose from – Lime with Silver (pic 1), Orange with Silver (below), Black with Silver (above) + Grey with Silver – choosing the right one for you might not be so easy after all with this many options. You could always buy them all + match them accordingly to your look or mood (I’m just saying.).
All of the turnout gear has been thoroughly cleaned + checked for damage before being used, but there may be small areas showing its ‘history’ such as spots where leather shows previous wear, etc., which is what gives each piece its own personality. Besides that, these pieces from firefighter bunkers have protected emergency workers across America + now you can salute their dedication + heroism by using these same pieces in your camera work.
Personalization is available + a portion of every sale is donated to pet rescue organizations, so it’s a win-win situation.
For your very own Bunker Gear Reflective Camera Strap, go to Smiling Pup Designs.
Who knows, maybe more people will find this as an inspiration to shoot more street photos at night?!