The BlackRapid Camera Sling was designed by Nicole Elliot with the female photographer in mind, but it can be enjoyed by everyone!
Transporting heavy gear can be a struggle. That’s why a durable camera strap is an absolute must! The latest offering from BlackRapid aims to provide a durable camera strap that allows photographers to conveniently access their kit. Pro photographer, Nicole Elliot, came up with her concept for a camera sling back in 2016, while on a trip in Ecuador. As a woman, she wanted to create something from the female perspective, using a centuries-old concept as the foundation of her product.
BlackPapid Camera Sling Specs
- Reversible strap suitable for left or right-handed use
- Hand washable shoulder piece
- Strap length including shoulder piece: 160cm fully extended
- Shoulder piece dimensions: 191 x 597mm
- Two zippered pockets
- A lens cap pouch
- Two front and back spring-loaded cam locks
- Weight: 180g
- Color: Black
Meeting the Designer of the BlackRapid Camera Sling
In the interest of ethics, it’s important to note we have not had the BlackRapid Camera Sling pass through our hands here at the Phoblographer. But we are intrigued by the concept, and we wanted to meet the woman behind the product.
We spoke to Nicole Elliot to get a better understanding of the history of her design, and to learn why she feels this is a must-have accessory for photographers around the world.
Phoblographer: Hey Nicole! You first connected to the concept in 2016. How does it feel now that the product is finally ready?
Nicole Elliot: Well, I got a wild idea to create a camera strap in 2016 after a trip to Ecuador where I saw women carrying their babies and heavy loads on their backs with shawls wrapped around their shoulders. I took that concept and started designing a camera strap. But I didn’t know anything about creating a product, manufacturing, quality control, distribution, etc. So I YouTubed it!
I spent the next month just watching video after video on others that had created products and successfully launched them to the world. I jumped full throttle into learning as much as I possibly could. In one of the videos, I heard “complexity is the thief of execution.” That was my “GO” moment. I didn’t know the next 100 steps but I did know the next three. So I put one foot in front of the other, mustered up all the grit and faith I had within me, and just did it!
I wasn’t going to let the fear of the unknown paralyze me from taking the first step. So, the next week I sewed a prototype in my mother-in-law’s living room. A month later we started production on the strap, then two months later we started selling in the US. All this to say – I didn’t really know what I was doing. Ha!
So, you can imagine it took many different revisions by trial and error. It wasn’t until I connected with BlackRapid that I was able to really fine-tune my product and make it world-class ready. They really helped to make the product what it is today and I am so excited to get it out to the world!
Phoblographer: In your words, what sets your product apart from other camera slings and straps, especially for female photographers?
Nicole Elliot: After so many years in this industry, I sat back and thought “what are the pain points for photographers worldwide?” I wanted to create a product that would add to photographers’ creative expression, not inhibit it. So, I created a product that solved all the annoying painful dilemmas of carrying your camera around. Taking its cue from the way women have been wearing their babies for centuries – this strap evenly distributes the weight across your shoulders to eliminate pain in the neck and shoulders. Also, fixes the problem of losing your lens cap with the handy lens cap pockets and holds all your extras, like cash, cards, batteries, all in your camera strap. It’s the perfect all in one strap.
We took this and married it to BlackRapid’s patented camera sling system and voila, we have a unique camera strap that solves all the “pain points” for photographers worldwide!
Phoblographer: Of course, the strap is targeted to the female photographer, but do you envision it appealing to male photographers?
Nicole Elliot: Although this strap was made with my fellow female photogs in mind, many male photographers have connected with this product and love using it!
Phoblographer: You speak about the importance of the relationship between a photographer and their camera. How do you feel the strap brings the two closer together?
Nicole Elliot: I love this question, as I am very passionate about this. Really this is what it’s all about. As creatives, our camera is not a piece of hardware, it is an extension of our heart. It’s the conduit for the creative expression within us. I wanted to create something that would make you feel like your camera was weightless, an extension of you. We have this incredible opportunity as photographers to photograph the world around us. When we are long gone, the images we take will remain for generations. Photography – It is a beautiful gift to our creative souls and to the world!
You can purchase the BlackRapid Camera Sling on the BlackRapid website.