Community is Everything

Posted by Todd Balsley on

wedding photographer with his leather camera strap

Three years ago, a friend, Billy took this picture of me. It was my last wedding shoot as I was transitioning out of the industry and settling into my new career. It was around that time I decided I'd pick up leather-crafting to make myself a wallet. For a while, I was making all kinds of leather goods but stuck to wallets and bags mostly. Over time the camera kept calling me back though, and eventually, I tried making a camera strap. The truth is the first strap I made wasn't pretty, but I felt a lot of pride in making something that'd be used as I shot.

First Leather Camera Strap I made

So I stuck with it and tried a few different variations, one of which is a variation of the current original camera strap I offer now.

Fast forward 3 years later and I decided to launch a Kickstarter for the Anchor Strap. What's funny is I literally had the idea for Anchor strap three years earlier when I attempted to make one for the first time. If I'm being honest though, I had a lot of thoughts that held me back...

'What if this strap doesn't work as well as you think it does.'

'You don't have the R&D budget to make something innovative.'

'There are tons of other options out there with a brand name behind it.'

In the midst of that though, created a camera strap I thought was useful. The first few I made I shared with my friends that were photographers, and they actually liked them... In fact, my friend Billy who happens to also own a film lab liked them so much that he told me "This will look awesome on my Leica" (pictured above) as I thought "what, are you kidding me?". He meant it too because he then made an order of 10 camera straps. He believed in what I was trying to do three years ago now.

He didn't know it then, but that gave me the confidence to keep at this, to not listen to the inner critic, but to let what I've made speak for itself...

The moral of the story is, never underestimate the power of supporting another person. It doesn't have to mean you back everyone's project either, sometimes a word of encouragement can impact a person more than you know!

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