In November of 2009, Deke Cloyd and his team flipped open the latest edition of PDN while they waited to depart Houston Intercontinental Airport. They saw an ad for a brand-new product – the Spider Camera Holster – and immediately pulled the fledgling website up on one of their laptops.
After some discussion about this new strange-looking tool, we decided we would order one that Monday,” says Deke. “But by the time the news of the Spider Holster had spread throughout the rest of the team, we found ourselves ordering ten.
As of the spring of 2014, Deke’s team had outfitted 29 of their camera bodies with SpiderPro attachments, including two medium-format cameras. They’ve even gone so far as declaring themselves a “strapless” photography company.
Spider Holster is an essential tool for every job we do, whether in studio or on location, he says. We find it far safer than a camera with a hazardous strap that often gets caught or snagged by hands, chair legs and other moving obstacles, and it’s made our workflow faster and more efficient. It gives us speed, allowing us to slip our cameras quickly into their holsters and let them gently fall into place, with the lens tucked back and safely out of the way.
Spider Holster’s applications are increasingly known among photographers, but elements from Deke’s personal life make his relationship with the holsters’ unique designs all the more profound. After suffering an injury to his spinal cord in the early 2000s, Deke was suddenly faced with two options: retire his talents and focus on recovery, or find a way to keep shooting. Many months of grueling physical work happily delivered him to his first post-injury shoot, but subsequent pain and exhaustion left him bedridden the following day.
I remember actually fearing photo shoots for the simple reason that they physically wore me out. But finally, two things happened that changed my life forever: I got on a new exercise and nutritional routine, and I found Spider Holster. No more sore neck and shoulders after a long shoot. No more distracting camera straps, and no more ‘doing business like everyone else.