Image for Cyrissa’s Story

From the get-go, HoldFast’s allegiance lies in this: steadfast dedication to professional photographers and the systems they utilize. Committed to paving the way, HoldFast gear accentuates style while also performing comfortably and efficiently. Responsible for creating a new genre within the industry, we’re changing the way photographers look and feel while doing their best work.

In this series, you’ll hear stories of HoldFast gear and the photographers–the pioneers,

the adventurers, the originals–that use them. This is How You HoldFast.

To say that Cyrissa Carlson is nothing if not persistent is a bit of an understatement. The Ohio native & former art teacher turned photographer & online workshop pro had tried just about every strap on the market when it came to camera gear. She spent five years through a painful, if not laborious season of trial and error to find that perfect fit–with little to no satisfaction.

I searched high and low in desperate need of a gorgeous, feminine camera strap–hello, priorities!–but more so, I wanted to find the best camera strap to help, not hinder me. I struggle with chronic back, wrist and neck pain (notice the Rock Tape in some of my photos) which make traditional camera straps and holsters unusable for me,” Carlson says. While there were plenty of feminine straps on the market, none were functional enough to get the job done. In a last ditch effort to find the best strap, Carlson buckled down and finally purchased a hand-tooled pink MoneyMaker on Black Friday of last year.

“A bunch of my friends have Holdfast Money Makers and have used them for several years,” Carlson explains. “I finally joined the ranks and bought one. My only regret is that I did not buy it sooner.”


Among the myriad of reasons to swear by HoldFast, Carlson’s found that functionality isn’t sacrificed for the sake of style–she was looking for something that would alleviate her back and neck issues, and make her look great by doing so.

Because the MoneyMaker is designed to evenly distribute weight around your midline and take pressure off your back, Carlson is able to effortlessly slide the straps over her shoulders and be hands-free.


“I am the owner of two businesses,Immerse photography andSparkle society, have two crazy busy kids, and a very active family–so life is good, but there’s very little down time.  I don’t always have the time for self-care or the chance to explore other creative outlets as much as I would like. One of the things I really like about the MoneyMaker is that I can keep two cameras on my body at all times!  It doesn’t matter if I’m in the woods, in the field, or don’t have an assistant with me, I can still keep two cameras safely by my side.”


The convenience of the MoneyMaker has really been the ticket for Carlson as well: “this has allowed me to start shooting film again! I actually learned to shoot with film and, while earning my Master’s in Art Education and teaching for ten years in the classroom, I did a lot of darkroom work.  I love being able to easily get back into film, while still having the safety net of digital for my clients. Not only is HoldFast gear empowering me with the creative freedom to start shooting film again, I’ve got both hands free to work with my clients!   I can fix those stray hairs, tickle little kids, and smooth wrinkles in wedding dresses with ease.”


The main clip design on MoneyMaker’s is based on the clip that is used to attach the sail to a boat. These clips have to be extremely strong by supporting the full wind pressure exerted on a sail; however if the ropes get tangled, the crew needs to be able to unclip and untangle very quickly in order to reattach it without missing a beat. HoldFast has modified these clips to add a swivel, a longer pin draw, and a stronger spring that all makes this clip even more durable–perfect for protecting your most important piece of your work. While each clip also has a removable safety strap, this strap connects at the base of the clip, and then to the side lug mount of the camera. This bypasses the screw and clip, thus ensuring that if you had any malfunction you’d still be clipped in.

Carlson appreciates the attention to detail given to the safely elements in place on HoldFast gear. “I feel like my gear is more protected because not only does it have the bolt that screws in at the bottom, but it has a safety clip on the side. It just changes the way I shoot because I am no longer limited by what I can do physically. It doesn’t even compare to other things I have tried and believe me, I have tried everything on the market!  This has been the ONLY thing that does what I need: protects my body, keeps my gear safe and is stylish which is really important to me–and it’s feminine which is a plus!”

While Carlson acknowledges that purchasing your own piece of HoldFast gear is definitely an investment, it is worth it a million times over. “When I pull this beautiful, high-quality, gear strap over my shoulders, my clients take notice. They know I mean business; they see I’m prepared and ready to serve them. Also? This gorgeous pink camera strap meshes perfectly with my brand.”

Sounds like a perfect fit to us!

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