Portrait photographer Joe Edelman found an interesting small accessory that can help many other photographers who are working with light stands and tripods and want to make sure that they will not be toppled because of front heavy softboxes or strong wind. This little gadget is called StandDaddy and it is a metal attachment that goes on the tripod/light stand leg and holds a standard barbell in place to serve as an extra weight to hold your gear.
For years we have been using sandbags. These are simple but they have their issues and you have very specific places you can use them on a light stand to be effective (less so on a tripod without a spreader). StandDaddy is a new device which is basically a strong unbreakable collar that uses inexpensive barbell weights to stabilize your light stands or tripods. You can think of it as a sort of stop for the barbell placed on each of the legs.
We love the idea – it is simple and straightforward but according to Edelman it also works well. We do have a few things that we think that you need to keep in mind about this solution. For starters most barbells are heavy (well duh…) which means that this is not a solution that you are going to carry with you to the field unless you have a car that can go up to the shooting location or you really love to carry heavy stuff on your back. It is also typically not something that you can carry empty (like a sandbag which you can fill on location – with sand or water or gravel for example).
As for pricing, a 4 pack will cost you about $35 (make sure that you get a barbell with a 1″ diameter hole in the middle).