Using a Photo Vest instead of a Camera Bag?

by | Apr 1, 2021

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

Every year on April First, many blog writers decide to become humorists and post what they think are whimsical musings. Not here. Although I’ll occasionally go on a rant, I try to keep this blog’s focus on practical photographic advice, as in today’s post.

I’ve been wearing photo vests for more than thirty-five years and over time have watched them evolve from just a convenient way to have a few extra pockets for storing gear into wearable camera bags.

Camera bags may be luggage but vests are also fashion and style is just one of the many different factors in choosing what photo vest is the right one for you. Here are a few more:

  • Functionality: What kind of photography do you do? And how much gear do you need to carry. Pockets? You’re going to need lots of them.
  • Fit: How well does the vest fit? Is it tailored to size or are there adjustment belts or tabs on the side? Some vests, like those from ScotteVest, are available in sizes from Small to XXX Large Tall.
  • Construction: Is it well made? Are there buttons, zippers, Velcro? Which are the easiest for you to use in a given photographic situation, which is a motorsports situation can sometime become quite hectic.
  • Style: While I am far from being a fashionista. you don’t have to be Ralph Lauren to know that different photographers need different styles and types of vests.
  • Price: This last factor should matter the least, since a realy well-made vest will last a long time and the price will be quickly amortized over a number of assignments or even personal projects you shoot while wearing it.

The Q.U.E.S.T. Vest that I’ve been wearing—mine is the understated black—is packed with more features and 42 pockets. It will hold lots of photo gear and has a zippered compartment in the collar to stow the hood along with a giant back pocket to stash larger items. The Q.U.E.S.T. Vest is also available for women

The vest is made from 65% cotton and 35% nylon fabric making it suitable for temperate weather, comfortable enough to be worn indoors and can be layered with other garments for cooler temperatures like we get here in Colorado, even this time of year. (It’s a chilly and snow day when I’m writing this on Tuesday) The vest is treated with Teflon for water and stain resistance.

All those pockets will come in handy for shooting motorsports,  because carrying a large lens and monopod doesn’t leave room for schlepping a camera bag. And sonofagun the Q.U.E.S.T. Vest looks nice too, unlike the fisherman’s vest styling of others I’ve tried over the years.

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