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How to Choose the Right Photography Vest

How to Choose the Right Photography Vest

Most photographers and photo journalists know exactly what a photography vest is, but before we explain how to choose the perfect vest for your individual needs, let’s take a minute to educate those who may be in the “darkroom”—so to speak.

A photography vest is a piece of clothing, often lightweight, with several pockets which are specially designed to hold cameras and camera equipment. These vests give photographers easy and quick access to their supplies without having to lug around a bulky camera bag.

Now, for all you professional and amateur photographers looking to purchase one of these photography vests, here are some things to consider before you do.

Photography Vest Size and Style

Size is very important in a photography vest, as they do differ in both cut and style. Make sure you try on any photography vest before making your purchase. Keep in mind that a vest which is too small may cause you to feel bound and restricted, and a vest too large can also create discomfort. You want a vest which gives you the best combination of comfort and the freedom of movement.

If you prefer a longer vest with deeper pockets and more room, those are available as well. A good tailor can adjust the size of your new vest so it fits just the way you like it.

Photography Vest Quality

If you’re going to invest your money in a photography vest you might as well buy a vest of the highest quality. Here are some things to consider:

  • Lighter colored vests tend to absorb less heat than those of a darker color. If your photography work regularly takes you outdoors you may want to go with a lighter colored vest.
  • Try to avoid vests made from 100 percent cotton, as they can absorb moisture and leave you feeling uncomfortable. A cotton/polyester blend is more comfortable as the fabric breathes much easier.
  • Be certain the pockets on your vest are lined and waterproof to avoid damage from rain and perspiration.
  • Vests with padded shoulders may come in handy when you’re lugging a heavy camera around your neck.
  • A built-in waistband will allow you to tighten your vest easily so your equipment is not constantly swaying.

Photography Vest Price

The problem with a well-made photography vest is much the same as most camera equipment: it’s very expensive. Typically a good vest will cost you upwards of $100 dollars or more. One way to get around this—if you don’t mind pockets which are slightly smaller—is to buy a travel or fishing vest. These tend to be much cheaper and can often suit your purposes fine, especially if you don’t have too much equipment.

After you decide which photography vest to buy, take your time and try it on for size and fit at the store. Ask the salesperson if you can put some of your equipment in the pockets to see if it fits your specific needs. This is a big purchase, so don’t be in a hurry—the more comfortable and functional your photography vest is, the more useful it will be to you.