Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Vested Interest in Amateur Photography

I have a bit of a dilemma.

I drive and park, anywhere, to head out and play photographer. Assuming I leave my purse at home, I'd still need my keys. An I.D. A few bucks. My cel phone. The second lens. Some caps and covers and filters and memory sticks and card readers. And the manual, of course, to figure out what in the hell I'm doing wrong.

The problem is that I don't want a huge, cumbersome bag bouncing on my hip, and sliding across my buh-zoooms; in my way in general. I want to have my hands free, and to be able to climb here, or crawl there, and not worry about keeping an eye on a bag if I meander around a bit.

A vest! One of those photographer's vests with all of the little pockets!

Aw, c'mon. I'm an amateur photographer. This is a hobby, not a profession.

I'd feel no less ridiculous walking around with a colander and tinfoil antennae on my head.

Still, I checked them out on the 'net. Maybe I could find a pretty little, feminine, inconspicuous vest. Something that says "I'm not really a professional, and I know you know, so shut up." Only with flare.

Unfortunately, most I find there can only be described as "Fugly." Here's the Humvee vest, for him and her:

Gag me. It's simply not going to fly with capris pants and stiletto sandals. I read up some more, and found that some photographers use fishing jackets, or safari jackets.

Safari jackets?! I won't be in the vicinity of a lion taking down a gazelle any time soon, but a safari jacket might be ok for the occasional chattering squirrel. I looked for a more feminine style. Here's one I found on (SHE-FARI; give me a break!)

Uh huh. She looks like she's going to be doing about as much safari'ing as I am. Makeup and hair must be pristine when watching a wildebeest migration across the Serengetti. You GO, girl, and cinch up that flattering drawstring while you're at it, to enhance your hips.

Any jacket that makes a Size 2 model look like a midwestern heiffer, I'm thinkin, is not the garment for me.

There's always this number. Again. I'm not finding it all that flattering. I mean, I tried it on, and look how it looks on me:

Seriously, I look like a little old man in that thing. I know you don't want to mention it, but the handwriting's on the wall. I'm passing on this one; can't you feel the camera lens pounding on your thighs in this one?

Here's one from yet another distributor:

I can save $289 and just bring out my son's former newspaper apron. Here's a shot from the back:

Again. Entirely too pretentious for me. I'd just as well buy this thing, and muck around with a 10-pak of disposable camera's, normally used to set on tables at wedding receptions. It's entirely too much vest for what I'm after.

THIS one, kind of...sexxxxxxxxxxxxxy...Well, for an outdoorsy vesty kind of garment. A leopard-print lining. Whoo-hoo! I'm thinking I might be able to work with this: Wear it inside out, with a denim skirt and some black tights....

Say Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeese, baby.

And No. I haven't bought it yet. I'm still dreamin'.


  1. Anonymous1:53 AM

    i like fannie pack

  2. Anonymous3:49 AM

    Vest = :o(

    Utility belt = :o|

    Fanny pack = :o)


  3. Ah, hell.

    Try a "fisherman's" hat, or possibly a cowboy hat. You can stick one heck of a lot of things inside the sweatband and few people would think to look for them there.

    A cowboy hat with "Daisy Duke" shorts and stiletto sandals. And a bikini top.

    Excuse me while I sit back and imagine this, over and over and over....


  4. The $289 one looks like it's custom made for suicide bombers.

  5. I say stick with the bag. Or buy a fancier camera bag. The vests in practice are akward at best.

  6. Why not a small backpack? That way if you, say, have to crawl through a barbed wire fence you can slip it off and just set it over the fence. Hypothetically of course.

  7. HA HA HA!

    GREAT post!

    PROMISE you'll post a photo of you in WHATEVER kind of photographer ensemble you decide to buy, OK?




  8. I really don't think those vests were meant to be stylish. My 511 is practical, yet I almost never wear it. Main problem is - it has so many pockets I forget where half the stuff is!!!

  9. I like the idea of the backpack/sling type thingy...

    Whew - though vests do kinda crack me up! (And your fun way of writing.)

  10. Anon & Az: Problem is, there's no place to put the fannie pack, after you calculate my built-in fanny pack.

    Earth to Wil: Yee-haw, cowboy! I mean..."Daisy Duke" are a thing of the past in this girl's life. Wayyyyyyyyy past. But, knock yourself out, it's your dream, after all. ;-)

    Dick: whatdoyoumean? IAMrelaxed!

    Dogbait: SB = not a travel friendly look these days.

    Mike: Hi Mike; this is Mike that worked here 1 million years ago, yes? The vest IS awkward? Really? I need to know these things.

    Mim: There ARE some cool backpacks made esp. for camera equipment. I've been resisting just because the idea of opening and digging around seems cumbersome, not sure why. Sounds like it may be no more cumbersome than the vest.

    Janet: I'll do my best runway imitation, in whatever I end up with.

    Barry: THAT is an interesting point to consider; I can rarely find my own keys in my own purse. What's a 511? I'll go look it up. And hey, always glad to see you back!

  11. If you ever come to the UK -- or speak with a British person -- DO NOT use the word "fanny" or "fanny pack". I learned that one the hard way.

    I'm too shy to explain -- so go see the August 14th entry at:



  12. Ahem, Janet, I read up. Next time I meet you at Cafe Loco, I'll be wearing my "bum bag"—NOT my "fanny pack."

  13. Good solution. Since I can't wear the leopard vest, I settled for a back-pack that has slots for lenses, flash etc.

    "I'd feel no less ridiculous walking around with a colander and tinfoil antennae on my head."
    It would be wonderful if you can post pictures of this and with the vest so we can vote on which looks more ridiculous. :P

  14. Those vests look so hot in the summer. Why not one of those bag packs with tons of pockets on WHEELS??

    If you have to do the vest, just put on khaki shorts, bikini top and flip flops - it's a hot look!!

  15. I am partial to your son's old newspaper apron. You could sew some pretty flowers on it.

  16. How about a photographer's assistant? It could get expensive paying me to come up to your city and walk around with you carrying your stuff. But think of how chic you'd feel.

    Just a thought.

  17. Have you thoght about a Lowes carpenters nail apron?

    It might work.

  18. TDNA: Is that a double-dog dare? I'll do it!

    Penrick: You're a genius, although I haven't worn a bikini top...well, ever. Still, I sense that I need you to come here and be my personal shopper. I suck at throwing an outfit together, actually.

    Nancy: The most frugal solution also; since I'm eating ramen after buying the camera...

    ChezBez: If I'm paying you to come here and wait on me, you're going to do a lot more than just carry my camera around. I'm just sayin.

    Coffeepot: I hadn't considered anything in a hardware store. I'll look into it!

  19. No I found the PERFECT THING just today. Really. Go see this:

    With Lomo's reintroduction of their popular Sidekick camera bag today, the quest for the perfect unisex photo bag may in fact be over. Available in two sizes and two color variations, charcoal with purple lining or khaki with blue lining, the updated model is a slightly slimmer version of the all-time classic, done in natural and timeless cotton canvas. Both bags are comprised of two separate components that can be worn together or separately, a large rear bag—big enough for large books or a 15-inch laptop—and a small camera case that holds two Lomo LC-A-sized cameras. More diminutive, the Sidekick "Lite" also features a two-in-one modular design. Its main bag is a bit more compact, but still large enough for a book and your choice daily necessities, while the camera case holds one Lomo LC-A-sized camera and a cell phone or equivalent electro-gadget. Both bags feature an adjustable webbed canvas strap to keep it securely over your shoulders while leaning over a railing to get that perfect shot. Pick up the Lite ($50) and the large Sidekick ($65) from the Lomo Shop.

  20. The answer is right there in the first picture ... you need a guy who will follow you around obediently and carry all that stuff. ...while not saying anything so as not to disturb the concentration needed to get that great shot. ...and he should be willing to eat whatever YOU choose when you get hungry. :o)

    "To Love, Honor and Dismay"

  21. Wendy: Thanks for the tip; I'm trying to figure out if my camera would fit in that bag; it's otherwise perfect, and gives me more ideas.

    Andrew: AND he should cook it.

  22. I'm with Wendy but if it was me I'd just buy an old fashioned college style back pack and call it done. Goo for all purposes including camera bag. Happy hunting!

  23. What is with THOSE vests???

    Haven't these people been to fashion week in NYC??

    Versace is rolling in his grave right about now....


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