Mobility is the big thing. Many of you may have used jeans or Carhart brand in the past, only to find that after many hours on set your clothes seem stiff, heavy and chaffing. It’s no fun to be too hot or too cold on the job. And should you get wet, most fabrics of sufficient durability just don’t dry well. Everybody hates ratty looking clothes on the videographer or photographer at a wedding. Checking contracts, we find that most high end bridal consultants and even many venues now demand a guarantee concerning the proper appearance and dress of the imaging team. We’ve always had higher paying commissions, and know we have to look the part – even if we have to sacrifice flexibility. We really needed a better all-round solution.
Because the photographer must be ready to crouch, kneel, climb or run, we consider pants are the big issue. Must haves are stretchability, durability, pockets, soil resistance and great looks, as I said, capable of going anywhere. 5.11 Tactical is known for its usability for law enforcement, fire, paramedics and the like, but they’re now quick to say their clothing is very much at home in the gym, sports field or any active profession. Karl credits out friend commercial photographer John Laptad for introducing us to this brand.
The Traverse model at $94.99 is a bargain; it's Karl's favorite. The feel of the fabric is butter soft, even on first wearing. Traverse is designed for extreme mobility with 4-way stretch that does not chafe. You can bend, run, kneel and anything else your job calls for all day. Plenty of pockets, articulated knees and the fabric quick dries. Choose black for formal wear, khaki for everything else. Karl looks very slim and stylish in Traverse. Any film or video crew member would love to get these. 10 hour days can be a pleasure.
Taclite footwear turned Karl from a complainer into a day and night happy camper on Antigua, Guatemala’s entirely cobblestone streets. Old and very irregular. His feet never hurt, not from the moment he first put them on without any break in wearing! These are not just a modified military boot. He says over long days they never got hot or heavy or stiff. Wear the pants legs over the boots easily hides the more military look. Or you can blouse them if that’s what is desired. 5.11 Tactical boots are another bargain at $109.99 to $139.99.
I love the Stryke model pants at $74.99, which is a bit lighter weight rip-stop fabric than the Traverse. I opted for the men’s fit, rather than the drop waist ladies version. Even on first wearing my Stryke pants were soft, flexible and sleek, not stiff or scratchy. 5.11 calls their exclusive poly-cotton fabric “Flex-tac”, which also has Teflon soil resistant finish and fade resistance. There’s a little extra belt loop tab to hang my press ID. These pants are so comfortable my tender skin has no problem on long, cramped flights.
5.11 Tactical pants breathe and move without binding or chaffing in a manner I did not think possible. On our recent trip to Guatemala in March, these pants performed to every bit of the manufacturers promise. In two weeks of almost daily wear I did not need to wash mine once because of dirt! And I was on my knees, in boats, in the street and forests. I was especially pleased at how non-uniform the appearance, how smooth and tailored to the feminine form the pants looked. As I usually wear a press picture ID from my waist pack in back, I was confident the tush looked good!