Where did you get that vest and helmet?
The vest I wear is Rothco's Uncle Milty Vest. The vest is lined with pockets and is incredibly helpful in many different situations. When I am filming interviews each pocket serves as a resting spot for a number of things I need to carry with me:
Digital Video Camera
The only thing I can't fit inside of my vest is the tripod I use from time to time in my videos. Other than that I can walk around more less outfitted for any number of interviews. If I have a camera person with me, I can ditch the tripod and need not carry around additional baggage.
At business conferences, a vest is almost vital for me. In fact, I am surprised more people don't wear safari vests at business conferences because I find them to be incredibly useful. While at conferences and not actively filming, my vest serves as a rolodex of sorts. Each pocket is used to organize business cards I hand out and business cards I receive. If I talk to someone I especially want to follow up with, then they go into a smaller and separate pocket compared to everyone else. At these conferences my vest is also very helpful to keep my ID badges and note pads handy without having to carry them around in my hands. I'm also not a big fan of having ID badges hang around my neck like I'm part of some band, so I usually tie it off on my vest. Finally, I've found my vest to be very helpful in carrying around little odds and ends around a conference: Toys, USB Drives, Glasses, and other small swag handouts.
While I've purchased my Pith Helmet from several places, my favorite outfitters are the Village Hat Shop. For practical purposes, the Pith Helmet does a fine job at keeping my head and neck shaded when I am out and about conducting interviews.
When I am done conducting interviews and don't want to stick out as much I can actually pack my vest, camera, microphone, and several other things tightly inside and walk around holding it. It is surprisingly roomy inside of that helmet.
Finally, I wear a helmet because it actually puts others at ease. Many people do not like talking on camera, however when they see me dressed up like this they are often a bit more open to talk to me. They realize if they end up looking and sounding ridiculous, they will be in good company.
So there you have it.... that is why I wear a helmet and vest.
For those who are curious, the #1 question is some form of "What are you doing here?" or "Do you have permission to film here?"