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Wearing Hard Hats while shooting
David Minton, Photographer
Denton | TX | USA | Posted: 5:48 PM on 11.28.14
->> Hi everybody,

We have a lot of construction projects going on in my coverage area so I've been on more job sites in the last few months than I can count. It's always with a company or contractor PR person escorting me and a reporter so they provide vests and hard hats. (I have steel toes I keep in the truck and ear plugs and safety glasses that I found that don't get in the way while shooting.) The problem is, nearly every construction hard hat I've worn knocks into the pentaprism as I shoot. Shooting vertical is even worse.

I've worn enough of the sweaty, used "guest" hard hats, and we have enough construction in the near future that I'm ready to buy one of my own for these assignments, but I wanted to ask if y'all have any experience with a model that works well when shooting.

I've also been looking at climbing style safety helmets used by construction rigging folks because they meet the same impact requirements as a normal hard hat but don't have a brim and have a chin strap. Having something that doesn't get in the way and also doesn't fall off when I'm shooting under or over things is very appealing.
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Tom Story, Photographer
Tempe | AZ | USA | Posted: 6:03 PM on 11.28.14
->> I use a cap style Bullard when I'm out on wildland fires and I just rotated the suspension 180 degrees (the "brim" is behind) and that allows clearance for cameras. I find the ratchet style suspension better than the pin adjustment style and the sweat pad is a handy accessory.
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 10:12 PM on 11.28.14
->> Ditto on Tom's suggestion.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 11:28 PM on 11.28.14
->> Seriously? I have a hard hat in my car. I wear it on site. Categorically NO ONE has ever made a peep when I take if off to shoot a photo. the point here is.....?
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Stanley Leary, Photographer, Photo Editor
Roswell | GA | | Posted: 8:21 AM on 11.29.14
->> Workers notice hard heads and don't worry if something falls on their heads for a few reasons. ;-)
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 10:43 AM on 11.29.14
->> I've had a hard hat for 40 years in my vehicle for any situation that pops up. Being prepared leaves the competition in the parking lot stewing. There have also been several times when company/PR people have told me they've run out of hats, so sorry no photos. Then when I pull out my helmet their excuse vanishes. Lesson: do not rely on being provided one. Get your own where you can reverse the inside head band 180 degrees so the helmet sits backwards on your head. You can also buy helmets that have no brim -- just a small lip around the circumference.

You can get them for less than $20. Also, get a subdued color one such as gray, blue, green and scuff it up so it doesn't look new and shiny. Wearing a bright yellow or orange one attracts attention. Blending in can be vital to doing your job. And for gosh sakes don't put a sticker on it that says PHOTOS or PHOTOGRAPHER. That will make you an immediate target for removal.

Some construction companies have special vests with MEDIA across the back in reflective tape. The purpose is to quickly identify the press for immediate removal when they choose to do so. I have multiple non-descript vests of different colors. When I pull up to a scene I don one that blends with what everyone else is wearing. I still behave in a safe manner; I just don't draw attention to myself.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 11:41 AM on 11.29.14
->> ....I have a sticker on mine that says "OSHA". No one bothers me at all.....
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Chris Peterson, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbia Falls | MT | USA | Posted: 11:46 AM on 11.29.14
->> David, put the hat on backwards. That's what I do to keep the brim out of the way. No one will say anything, as long as you have it on...
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Robert Seale, Photographer
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 11:56 AM on 11.29.14
->> Mine has a full brim all the way around and I don't have any problems shooting. Look inside and adjust the inner band snaps so that it sits higher on your head and you won't have an issue. If you can't do this, you have a shitty hardhat, go buy another one.

Mine is covered in stickers from various jobs/companies/locales/safety classes. My theory is it immediately gives you some job site "street-cred" - people assume you've been around a site before and don't worry about you as much. I carry all my own safety gear (boots/Nomex/glasses/ears/etc), which is another sign to your escort/host that you're not a complete newbie.
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Craig Fritz, Photographer
Albuquerque | NM | USA | Posted: 12:30 PM on 11.29.14
->> It was probably you Tom, that taught me that trick. Thanks
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Simon Wheeler, Photo Editor, Photographer
Ithaca | NY | USA | Posted: 12:47 PM on 11.29.14
->> I was buying mine at the local lumber store years ago. I don't look anything like a construction worker, think khaki pants, button down oxford shirt. The guy behind the counter looks me up and down and asks "is there a meteor shower coming?" I say "yes, this will keep the small ones off and I can see the big one coming." Kept him quiet and left the line behind me laughing.

I wear it backwards to keep the brim out of the way. Wish I'd bought one with a knob to adjust the band. I would spend more money and be more comfortable if I had to do it over. That plus a safety vest and safety glasses has got me onto a lot of construction sites. Ithaca is a boom town for construction by upstate NY standards.
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Doug Murray, Photographer
West Palm Beach | FL | USA | Posted: 2:51 PM on 12.06.14
->> I also use the type that has the brim all around like Robert Seale great and you can shoot vertical without knocking it off and the brim provides some sun/rain protection
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Thread Title: Wearing Hard Hats while shooting
Thread Started By: David Minton
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