In My Bag – by Charles Mostoller

Charles MostollerCharles Mostoller is a freelance photojournalist based in Philadelphia, PA. He specializes in documentary, editorial, and wedding photography, but he will take on anything and everything. A graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, his work has been published widely, including in publications such as The Miami Herald, National Geographic, The Wall St. Journal, and many more. His personal work looks at contemporary social issues with a focus on the U.S. and Latin America.

I shoot a wide variety of things every week, from breaking news to video shoots to weddings, so I tend to keep [most] everything I’ll need in one bag and a Newswear vest so that I am mobile and ready to go anytime. Notable exceptions are the tripod, raincoat, and collapsible stool I keep in my car at all times. I shoot Nikon because I always have, starting with the vintage Nikkormat my father passed down to me years ago.


I bring a 24-70 F2.8 with me, but tend to use my prime 35mm and 50mm more than anything else. The 24-70 is great for video, weddings, and any fast-paced news events, but I prefer the simplicity and small size of the primes. The Newswear Chestvest has been my go-to bag for some years now. It keeps everything I need accessible and keeps the weight off my back (I haven’t been able to use shoulder bags comfortably in years). It also can be worn on a plane with the Think Tank backpack packed to the brim, so it’s like getting two carry-ons without anyone noticing. I took this combo to Venezuela for three months and it allowed me to move safely with all my gear still accessible. And the ChestVest fits over body armor, which is great. The small Pelican case keeps my external hard drive safe and sound, and has definitely come in handy before. I have some other video-specific and lighting gear as well, but they stay home except when necessary.

Gear list:

Nikon D3s
Nikon D300

Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8
Sigma 1.4x Teleconverter
Nikon 20mm f/2.8
Nikon 35mm f/2
Nikon 50mm f/1.4
Nikon 85mm f/1.8

Nikon SB-800 Speedlight
15” MacBook Pro
Western Digital My Passport 1TB Hard Drive
Pelican 1020 Case
Rode StereoMic
Hoodman Hoodloupe Kit
Pelican Compact Flash Case
Tiffen 77mm Variable Neutral Density Filter
Delkin Card Reader
16gb Kingston CF cards (x4)
8gb Delkin CF card
4gb Delkin CF card
– 2 USB cables
Zoom H1 Audio Recorder
Calumet Wireless Flash Triggers
– 2 extra EN-EL4a Nikon Batteries and Charger
– 2 extra EN-EL3e Nikon Batteries and Charger
– Extra Manfrotto RC-2 Quick Release Plate
Moleskine Reporters Notebook and extra pens
– Press Pass
Gaffers Tape
– Orange Team XXV Eddie Adams Workshop Bandana
Princeton Tec Headlamp

Newswear Chest Vest
Think Tank ShapeShifters Backpack
Lowepro Light Utility Belt
Lowepro SnapTop AW


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