Dressing appropriately

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by tod_o'driscoll, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. I have been shooting weddings for a number of years now. I've always
    worn a nice shirt with a tie. (I find that with a jacket I just get
    too hot). However, I've found that oftentimes a tie can get in the
    way, as I carry a couple of cameras and a light meter. Recently,
    while doing an outdoor engagement portrait, I saw a wedding
    photographer working nearby. He was dressed completely in black. It
    was at least a half an hour before I realized he had no tie. I know
    some people always wear a tux, or a suit, and insist anything else
    just isn't professional.

    However, I'm considering dropping the tie, and just wearing black
    pants and shirt. In my opinion, this looks professional, yet is much
    less constricting than a tie.

    What do some of you folks wear when you're shooting weddings?

    Thanks for any and all replies.

    Tod O'Driscoll
  2. My previous boss wore black dress pants, a nice collared shirt and a jacket, but no tie. Wool jackets are a bit cooler than any other fabric, but they can get hot no matter what.

    All black could work, and it blends into the less traditional weddings as well. Maybe wear a black collared shirt, cos that keeps the formal aspect.
  3. jbs


    I think your title says it all, "dress appropriately". Find out what kind of wedding it will be. Formal?, Big venue?, dress somewhat formal, i.e. jacket and tie. Spike, Mona & 500 Biker friends getting hitched in the nude? I'm Gonna say kaki's & a nice button- up. ....;)...J
  4. I would guess it depends on how you shoot also.

    After, crawling around in dusty balconies, kneeling in grass, hanging over stairs, traipsing
    through sand traps and suffering in 95 degree heat, I gave up suits, ties and expensive
    dress slacks and took to wearing all black: nice black shirt (extra one in the truck if it's
    really hot out), black photo-vest (to hold everything), neat but functional black pants,
    socks and dressy looking but functional and comfortable black shoes, (the comfortable
    shoes are really important!)

    At the reception I simply disappear and get the candid shots before anyone ever knows I'm
    there. "The Ninja photographer" is how one couple tagged me ; -)
  5. When it comes to dress, the idea is to fit in. What you wear depends in large part on where you are located, where you are in the local price range and the style of your photography. In my corner of the universe (NYC area), traditional style photogs, at "nice" evening affairs still wear a tux. PJs go for the all black with photo vest. It is important to present your self as a professional photographer, so you sort of pick the appropriate, accepted "uniform" for where and what you are doing.
  6. I wear black pants and black shirt w/conservative tie. It's just to hot here in South Texas for a jacket. I do wear nice dress shoes - not cowboy boots.

    I have a problem with keeping up with extra lenses and other items I might need quickly. I have been using a small shoulder bag but it just doesn't work well. I like the idea of a vest. Where are you guys getting the vest you are talking about?

  7. When I first started I wore a suit and a tie, and wore a tux for a few years, but found that I need to be comfortable to work well, need to blend in and not be noticed, and to keep cool in hot weather. I photographed a wedding where the viddeographer wore all black with not tie. I started doing that and it works well for me. I can wear a black or dark jacket (not a coat) or a black sweater, and take it off as it gets hot. I feel choked wearing a tie and it gets in the way, so a black shirt seems to hide the fact that I don't have a tie. I use a black leather fanny-pack to store exposed film (always keep it with you!) and that blends in as well. I realize that black absorbs heat, but it is less hot than wearing a white shirt covered by a heavy coat. That's what I do. Also, never outdress your client...that's why I gave up the tux, among other reasons.
  8. I started wearing "all black" in the 1970s, before there were videographers. I needed a photo vest to carry my Minolta Flashmeter on a safety cord because I would lose it. The photo vest only looked good in black, as olive drab or brown made me look like I was traveling to Asia.

    I sometimes wear a frivolous colorful bow tie. This makes people smile.

    At the church, wearing all black will not attract attention. People will give their attention to the couple on the altar: that's fine with me.

    Some people treat me with more respect when I wear black rather than a suit. Why? They think I am a Catholic priest! So that's why their language is so "clean"!

    I recommend wearing all black and wearing accessories that are all black.
  9. jbs


    >>"I feel choked wearing a tie and it gets in the way"<<

    I can only say that if you're at a formal affair you should wear a tie. Tie pins work just loosen it up.

    >>"Also, never outdress your client...that's why I gave up the tux, among other reasons."<<

    Wow, you must be one good lookin' dude! Especially in all black...;)

    Have to say though I like the idea of all black~ I'm just hesitant to do so at a formal gathering...

    Ninja photographer eh? Maybe I'll give it a shot...;)...J
  10. I don't have to wear a tie or a tux ;-) My assistant is a man and he wears excellent quality black pants and a crisp black silk shirt tucked in. Sometimes he wears a short sleeved good looking black cottom sweater when it is hot. He looks hot ;-) (He's my husband) Very classy.. I do have a photo which I'll try and find. Since we shoot photojournalistically, my clients do understand that we need to be comfortable. We're running, lugging, climbing up on walls or whatever all day.. No ties, No tux, no dresses for me... I wear black stretch pants and a very attractive black stretch top with soft stretchy black jacket. Wrinkle proof, light and flexible. It is an outfit I'd wear out to dinner or to a party. Simple and yet dressy.
  11. One of my assistants... My hubby. Working at a wedding - all in black.
  12. Thanks everyone for your input!

    And thanks to Mary for the pic of your husband in his wedding attire. (I wore the same kind of outfit to a wedding recently, and found it was nice not to have to worry about the tie getting in the way).

    I think I'll stick with the nice black pants and black dress shirt with the collar. I shoot primarily in a journalistic/documentary manner, so freedom of movement is definitely important to me as well. However, I will leave the option open of adding a tie for the really big, fancy weddings, if I feel it may be necessary.

    Thanks again, and hope everyone has a fun and productive 2004 wedding season!
  13. If you are in the south (U.S.A.) and it is muggy, a black shirt will do wonders with the stain of salt as you sweat through your day at the wedding. If the air conditioning is working, you will be OK but if you venture out-of-doors, the humidity will be a killer. **Best bet is to inquire with the person (bride's mom?) who is paying you: can you wear something less than a coat-and-tie? Gray golf shirts and dark slacks work most of the time.....
  14. I wear a white shirt, black trousers (pants!), and a tie with pics of cameras on it, cheesy I know but the punters like it. I'm naturally a very hot person so I keep my tie very loose and my sleeves rolled up. My meter goes in my shirt pocket and my film, spare batteries, etc, are in a black fanny pack.
  15. Gerald, I laughed out loud at your post. ITS TRUE! even here in Michigan during the
    summer. I move around so much at a wedding that my wife as taken to calling me Mr.
    Salty. I now take an extra black shirt to every shoot.
  16. Marc,

    You and another poster talked about a "photo vest". I Googleed for a vest and didn't find any I liked. Any suggestions on brand/availability? I would like to get everything into a vest and get rid of my shoulder bag.


  17. Photographer's vest:


    Get a Black one.
  18. I have a wardrobe of shirts I had custom embroidered for various shooting occasions. I have t-shirts, sweatshirts, polos, button downs and oxfords. Believe it or not, it really helps create the image of a professional work uniform rather than an outfit. Another way to accomplish this is to have a really nice name badge engraved with your business name and logo.

    For weddings, I usually pick an oxford or button down and khakis. I haven't had anyone complain. They usually understand that I am there to work and that means being comfortable, yet presentable. Last, but definitely not least...comfortable shoes. Doc Martins are my style and extremely comfortable.

    On the other hand, it could be that I don't have wedding clients that are spending $50k on their wedding and expect me to be in a tux. I am not sure I would be comfortable with those clients anyway.
  19. William - I'm with you. I wouldn't want to work a wedding that would require me to wear the equivalent of a tux. I do have clients spending 50K+ on weddings but fortunately they are the type that respect and desire artistic work rather than traditional. As long as I dress "appropriately, they don't care that I'm not dressed super formally. After all, we're "artists". As such we can be eclectic and not conform. My priority is that I'm comfortable but tastefully dressed. <p>I once did a wedding at the Ritz Carlton in DC. Believe it or not, they faxed me their requirements for "vendors". They claimed that as we were working at the Ritz, we needed to reflect the standards and quality of their hotel. They required males to wear tuxes and females to wear "business attire". I called them and explained that our job was to blend in and be comfortable due to the nature of the work we do. I said that prior to going to the hotel, we would be shooting in a Park and running and climbing on walls and rocks. Business attire and tuxes were impractical. Turns out - they were totally fine with it after I explained. Rules are made to be broken. ;-)
  20. Tod-
    The picture Mary posted is perfect! You can wear a different dark colored shirt, but make sure it's dark. Wine, dark blue, and dark green shirts also work well. I wear a waste bag that holds "film," filters, cleaning cloth, and a N90's with TMax 3200. You have received some very good info from very qualified people. I'm just glad to see this is a concern. This is also a good selling point to a potential client. It helps them understand you are a professional that cares about their special day.


Share This Page