What does a wedding photographer wear?
What does a wedding photographer wear?
This has plagued me for years, well, at least it did, but not anymore.
Oh the questions, oh the anxiety!
Below the pictures is the long winded version, for ease and practicality, I ‘ve listed below here what I wear.
White shirt (from Next)
Brown leather shoes
I am about to change my outfit as the leather shoes, whilst looking smart, don’t support the arches or lower back n the way i want. I’m currently playing with the air cushion shoes that Clarks make. Pics coming when I’ve got the whole outfit sorted.
Every Saturday morning I would begin dressing only to declare ‘why, why do I have to wear a suit!’ – except this wasn’t set in fair Verona.
And so the journey to self confidence, setting expectations and better client relations began.
I found it immensely difficult in the early stages of my wedding photography career (still kinda do in all honesty) revealing myself. This was partly due to the fact that I was in my early twenties and well, in the grand scheme of things early twenty somethings don’t really know much about anything, they haven’t been around long enough to have experienced life. So each day was met with a new existential crisis. Who am I, where am I, when am I? And other such nonsense.
This must have been immensely tiring for my wife.
I eventually decided I needed to see a therapist, it was the only way in which I would be able to get answers to the questions I had always had – this isn’t where I expected this post to go.
Doing so, changed my life.
I began to understand who I was and ultimately, not be ashamed, embarrassed or anxious about being true to myself. In fact I began to come to terms with the fact that confronting those issues was absolutely my duty in order to be the person I ultimately wanted.
This then liberated me and allowed me to ultimately choose what I wanted to wear to photograph a wedding – we got there in the end.
I found that when I was true to myself on all levels, I began to attract people who also believed the same things I did. I put myself out there as a documentary photographer, so I started getting those clients. I advertised as a photographer who loves fun and emotional outbursts, so I got clients who wanted those images.
I don’t know why, but for about five years Id been focused on what I thought people wanted, rather than what I wanted. When it clicked, the whole thing changed.
In order to move about, get high, get low, jump fences, you need clothing that will allow this. In a suit, it’s simply not practical. You become far too hot, look a mess and totally out of place.
So, if we answer ‘what does a wedding photographer wear?’ the answer becomes incredibly simple.
You wear clothing that fits in with your brand and how you have set expectations.
If you advertise as a formal or fine art wedding photographer, then you are rolling in a circle of clientele who would probably expect you to be wearing more formal attire. You work doesn’t require you to roll around on the floor or run and jump, so your clothing should reflect that.
If you advertise yourself as a fun loving documentary photographer, then clients will expect a much less formal approach as it will most likely be a much less formal wedding.
The holy grail of answers though – simply ask them
Communication, clear communication at that, is the key to all strong and lasting relationships.
Wedding clients are real people, same as you and me, the best bet? Ping them an email a few weeks before or give them a call and say. Bonjour my lovelies, do you have any objections or requests for what I wear on the day. In order to work at my absolute best I normally wear XYZ. If they are horrified at what you’ve said, maybe you need to ask yourself if you’re pitching to the right crowd. In my experience, 99% will reply ‘you wear whatever you like’.
To give you a real world example. Summer of 2017 was an absolute scorcher in the UK, I’m talking seriously hot for us British folk. Wedding forums up and down the land were full of fellow professionals asking the same questions – what should I wear? It’s so damn hot. A good friend of mine said he looked at the weather forecast, picked up the phone and asked his couple if they would care if he wore shorts to photograph the wedding (it was in the high 30 degrees celsius). Their reply – ‘why would we care what you wear?’. This guy has his marketing bang on point.
Clear communication in all relationships is key
Wear what is in line with your brand
Go for comfort – your career is thirty odd years of shooting – you need clothing that supports and protects your body.