Let’s talk about that drip, folks.
It’s simply not enough to rock the camera equipment you’ve got stowed away in that fancy pack of yours; you’ve got to look the part!
Should wedding photographers have to look the part? Maybe not. But, alas, we live in a world where we’re judged by our appearance, so it’s time to buck up and play the game.
But what do you even wear?
Take a deep breath; I think I can help.
Who Is Your Ideal Client?
This should be the first question you ask yourself. It might feel irrelevant, but it’s not.
You should always be trying to dress for the client you want. If you could shoot your ideal wedding, what would that look like?
What would the bride and groom be wearing? What would they be doing? Would they have guests? If so, how many? What are the guests wearing? And, of course, how would your dream client relate to you?
When asking what you should be wearing on the wedding day, these are all essential questions.
An adventure elopement photographer will not have the same wedding day outfit as a photographer who’s shooting at The Ritz.
Also, keep in mind what you wear as a wedding photographer makes a statement about your personal style and what you’re bringing to the table.
If you’re bubbly, loud, and all of your clients become your besties, then an all-black getup might not match who you are.
But if you like to blend, stay quiet, and keep things professional, then your clothes should reflect that.
Throughout wedding planning, your couple has really gotten to know you and love you, and they probably hired you because you’re you in the first place.
So figure out how you want to show up and own that.
Talk to Your Client
Always follow that up by talking to your client.
Of course, it is vital to stay true to your vision and brand, but you also want to be respectful of your couple’s wishes.
Simply ask them if they have preferences about how you dress on the big day. They might have some specific wedding photographer outfits in their mind, or they might not.
It’s also important to check if the couple, their family, or the venue has any religious restrictions regarding dress.
General Rules to Rock Your Wedding Photographer Outfits
Now, let’s get into some specifics, shall we?
R-E-S-P-E-C-T the Wedding
Nowadays, I think there’s a wide variety of opinions around wedding photographer dress etiquette, but let’s all agree to keep things respectful, yes?
People are committing to one another for life here, so please don’t show up like you just rolled out of bed.
Regardless of the wedding photographer attire you pursue, make sure you look like you took a shower. Brush and style your hair. If make-up is your thing, add some of that, and press your clean clothes if they require it.
No dirty hamper wrinkles, please.
Match the Vibe
As I said, a formal wedding at The Ritz and a summer wedding at the beach are very different vibes. Dress for the wedding you booked!
And yes, I know I just said to dress for the wedding you want to book, but there’s room for nuance, right? Try to find that beautiful middle ground that both fits your ideal wedding and the wedding you’ve currently booked.
You might be saying, but I’m not a *regular* photographer. I’m a *cool* photographer.
Mkay. Well, let’s revisit that nuance idea. Find the sweet spot between *cool* and professional, so you’re not leaving the guests doing an internal cringe.
Don’t Sacrifice Comfort
You’re a wedding photographer, so you’re probably familiar with that infamous wedding hangover.
No, not the one the guests are probably feeling the day after; yours is caused by a whole lot of work!
A wedding hangover for a professional photographer looks more like sore, swollen feet and an exhausted body. A wedding requires constantly being on, plenty of people interaction, and at least 8-10 hours on those trusty feet of yours.
You need to prioritize comfort here. When shopping for the perfect pair of shoes, make them comfortable. Comfy shoes will help your feet not rage against the machine (you) the next day.
You’ll also want to make sure there’s a bit of stretch in those dress pants or that black dress. You’ll need your clothing to bend and flow with you like you’re teaching a hot yoga class.
Keep It Neutral
Unless you’re explicitly aligning your brand with bright colors and loud clothing, stick to neutrals. It’ll help you blend when trying to capture those authentic moments.
You don’t necessarily need to choose dark colors if you’re not into that, but try to steer clear of anything too attention-grabbing.
Against the sun, that is. If you will be outside for any length of time (especially in the summer), pack some sunscreen and use it liberally.
Just make sure to keep it off your equipment. No one likes a greasy lens.
Men’s Wedding Photographer Attire
Depending on the type of wedding you shoot or would like to shoot, men’s wedding attire can vary.
But for a typical wedding, male or male-identifying photographers should stick with the following clothing items:
- Dress shirt
- Dress pants
- Suit jacket; if it’s not too hot
- Tie or bow-tie for those high-end events
Women’s Wedding Photographer Attire
There’s a bit more flexibility for our female photographers (and those aligning as such). Choose any of the following:
- Dress pants and shirt
- Skirt and dress shirt
Whatever you choose, make sure it’s flexible and comfortable. Also, avoid hemlines that are too short and necklines that are too low.
Not only do you want to keep things professional, but you want to be able to move around without giving any of the guests a show.
Make It You!
Take those guidelines, but make it you.
You’re the one your couple loves, so don’t be afraid to show up authentically.