Wedding Photography

What Should a Wedding Photographer Wear?

Not sure what a wedding photographer should wear? Although what photographers can wear is generally not restricted in any way, you should aim to respect and complement how vital the event is to both the bride and the groom. As a general rule, a wedding photographer needs to look professional while capturing their clients’ wedding day memories. In addition to this, it is wise to wear an outfit that is comfortable and functional and appropriate for the environment. Finding an outfit that meets the criteria listed above may seem like a daunting task, but it is much simpler than it sounds. Today, we will share several guidelines to follow while choosing the perfect outfit to wear as a wedding photographer, as well as outfits that you should avoid. Looking for the best Wedding Photographer in Melbourne? Check out our ultimate list here. 

The bride and groom are letting the photographers become a part of their special occasion, and that means that you will be spending a lot of time with them, their families, and the rest of the guests. However, some photographers might be thinking: “I’m just the photographer! Who cares what I look like?” But the thing is: whether you like it or not, everyone always judges a book by its cover, and only the smallest and slightest inconvenience can ruin the whole impression of the wedding.

Proper Wedding Photographer Attire

As a wedding photographer, your job is to assist the bride and groom in having the best day of their lives. Your job requires countless hours spent running around on your feet, potentially in less than ideal weather. As a general rule, it is important to base your attire on the style of the wedding. Doing so will allow you to blend in with the guests and the environment, which should always be the goal. 

A professional wedding photographer should always dress as such. Many photographers simply dress in the drabbest attire they can find. They do this because they are fearful that expressing themselves could draw more attention than necessary. However, it is quite the opposite! Dressing professionally in wedding-appropriate attire will always present a better image than wearing a black t-shirt with faded black pants.  

During your initial meetings with your client, you will inevitably discuss the style of their wedding. This will allow you to determine if the event requires formal wedding attire or a more casual look. 

Formal Wedding Attire

Wedding Photography

For a formal wedding event, it is wise to wear professional formal attire. Dress pants and a nice top, an appropriate dress, or even a professional length skirt can be great options. Investing in a comfortable pair of dress shoes is an excellent idea for formal events like these. If you decide to wear a dress or a skirt, be sure that it is conducive to any movement you will need to capture your photos. If you are a wedding photographer that likes to work for the shot, a nice pair of dress pants may be the best option.

Casual Wedding Attire

Many couples today opt for a more casual wedding style. However, this does not mean you should wear jeans. It is better to be overdressed as a general rule of thumb than underdressed as a wedding photographer. However, casual wedding attire for a photographer can include a nice pair of pants with a dressier top. Occasionally, a wedding will have a theme in which the guests are requested to observe. If this is the case, ask the bride and groom if they would like you to dress to follow this theme.

Wedding Photographer Outfits to Avoid

We have established a general idea of what types of outfits a professional wedding photographer should wear. Now it is time to discuss outfits that a photographer should avoid during the wedding day. Although these guidelines will vary based on your situation and the region you live in, it is always better to err on the side of caution by not including these pieces in your professional wardrobe.

Stay Away from T-Shirts

As a general rule, it is wise to stay away from wearing t-shirts while capturing a wedding. T-shirts can easily look shabby if they are not styled properly. One exception to this rule is if you have a t-shirt which was designed for your photography company. Especially if you work with an assistant or team, a branded t-shirt can create a cohesive, professional appearance. If this is the case, the t-shirts should always be worn with dressier pieces in nature.

Avoid Vibrant Colors

Unless the bride and groom request that you do otherwise, stay away from pieces that are vibrantly coloured. Wearing colour as a wedding photographer is a great way to express your personality. However, pieces that are bright or gaudy can distract guests from what they should be focusing on. This is especially true when you plan on shooting close up photographs during the ceremony. It is typically wise to choose neutral colours in tone or solid colours to keep your outfit from standing out too much. Clean, black pieces are always a great option for weddings of any style.

Tips That You Should Be Aware of When Considering What to Wear as a Wedding Photographer

Don’t Dress Like a Guest.

We remember searching blogs, posts, and the good ole google machine when we first took the wedding shot; everywhere I looked it said: “dress like you’re a guest at the wedding!”. You are at work; you should not attract attention with crazy colours and patterns. Instead, every dress or suit you wear should be either black, grey, or beige. You pay all the attention to stay where it should, on our beautiful bride.

Unlike guests who generally dress to attract attention, photographers need to aim to do the exact opposite. Wear clothing that is simple in such a way that it lets you blend in with the background. Wedding photographers aren’t there to participate in the event, so the way they dress shouldn’t attract attention.

Suppose you’re a wedding photographer and you’re dressing as if you’re a guest. In that case, you will not only confuse other guests who might try and start a conversation with you, but you will also most certainly not be comfortable in your clothing, especially if it would entail wearing high heels or a tight suit.

The Big Pocket Is a Bonus.

You will love having somewhere to stick stuff, store your cardholders, keys, lists, pens, whatever you need at random points of the day and not worry about them falling out.

The Bag Is a Great Choice.

Because wedding photographers have to switch so frequently between lenses, carry a lot of stuff like timeline, spare batteries, memory cards, & cellphone that a pocket can not help, it’s convenient to keep them in a bag.

Ask the Couple When in Doubt.

There is nothing to be ashamed of if you ask your client what the best clothing option for their wedding. You can ask them whether this outfit is formal, semi-formal, or casual; or come up with a questionnaire and let the couple fill it in.

Dress Comfortably

This the most obvious tip included in this post, but you’re going to want to avoid any clothing that may inhibit or limit your ability to capture the perfect photographs.

What Should a Wedding Photographer Wear?

As mentioned in the previous point, don’t dress like you’re a guest. Similarly, don’t dress in a way so formal that your ability to move is limited.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

This often overlooked tip is one of the most important ones on this entire list.

It’s easy to forget considering the kind of shoes you should wear in advance of the actual wedding because you’re too tied up with all the other things wedding photographers need to prepare before the wedding.

The result of this is that you often end up wearing the regular formal shoes that you would usually wear on the occasions you’re a guest.

The problem is that those shoes are most likely not very comfortable, and you’re probably not used to wearing them for prolonged periods of time.

  • Avoid heels at all costs;
  • Avoid sandals at all costs.

Smart casual shoes and sneakers are generally the best way to go (as long as they are also not in any way flashy or grab attention with their bright colours) because this would go against an earlier point that we’ve mentioned which is not trying to attract attention.

Look Your Best

Appearing professional doesn’t just mean the dressing part; you should also consider the way you present yourself.

You are a walking advertisement for your brand. If that means to wear all black, then, by all means, wear all black. Very importantly, look sharp. A wrinkly, stained shirt and pants that are too long speak volumes to your clients and their guests. After all, you not only want to make a good impression of your brand to your clients but to possible future referrals from guests and other vendors as well.

Respect the Wedding’s Importance

The client who has decided to pay you to photograph their wedding is letting you into one of the most important days of their entire life – respect that. Make sure that you do whatever you can to make the experience and memories that you are going to capture even better for them.

Just find the right time to ask them: “In an effort to dress in a way that is both comfortable for me and you and also most importantly acceptable for you – how would you prefer I arrive at your wedding?” Check out our extensive list of Wedding Photographers in Melbourne to help capture your special moments.

Ask Your Client

Your relationship with your client shouldn’t be awkward. As you likely already know, an important part of growing your photography business is building and nurturing client relationships. Try to be comfortable around them and just ask questions at the right time.

“What choice of clothing attire would you be most comfortable/happy with for me to wear at your wedding?”

As a matter of fact, they will likely find the fact that their wedding photographer involved them in the choice of what they should wear really unique. At the end of the day, you want to avoid the chance of doing anything that could remotely end up ruining any great memories of the couple’s special day.

What Should a Male Photographer Wear to the Wedding?

For formal weddings, a wedding photographer should wear formal dress pants (a.k.a suit pants), a button-up shirt, a jacket and in some cases also a tie. Never wear shorts, t-shirts, or baggy clothing. Make sure your clothes are well fitted and make you look like a professional. Don’t forget that you’re a walking advertisement for your brand. If that means to wear all black, then, by all means, wear all black.

Dress Shirt and Suit Pant

A dress shirt is the safest option, especially in the dark, beige, grey, or white colour. You have better wear a button-up, suit pants, a jacket, and maybe even a tie when attending a formal wedding. As for the material of suit pants, you need to find the one which is a little stretch so that all that squatting, bending, lifting, and lunging doesn’t result in a pair of ripped pants. You can also keep an extra pair of pants along with you in some emergency cases.

Vest and Bow Tie

You don’t have to put a suit jacket on, even in a formal wedding, since the weather can be warm and hot at that time, but a bow tie makes you look dressed up and so cool in the heat. If the weather permits, a vest with a bow tie is preferable. Groomsmen and family members are gonna love it. It’s like a great conversation starter giving people something to talk about while transitioning from one set of photos to the next one.

Shoes

Nothing can perfectly prevent wedding photographers from getting an inevitable ache in your feet after a 10 hour day, but good shoes will definitely help! Sport shoes could serve you so well. Trust us, and they might get you through the physical ringer on wedding days but still keep you looking professional as well. In some cases, like a Hawaii wedding format, flip-flops may do the job.

In general, a rule of thumb you have to bear in mind is: the clothes are well-fitted, clean but not very tight.

What Do Female Photographers Wear at the Wedding

Dresses or Skirts

Always place yourself a question: “Would I be comfortable wearing this in a church?”. The ladies might have a harder time trying stuff on while the men have it easy; just show up in a suit with comfy shoes, and they’re good to go. But we can show you, girls, some easy ideas.

If you are a girly lady, a sleeveless dress is a great choice despite the weather. It assists you not to be overheating in the summer months, especially patterned dresses that can hide the sweat better. If it’s going to be a chilly day, your sleeveless dress can be paired with a cardigan or a thin jacket. And you can also mix and match with a thermal underneath, black leggings and add a colourful scarf to complete the look on super cold winter days.

Moreover, the combination of dark skirts and patterned shirts is also a breathable and adorable outfit for a non-ideal day. If you are not fond of dresses, you can consider wearing a comfy jumpsuit. It makes you look stylish but not flashy at all.

Accessories

You can freely add a bling-bling like a necklace, a belt, a bracelet or a pair of earrings to make your feel even a little more “dressed up.” However, don’t pick any accessories that make too much of a jingly noise since you have to move around during the ceremony, and you definitely don’t want to capture everyone’s attention.

Shoes

It’s gonna be a huge, big mistake if you show up to the wedding wearing high heels. Save yourself the foot ache, and don’t ever underestimate the shoes you wear. Flat shoes, black boots and sports shoes can be the three best choices that are easy to match with every outfit in different kinds of weather. Invest in a good, comfortable pair. It sounds pretty obvious, but I’ve seen photographers show up in a pair of flip flops to a wedding, so this should be pointed out. 

Final Thoughts

Maybe for some photographers, the dress code is not as important as the equipment, but we strongly believe that everything you do, say, and wear is an extension of your brand. Of course, you should focus on the pictures but keep in mind that your outfit helps you look professional and sharp as a wedding photographer.

Every photoshoot is an opportunity to show off your brand, so make sure you look good and ready to shoot the newlyweds and the guests. At Boutique events group we have compiled a list of the Best Photographers in Melbourne to help you choose who captures your magical day.

As a wedding photographer, there are no rules that are set in stone regarding what you should wear on the wedding day. Professionalism should always be at the forefront of your decision-making process. Many wedding photographers find it helpful to invest in two or three outfits that are worn exclusively to capture the wedding day. Doing so will ensure that your outfit is always professional and appropriate for any style of wedding. Always keep functionality and comfort in mind when picking out your wedding day outfit. Wedding photography requires many hours of work, making the comfort of the highest importance.

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