If you are just starting in Wedding Photography, dressing for a Wedding can be a little trickier than you think.
In advance I’d like to point out that this is a guide for male photographers. Although some of the points may be helpful in a general sense, I wouldn’t presume to tell female photographers what to wear, I am recounting my own experience.
For me there are two essential things that I want to convey when I dress for a wedding.
- I want to show that I am professional and respect the occasion.
- I do not want to overdress and look look like a wedding guest. I am there to work.
For most of us the obvious answer to these questions would be to wear a fairly conservative suit. But over the years I have had a few issues with wearing suits for wedding photography.
The biggest problem is that a lot of suits are just not hard wearing enough. You can ruin a good suit very quickly by slinging a heavy camera bag on your shoulder. The trousers and arms crease as raise your camera to your eye or crouch for a shot. There is not enough room in them if they are fitted. Especially today’s skinnier look. I have had suits split under the arm or at the hip after a few weddings, luckily nothing that was obvious but certainly a warning that I might be in danger of experiencing a major trouser splitting incident!
After a Couple of Hours of Enthusiastic Shooting, a Good Suit can Look Like You’ve Slept in it!
So where do you go from there? I have tried modern machine washable, non iron suits and they are tougher. Trouble is they are also often cheap and badly cut. They don’t call them ‘court appearance specials’ for nothing. If you can find a good quality non iron suit it’s a good choice, maybe not as smart in absolute sense but it doesn’t crease like a woollen suit so holds up better over the day.
Another option is is the black logo’d polo shirt with black trousers. This is not something I have done as I don’t feel comfortable advertising too overtly at such a special occasion as a wedding, particularly in church. I also would not feel comfortable at a wedding without a tie on. I always carry business cards in case guests ask for my details but so far I’ve resisted the temptation to turn my self into a human billboard. I have also been to weddings where the waiters wore black shirts and black trousers, so if you wore the same it could be a little embarrassing.
So What does this Wedding Photographer wear?
Over the years I have move towards wearing a sport jacket or tweed, a waist coat and smart cotton trousers. I found that tweed particularly doesn’t crease is hard wearing, and is cut for field sports such as shooting or fishing so has more room to move. I wear a waistcoat instead of a jacket if it is very hot. I always wear a tie. I try to find double stitched roomy trousers so they don’t split if I crouch. I always wear well broken in comfortable shoes, preferably with some kind of arch support. There is nothing worse than feeling your shoes rubbing in the morning when you have six hours left to go before you finish!