Home Forums Let’s Talk Photography Togs who don't dress for the occasion

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    I don’t know what you think of photographers who are hired to shoot an event be it a wedding, graduation or something else and then turn up wearing what they happened to find when they opened the wardrobe. This actually pisses me off quite a bit

    My thoughts are that if you get hired to an event, you dress to the dress code for said event. If it is a wedding this means turning up in at least a jacket and tie (though jacket could be left if it gets too hot), if it is a graduation at least put on a tie (optional for ladies though but I’d suggest at least a pair of nice trousers and a blouse or a dress). I know it isn’t mega practical wear for a working photographer but still, you are there and you should make a good impression. In fact I think it is part of the whole professional part, who will take you seriously if you don’t dress for it? Maybe I’m old fashioned or something

    Reason I brought this up was that on my university graduation (not photography related) yesterday in a cathedral with lots of people dressed nicely I see one of the hired togs walk round in a pair of slightly dirty converse, a pair of jeans and one of those thin down jackets. If you work for a company that makes you wear some kind of uniform, fair enough, but otherwise I think you should dress appropriately. What do you guys think? Am I just a bit crazy or demanding?

    I loved the group photo they took of us though, they went bad ass and used an 8×10 camera. Now that is some serious resolution, shame they’d only brought in enough bleachers to fit half of us but they promised some advanced photoshopping.


    I think it depends on the event.  I like to wear something that disappears.  Candid photos are easier if no one sees you until there is a bright flash, and by then it’s too late.  That works pretty well for weddings, too.

    If you are going to be dragging equipment around, or climbing ladders and laying on the ground, a suit is probably not a good idea since it would need cleaning after, and might be too restrictive anyway.

    Your interest in photography causes you to notice the photographer and what he/she is wearing.  Did everyone notice, or just you?  Years ago, everyone in the office wore a suit.  Now the only ones wearing a suit are sales people.  We used to wear suits but I don’t think I have worn a suit to the office for 20 years and I seldom wear a tie.  I think the last time I saw another engineer in a suit it was 1986 and by 1990 we had lost our ties too.  Almost no one wears a suit to church on Sunday anymore.  When I was small everyone got dressed for church, now we even go in jeans to match the rest of the congregation.


    I mostly agree with what you are saying Nesgran, you should try to at least blend in and look professional depending on what event you are covering. If I shoot something fancy like a party, wedding etc, I tend to wear at least a shirt and trousers (pants/slacks?? for the USA folk). However, I feel the heat a lot, even in winter. Last wedding I did I had to start with my sleeves rolled up or I knew I’d be in trouble. It’s a trade off, as long as you look like you made the effort I think everyone should understand that you are doing a job which involves a lot of maneuvering and running around (this shit aint as easy as we make it look eh, haha). As CC said, I would never wear a jacket or suitas  I have large shoulders and struggle to move my upper body in a jacket at the best of times. Personally I think if I was doing something like a school leavers ball I’d either stick with my usual combo or wear jeans and polo shirt. Possibly with my company branding on it.


    You’re probably right that I noticed her because I pay more attention to people with better cameras, even though this one was a Nikon 🙂 . Also probably because she was using a flash outdoors which was pointed upwards without a bounce card. I’m not entirely sure if it was just me that noticed but it just looked a bit out of place as she was stalking the aisles of the cathedral.

    In contrast when a friend of mine got married last year the photographer there was wearing a shirt and tie making most people assume he was a guest with a better than average camera until the ceremony started proper and he got a photography vest and a second body out of his trunk. I wonder how many nice candids he managed to take before then (I’ve only seen some of the pics up on facebook and all of those were the kind of wedding photographer I’d happily hire)


    Well, I am going to throw in my 2 cents. =)  I will never wear a dress to photograph anything.  I think I would be spending too much time worrying about my clothes, and what might be showing if I get on the ground (or whatever).   Up until this year I wore dress slacks and a nice blouse to EVERY photo shoot I did. Now I just dress up for weddings. When I am photographing kids or newborns, or am in situations where I know I am going to be on the ground more than standing up, I like to wear a comfortable (but nice looking) pair of jeans and a business casual shirt. Aside from not wanting the restrictions from dressing formally, I don’t want to worry about ruining my dressy clothes.

    Worst Case Scenario

     I will never wear a dress to photograph anything.     –This..

    I dress nice for weddings but often come home with grass stains on my clothes from kneeling, plus my camera bag is far to heavy  and I carry my tripod by a shoulder strap so anything I wear up top gets pulled or dragged out of shape. In the studio I wear work trousers and polo shirts with the company name on, but I often spend the day laying on the floor photographing babies or  crawling under desks trying to find which lead  isn’t properly connected to the printer. Tomorrow I have to do a shoot with the mayor on a building site, so it’s smart outfit with a hard hat and trip to the cleaners.


    I mostly have dressed “business casual” to all the after-ceremony weddings I have shot (only 2). I’ve wore black dress pants and a blouse. I need to be comfortable, especially in the Vegas heat where it gets as hot as 118 F (47 C) degrees in the summer.



    Actually, living in Key West presents an entirely different dynamic.  Long pants, suits, etc. are rarely seen at weddings during the summer months.  Shorts and a casual shirt are the norm for the guests and you can generally count on the Groom and his groomsmen to be wearing flip flops.  I am fortunate enough in that on the rare and unlikely occasion where I have a gun placed to my head and am forced to shoot a wedding, a pair of pressed cargo shorts and a Columbia fishing shirt are more than acceptable attire!!  It’s a much different situation here at “the end of the world” as I like to call it.  I try to leave the weddings to others as I just don’t enjoy the shoot.  Events, journalistic, nature, architecture, people and such are much more enjoyable for me.


    I know I’m late to all the parties here.

    Unlike leb, I don’t live in the Keys, lol.  So where I am, it’s slacks and nice shirt, lightweight as possible but still looking nice.

    I was at a wedding last year that was shot by two women together.  The first was dressed nice with the black slacks and a solid color none-too-bright blouse and also wore sensible, all black, shoes; accessorized but not too much.  Didn’t stand out and was comfortable for her all day on her feet.

    Her partner however, wore like these pants that were black, granted, but not so nice, maybe jeans?  Or something like that, and they were capris.  You know, short pants women in the states wear?  She wore sandals which I thought looked really distasteful, they were not overly nice sandals – almost rugged, and her blouse was okay but very bright colored.  I mean, I’m a guy, but I noticed it because it seemed to stand out to me, that they seemed complete opposites on the professional scale.  That and they were both in some of the backgrounds of my reception snapshots, haha.

    And then came the equipment.  They both had similar shooting equipment and it was obvious to me that they had higher-end consumer dSLRs (not full frame) but while the first woman had clearly put more time and effort into her equipment and carried two bodies, had one on a camera flip bracket, her partner was using a single body with kit lens and her bracket was a flash flip.  Something about this flash flip, it looked very cheap and trashy and it kept flipping and flying around like it needed to be tightened, not to mention just watching her shoot I’ll bet every shot had to be corrected to be straight.

    I was watching people though, watching them and I had to laugh a few times because the guests were clearly thinking that the first woman was the only “real” photographer and who knows what they thought the partner was, some of the people wouldn’t give the partner time of day and I think that some of the bridal party hadn’t seen her before the ceremony either and they were kinda like wtf and didn’t listen to a thing she said.  They were also different in personality and behavior which we all were but the first really carried herself like a professional and the other was getting raised eyebrows from guests and scowls behind her back from at least one bridesmaid.  One might think second shooter but I got their card and they were equal partners.  It was just bizarre, imo, to see two that should have collaborated more, to see one so professional and the other looking like a hack.  I wonder how they worked together.

    But while equipment isn’t everything – depends on what you do with it, as we all know – it certainly shows how much time and effort you put into your profession.  Even both of them with second-rate equipment, you could tell who really took it seriously.  And I did see the whole gallery to the wedding, they handed out cards for guests to view everything later, the pictures were good.  Not the greatest thing since sliced bread, but not fauxtog quality either.

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