What Does a Wedding Photographer Wear?
A common question by new wedding photographers is what do you wear? What photographers wear can depend on their style and the types of weddings they shoot, and also time of year, for warmer months and temperatures you would wear something different to a winter wedding.
Wedding Photographer Dress Code & Attire
We have rounded up the advice from a range of different professional wedding photographers on what they wear, everyone is different and there is no right or wrong, it really depends on you, your style and the type of weddings you shoot, the most important thing is to ensure you are comfy.
Smart Casual. As reportage wedding photographers, we want to look like a couple of smart guests. Friends of the couple. Not wedding photographers, as we want to blend into the crowd, not stand out like a sore thumb. I tend to not wear a tie anymore, as it’s too restrictive when you’re working hard.
I prefer to look like a French or Italian smart guest. They’d rarely ever wear ties on formal occasions, that’s a very old fashioned English look. When I used to shoot fashion (my previous life) I’d travel around the world and stay in countless 5 star hotels. Nobody ever expected you to be wearing a tie. They just expected a certain amount of style in the way you dressed. Weddings are the same in my opinion.
Im a bit of a tomboy and often end up climbing on chairs or kneeling on the ground, so it’s always trousers for me. I generally wear all black, which hides a multitude of potential muck as well as looking generally smart. I choose to not wear loads of bright colours as I prefer to blend in. My current go to is a pair of black tux style trousers, a black top and a cardi if its cooler. I swap footwear depending on the weather. Boots, Fit Flop black trainers or Pumps, they have to be comfy!
I’m often asked by my couples what I will be wearing to their wedding, the answer is simple – something smart, appropriate and professional. I do know photographers who turn up at fairly formal weddings in a t shirt and jeans, they may be trying to look trendy and hip but in my opinion they are not respecting the effort so many of their guests have put in to looking smart. You can be casual but always smart!
My main goal at a wedding is for weddings guests to consider me as a friend with a camera. Therefore I dress in a very similar style to guests at the wedding. If they are having a black-tie wedding, I will dress in black tie, if they are having a relaxed garden wedding, I will dress in a much more relaxed fashion. I never want to stand out because of my dress sense.
This is one of those questions that swims about all the wedding photography forums, occasionally surfacing for all the noobs to argue over. My reply is always the same – we have to be comfortable in our clothes to work hard all day. Suits and frocks aren’t likely to be practical. I’m often to be found scaling garden walls or lying down in the grass – I once even rolled up my trousers and waded into a pond. If your garments prevent you getting the shot – you’re wearing the wrong kit.
Besides, it’s not about us – it’s about the bride and groom and their people. What we wear shouldn’t turn an eye; our garb should be utterly forgettable. So I wear a black shirt, untucked for ease of movement, dark trousers (but never jeans, of course) and super comfy black shoes (Merrell Jungle Mocs in case you’re wondering). My comfort and flexibility are of paramount importance if the couple want the best photos out of their wedding.
As a female, I think we are luckier than male photographers as we do get a bit more choice in fashion! I do rarely wear dresses however unless it is a very very hot summers day as I feel like I still want the flexibility of trousers to bend and crouch without having to worry. So often I will find myself in a jumpsuit, or cargo style trousers with a shirt or blouse. Meaning something with flexibility, pockets for group shot lists and batteries to go in! But always something stylish and that will fit into a wedding scene.
When I work I try to wear non-adherent cotton clothes, in Tuscany in summer it is very hot. I prefer to wear pants always black because I move better and a white shirt. The shoes need to be comfortable to be able to run and at the same time not to come home after 12 hours of work with a bad back. For this reason I use racing shoes in black and white with elegant and minimal lines.
I’m very boring, I just wear black trousers, black jacket ( Not during the hot weather) and a smart shirt I never wear a tie unless the couple ask me too.
Something smart but comfortable, I need to be able to freely move around as you quite often see me climbing up things or laying on the floor to get the right perspective. Smart, casual but I’m trying not to look like a wedding guest. I’m also staying away from bright/loud colours so I blend in better and get those unnoticed shots.
I like to blend in with the guests and always wear smart trousers, white shirt and one of number of different waistcoat options!
I tend to wear dark colours and my go to outfit is a particular Boden dress that is a good length, comfortable and has pockets too! I have a lot of these in different colours and they are perfect in the Summer or winter months with a pair of leggings.
Full days shooting are long and action-packed, so funky yet maneuverable fatigues are required. Comfy footwear is also essential. Zo wears classic Converse Hi-Tops and Liam wears Adidas Samba Supers. That’s our lucky combo and we’re sticking with it.
I like to keep it simple and comfortable. A pair of smart trousers and a solid colour shirt and most importantly, a pair of Clark’s most comfortable shoes. I avoid frilly bow ties and waistcoats as I like to blend into the crowd.
Some smart trousers and a top. I really want to wear pretty dresses but that’s not practical, particularly the shoes that would go with it! Another answer to the question would be layers! Working inside with lots of squatting holding heavy gear can get you hot, but then you have to go outside with a moment’s notice when it can be cold.
I try to wear what the guests wear so I blend in more. I haven’t done a formal wedding for years but I’d wear a suit but if its a festival style wedding I dress more casually, I do love a paisley shirt, its like funky camouflage!
A suit but without a tie (gets in the way) and plain black shirt. That way there’s freedom of movement but the dress code still respects the effort the wedding party and most of the guests have made, and probably spent a lot of money doing so.
I was taught by another photographer back in the 1990’s and he brought be my first ever suit when I was just 19, I was so proud to work alongside him in my Yves Saint Laurent three piece and we blended in nicely with the guests. To this day I always have 2/3 suits available for the wedding season ahead, usually a smart three-piece with a pair of smart brogues.
Recently I have been in a blue suit with either black or brown shoes and I always find a tie to wear that goes with their wedding colours (and that is normally noticed). The older guest always appreciate that team Evolve dress smart for a wedding and we have had a lot of positive feedback from venues & guests about it. I think it is respectful, that it helps you blend in and who doesn’t like dressing up once or twice a week, no jeans for us!
Summer time – Benni: Total black, always, she has a bit of a thing for the total black. So Benni’s outfit would be: smart trousers with black shirt, light jumper or smart jacket.
Carol: smart trousers with white t-shirt, light jumper or smart jacket. Sometimes a comfy dress.
Winter time – Benni: Total black, black trousers/jeans, shirt and jumper.
Carol: Black trousers/jeans, white t-shirt and jumper.
We try always to find a balance between being comfy and smart. By comfy I mean being able to be as agile and quick as possible. We specialise in outdoor weddings and most of the time we work in situations in which wearing comfy clothes is essential.
It depends on the location, we work mostly in hot countries so we have to dress smartly but in a way that we can work without overheating. Ideally, we dress smartly in the style of a guest allowing us to blend in and work as seamlessly as possible. – Bloomfield Photography
I like to wear white, something elegant but at the same time casual. Here in Ibiza, the mood is never too formal and that allows us to wear something pretty comfy. At the end of the day, you are working so confort is also important for the final result of the job.
What to wear?
Things to consider, is it comfy, does it suit the type of wedding you are shooting and the current climate.
- Ensure you wear comfy shoes – You are moving round on your feet all day, ensure they are comfortable
- Still be smart – Comfy shoes and blending in, but ensure you are still smart and professional.
- Ensure its practical – Climbing up ladders for the perfect shot, or crouching down or lying on the floor, make sure your outfit is practical for this.
Depending on the season you will change what you wear, lighter attire in the summer and perhaps something darker for winter weddings, ensure you can move easily in the outfit, it is practical, comfy and still smart.
There is no one dress code that fits all, it depends on you, your style and the type of wedding you are shooting. The time of year, is it a formal wedding or alternative and quirky, beach wedding or cozy winter wedding. From a photographers point of view, whatever you wear, make sure it is comfortable and practical.