When you have to lug 30 pounds of photography equiptment around all day, your confidence in how you look matters a lot. And trust us on this; when you’re uncomfortable, it shows on your face. You don’t want that.
So, before you commit a fashion crime (hey, people watch what photographers wear too, you know), ChiqClicks brings you hot fashion tips by photography goddesses Anna-Rina, Grace Tan/ Stories and Visithra/ V-Eyez. Grab their advice and steer clear of the mishaps they’ve made while juggling fashion and work both at once!
1. Should wedding photographers try to stand out or blend in the crowd during a wedding?
A: As much as possible, I try to blend in with the crowd. Usually just by dressing in neutral colors such as black or white, I reckon it works. But sometimes, when you’re carrying bigger gear and running around like mad, it does get kinda tricky trying to achieve the art of being a fly on the wall.
G: I always believe in a wedding photographer blending into the crowd during a wedding. Everyone is dressed smartly and we should too! We should avoid using grubby t-shirts or clothes that are too casual, unless it is stated that the attire is casual. If the couple has requested for guests to dress up in a particular colour code, I’d try to make sure I do that too. That’s just a matter of respect. At the end of the day, the clients treat me as their friends, and not just see me “The photographer” as any vendor providing a service.
V: Wedding photographers should wear clothes that suit the event and yet is comfortable for them to shoot in. If itâ€™s a formal event keep to the theme and stay smart casual but if itâ€™s a laid back event, capriâ€™s are fine but I would still not recommend wearing shorts or micro miniâ€™s. Youâ€™re going to be at the front most of the time and how you work can make or break a potential clients’ view on you.
2. What would you wear for a:
A: For the solemnisation ceremony, I would have a scarf to cover my head (a must at mosques!) and I would usually wear a kebaya top with slacks. After the solemnisation ceremony is over, I’ll just pack up my scarf and head off to shoot the reception.
A: Black or grey slacks with a nice black or white top. If its an outdoor venue or someplace I know is gonna be hot, I’ll usually wear a tank top with a vest to formal it up a bit. If its someplace I know is gonna have awesome air-conditioning, I’ll wear a long sleeve top. A lot of people ask me why black and white only? Well, I don’t know about others, but personally, I sweat a lot when I’m shooting. Black and white tops don’t show sweat stains as much as other colors do.
The above is generally what I wear but I have worn flip flops and khaki pants for an intimate poolside reception before. It was a small wedding BBQ reception with less than 20 guests and my clients had specifically told me to be casual and comfortable, so I did.
G: I’d wear something smart casual/ a little more formal. For example, pants & a nice shirt/ blouse. I don’t usually wear jeans in a church wedding. And though I’d LOVE to wear a dress, I don’t think I can pull it off, bending in funny positions and climbing up chairs!
G: The first half of the day is usually a little more casual, so I might wear jeans and a shirt/ nice blouse. For dinner, I will wear something a little smarter and definitely not jeans. I sometimes throw on a jacket, especially since I don’t really like feeling cold!
V: I actually occasionally shoot some of my Indian wedding ceremonies while wearing a saree! So Iâ€™ve had guests come up to me and tell me theyâ€™ve never seen someone shoot in a saree. I make sure the saree covers my sides so that I donâ€™t have to worry about it moving while Iâ€™m shooting.
But if the weather is too hot Iâ€™d opt for a salwar khamez top with jeans or slack. Most of the time I wonâ€™t be wearing shoes as itâ€™s forbidden to wear footwear anywhere near the place the Hindu rites are being done. For receptions I would also wear dresses or long skirts with modest blouses. With all the lower angle shots I do, I donâ€™t want to be raising eyebrows when my neckline decides to do a Janet Jackson!
Indian ceremonies are usually formal so stick with the theme. Do not wear see through tops or cleavage and bottom bearing clothes â€“ youâ€™d be distracting the guests.
3. What’s your most favorite attire for a wedding shoot?
A: I might be committing a fashion no-no by saying this, but the ballerina flats from Crocs aren’t too bad. They’re my staple shoe wear for almost all my shoots as they’re easy to clean, easy to match and most importantly, uber comfortable for a long day of shoot.
G: I wear my Clarks shoes in all my wedding shoots! I love it, and it’s the most comfortable brand I’ve tried so far (that’s not a sport shoe!). As for pants, I don’t have any particular brand – as long as it is comfy, not too tight and won’t rip halfway through my shoots, I am happy!
V: I confess I love wearing the saree when I shoot cause people notice it. It usually breaks the ice with the guests and you get to have more casual reactions to the camera and less people freezing up when you focus on them.
4. When you’re in the mood, what would you wear to try to ‘dress up a little’ for a wedding shoot?
A: I change the covers on my Shootsac Bag. And I think they’re quite striking for I’ve actually had a few female guests from a couple of weddings asking me where I bought the bag from.
G: I accessorize! A nice necklace that is not too long (as long as it doesn’t get entangled with my camera straps and choke me!), but usually earrings. I LOVE earrings! I would love to wear a dress, but have not really been that brave to combine a dress and a Think Tank pouch yet! The times that I did, I thought it looked a little weird.
V: I donâ€™t think the saree can be topped so Iâ€™ve already done it.
5. What kind of attire would you discourage others from wearing to shoot a wedding?
A: Anything too revealing or flashy is definitely a no-no. And for me, being too casual / under-dressing would be an insult to my clients. Its their big day and most probably most of their guests have dressed up for the big occasion. I would at least put on a decent looking outfit to celebrate the day.
G: I would NEVER shoot in heels except if I was on a suicide mission. I can’t run fast enough and I might just sprain my ankle if I am clumsy. When I shoot weddings of a different culture, I make sure that I fit into their accepted attire code. For example, I would not wear a sleeveless, sexy top in a Malay wedding. And when entering a Sikh temple to shoot Punjabi weddings, I would wear a head scarf since it is a requirement in their religion.
V: Keep to the smart casual theme regardless of what kind of wedding you are shooting. So no Bermuda shorts and singlets at a formal wedding, no see through tops, no micro miniâ€™s and ultra short shorts, no cleavage bearing tops, make sure you shave your armpits if youâ€™re going sleeveless. Always remember you are your brands’ image so dress wisely.
6. What is the worst thing you’ve worn to shoot a wedding?
A: An old black shirt which was a tad bit tight on the chest part (my back muscles were wider due to doing a lot of pull ups during my gym workouts!) Lets just say at certain angles, some guests had a complimentary peep show *shy* Thank goodness I had a decent bra on and not some granny ones!
G: I think wearing a dress with my Think Tank pouch. Haha…. (read Grace Tan’s ‘Fashion Savvy Female Photographer’ blog post here)
V: I havenâ€™t had a wardrobe malfunction (thank god!) but at one wedding I shot, I had my hair tied half way and when I saw the layout of the reception area I was a bit worried about the candles. Minutes into the wedding, my hair caught on fire while I stepped back to give way while shooting. Thank god a guest saw it and saved me in time. While I didnâ€™t lose much hair, the hair was promptly wetted down and slicked into a bun before I continued shooting. Good thing though the crowd decided to adopt me as their own and were all concerned and smiley everytime I approached them for a photo. Definitely one of my most favourite weddings despite the minor setback. ;p
VISITHRA is a bubbly photographer who can bring out a smile from anyone. Â She was recently featured as Faces magazine’s Top 10 Female Wedding Photographers.
ANNA-RINA is a self-taught photographer. With her photo recently gracing the cover is Asian Photography magazine, sheÂ definitelyÂ taught herself well..
GRACE TAN is the founder ofÂ Integricity Visuals. With years of experience in film-editing with award-winning local productions in her resume, Grace now uses her eye for art to tell beautiful stories of weddings and family portraitures.