What Should I Wear to Photograph a Wedding? - Catherine Guidry Photography

July 21, 2021

What Should I Wear to Photograph a Wedding?

Something that I’ve come to realize over the course of my career as a photographer is that what you wear to an event is very important brand representaition of who you are as a professional and photographer! To some, this may seem like an exaggeration… but when you’re spending 10 or 11 hours shooting a wedding, it’s important to know what will make you comfortable and help you do the job to the best of your actual ability. The clothes you wear shouldn’t hinder your ability or take your thoughts away from the task at hand!

First, you’ll want to consider the style of the event. Dressing for the occasion is important! The goal is to blend in; so please note that the points in this post are mostly meant for shooting traditional southern city weddings, in which the standard would be to wear black. That being said, you wouldn’t want to wear black to a beach wedding for example! In that case, you’d want to wear something lighter to blend in with the aesthetic of the wedding and with the people attending the wedding as guests. Now that we’ve got those general statements out of the way, let’s get into some of the details:

Shoes

The three most important factors to consider when deciding which pair of shoes you should wear when shooting a wedding are comfortability, practicality, and professionalism. I really like to stick some Vionic inserts in pairs of shoes that I already own! If you’re looking for something new to try, I also really like the Zero Grands line by Cole Haan. One thing I highly recommend you stay away from is an open-toe shoe or sandal! Those shoe types are not as formal and also pose the risk of someone stepping on your toes at the reception. I’ve definitely had my toes stepped on a few times and since have been very glad to have a closed shoe protecting me! Another thing to keep in mind is that it never hurts to bring an extra pair of shoes with you to relieve any pain or pressure on your feet.

Clothing

For female shooters, I recommend wearing one of the following: a dress, a jumpsuit, a nice shirt with nice pants or a nice shirt with a below-the-knee skirt. I also suggest always wearing a pair of shorts underneath any dress or skirt for those instances when it’s windy or you have to squat down or reach up for something. When I’m bending over for gear or in action posing closing, I don’t want the worry of what I’m wearing to consume me! I also suggest wearing a top that covers your shoulders, especially during a church ceremony; I’ve had venue coordinators acknowledge at some of my second-shooters for wearing sleeveless tops in the past. Another important note: POCKETS! It is SO helpful to have pockets in your shooting outfits. It allows you to keep into contact with your other shooters and stay organized and aware with your cellphone in your pockets. If you’re really in love with an outfit that doesn’t have any pockets, I suggest the Bandolier Cell phone Pocket Purse.

For male photographers, I suggest a black suit with a light top and some professional shoes or black pants with a black shirt. A nice belt with a classier camera strap can dress it up even more! Remember, always dress to the caliber of the wedding you aspire to shoot!

*Tip: Bring a second outfit, just in case! Just the other week I was shooting and my dress tore down the front before the festivities began! Not a fun problem to deal with without a backup.

Jewelry

Jewelry is also a great way to dress an outfit up or down to suit the style of attire for the big day. It’s important to make sure you keep the jewelry classy and simple (it’s not fun to have your jewelry snagging all over the place)! Also, don’t wear anything over the top or anything that would make you stand out too much. Try your best to blend in as the event is for the client!

Hair

I love wearing my hair up since it’s long (although I’m always in awe of photographers that can manage it when it’s down!). Wearing your hair down can look so beautiful and elegant but depending on your hair it may not last the whole day! Wearing a sleek ponytail or a cute low-bun looks professional, stays professional, and will keep any unwanted pieces of stray hair from getting in your way.

Gear

For carrying cameras around at an event, it’s important to use something elegant, sturdy, and practical. Whether that be a strap, a rolling bag, or something handheld like a purse or a backpack, there are a few specific brands I’d like to mention:

  • Holdfast straps are made well in a variety of different colored leathers and will forever! I wrote an entire article about it here: https://catherineguidry.com/blog/hold-fast-money-maker-review/
  • The ONA line is another great place to look. Ona also has a lot of cute purse and backpack-style bags for those who prefer that to straps. I personally use the Chelsea!
  • As far as heavier gear goes, we like to use Thinktank’s rolling bags! They’re classy, well-made, and keep your gear safe and secure. Our most used Think Tank is the International bag. You can find all of our gear and bags listed here: www.catgresources.com

Well those are all the tips I have for you on that! What tips and tricks do you have when it comes to dressing for a wedding? I’d love to hear from you at catherine@catherineguidry.com! Thanks for reading!

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