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What do female photographers wear to shoot a wedding?

Belle Deux , Sep 15, 2004; 05:09 a.m.

The photographer I work with sometimes asks me to wear black dress clothes. I suppose it looks "official", and makes us easy to spot (since not that many people wear black to a wedding with the exception of the groom and his men). I always wear dress pants with a top, and sometimes a very lightweight black jacket.

My sister, a videographer, who works beside me, wears dress clothes which always fit in, and never ever overwhelm, or even, imply that she is part of the wedding or guests. (I mean literally we work side by side. She works on her own, but we both get photos of the bride's face during the wedding, and stand as close as we possibly can to the bride during the whole wedding, which sometimes puts us in dim light in the empty choir section right behind the minister.)

I don't mind the black, except on some days when I get just a little tired of it.

I was just wondering what other women photographers wear to work a wedding.


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Rich DeFerrari , Sep 15, 2004; 06:33 a.m.

Hi Belle -my 2cents worth. I have my female asst's wear pantsuits -no dresses for obvious reasons. I want my asst. to look like they belong at the wedding -to look like a guest, to blend in. To me this is important -if you stick out like a sore thumb then it's hard to shoot unobtrusively - to get good candids. If it's a "mini" wedding -just the ceremony and formals -then all bets are off. Be comfortable. In all situations though dress tastefully. Never try to dress to garner TOO much attention from the bride/groom. This is a disaster.Been there/seen that and it looks really bad.best regards -RichD

Claire C , Sep 15, 2004; 07:48 a.m.

Number one on the list must be comfy shoes ;-)

But seriously I used to wear smart trouser suits cotton or linen loose fitting and comfortable.

You don't have to totally blend in as a guest, after all you will have a great lump of black metal stuck to your face for most of the day, but you should look smart.


Anne Ruthmann , Sep 15, 2004; 09:47 a.m.

I defer to black for a few reasons- - sweat, not attractive when seen- or rain, or bathroom sink spray - stains, should I find myself eating in a hurry and spill something - rips, heaven forbid this would happen- but in case I crouch and pants split- black undergarments will conceal. - comfort, black fabrics can look nice while hiding their knit stretchiness - practicality, I'd rather spend time thinking about the pictures I'm going to take instead of what I'm going to wear.

I've seen guests wear black at just about every wedding I've been too, so I never feel as though it's out of place or innappropriate. I like to blend into the background and shadows as much as possible.

MaryBall Pierson , Sep 15, 2004; 10:00 a.m.

I also wear black. As stated, many guests wear black. It is smart and dressy and professional all at the same time. Shooting photo-journalistic work means blending in as much as possible. Most important for me is that I wear the black stretch material that doesn't wrinkle. It is flexible, comfortable and I always look fresh. Sometimes I have to sit in a car for a few hours on the way to the wedding - thank god I'm wrinkle proof...

Jerry Litynski , Sep 15, 2004; 10:03 a.m.

Aside from the clothes, have you heard of the 'telephoto' lens? Standing behind the minister is a bit overboard, no? Any and all images can be re-done after the ceremony---plus how do you get the ring exchange with the minister in the middle of the pair getting married? (Hopefully, you do not 'exit' your spot in the empty choir section to dash to the main part of the church?)

The couple is getting married, the family wants to observe. I would venture a guess not many families want to see a pair of 'workers' in the background during the ceremony....

Nadine Ohara - SF Bay Area/CA , Sep 15, 2004; 01:45 p.m.

I have two outfits that I've worked out for myself for very specific purposes. I guess I'm the odd woman out for wearing skirts. I always felt pant suits were too casual (my opinion only). One outfit is black, the other is navy/blue. One has a business suit type herringbone or heathered jacket, the other has a more dressy muted, textured dressmaker jacket (for evening, dressier or black tie weddings). With each skirt, I wear a matching short sleeve cotton turtleneck top. I wear separates so that I can bend, reach and stretch without gapping anywhere (the skirt covers to below my knees and is not skimpy or slim, but tailored and you don't have to worry about pants seams busting). The turtleneck is cotton because it breathes, and can be worn in both hot and cold environments, with or without the jacket. The materials are not the kind that collect lint or cat/dog hair. My shoes are ugly flats--but necessary for comfort and durability. I have to get new ones every year because I wear them out. I often have a hard time finding the components because women's clothing isn't often made with durability and functionality in mind. Even the jackets I find sometimes don't have pockets built in, and the shoulder seams and materials don't hold up to punishment from shoulder bag straps, etc.

Melisa Mckolay , Sep 15, 2004; 10:55 p.m.

Something low-cut to keep the groomsmen's attention away from the "punch". ;-)

Kidding aside, black or grey, wrinkle proof clothing--pants always, so I can manuever easily. If I know I'll be outside in extreme heat, I choose a lighter top with black trousers. Doll myelf up with accessories--they go a long way, classy though, "diamond" stud earings and a pretty necklace/choker.

Shoes must be comfy, I bring two pairs.

Gary Woodard , Sep 16, 2004; 12:05 a.m.

gerald, what in the hell are you talking about.

Nadine Ohara - SF Bay Area/CA , Sep 16, 2004; 01:50 p.m.

Melissa, I'm in awe--I can't see wearing any necklaces/accessories for fear of choking myself or ripping off an ear with all the straps and stuff I keep putting on and taking off.

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