Suitable dress for the role of Official Photographer
When photographing a wedding, what do people choose to wear? I've photographed a couple of weddings now as the 'official photographer', and I've always wore a suit (or shirt, tie and waistcoat at least as the jacket is often too restrictive) but I've been to several weddings this year as a family\friend guest and I've noticed the photographer has often wore an unobtrusive 'smart t-shirt' (polar neck with company name on the chest) or similar outfit - much more comfortable and practical and equally highlights him as the Official Photographer which, these days, with so many people owning DSLR's, seems to be increasingly difficult!) Equally, other weddings the photographer has been suited and booted so I don't really know what the norm is?
I have a series of smart black polar neck t-shirts and sweaters with 'Ted Smith Photography' across the back that I wear at less formal occasions. I'm not sure if this would be suitable for a wedding though?
What do you guys wear when photographing a wedding as the official photographer?
Usually I wear dress pants and a dress shirt; no jacket or tie. Though I always bring a simple dark tie just in case there is a uniform police officer at the wedding, I have never lasted with one for more than half an hour of "serious" shooting, due to camera straps getting tangled and what have you. (If I must wear a tie, a bow tie it has to be. ) For more informal weddings I wear ironed work pants (e.g. Dickies) and a short-sleeve button-down shirt (usually one of my vintage '50s numbers that I get in thrift shops as they come up).
As always, the rule of thumb is that it is better to be over dressed than under dressed.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
The brides parents are usually the ones footing the bill, I would be concerned that they approve of your wardrobe.
The legendary Rocky Gun would show up in blue jeans and white tshirt, but he was only photographing the bride and groom informals, the formals were shot by his assistants who always wore suits.
At the few weddings that I photographed before deciding it was not for me, I wore a suit and tie. I felt that dressing appropriately was part of appearing to be a professional, along with behaving professionally and producing professional results. For the pre- and post-ceremony photographs, and while working at the reception if the hall was warm, I did remove my suit coat. Some wise person once said that you can never over dress for an occasion. If in doubt, dress up!
I once worked for a photographer who went to every wedding dressed in a very high end tuxedo. His rationale was that he was never under-dressed for the occasion, and usually he was sufficiently over-dressed as to make an impression on every one there.
He was also very good looking (or so I was told) and seemed to attract inordinate numbers of very good looking women.
Marketing was definitely one of his strong suits .
In my case, I used to always where either a suit, or a fairly formal dress pants and jacket outfit.
I used to base my suit/jacket purchase decisions on whether or not they had lots of useful pockets .
I also used to look for lighter weight suits, because weddings can be really warm, even when the weather isn't!
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
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I'd wear the suit, at least until your reputation and demand is such that it wouldn't matter what you wear.
It depends on the clients. While I'd rather be overdressed than under dressed, you don't want to stand out too much by being the only one in a tux. I think t-shirts and polos are disrespectful unless at a very casual outdoor affair.
Bermuda shorts, hawaiian shirt and a grass hat.
Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.
Wear some sort of a uniform. A person dressed in a uniform will have the air of a person of authority or officialdom. Oh, and the uniform should also blend in and be non- threatening. A suit is a uniform for a business person. If its hot, then remove the jacket and your still in a shirt/tie, dress slacks/shoes.
Better than the guests, always. And I think a tux is a little over the top for a wedding photographer.
It's never too early to panic.
Traditional Blowhard Extraordinaire