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A Photographer’s Wardrobe: Things you may have never considered

I’m afraid this advice is mostly for fellow female photogs. There are quite a few things you may have never considered when dressing to shoot a wedding or a portrait session. Here are some of my fashion dos & donts:

  • Don’t wear a skirt/dress unless you charged extra for a peep show
  • Do wear jeans/trousers. Your knees will thank you.
  • I’m a skinny jeans girl. But tearing my jeans by crouching down a billion times in an hour isn’t favourable. Try to wear relaxed trousers, not tight ones.
  • Don’t wear bangles to shoot a wedding. Every time you move your arm, you’ll draw attention to yourself.
  • Don’t wear cheap shoes. Crouching down on the balls of your feet will totally split the sole wide open. Try for something from Clarks (in the UK) or Aerosoles (In America) with flexible soles.
  • Pockets are so valuable for a photographer. When I buy cardigans, I always make sure they have a pocket. This way, you can drop in your lens cap, spare battery, etc.
  • If you’re a makeup wearer, your makeup repertoire should be different for a long day of shooting.
  • You probably won’t find it easy wearing sunglasses while looking through a viewfinder. And even if it’s not your style, consider a hat for outdoors shooting in impossibly bright locations.
  • No matter the heat, cover up for sun protection and try to avoid sunscreen on areas of your body which will come in contact with your camera or it’s strap

That’s all I can think of for now. Anyone else have tips for a photographer’s wardrobe?

  • Caroline

    I always take a hair-band with me because I do NOT like to see my own hair in my best shots ;-)

  • Jannine Smith

    I remember reading through your pages and you mentioned wearing black.

    I think the points you covered are important and myself wanting to become a professional photographer in the near future, I want to be presentable and formal for my clients.

  • http://www.facebook.com/luminancenz Phillippa van de Steeg

    I have to disagree with the skirt comment. Provided your choice of skirt is carefully considered, for length and cut, they can be a very decent option and add an elegance to your attire that cannot but be desirable. I feel that when photographing a wedding one should dress, as much as possible, to the standard of a wedding guest. Yes, you are working, but you don’t want to be the ugly spot on someones special day.

  • http://grace-photography-galexander.blogspot.com/ Gina Alexander

    I’ve always worn pants, (black) with a loose fitting for movement for weddings and a black blouse that permits lots of movement across the shoulders.

    An extra hairband too. I pack in my bag an extra pair of flats that are well worn in case new shoes are killing my feet halfway thru the day- they make really little soft ones here that fold in half.

    In my pockets is always one or two of the single wrapped mentos lollies.

    and never ever have I been capable of wearing a skirt and getting full movement without wanting to tuck it in my knickers or burn the thing as none is suitable I stay away from skirts. :]

    pants girl i am.

  • Robyn Woodroofe

    I think all your comments are valid. I would have to emphasise wearing black, so that you “fade into the background”, and certainly never bright colours, let alone white. No midriffs showing, mini skirts etc, you want to look PROFESSIONAL.

    Marcus Bell, one of our (read: Aussie) prominent wedding photographers, also recommends that you have the camera(s) on a strap over your shoulder, with the camera body hidden behind your body. This way people will continue to interact, without feeling a photographer is lurking about. When needed ,slip the camera around and take a flash free photo, for those intimate, candid, unforgettable photos.

  • http://www.lisasphotohobby.com Lisa

    Great tips.


  • http://ww.kathrynfalconer.com Kate

    I have learned very quickly to watch the neckline of my shirts. There’s a lot of bending over/squatting during a shoot/wedding and I do not want to give everyone a sneak peek of anything but photos!

  • elizabethhalford

    Wow everyone great tips some stuff even I didn’t think about. Love the neckline comment

  • Justine

    Dear Elizabeth,

    Great tips thanks!

    I think a very valuable tip is to wear a long shirt or top – I have often seen photographer’s underwear when bending to take pics! So many of the jeans and slacks have low waists so this does tend to make things difficult when bending or leaning forward. Bend, feel behind you – if you feel flesh…. your top is too short!

    I don’t think you should ever shoot through sunglasses… will you ever see your viewfinder and LCD’s true colours?

    Thanks again for your wonderful blog – look forward to it all the time!

  • http://www.rosiewinks.com Rosa

    I’ve actually been told it is good to wear white to a shoot. Your clothes act as a light reflector. I probably wouldn’t wear that to a wedding shoot, but to a portrait session definitely. :)

  • elizabethhalford

    @Rosa: Oh great idea!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Emma-Canham/538759114 Emma Canham

    I always shoot wearing black.  Learnt the hard way.  I spent ages photoshopping out my bright pink coat from kid’s eyes!!!

  • Pamela Aurino

    What a great post!