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A Photographer's Guide to the Age Old Question: What Should I Wear?


I get it. You're hot, you're cold, you're on the move...but you have a job to do. You're a hustler, and you don't want something like your outfit to get in the way of doing your job.

A lot of newer photogs have asked me, What should I wear to this type of shoot/event?

Seniors, families, branding shoots, and the most daunting: weddings.

Dressing for a consultation, a shoot, or even just a meeting with clients can be intimidating because we work in a world with no set rules--but one with a lot of unspoken "rules." Right? Technically it's up to you, and yet there are different ways you should (or maybe should not) dress if you want to brand yourself as the photographer that you are.

And, of course, you want to be comfortable because you're on your feet and you're working potentially long hours. But since sweatpants don't cut it, what other options are out there?

First, let's start with the basics.

You do need to be comfortable. In my book, it's a must. A comfy photographer feels more relaxed, and can get in the zone! Uncomfortable photographers can look (and feel) uptight, uninspired, too stiff, and not enough fun. Boo. No one wants that; not you, and certainly not your client.

You also need to look put together. This will sound different to every photographer, and it will vary widely based on your market. But you do need to look like you didn't just roll out of bed.

Take this striped dress ensemble as an example: yes, I'm wearing birkenstocks and yes, my dress is pretty casual. It fit the vibe of the shoot and the 'chill' atmosphere I wanted for my client! So it made sense. It was also the middle of July and REALLY hot. So, priorities. But I made sure I was lookin' put together, even though it was a more casual vibe than I sometimes don.

You'll want to wear clothes you can move around in. Got that? You need to be able to BREATHE. But in addition to that, you might also have to run, jump, squat, climb things...essentially, your shoot could turn into leg day. You get the point.

Don't wear something you'd be afraid to bend over in, because you'll definitely be bending over a lot. And nobody wants to see that much of the photographer.

This blue vibe was great because I wore a long, tunic shirt with leggings (comfort) and boots (practicality).

You may want to pull your hair back, especially if it's windy. I've been there, trying to manage a camera and the clients AND the wind. It's not pretty, though it may earn you some laughs. But, it can just look more put together when people know you actually put some effort into that hair, girl. (Applies to guys too, though)

So before you go out the door to your shoot/consultation/meeting, check yo'self and make sure the hair's okay.

You also need to be aware of one more thing. Your photos are a part of your brand, totally. But ultimately, YOU are your brand.

Which means when you show up to meet a potential client, when you get to a shoot, and when you're editing out in public...you're showing the world who you are as a photographer. Show them the real you, why don'tcha!

Wear something that speaks to who you are.

Something that makes you feel confident in your work, confident in your abilities, and ready to tackle anything. Because you can do it. And what you wear should leave you--and the world--in no doubt of that.

Maybe your brand is the laid back, chill photographer. Go for those birks, I getchu. Maybe you're the professional, classy lady who can run around in heels. Get it, girl. Maybe you're the best boho photog out there right now, so go for the elephant pants. Whatever your brand is, go for it with all you've got. Including what you're wearing.

Go forth and conquer, wearing something that makes you feel confident in who you are.

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