The Boutique Photographer: What to Wear
By Sara Frances, M.Photog.CR.
Don’t let your appearance be an afterthought.
Clothing and style leave a huge impression
—make it a good one.
We’re all in the appearance business. For the boutique photographer, showtime means bringing out the best in every client and looking good while doing it.
The traditional photographer’s uniform of business suit or tuxedo is a thing of the past; even plain black isn’t good enough any more. At contemporary weddings and mitzvahs you’re not a guest, nor a businessperson, nor the hired help, and you’re visible all the time.
You want to look smart, stylish, functional and unobtrusive, with a touch of artiness. Sharp and cool, but not far out. Neat and clean, but not staid or conventional. Comfortable and functional, but not too casual or uncaring. Develop a personal look that befits your status as the artisan entrusted to create a lifetime of important memories. How you look is part of your brand, your signature style.
Select your wardrobe based on the job, location, climate, season and time of day. Regional customs and protocol play a big role as well. Our typical event lasts all day, often several days, through a variety of venues and conditions. We consider wardrobe to be equipment just like our cameras, and with our specific client base we must dress to impress several generations.
Modern technical clothing, found in travel catalogues, offers new possibilities for style and comfort that mesh with the event and environment. The documentary approach to events is often physical, fast and unpredictable. We plan for ease of movement with stretch fabrics, layering, combinable outfits, gear for weather and the most comfortable shoes. We pack changes of clothing from urban hip to five-star hotel.
Often we start at a salon or on the golf course—nothing black or business-like there. Attire is strictly Palm Springs, upscale casual. Typically, the first phase of a wedding job deals with lots of equipment moving, setup and preparation. Unlike other event service providers, we’re on show all during this time because we take pictures throughout and we’re always in contact with the client and guests.
Dressed head-to-toe by Patagonia, we’re ready for golf, a rehearsal picnic or the ladies’ spa time. Note Karl’s SPF sunblock fabric shirt, tech belt and eco-friendly hemp shoes and Sara’s ankle-supporting blue suede urban hiking shoes. And our ever-present metering and white balance devices. Images © The Photo Mirage Inc.