I have dressed in all black pretty much since day one of my photo career. Though I do like the black aesthetic for looks, there are several more practical reasons why I choose to dress this way.
Before I start sharing my opinion, just a disclaimer that this post is totally just my opinion, wear whatever you want! You’re your own boss! This is just what I have found to make the most sense for me!
1) LOOK PROFESSIONAL
The first reason I wear all black is to look professional. It is conservative and looks like you are there to work. Wearing all black is the closest thing to a “dress-code” that photographers and other service providers have.
I worked at a reception center when I was in High School and we had to wear black bottoms and a white top and then we had a full length black aprons (so we were more or less all in black). It looked very neat and professional compared to some other reception places I have seen— including the one I had my own wedding at where they wore colored dresses. The more colorful attire looked much less professional and classy than the all black (or even black and white) alternative.
This one is number two because the first one is more universal, but comfort is actually my own personal number one reason.
If you wear all black, you can wear athleisure wear. I am always in either a black jumpsuit or black leggings and a black shirt. And both options are always paired with black Nikes.
Shooting is hard on your body, you are constantly squatting down to fix the gown or get a good angle or climbing to a precarious place to get the perfect shot, ON TOP OF just standing all. day. long. with a heavy camera around your neck and a bag full of gear on your back. If I don’t wear good shoes especially, my back won’t make it through a 5+ hour day of shooting.
You will look scrubby and unprofessional if you’re wearing multi-colored sweats, leggings etc. but because all-black attire is accepted you can dress for comfort while still presenting yourself in a professional, acceptable manor.
My favorite leggings are these ones from lululemon, they have pockets and also don’t get pill-y. lululemons are expensive but they’re so worth it in my opinion, because they last forever (even offering a life-time warranty— they’ll fix any holes or worn out seams for free and if they can’t repair it they’ll give you a new pair). And they really do look better than cheaper alternatives, they have a more flattering fit and give more support to your booty and your tummy!
Your job is not to stand out. Especially if you are shooting wedding days, you want to be able to float around and capture moments without drawing too much attention to yourself.
And you DEFINITELY don’t want to be wearing something bright and bold that is going to catch people’s eyes if you show up in the background of the video footage or another shooters shots. If you cross the videographer’s frame (which you will, its bound to happen) and you’re in all black, theres a good chance he or she will still be able to use the footage without having you really featured in the final product.
Though your “uniform” is up to your discretion, having “work-clothes” is good for your work/life balance but also good for your bank account balance. You can write off the cost of your “uniform” on your taxes. So any clothes you need for your job can be purchased on the business account and the cost can be deducted! Yay!
With working outside so frequently, your work-clothes get pretty dirty. kneeling down to get a shot is something I find myself doing frequently, and sometimes even laying down! And even if you’re shooting inside, wedding venues and photo studios can have dirty floors too!
Sweating is another inevitable problem when you’re shooting. From running around and walking up hills and lifting things and moving around for hours, and carrying your gear, you’re going to get a little sweaty.
Black clothes not only conceal the dirt and sweat marks while you’re with your clients (So you look presentable and not too dirty and shabby throughout the shoot or wedding day) but it also doesn’t get stains easily. You can get your black clothing as dirty and sweaty as you want and after a run through the wash it’s as good as new! Don’t ruin your cute, light colored clothing with armpit stains, grass stains, dirt, makeup, and other things that find their way onto your clothes while you’re working.
The last reason is basically you can be a lazy dresser and it’s fine! If all your options are black you don’t have to spend any time when you’re getting ready for a shoot looking for an outfit. Literally grab any top and pair with any bottom out of your selection of “work clothes” and you are good to go!
PRO TIP: Get some jumpsuits! They are one- and - done, the easiest outfit ever! Plus I love that I don’t have to worry about flashing anyone when I bend over or reach for things because they are all one piece!
Not only is getting dressed easy with an all black ensemble, laundry is easy too! One big load of darks gets your whole wardrobe clean!
I hope this was helpful!