Wedding photogs: What do you wear to client meetings?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by holga girl, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. holga girl

    holga girl TPF Noob!

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    I am female and I shoot weddings... and I always dress sharp for the actual wedding. For potential client meetings I have been wearing nice slacks and a dress shirt. The clients always come in jeans and t-shirts/sweaters, which is fine... they are hiring me, not the other way around.

    But I am starting to wonder if I may be a bit over-dressed for the initial meeting. I wonder if taking it down to a nice sweater and classy jeans with dress boots/shoes would be better. some times i feel a bit over dressed when I arrive at their house or the local coffee shop.

    thanks!
     
  2. Bthornton

    Bthornton TPF Noob!

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    I don't think you are over dressed. You want to give a great 1st image and show them you are a pro. If you were more casual they might even wonder how you will dress to shoot the wedding.
     
  3. bogleric

    bogleric TPF Noob!

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    Think of it this way...

    You are selling the package including yourself. It is all marketing. So dress according to the profit you want to make and the amount you charge. Nobody will pay top dollar for what they feel is a substandard product. At the same time don't go over the top because they may feel they are over paying and can find someone cheaper.

    I think what you are wearing is right.

    If you were getting paid $5 or free then jeans are fine.
     
  4. jlykins

    jlykins TPF Noob!

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    In every interview/resume class that I took in college or highschool they always said to dress one level above what you were interviewing for. For example if you were interviewing for a position that required you to wear a "polo" style shirt you would wear a shirt and tie to the interview. You get the idea. I would dress as nice as possible to the meetings. I always do. I'm always in a dress shirt with a nice tie, and a nice pair of dress pants. I usually don't wear a suit, but there have been times after talking on the phone with the client I have felt the need to wear a suit so I do. Hope this helps.
     
  5. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    I'm a bit more casual so I wear a nice pair of jeans, some ballet shoes or small high heels, a nice top and some jewelery. I put enough effort in without looking like a cars salesman if that makes sense :) Kind of matters what image you are trying to give to your client about yourself :)
     
  6. LarissaPhotography

    LarissaPhotography TPF Noob!

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    I completely agree with Peanuts. If you're trying to portray the "I'm a professional" image, definitely wear something nice. Our approach has always been that we try to make a new friend during the initial meeting. When you're the friend, they're more comfortable around you and tend to come back and give referrals more frequently. To give the friend image, jeans works perfect.
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I try to dress nice but not too serious..depending on the client. I'll wear a nice shirt and pants, jeans if the are not shabby and look good with the shirt. I'm about 50-50 on wearing a tie.

    Dressing completely wrong can break a deal...but as long as you use common sense, it won't matter near as much as your attitude and enthusiasm.
     
  8. Judge Sharpe

    Judge Sharpe TPF Noob!

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    Being some what older than most of you colors my thinking on this. I am a professional and I dress as one. I am also a parent and when I was helping my sons and their wives to be decide on a wedding photographer, I was impressed with the ones we interviewed that came across as professional. Does this always mean a coat and tie? No, But if three photographers come in in a dress ****e and tie and one in a polo and jeans, guess which makes the best initial impression. I say dress as is the standard for your area. Of course, neat and clean, nice polished shoes good jewelry, a nice portfolio well groomed hair and a professional attitude is what you need to strive for. Arrive on time and in a neat if not perfectly clean car, have business cards and paperwork where you can get them without looking, good strong handshake, good manners and eye contact. I would suggest that you have some one take a couple of photos of you shooting a wedding that show how you dress for the event, that you are not overly intrusive and are an asset to the wedding party and not the red headed step child that has to be there. How you conduct yourself during the interview will reflect on how you conduct your self st the wedding. Become comfortable in your interview clothes and act like you have been there before.
    JMHO
    Judge Sharpe
     
  9. SandShots

    SandShots TPF Noob!

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    I think you are doing just fine.

    In my case, If I'm meeting with someone I'll be in Cargo shorts and a polo. I shoot offroad so It doesnt get classy out there. But if I'm taking in prints to a shop that asked for some work then I step it up and wear the nice stuff.

    I see how presentation can be influential. I have seen photographers not properly groomed for the occassion.
     
  10. photogoddess

    photogoddess TPF Noob!

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    Jeans, nice shirt and shoes for me. Dark slacks, dress shirt and shoes for the wedding itself.
     
  11. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This is a very good question... an important one.

    Like Peanuts says, put in an effort. Know how to dress for the occasion.

    I wouldn't fear over-dressing. Under-dressing, however, is a problem.

    Like holga girl said, you're asking people to invest in you. Let them know you have an appreciation of that, and you repect that relationship.

    -Pete
     
  12. CrimsonFoxPhotography

    CrimsonFoxPhotography TPF Noob!

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    I had shirts embroidered with my logo: a black longsleeve buttondown and two really nice golf polo shirts, one black, the other navy blue. I'll wear one of them with either jeans or clacks, depending on the client. But actually, for the most part, I'm always on duty...since I never know who I'll get to talking to while I'm out and hand my business card to, I always dress for the ocassion..whether it's the business-embroidered shirts or something else that's more generically professional (no ties, though).
     

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