Wedding season is about to smack me over the head with a baseball bat and, being that I was pregnant last season, that means new clothes to shoot in. My fellow lady photographers (and probably some men) know that finding decent, comfortable and stylish shooting attire is a horrible, uphill battle that usually ends in tears, french fries and a few glasses of pinot noir. Not only do the clothes I shoot in have to be comfortable, but they have to withstand the following: squatting up and down, jumping around like a moron, rolling around in the dirt, tromping through the ocean, several (very quick!) visits to the restroom, riding around in a hot car, baby spit-up, dog hair, vendor meals (hello greasy sandwich!) and long 12 hour days. On top of that, I would also like to look like I at least made an attempt to be put-together and professional.
After Tweeting about my predicament, I received several requests to investigate and report back about the perfect wedding pants. I chose to take it one step further and share what I believe to be the perfect wedding shoes, as well as some other must-haves that make dressing for a shoot a little more tolerable. So here are my very unscientific and completely relative findings, based on trying on about 10 pairs of pants and owning about 100 pairs of wedding shoes that made my feet bleed….
I actually found TWO pairs of perfect pants! The first is JCrew’s Minnie Stretch Twill Pants. These are super-stretchy and slightly cropped, so they will look cute with flats. I have been secretly coveting these pants for a while but assumed that you had to be stick-thin to wear them. NOT TRUE! I am only 5’3″ and have a more hourglass figure and they still look cute. The only downside: no pockets! If this is a deal-breaker, check out these -
JCrew is so sure that everyone will look good in these pants, that their latest catalog featured photos of the pants on 12 different women, who had very different figures and sizes. Everyone looked good. These pants are a little looser fit than the Minnie and have pockets. They also have a nice thick waistband with a double closure (read: no muffin-top.)
And now, a few other items that complete my photographers’ closet:
#1. JCrew’s Cotton Bell Skirt. I know what you’re thinking. A skirt to shoot a wedding?! Rest assured, it’s more practical than you think. This skirt is to-the-knee and nice and full. I have mastered the art of shooting in a skirt (even taught it at a workshop once!) but, if you’re worried about “showing off the fine china,” I recommend opaque tights or little work-out shorts underneath.
#2. Gentle Souls “Joyus” shoes. These shoes are truly a gift from sweet Baby Jesus. They are a triple-threat: a little height, comfortable and not hideous (insert angels singing from above HERE.) They are ridiculously pricey (especially since they’re not even hot!), but worth every penny. I shot 9 months PREGNANT in these shoes and I was comfortable. If that doesn’t sell them, I can’t help you anymore.
#3. JCrew’s Jackie Cardigan. There is a small part of me that would be happy to wear a girlie cardigan and a strand of pearls every day for the rest of my life. THIS is the perfect cardigan. I like to wear these over lighter shells and tops when I shoot weddings. They cover bare shoulders for church ceremonies, take the edge off of a nippy outdoor reception and are a nice alternative to wearing a jacket for more formal weddings. If I ever win the lotto, I will buy one in every color.
#4. Tom’s (aka, my Dirty Little Secret.) Ok, the Joyus shoes are very comfy but, after 8 hours on my feet, ANY shoe is going to feel like a torture device. I like to wait until the reception lights are dimmed down low and the guests have a had a signature cocktail or two, and then I slip on these puppies. They fold flat and are easily stowed in a camera bag, they are dark and simple enough that no one will notice you changed your shoes and, best of all, they’re practically slippers (shhhhhhh!) You’re welcome.
There you have it! I hope it helps (and, if it does, do your fellow lady photogs a solid and Spread the Love by clicking on the link below.)