Fashion Behind the Lens

Veteran photographers share what wardrobe choices work best when working the camera!

Issue: Aug 2014

While comfort, safety, and convenience top the photographer’s wardrobe considerations, all these can be achieved with savvy style choices
While comfort, safety, and convenience top the photographer’s wardrobe considerations, all these can be achieved with savvy style choices

What do photographers wear when out on a shoot? For most, looking trendy is the furthest thing from their minds. Comfort, safety, convenience – these top their wardrobe guidelines instead.

Of course, there is nothing to stop you from looking trendy while dressing for these shoot-related needs. Inside shows you how.

Chill Out

“I dress in whatever is most comfortable for me, especially when doing outdoor shoots in the Singapore heat,” says veteran photographer, Liew Tong Leng, who also won the second prize at the CapitaLand-National Geographic Channel Photography Competition 2011.

For Liew, pants and t-shirts dominate his wardrobe choices when he goes on a shoot.

Casual t-shirts make comfortable choices for the shutterbug out for a good shot
Casual t-shirts make comfortable choices for the shutterbug out for a good shot

Thankfully, tropical Singapore has plenty of casual brands for men and women. Swedish label H&M’s price-friendly tops and bottoms offer a wealth of choices. T-shirts with prints, plain round-neck or v-neck ones in an assortment of colours, polo t-shirts – these provide enough variety for men aiming for casual chic.

For beating the humidity and heat, there is UNIQLO. The Japanese casual wear brand takes fashionable comfort to another level with their dry mesh series of tops that are made with breathable mesh and enhanced with dry technology to help sweat evaporate more quickly, keeping you cool and fresh.

H&M and UNIQLO also have note-worthy collections for women channeling luxe grunge. Fitted, loose, round neck, v neck, with buttons, or without, in muted tones, with prints, broad stripes – their selection of tops can be paired with virtually any style of pants, promising versatility.

Cargo pants have multiple pockets and are favoured by photographers who want somewhere to keep their gear within easy reach
Cargo pants have multiple pockets and are favoured by photographers who want somewhere to keep their gear within easy reach

“For full-day shoots, I like to wear cargo pants or Bermuda shorts with lots of pockets so I can have some of my equipment within easy reach,” says Edward Tien, winner of the Voters’ Choice Award at the CapitaLand-National Geographic Channel Photography Competition 2013.

With H&M’s cargo pants that come in washed cotton oxford with side pockets, back pockets, and leg pockets with a flap and snap fasteners, no photographer will ever run out space for their bric-a-brac. For women, UNIQLO’s cargo pants for women comes at a cute calf-length that helps stave off the heat.

Sometimes to get the best angles, you might need to get into awkward positions. UNIQLO’s Stretch trouser (S$39.90) can be a godsend. It has five pockets and comes in washed stretch twill that will mould to your form and allow you plenty of space to move.

On the other hand, cropped tops that will not let you raise your arms too high without showing skin, shirts that tuck in too tightly restricting movement, low-rise pants that threaten to expose too much when squatting or bending – these are all no-nos.

“We also no longer wear vests. That is very 70s. It’s too hot for the weather here,” says Liew, destroying the favoured image of the professional photographer in his khaki vest.

Safe and Sound

While Singapore is relatively safe, your photographic pursuits might take you abroad. Tien, for example, has travelled to Indonesia to photograph Mount Bromo, an active volcano as well as the towering waves of Papuma Beach.

“Good shoes that provide proper grip is very important. I have seen photographers lose their footing on slippery rocks and have their equipment swept away by the waves,” he says.

When photographing in rough terrains, good shoes that provide proper grip is especially important
When photographing in rough terrains, good shoes that provide proper grip is especially important

For muddy or wet terrain, adidas’ Climacool Boat Shoes come in handy. They have strategic ventilation to let moisture out, quick-drying fabric so you will not have to walk in soggy shoes all day long, and grippy soles for traction on wet surfaces.

For rough terrain, there is Timberland’s range of trekking shoes. They will not only give you a firm grip on uneven ground and firm support but many of them are water-proof to boot.

Easy Does It

In lieu of a photographers’ vest, shutterbugs these days opt for pouches and bags to hold their camera gear.

“I usually wear a belt and attach pouches to it for my equipment,” says Liew.

Funan DigitaLife Mall, where photographers enjoy shopping at because it is, as one photographer called it, “a one-stop shop” for all their photography needs, has several shops stocked with camera bags of all sizes and styles. Artworkfoto’s range of KATA camera bags includes the HandsFree-493 DL waist pack designed to hold and organize your compact DSLR with mid-range zoom lens attached or Handycam, plus accessories. Their Torso-pack series lets you point the camera body to the side front, keeping your gear protected while you work.

Instead of a photographers' vest, shutterbugs these days opt for pouches and bags to hold their camera gear
Instead of a photographers’ vest, shutterbugs these days opt for pouches and bags to hold their camera gear

For more serious shoots that require more equipment, Tien uses a knapsack.

“If I am travelling, the other considerations are whether the bag is durable enough to for tough conditions and adverse weather, if it can fit into the overhead cabin compartment of a plane, and if it is easy to carry,” he says.

For women, TK Foto carries Kelly Moore camera bags by former photographer, Kelly Moore. Her line of bags will help you keep your gear and your life organised. Available in a riot of colours, they are a refreshing departure from the usual camera bags. Best of all, they can be adapted for other uses beyond protecting your equipment. She promises they can even double up as diaper bags.

If you are feeling cheeky, Paul Frank’s camera straps from Artworkfoto will add a quirky touch to your largely black equipment and accessories.

If you take a leaf from the fashion albums of these photographers, we promise you that staying stylish while on a shoot with be a snap!

Shop with us:

adidas OriginalStore
201 Victoria Street
Bugis+
02-10/11
Singapore 188067
Tel: (65) 6238 0198
www.adidas.com.sg
Artworkfoto
109 North Bridge Road
Funan DigitaLife Mall
#04-25
Singapore 179097
Tel: (65) 6338 6959
www.artworkfoto.com
H & M
2 Orchard Turn
ION Orchard
#B2-28
Singapore 238801
Tel: (65) 65098702
www.hm.com.sg
Timberland
2 Jurong East Street 21
IMM Building
#01-105
Singapore 609601
Tel: (65) 6569 6027
www.timberland.com.sg
Timberland
252 North Bridge Road
Raffles City Singapore
#01-30
Singapore 179103
Tel: (65) 6333 3528
www.timberland.com.sg
TK Foto
109 North Bridge Road
Funan Digitalife Mall
#02-14 & #02-38/41
Singapore 179097
Tel: (65) 6338 5905
www.tk.com.sg
UNIQLO
311 New Upper Changi Road
Bedok Mall
#B1-26/27/28
Singapore 467360
Tel: (65) 6844 9513
www.uniqlo.com.sg
UNIQLO
68 Orchard Road
Plaza Singapura
#03-53 to 62
Singapore 238839
Tel: (65) 6238 0260
www.uniqlo.com.sg
UNIQLO
2 Orchard Turn
ION Orchard
#B2-38/#B3-51/52
Singapore 238801
Tel: (65) 6509 1073
www.uniqlo.com.sg
UNIQLO
201 Victoria Street
Bugis+
#01-15/16 and #02-15/16/17
Singapore 188067
Tel: (65) 6238 7401
www.uniqlo.com.sg
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