Videographer dress code at Vanilla Video

Vanilla Video has no official dress code for office based positions, e.g., editors, customer support, engineers. Employees based entirely in-office can generally wear whatever makes them happiest and most productive. We like working in a friendlier and more laid back work environment, it’s just less stressful and keeps politics out of the way. However, we do have a dress code for on-location personnel. Our standard dress generally applies to videographers, production crews, and any team member conducting official business on behalf of Vanilla Video (meetings, logistics and backup, purchasing, etc.)

This topic comes up somewhat frequently, so I would like to address why things are the way they are. Below I’ll try to discuss the interesting logistics involved with dress code. “The shirt” is one of the most infamous and widely discussed topics both internally and among some customers.

By default our videographers wear the standard Vanilla Video uniform, unless a client has requested us to dress differently for their production. Our website has plenty of pictures of videographers in the standard uniform, but basically, our videographers show up in an all-black outfit, including a Vanilla Video branded shirt. Nearly all of our customers choose the standard dress code.

Standard videographer dress code

  • Vanilla Video branded black (charcoal-gray) shirt
  • Black jeans, gray jeans, or dark blue jeans
  • Black or white leather belt, with black or silver buckle
  • Black leather dress shoes

We do offer a business casual dress for $99. However, this should not be considered an unbranded, white label option. If asked, our videographers will respond that they work for Vanilla Video and pass business cards if asked. For other businesses looking to completely white label our service, please contact us and ask about white labeling our videography services.

Business casual dress code for videographers

      • White, black, or neutral color buttoned-down, long-sleeve, collared dress shirt
      • Black, gray, or dark dress pants
      • Black or white leather belt, with black or silver buckle
      • Black leather dress shoes

We will not wear ties or jackets as they could become hazardous during filming, either causing injury to videographers and others, or cause damage to video equipment.

Does that sound silly? Consider that our videographers move and change positions quickly, often kneeling, lightly jogging, or otherwise moving to “get the shot”. It’s very easy for the videographer to accidentally step on their own jacket or ties during kneeling, causing them to trip and damage equipment, ruin clothing, or fall into others or nearby objects. Similarly, moving quickly between venues we have found that jackets and ties can easily get caught on loose door hinges / knobs, and other protruding items videographers may be moving past. We take the safety of our employees, customers, and guests very seriously. Protecting our equipment from silly accidents is just better for everyone.

Reasons behind the Vanilla Video shirt

Yes, the shirt does provide branding. However, our primary reason for wearing the Vanilla Video shirt is to simplify everything. The shirt really simplifies logistics, helps us get higher video quality, and ensures transparent and ethical filming for guests and others

Logistics: Scheduling employees and backup videographers.

Changing a shirt sounds easy, right? Well it’s not as soon as you have multiple videographers, doing multiple types of video productions across huge cities. Equipment and team logistics are a major area of management for Vanilla Video. We have to simultaneously coordinate immediate same-day online orders, with the current day’s work, along with editing requirements from previous days, have backup personnel on hand, and deal with all other little things that may arise.

More simply put, it costs Vanilla Video money to “dress differently” when managing the logistics of all our videographers, in different areas of the cities, that may or may not be filming multiple events or productions that day, or performing other field tasks that day.

Let’s consider a relatively basic situation. Our videographer is sent into the field and, in transit to your wedding or production, they get a flat tire. If you requested that videographer to be in business casual — we suddenly not only need to send out an entirely different videographer, but we need to send out another videographer who is also dressed as you requested. When a customer requests business casual, they’re changing two videographer wardrobes. If their originally scheduled videographer can’t make it for whatever reason, our backup personnel need to match the requested dress.

Pricing: We do more than weddings and business events

Our prices are great because employees often film multiple events per day. It’s common for a videographer to go from a sporting event, to a wedding ceremony, to a music performance all in a single day. Requiring a wardrobe change throughout the day requires some sort of extra planning, special logistics, and even an extra hour or more when accommodating business casual.

If our videographer is 50 miles away from their home, and we suddenly have to do a wardrobe change because of a last-minute same-day order, what are we supposed to do? Usually we send out second videographer. Or, if the first videographer brought a business casual change of clothes, they’ll still need to find a location for changing. For a charcoal shirt change, our logistics team can usually play messenger and drop off a new shirt in the videographer’s size.

A simple sounding wardrobe request isn’t always so simple in practice. Keep in mind that Vanilla Video is not a matching service, and isn’t just one person. We have to employ our videographers and everyone behind the scenes. The videographer at your event or production will most likely be filming before, after, or otherwise supporting other team members in the field.

If a videographer only did one event per day, our prices would be at least twice as expensive. We don’t like higher prices, and we don’t like being wasteful with time or resources in travel. Simplifying our dress code has greatly reduced prices and managing the logistics on our end.

Video Quality: The mood is better with the shirt

The logistics and pricing reasons should be enough, but some insist that we’re bluffing and just want to wear the shirt for advertising. We can’t convince the skeptics, and we’re not going to try. It is what it is, and those customers are welcome to shop elsewhere. For those interested in our way of doing things, keep reading. I’ll try to run through some of the cool and very positive things we’ve heard about the shirt.

Some people will literally have a jaw-drop reaction to the shirt at formal weddings. Saying that it’s unprofessional, unwelcoming or that they would never hire a videographer that dressed in our standard uniform. Again, that’s fine, and we recognize that some people are like that — which is exactly why we offer the charcoal shirt, and business casual, wardrobe upgrades. Simple.

But for as many people who hate the shirt, there are just as many who love it. We’ve heard some customers say it’s really cool and generally find the shirt fun, attractive, energetic, and soothing in a refreshing way. It’s just hands-down more laid back; making it much easier to deal with a camera person running around the event. Cameras tend to cause unnecessary stress for some, and tends to make them feel the need to act or pose. We try to break the ice right away for people, with a fun and friendly person in a silly looking shirt.

Almost immediately people are disarmed and relaxed around our camera persons. We’ve found that business casual, in addition to the camera, is very intimidating for a lot of people. We don’t like that feeling, and we’re sure guests don’t either. We aren’t about making movies, and we try to have fun — not taking everything so seriously. We are there to film good times for your friends, your family, and for you. We absolutely get better candid, real footage when we’re not dressed up.

Relax for Quality: Videographers make better footage under less stress

Attitude makes a big difference, both in life and during filming. The shirt is a really easy way for our videographers to feel at ease in foreign places, among foreign faces. Attention is no longer on the individual behind the camera, but on Vanilla Video as a company. This allows our videographers to pass off small questions from guests to our support team, allowing them to focus on doing the best they can given any situation.

The shirt immediately signals to others “I’m not a guest” and tells everyone else to get out of the way, not ruin our shot, to look out for us, and to flag us down if necessary. Once everyone sees the shirt, they’ll know to signal us when there’s action happening. While we are really good at getting the best moments, having guests and others flag us down to film this or that is always helpful.

To a lesser degree, wearing business casual is just a waste of good clothes. Videographers do a very strenuous task. Our videographers will get sweaty. They will kneel, lay, or sit on dirty surfaces and grounds to get better shots. Ruining pants isn’t our favorite activity, but getting good footage is really important to us. The standard uniform provides mobility that just works well for us.

Culture: Our videographers are more comfortable in the shirt

As mentioned earlier, Vanilla Video has no official dress code for the office. Even so, we find that most of us will show up in colored Vanilla Video shirts regardless if we’re filming or not. We are a very team-based company and the shirt is a nice way to show you are apart of the team.

In the field, our videographers feel a strong obligation to capture amazing footage for the client project they’re working on. However, we know videographers feel a much stronger pull to do well from colleagues and friendly competition back at the Vanilla Video office. Our culture, constantly encourage videographers to self-critique and compete internally against each other to produce even better, damn near perfect footage. The shirt, for every employee of Vanilla Video, becomes more of a status symbol, stating dedication better at video production and customer service.

Our videographers have said they “just don’t feel the same” when wearing business casual. That people are more fun, they feel more in control, more relaxed, and feel like they get better footage afterwards. Wearing the shirt just makes our videographers happier to be at your production, and happier to come to work the next day. We think that’s worth something.

Ethics & Transparency: Our shirt is designed to give people a heads up

One of the final points is for those who don’t want to be on camera. Wearing business casual will reduce our visibility to these guests. The Vanilla Video shirt is an easy way for those who wish to not be seen or heard to avoid us. The shirt allows shy guests to easily pick us out from the crowd, and react appropriately. Of course, guests can always ask not to be filmed, but the shirt helps both us and them tremendously.

As the saying goes: “Three million people don’t know what an elephant is.” Essentially stating that something so obvious to most of us, may not be obvious to everyone. To a lesser degree, some people still don’t know what a video camera is. For guests posing for pictures, our videographers are easily able to point to their chest and say it’s video. Our silly shirt really help a lot of guests distinguish between the photographer and videographer and act accordingly.

But shirts aren’t professional

It’s not just a shirt. It’s a uniform, and that’s how we do things here at Vanilla Video. We didn’t start this company to be like everyone else. Prices would be higher. Rules would be stricter. Our attitude wouldn’t be the same. And everything would be different. We do things that make sense and work better for our customers overall. The Vanilla Video shirt is better, overall, for customers.

The shirt is a symbol of everything that makes Vanilla Video so awesome. Our videographers in the field, and office staff behind them, overwhelmingly love the shirt. We would immediately raise prices if we changed dress code. Arguing against the shirt is arguing for higher prices.

When we have our initial rendezvous with customers, they can easily spot us. For logistics, our shirt makes everything so much easier. When guests or others want to flag us down, they can pick us out and shout “Hey Vanilla!” Everything just works better, thanks to our silly shirt.

The Vanilla Video shirt is awesome

We understand that your event or production may be sensitive to dress code. Just understand that our default dress is done for a variety of complex reasons listed above, spanning logistical, pricing, ethics, and company culture. Our entire team really enjoys wearing the shirt, as do most of our customers. Vanilla Video is different from other videographers and video production companies, and we welcome you to shop with competitors if the shirt really bugs you.

You can opt for business casual for $99. Wardrobe changes cost us money in logistics, and we have to pass the cost forward or raise prices for everybody.