Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Leave The Flip Flops For The Politicians

We have a strict policy in our office, and it's "no flip flops". We also encourage a business casual environment, yet the importance of maintaining a prepared status in the event a last minute assignment comes up. However, at no time, is it acceptable to wear flip-flops on an assignment (or in the office), even if that assignment is at the beach.

Why no flip flops? Set aside decorum, look at that heavy steel equipment? Rolling cart, heavy tripod, and off camera are heavy equipment cases. In a moment, those toes could be in severe pain. It's just risky. In addition, you can't climb well in those -- literally, you are a scant short distance from being bare foot.

Considering decorum, there are a number of stories that go along with this, try Flip Flop Scandal at the White House, or
Wearing Flip-Flops A No-No?
, and to see the large photo of these ladies with The President from 2005, click here. We are in a professional office environment here. We're amongt people in suits, or dressed business casual, not "beach casual".

The photo above? An oversight on my part. I make a point of being detail oriented, scanning everything I can (to include my usual scan of my assistant's attire, save for this oversight), ensuring a professional presentation. I have, on occasion, denied an intern or assistant an assignment opportunity, leaving them in the office, and instead, taking someone from my staff who is appropriately attired. Sometimes it's not having your attire at the ready when a last minute assignment comes about, sometimes it's being too casual when we should be dressed up.

Leave the flip flops for the politicians, they're sure to satisfy on that front, and dress for success.

Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.


Anonymous said...

Dumb - Dumber - Dumbest! Just add a nose ring or a tongue piercing and your all set for a fine career at.... minimum wage.
If nothing else women have the luxury of the boardest selection of the most beautiful shoes available to them. The best young women today can come up with are .... flip-flops! Shame on them.
Only on the beach or pool - Never on the job!

Anonymous said...

Please get off of your soapbox.

You are flogging a college field hockey team for wearing flip-flops at the White House? What, some people in college making errors in judgement? I'm sure that since the beginning of time that's never happened. I'm sure that these young ladies from East Popcorn State had no idea that you would be making a big deal about this months after the fact.

Who cares?

It's fine that you in the course of your business have a no flip-flop policy. If you feel that this no flip-flop policy is what is going to give you a leg up in your business that's great.

Please save this valuable space for bashing those who unfairly abuse photographers rather than a bunch of girls who wear flop-flops.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see this post directed exclusively at women. Guys wear flip-flops, too. Hard to believe any assistant or photographer worth their salt would show up in such flimsy garb knowing what the job entails. I'm a female photographer, in my mid 40s, with collapsed arches--I find it difficult to find stylish supportive shoes, that I can drop my light case on without crushing my toes. It's possible, but not as easy as the first responder implies.

A Unique Alias said...

@Anonymous 12:05pm.

Wearing $2 foam footwear is unacceptable in any professional environment.

Obviously the word is not out around my workspace either, so I strongly support the message.

Unknown said...

I stand by your "no flip flops" rule, but am still lobbying hard for "clothing optional Thursdays"


Anonymous said...

@a unique alias: Just an FYI. At least one pair of the footwear in question cost $16 according to one of the news stories at the time. They were described in a news story as "...arguing they wore a dressier version of the casual sandal."

bmillios said...

They were described in a news story as "...arguing they wore a dressier version of the casual sandal."

That reminds me of the old joke:

Guy asks a girl - "If I gave you a million dollars, would you sleep with me?"

Girl smiles, blushes, "Sure."

Guy says, "Ok, how about ten dollars?"

Girl looks upset. "You're disgusting. What kind of a girl do you think I am?"

Guy: "We've already established that. Now we're negotiating price."

I also think that the trend towards flip-flops is a bad thing. I forbid my children to wear them to school, even though they doth protesteth mightily.

Jess said...

Gotta go against the stream...

I wear very nice shoes when photographing a blue chip CEO. I wear steel-toed shoes when shooting in mines. But I have worn decent flip-flops to low-key photo shoots and am in fact wearing them at the office right now. (There are flip flops you shower at camp in, and there are expensive flip flops you could wear to a wedding.)

I've never had a problem, or a comment made by boss or client.

Different strokes for different folks, but in my humble opinion, as long as I keep my toenails trimmed nice flip flops are fine for many situations.

Honestly, what's the difference between a nice pair of flip flops (I'm talking $30+) and a pair of open-toed sandals?

Vive le free feet! :-)

neumero4te said...

Speaking of flip flops at a wedding, I had a friend get married in flip flops at her fairly formal wedding last summer.. times are changing. That being said, I'll go ahead and buy the safety argument, but if it is about safety, it seems to me there should be no open toed shoes allowed at all. Is this the case?

Just so you know, when I finally achieve my dream of shooting the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, I'm wearing flip flops.

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