A few months back I posted a little guide for my brides (and brides everywhere) on some ideas on what to wear for your engagement session (or portrait session). I got some great feedback and have always had fabulously dressed couples ever since (although that could be just because my couples are fabulous all on their own). I wanted to post that again on the new blog with a few updates! As always, rules our meant to be broken and if you are on the fence about an outfit please feel free to ask me beforehand or bring it along to the session for some advice!
(I always send my new brides over this way before their engagement session to check out the article, so hello there bride of mine! )
So the big question: “What should I / we wear for our photography session?”
Things to Keep in Mind
– Your body type. We all hate those glamour magazines* that tell us all of the ways that we are making ourselves look horrible in the clothes we love. I personally have a love hate relationship with a particular little black dress of mine. But, for certain occasions, it is worth doing a little research. For women and men both, there is no shortage of information about general body shapes and clothes that will be the most flattering for those body shapes. Put in the effort, and dress accordingly. (Example: almost no one looks good in a tube top and super short shorts, trust me)
– Coordinate colors. A great example is shown here with Amanda’s beautiful blue dress and Phil’s sweet vest to match. They look great together without looking too “matchy”. One thing to remember is they don’t have to be the exact same color. The same color family would work well too (example: bold purple and light purple).
– Coordinate styles. Guys make sure you match the overall “feel” of your girl’s outfit. If she’s wearing a dress, make yourself look a little nicer. If she’s rockin’ some jeans and fashion boots then funk yourself up a little with a snazzy tie and nice leather shoes.
– Play with patterns. But don’t get too crazy, unless that’s you..then go for it! Deeper colors are the most flattering. (for a great example of how heavily patterned clothes can also look super rad check out the photo from Matt + Jana’s Engagement session at the bottom of this post) Mix it up a bit and have some fun.
– A cute cocktail dress is always a good way to go.
– Stick to more fitted clothing. Anything hanging off your body (baggy) will make you look bigger than you are and look messy.
– The layered look is always a winner for downtown settings. For example:
Guys: Nice dark jeans, hip shoes, collared shirt and a loose tie. A jacket to finish it off.
Girls: Nice jeans, paired with a dressy top, splashes of color or patterns, funky jewelry and high heels. (or cute dress).
– Spice up your outfit with a cute pair of heels or a funky necklace (or cute purse!).
(note: if you’re going to be wearing high heels, also bring some more comfortable flip-flops or slip-ons with you for walking).
– Talk with your photographer about the locations you will be shooting at so she can give specific recommendations.
– Variety is the spice of life! It is always best to bring a few different outfits so that you can change for your specific location. My couples typically bring 2-3 outfits depending on the locations and how much time we have. They almost always end up doing at least 1 wardrobe change.
– Most importantly: Be comfortable and have fun with it! You will have a much better time which will make for better photos.
Things Not to Wear
– Bright white matching shirts.
– Horizontal stripes (or any thick stripes).
– Tops with big logos or a lot of writing on them – keep it clean and classy.
– Shirts with short hemlines and mid-drifts.
– Super Short skirts.
– Exact matching outfits. Look coordinated, not matching. White shirts and jeans don’t have much personality and your engagement session is your time to let your personality shine.
Another fun way to make your session unique and fun is to bring props. For example, some fun props are:
– A “Thank You” or “Save the Date” sign on a poster-board for personalized thank you and save the date cards. Remember: it’s always great to get your engagement photos out there for everyone to see!
– Instruments you play
– Balloons (or one big balloon!)
– Your favorite cool couch or chair (Yeah, I’ll tote around some furniture for your awesome session)
– Anything else that makes your relationship unique or that is special to you.
Also, are you having your makeup done for your wedding? Then why wouldn’t you want to get it done for your engagement session? It is always great to have a professional when you can (that’s why you’ve hired me!) so in order to add that extra “oomf!” to your session get your hair and makeup did ladies! I am sure you are absolutely wonderful at doing it yourself on a day-to-day basis. But a professional will know what photographs best and how to make you look perfect-o for your rockin engagement session that you will be looking at for years to come. If you are worried about cost you can always arrange to have your makeup trial done on the same day of your engagement session, two birds one stone!
“Let Me Explain. No, There Is Too Much. Let Me Sum-Up…”
Finally, the most important thing to remember about preparing for an engagement session is that we are trying to photograph you, so be yourself! Dress nice, but don’t get so “dressed up” that you are uncomfortable. Interact with each other the way you normally would. Goof off, make faces, cuddle, laugh, play. In short, have fun and bring your ‘A’ game!
I will be honest, I have yet to be disappointed with my couples on their fashion sense, you all rock and there is a reason we work so well together! Here are just a few examples of some great outfits my couples have put together, ranging from casual to more dressy and a mix of both! You all get an A+ for style!
* Note = Make no mistake, I love fashion and glamour magazines in general, just not when they’re telling me I can’t wear my yoga pants to the grocery store with my hair in a bun.