Choosing engagement photo outfits is ROUGH. I know this because I’ve taken engagement photos with my fiancé before and I bought about 40 different dresses online before settling on two to keep. Not an easy task. Here are some tips to help!
WEAR CLOTHES YOU FEEL CONFIDENT IN! WHICH MEANS THEY:
Make you feel sexy, beautiful, handsome or amazing.
Flatter your body type. They show off the parts you love (cool tattoos!) or hide places that make you self-conscious (like upper arms). If you have a part of your body you don’t love, or it’s something you always notice in photographs, don’t wear clothes that exascerbate it!
Are colors you actually like!
Are clothes you would actually wear somewhere, not just for a photoshoot. Not into long-flowy dresses and suits? Then why would you wear them for your engagement photos? I want you to feel like YOU! You can be dressy versions of yourselves if you do like to dress up on occassion. But if that is not you, skip it!
PICK CLOTHES THAT COORDINATE, BUT DON’T MATCH
You don’t need to match; you just don’t want to clash!
Pick a color family and play around with it! For example, you could pick dark neutrals. One of you could wear black, the other could wear gray, and you could play around with various dark neutral shades.
If one person wears a simple pattern, have the other person pull a color from that pattern and wear it!
Complimentary colors look great together! Mustard yellow and blue are always a favorite of mine.
WEAR COLORS YOU LOVE, BUT NOT THE BRIGHTEST VERSION OF THEM
Do you love wearing black? Yes? Then wear black! You both can! You be you!
Love yellow? Wear it! Just don’t wear the brightest version of it. If you get a richer, more jewel-toned version it will ALWAYS photograph better. Same goes with bright greens, turquoise, pinks, reds and oranges. Wear the colors you love, BUT pick slightly toned down versions. Why? Because really bright colors will reflect their own colored light into the shadows of your face. You don’t want that. You don’t want your chin and the area under your nose to reflect your brilliant turqouise shirt. Nope. Wear a darker, slightly more muted version instead!
My favorite go-to colors? Deep wine reds, mustard yellows, burnt or rust orange, soft dusky pink, any shade of gray, warm browns, olive greens, or deep/soft blues. Other neutrals are also great!
REMEMBER THE FOCUS IS ON YOU, NOT YOUR CLOTHES!
Solid colors are often better than busy patterns! I want the focus of the image to be on your emotions and your connection, not what you are wearing. Patterns can bring a lot of dimension and playfullness to an outfit though, so don’t rule them out altogether! Just be aware.
Patterns can be fun, but avoid really tight, contrasted patterns that create that weird swirly effect on camera (its called the moire effect if you want to read about it). This happens most often with dress shirts that have a tight, contrasted, small pattern.
CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK THE FIT!
It’s not just what you wear, it’s also how well it fits you!
Baggy clothes can be fashionable and sometimes hide areas you don’t like, BUT they can also make you look bigger than you actually are!
Super tight clothing can be sexy, but it can also lead to awkward bulging areas!
BRING THE RIGHT UNDERGARMENTS
Bring the right color and type of bra for each outfit. Bring different undershirts if your clothes require it.
Spanx and shapewear are your friends! Just make sure your clothes are long enough to cover the shapewear underneath if you are walking or running in photos.
Make sure your underwear (and boxer shorts) don’t show through any of your clothes!
CONSIDER THE LOCATION
Urban photoshoots are very different from nature sessions! You don’t want to wear urban streetwear or going-out clothes and stilletos in a forest. It just looks weird and out of place most of the time.
For nature shoots, I recommend wearing more outdoorsy clothing. Plaids, jeans, jackets and boots always look great. If you want to be dressy, you can, but remember where you are! Flowy, organic, dresses look stunning when blowing in the wind or at a waterfall.
DRESS FOR THE SEASON AND THE WEATHER
I take engagement photos year round, which means it’s not always warm outside! Please bring lots of layers and seasonally approporiate clothing! You don’t want to wear a sleeveless dress when it’s near freezing outside; it won’t be fun for you and it will be more difficult to make natural expressions if your teeth are chattering!
If it’s cold, bring lots of cute layers and warm options! Hats also look great in photos, so feel free to bring one to keep your head warm!
If it’s rainy, I have a clear plastic umbrella that looks super cute in pictures. If the forecast is looking questionable, bring cute raincoats and make sure to wear fabrics that don’t show raindrops easily! Thicker fabrics like sweaters or plaid shirts do a great job of hiding rain.
Most people wear 2-3 outfits per shoot. But I always tell clients to bring extra outfits just in case something doesn’t work out! It’s a good idea to bring a few back-up outfits, as well as extra accessories (jackets, scarves, hats, layers, jewelry, etc). We will look through everything when you arrive and pick out what works best!
HAVE FUN WITH IT
Your clothing is such a unique expression of your personality! Be playful and have fun with your outfits! And if you have any questions or need help deciding on things, reach out to me! I’m always happy to give you feedback if you need it.