You just got engaged and now you are so excited to announce to the whole world with the most perfect engagement photos. You found a photographer you love, your engagement session is in a month, and slowly it creeps into your mind…. UGH… WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR?!?!
Since you’re going to be seeing these photos everywhere for the next year, it’s important that you love them and yourself in them. If you have no idea what to wear you are definitely not alone. This is definitely at the front of everyone’s mind right now and I am definitely here to help! These tips are going to help you look better and feel better for your engagement session.
Wear Clothes that You Feel Most Confident AND Comfortable In
In my opinion this is the number one golden rule and encompasses a lot of different topics; I’m going to touch on the most important one. More than anything you want to look and feel like yourself. If you never wear makeup, heels, and dresses why would you ever wear them to your engagement session?? These photos are going to showcase you and your personality and that’s not going to happen if you wear something that doesn’t compliment it. You definitely want to look nice; whatever y
ou wear, it should look like you but enhanced. The more you feel like yourself, the more you’ll act like yourself, and the more you’ll enjoy yourself.
Stay Away From Tight, Short, and Small
I tell all my couples at the beginning of their engagement session that movement is so important. I prompt you to do actions like pick each other up, run around, dip, twirl, etc. None of that is comfortable when you’re wearing high heels is the rocky desert, a short skirt that you have to tug on any time you move your arms, or a shirt that can’t securely hold your boobs. This goes back to my first point and it is overlooked so much. Yes these clothes can be extremely flattering but you want to feel like you’re free to be you. During your session I want you thinking about your partner and how happy they make you, not about how your clothes are about to fall off.
Wear Neutral Colors
There was a time and place for bright reds, blues, pinks, and purples… that was about 4o years ago and should have died with our parents. Today the trend is neutral earthy colors, and there’s a good reason for that. Neutrals aren’t bold and punchy but instead soft and subtle. They compliment skin tones and nature. I’m not just talking about white, tan, and grays. There’s neutrals for every color. For red there’s a maroon, for orange there’s rust, instead of bright yellow there’s mustard yellow, and rather than just green there’s a deep forest green. There’s so many colors to choose from so pick your favorite color and find the neutral version of it.
Compliment Each Other
Remember how amazing those family photos would be where everyone wears a white shirt and jeans…. said no one ever… Get the idea of matching out of your head and start thinking about complimenting. Create a color scheme together and divide up the colors. Mix it up and don’t feel like you have to wear the same two colors. You’ll find it’s actually really hard for clothes to not compliment when they are from a good neutral color palette.
EDIT 7/8/2020: Another important part of complimenting each other is making sure that the level of formality matches between you two. If one of you plans to do an outfit change from casual to formal, the other should also do an outfit change. Shorts next to a long dress does not match no matter how much the colors might look well together.
Compliment the Environment
This is just as important as complimenting each other. Choosing outfits that work with the location helps to make the image cohesive. Think of key parts in the environment and incorporate that into your outfit. Is your engagement session at golden hour in the desert?? Wear colors like sage green, beige, white, and denims. What about at the beach or the lake?? Think of wearing grays, tans, and blues. You can also use this to try and stand out from the environment in subtle ways. Maybe you’re going to a forest area in Flagstaff so you’ll want to wear maybe rust and grays . Or maybe you’re at a location in the snow so you want to try out some browns and dark greens. Thinking about the location is key to feeling like you don’t stick out like a sore thumb and everything in the image just makes sense.
Wear Subtle Patterns
Such a big questions for people is whether or not they should wear patterns. I say go for it, but there’s a few things to consider first. This also goes back to thinking about your environment. If you are headed to a really busy environment with lots of textures consider trying to keep things simple and minimal. If your environment is really simple then a subtle pattern could help to make it interesting. A big thing to remember though is that big and bold patterns are a NO but small and subtle patterns are a YES! EDIT 7/8/2020: Stay away from logos as well. Big logos can be just as distracting as a bold pattern.
Choose Accessories That Are Easy To Work With
Oh goodness us girls love some good accessories right?? A good hat or some pretty necklaces can really dress up an outfit and make it go from alright to amazing. I love wearing some cute jewelry but my advice is to make sure someone helps you to know when the stopping point is. Sometimes less is more. Hats are always a great option too but there are a couple things to consider. Hats can get in the way sometimes and prevent you from enjoying those close moments. Usually when someone comes wearing a hat we do half with it on and half with it off. So it’s important to make sure that wearing it for a few minutes will not result in hat hair.
Create Visual Interest With Textures and Layers
Seeing cotton on cotton on cotton can get really boring and uninteresting. One of my favorite tips is to choose clothes that have some texture to it. We’re talking sweaters, leather jackets, flannel, and ruffles. This helps to add a little more personality in your photos. Layers help with this too. If you can add a little dimension to a 2D image then that is awesome! Anything that could increase movement for flow in the wind will help add that density. Just make sure that it again compliments the environment, doesn’t get in the way of movement, and matches the vibe you’re hoping to achieve(next tip below).
Minimal vs Bold
Maybe you’re more of a minimalist and you want to make things blend in the image and seem really cohesive. Or what if you have
a bit more of a punchy personality and you want to be bold in your photos. You could also be a little bit of both. Which ever vibe you’re going for make sure your clothes reflect that. If you want to be bold, add texture and accessories. If you want to be minimal wear a nice shirt and jeans. Both books are great and will help your photos reflect your personality.
Match the Season
This one might be self explanatory but even so, it’s pretty important. Make sure the clothes you wear reflect the weather of the environment. It wouldn’t make sense to wear Jandals in the snow or boots in the summer. (well that one I’ll let slide because I love boots) So again, make sure you are comfortable in the clothes you wear. It’s also a lot of fun to bring a blanket and have a fall themed shoot or bring flowers in the spring. Do something that matches the time of year and adds a little flare to your session.
Nothing is worse than having a closet full of great clothes and no idea on how to narrow it down. I am a strong believer in open communication and many of my couples send me photos of a few things they are thinking about before hand. Still confused?? Bring multiple options of whatever you like and I can help you narrow it down to make sure we get the perfect combination.
Above All, BE YOURSELF, and Wear What Makes You Happy
At the end of the day these are not my photos, these are YOURS. This is a guide, not a list of rules written in stone. (ya know… I’ve always considered myself to be a rule breaker) Wear clothes that match your personality. Feel like your self. Be as confident as Beyonce. The happiness you feel will show on your face and that’s what matters.
So after all that jumble of information, here’s some screenshots from my Pinterest board for you to get an idea of what all this might look like.