Get Ready for Your Engagement Photos: Outfit Tips from a Professional Photograph
An engagement photoshoot is a great way to commemorate your engagement and prepare for your big day. It's also a lot of fun! But it can be tricky to know what outfit to wear for your photos. Don't worry, I'm here to help you get ready for your shoot. Your engagement shoot is one of the first of many exciting moments leading up to your wedding day, and I am so excited to share my tips with you.
As a professional photographer, what to wear for engagement photos is a question a lot of couples ask me. In this blog post, I'm going to be giving you some tips on choosing the perfect outfits for your engagement photos. This blog will also help you coordinate with your partner from inside the mind of a photographer. Let's get ready to look amazing in your engagement photos!
Using Location, Style and Season to Plan
When choosing your outfits for an engagement photoshoot, it's important to keep in mind the location, style of the shoot and the weather. If we're planning an outdoor engagement photoshoot, captured in nature, then wearing a casual outfit is probably best. But if we're planning for a more formal location, like at a hotel or restaurant, then maybe try wearing a dress or a suit and tie.
Fall, Winter, Summer, Spring?
Season and weather can also help you decide what to wear for your engagement photos (read: you might want to avoid stilettos on the beach or bare arms in the snow). In the fall, you may want to wear layers and bring a coat, while in the summer you might want to be dressed more lightly. Comfort is key, so wear warmer outfits with rich colours and texture in the winter, especially if you'll be outside.
I generally recommend selecting lighter tones and more muted shades. By avoiding ultra-bright, bold colours (think, hot pink or cherry red type of tones), viewers won't be distracted by your clothing choice and the attention will stay on your faces and connection. Remember, you and your partner are the stars of the show in these images.
Breaking the rules in your engagement session...
That being said . . . the above is a rule that can be broken in your session when done well. Sometimes, a pop of colour can be the perfect touch for your engagement shoot colour palette! The key is having one big pop of colour — and a tone subtle enough that it complements the overall look. Like all good things in life, it’s all about balance!
If you do feel more comfortable dressed in prints, make sure the print is big enough to show up on camera, but not too flashy— you don't want to get lost in an oversized print. MOST patterns are okay for photos . . . but, graphics are not ideal. If you’re wearing patterns, make sure it’s not overwhelming and distracting. Similar to choosing colours, we want to first draw attention to your faces, not what you're wearing.
Compliment, don't match.
You will want to compliment your partners outfit, but not match. If you're wearing wildly different colours or styles in your outfits, it may not have the same cohesive look in the final photos. When deciding how you and your partner will dress, look for complementary colours and solid prints. Aim to wear a different dominant colour, but stay within a similar colour palette family. You could also follow the same colour palette as your wedding, if you have one! You should both try to stay away from anything too busy, as it can be an unnecessary distraction in photos.
Opt for Classic Rather Than Trendy Looks /
Let's talk timeless! It's important to create a timeless, fun photo together. You may love black-and-white maxi dresses now, but next year you may only be reminded of a referee when you see yourself in stripes. Try and choose looks that will remain timeless, and stay away from outfits that could make your photos feel dated a few years down the road. An outfit as simple as a light shirt paired with navy pants or jeans for a cute summer look!
Say no to blisters...
When choosing your engagement outfits, make sure you feel comfortable. You want to look nice, but it's more important that you feel good while getting your photos taken. If we'll be doing lots of walking and moving around during our shoot, bring a pair of shoes that are comfortable for you. The last thing I want is for anyone to get blisters! Ladies, if you choose to wear heels, my idea is to bring a pair of flat shoes to change into if we're going to be doing a lot of walking.
Engagement Photo DONTs
Old, dirty running shoes? Pants with stains (even if they're light, the photographer & camera can see them)? Leave them at home and go for a more put-together look with some fun dress shoes, boots or loafers!
Bringing a change for your outfit is fine, but many wardrobe adjustments can swallow up your session time. My best tip is to try to limit it to two outfits, and you can always add and remove layers and accessories to change the appearance. Bring a bonus tie for a quick outfit refresh. An option would be to have one “us on a cute, casual date” outfit and one more formal outfit. This will give your session two totally different looks, and I recommend beginning with the “cute date” outfit first (as this will help you to feel more natural as we all warm-up). If you are not sure which one is best for you, please bring two outfits and I can help you choose. I want to make you feel confident in all of our sessions, because this is a great opportunity to get some amazing photos.
It's all in the details
Empty those pockets! (No, seriously.) You’ll regret seeing your cell phone or keys showing through your pockets. Keep your jewelry ultra-simple and remove your FitBit, Apple Watch or Garmin. Those technical style pieces don't always work best in professional photos and we want to to avoid flashy distractions in your photos too. For men, that means leave your watch and any rings at home. Women should stick to simple earrings with a necklace or bracelet (or one statement piece), and your engagement ring. Don’t forget that your ring will get some attention in this shoot, so give yourself permission to get it cleaned and get your nails done, too!
Confidence is Key!
If you feel confident and comfortable in your outfit, it will show in the photos. So take some time to pick out something that makes you feel beautiful and confident. Don’t feel like you should look like someone you aren’t. If you haven’t worn a dress or suit since you were in kindergarten, don’t do it for this! The general idea is to wear clothes that represent a slightly more dressed up version of yourself.
If you live in jeans, wear your best ones with stunning shoes and combine them with a more chic shirt. Best of all, just have fun. I promise we'll have a blast! This photoshoot is about celebrating your love with your partner and I can't wait to capture these memories together.
I hope these tips help you feel more prepared for your engagement photoshoot! Don't forget to enjoy the experience. After all, it's a pretty special moment in your life and the prints that come for your engagement photos will be something you cherish forever.
Cheryl's insider tip, plan your hair, makeup and both outfits ahead of time. Not only can this help you save time on the day of the shoot, but it's a great way to reduce any stress (similar to doing this with your wedding day). This is an opportunity to get some really stunning photos, and you can't go wrong following these ideas.
Congratulations and best of luck!
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