I just love engagement sessions! First of all, we are doing the session at such a pivotal moment of your lives. Second, we get to have a play day while ya’ll are in the midst of your busy wedding planning. Third, I love that we get to tell the story of two people becoming one.
The ‘what should I wear to my engagement session’ question is the most common question I get asked. So, here’s the answers to your wardrobe dilemmas with some great examples!
1. Wear Clothes That Make You Feel Like You
Now’s not the time to pull out a beaded ball gown if you’re a T-shirt and jeans kind of couple. You should still look like yourself! Skip logos and words as they draw the eye. On the other hand, dress up if you want. This is a time to be fun, creative, and show a different side of you. After all, your engagement session is a special occasion!
2. Complement Each Other, But Don’t Match
Look for complementary colors and solid prints. Pick 2 or 3 colors that are flattering for both, and work them into each outfit.
Try to stay away from anything too busy, as it can be distracting in photos. You can choose to keep it simple, with subdued colors, solids, and muted prints which can help convey the couples connection. Conversely, don’t be afraid of color, if that is you. I love jump off the page imagery, that conveys energy and excitement.
3. Complement the Scene with your Wardrobe
You want your faces and the love between you to be the highlight! You’ll want to avoid anything neon, you’ll look like a hot, blinking sign, I also find orange is the least photogenic color, while white and red draws your eye. So consider wearing pastels, cool hues, or neutral tones, then add a pop of bright color with your accessories.
4. Be Mindful of How Your Color Scheme Will Flow Through the Collection of Photos
Once you have an idea of what colors you’ll be wearing in your engagement photos, consider how that color will translate throughout the entire collection of photos. You want to create synergy, rather than have the final result look like a random collection of images.
5. Incorporate at Least One Accessory
Women can express themselves most through accessories. Layering and accessories, such as a scarf, chunky necklace, or belt, adds the “wow” factor. Plus, they’re easy to slip on and off, which means you’ll have a variety of looks with a single outfit. Adding in at least one accessory per outfit for the ladies, and wearing layers of clothing for the guys, are two things that photograph well because it adds more visual interest to their looks.
6. Choose Classic Rather Than Trendy Looks
I recommend looks that will remain timeless, rather than outfits that could make your images feel dated a few years down the road. Timeless doesn’t mean dreary! If your style is trendy, using classic shapes can make the color or pattern of the season more agreeable for years to come.
7. Stick With Two Outfits
Don’t fall victim to treating your engagement session as a fashion photo shoot. Two outfits is more than enough to reflect your style, and it insures you won’t spend your entire session in a rush to change into the next set of clothes.
8. Flatter Your Figure
Accentuate your womanly assets. Here are some go-to tips:
Pear-Shaped: To show off your curves, focus on cinching the waist with an A-line design that flares at the bottom. Add a short statement necklace, or a top with interesting details at the shoulder and neckline to draw the eye.
Hourglass: Vertical lines are flattering, such as a v-neckline or a long necklace. Wrap dresses and boot leg pants are great choices.
Apple-Shaped: An A-line style with a gradual flow from the waist to the legs is always flattering. This shape is also great for a dress with ruching at the waist and/or a deep V-neck. The best pants for this type are a graduated flare.
Busty: Scoop and sweetheart necklines offer support and open up the décolletage so the focus is on the face rather than the bust.
Small Chest: Look for textured or ruched styles to create fullness in the chest area.
Plus Size: Engagement photos featuring an empire waist dress are usually great! They’re super flattering and emphasize the smallest portion under the bust, creating the effect of a slender silhouette from top to bottom.
Universally flattering options: All body types look gorgeous in wrap tops, a-line skirts, and jackets cinched at the waist.
10. Create Visual Interest With Striking Fabrics and Unexpected Pairings
Incorporating striking fabrics (think lace, fur, leather, etc.) will add a ton of visual texture, which in turn brings more warmth to your images. Use texture in unexpected ways, with lace, corduroy, denim, and knits. It will add an element of surprise to the image.
11. Details for Guys
The details for him matter, especially because there are fewer of them. Make sure his shirt and pants are clean and well-pressed — no dingy whites. Shoes should be free of dirt and shined. Socks should match the pants, not the shoes. Nothing like a white athletic sock peeking out from a pair of khakis to throw off a whole shot.
WHAT TO BRING
-Touch up makeup
-Lint roller (if you’re in dark colors)
Hopefully that answers your “what should I wear to my engagement session?” question! You can find more Portrait Session resources on my blog.