As a photographer, an engagement session is an opportunity for us to spend some time together, while you warm up in front of the camera and show off your personalities. I’ve written 10 Reasons To Have An Engagement Shoot and why pre wedding photography is so important in the past, but I’d like to focus this post on the most common questions I hear from my recently engaged couples: what to wear for engagement photo shoot session? Figuring out what to wear for your engagement photos shouldn’t be something to stress about. Casual, dressy, or themed? Darks or lights? As photographer I, of course, want my couples to look their best in their photos and the most important thing to remember is that your photos should be uniquely you, so read on for my top tips for engagement shoot fashion.
The most important thing during your engagement shoot is to be yourself! The whole purpose of the shoot is to capture exactly who you are, and show your personalities. If you pick an outfit that just isn’t ‘you’, you’ll feel uncomfortable, and trust me, it’ll show in the photos. Whether you want to wear jeans and a t-shirt or a matching pajama set, your happiness will show through and influence the overall mood in the photos.
An engagement shoot is an opportunity to enhance your natural beauty. If you plan to wear makeup for your wedding day, this is a great time to coordinate a trial with your makeup artist. Getting your makeup done is a small investment that helps you feel confident — which definitely shows up in your pictures. Even if you don’t normally wear makeup, cameras have a sneaky way of picking up uneven tones on our faces. A little foundation and mascara will go a long way toward making your pictures reflect how you look every day.
Think about your body type as well; you know what suits you and what doesn’t, so don’t just pick something you thought looked great in a magazine. If you’re worrying about what your arms look like in that strapless dress, it’s going to be harder to capture those beautiful moments of a couple in love. I mean that you should select clothing that is literally comfortable to wear, but I also mean that you should choose outfits that make you feel your best. Nothing creates awkwardness in front of the camera like feeling self-conscious, so be sure that whatever you end up wearing gives you confidence!
Colours & Match
You’ll want to coordinate with each other, rather than looking identical. As an example if SHE will wear beautiful red dress and HE sweet red tie then we have a match. They will 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! Think about colors that complement each other, say cherry red and bright blue, or baby pink and turquoise, and make sure your outfits are color coordinated.
Black might be slimming, but I generally advise couples not to wear it since it leads to every speck of dust and hair being easily caught on camera. Wearing white should be saved for your wedding day. If you’re feeling it, go ahead and embrace bold prints and bright colours. You’ll be amazed how easily you become the focus of the photo, rather than just an addition to the landscape, when you’re wearing an eye-catching hue or pattern. But don’t both go for bold patterns. Instead, only one of you should, and the other should choose a top that pulls out a color from the pattern.
On the day of your engagement photo session, you should both look like you’re headed to the same place. Wear clothes that are on the same level of dressiness or casualness. Your clothes should have the same vibe. So if you’re going for a formal look, then both of you need to be formal.
Dress for the season, especially that I will do your engagement shoot mostly outdoors. Wearing thin summer clothes in the winter is only going to make you cold and miserable. Similarly, wearing heavy winter clothes in the height of summer is a surefire recipe for sweatiness, and I’m sure sweat stains and melting make-up isn’t the look you’re going for!
One quick and easy way to give yourself multiple looks with only one outfit is to incorporate layering into your style for the day. So consider adding a cardigan, blazer, or jacket to finish your look. Layers can also include accessories like a vest or belt, which always add another element to the photos.
The weather in the United Kingdom can be pretty unpredictable all year round, so prevent uncomfortable photo sessions by layering your look. That way, if you decide to have some photos taken in the cool shade and then hike to your next sunny location, you don’t have to break a sweat. Layers are also great because they hide areas you might not feel comfortable flaunting.
Think about where you will be shooting with me. Are we going for a soft natural/rustic feel? Then sticking to soft neutral colours may be a great option. Are we going to be shooting in a city? Then brighter colours or a more “dressed up” approach may work with the setting better. If your photos are in a park, a green dress might camouflage you with the grass and trees. A complimentary color, like a red dress, would pop against the green if you want to stand out. For a more subdued look, try a cool color like a blue, to differentiate from your surroundings. If we’re going to be shooting in a wheat field, try a casual sun dress or shirt and jeans. Be creative and imagine your look and play off the location.
Bringing more than one outfit never hurts, especially if you can’t decide between casual and formal. I love the idea of starting off casual with a few laid back looks, then sampling it up with more high-fashion styles, then closing with a small little themed portion that really speaks to your personality as a couple. Wardrobe changes are always welcome and will give you an alternative look for your photos. Mostly your engagement shoot will take a place outdoor so be prepared to change clothes in a car… just to let you know it’s possible to change your outfits.
Relax and have fun!
Engagement sessions are low-key and about capturing the two of you as you are – interacting, loving, kissing, laughing… so make sure to bring your smile and be ready to have a great time! Don’t feel like you have to treat any of the above like do-or-die rules. So what do you plan to wear for your engagement photo shoot? Remember, Pinterest is full of fashion ideas in case you need an inspiration boost! Let me know what your ideas are.
I really look forward to shooting more engagement sessions to get to know more about the brides/grooms I will be photographing on their wedding day. I learn a lot from a couple and their style just by what they are wearing during their engagement session. I get a good feel for what they like, their personalities and how their style will be reflected on their wedding day.