We’ve all been there, staring at our closet full of clothes not knowing what to wear. Then you add on the layer of engagement photos and suddenly you’ve tried on practically everything you own and nothing seems quite right. This Engagement Session Outfit Guide is here to give you our top tips on choosing outfits to make it as easy as possible!
Before we dive in, keep in mind these are just guidelines. Over the years of photographing engaged couples, these are tips we’ve found are helpful and tend to translate well to photos!
#1 Be Yourselves
First things first: dress like yourselves! Wearing an outfit that feels like YOU will give you confidence, and excitement to share your photos. Many people can find themselves a bit nervous when stepping in front of the camera and you want to feel confident and like yourself. Sounds obvious, right? Until we see a dress we love online and try our hardest to make it work! Trust us, stick to being yourselves.
#2 Bring Outfit Options
For engagement sessions, we usually photograph couples in two different outfits. If you’re having trouble narrowing your outfits down, then send me a message and we can go over it together! No need to bring your entire closet, but bringing 2-3 of your top choices should work well.
A lot of couples will start in their more casual outfit, and then change into their dressier option. This will give you two different looks in your gallery and will add variety to your photos. We highly recommend making a date night out of your session, and going out afterwards – this season in your lives deserves to be celebrated! I don’t know about you, but there aren’t a lot of reasons to get all dressed up, take advantage!
#3 Think Practically
Your outfit should make sense for the location! Think about what colours will go well with where your session is and the overall vibe. If we are going to be surrounded by a lot of greenery a pop of red would make you stand out or a simple neutral would be complimentary. Always keep the weather in mind and check the temperature prior to your session! Layers are key when dealing with maritime seasons and this way you can always take a layer off or add on.
#4 Colours & Patterns
Neutrals!! Neutral colours ALWAYS photograph well! Neutrals aren’t limited to only whites, browns, and greys. There’s a neutral version of any colour! Think along the lines of muted and earthy tones. Like the earthy shades of orange, yellow, green, blue, maroon etc. If lighter colours are more your style, then look for pastel shades like light blues, pinks, etc. It’s usually best to avoid overly bright, neon and hot colours. Those colours tend to overpower the photo and take away from you both as the couple.
We can’t forget to mention logos too. It’s best to leave shirts with big logos at home. We are all about rocking a sweet band t-shirt or going for a vintage look, so if it fits the vibe then we’re all about it. However, if you’re considering a shirt with a big Nike logo across the front, let’s skip it and go with a solid shirt instead.
When it comes to patterns, stay away from patterns that have too many different colours, are too small, or are too busy. We also recommend only one person wearing a pattern. For example, if your favourite dress has a pattern, then your partner should wear something more solid. You can take the primary colour of the pattern to help determine what complimentary colour the other person should wear.
Don’t worry, we’re not talking about the cringy Pinterest board props you might be thinking of. Those can stay at home. Props are a way to add something unique and personal to your engagement session and there are SO many options! It could be a blanket, your dog, a hat, an instrument, or your adventure vehicle. We could end the session by cracking some craft beers or popping a bottle of champagne. The list goes on! Incorporating props that show off a little more about your relationship, makes your engagement photos even more special and fitting!
#6 Hair & Makeup
Some people like to get their hair and makeup done for engagement photos. If not having to worry about your hair and makeup sounds like a dream, then schedule it out! Maybe you can schedule it as your wedding trial (if the look is similar) or simply book with a trusted pro - a professional hair and makeup artist knows what photographs well. Bonus!
However, don’t feel like booking professional hair and makeup is necessary. If you’re confident in your hair and makeup abilities then great! Or if you tend to be pretty minimal (like me!) when it comes to hair and makeup then keep it that way! Like point #1 says, you want to feel like YOU!
#7 It’s how you show up.
When it comes right down to it, how you show up will make all the difference. We totally get that the thought of being in front of the camera can make you feel awkward. But, as long as you show up ready to have a good time with one another then it’ll make all the difference. And if it all still seems so daunting then grab a drink beforehand, that always helps!
Hopefully this engagement session guide gives you some direction in planning your session outfits. We know whatever you choose will be perfect in the end and we will have a great time together.
Glenn & Melissa