E N G A G E M E N T
Engagement sessions are all about capturing the energy between you and your fiancée, which is my number one job as a photographer. That being said, there are certain things you can do to ensure that your engagement photos look amazing. Take some time to plan your engagement session outfit carefully, as what you wear sets the tone for the photos.
There is no one right way to dress, and I wouldn’t want there to be because everyone has a different style, but here are some tips to take your engagement session style up a notch.
Confidence is Key
The number one piece of advice I can give you in this engagement session style guide is to make sure you LOVE your engagement session outfit and that it makes you feel good. That confidence will radiate through your engagement photos and make you feel excited about being in front of the camera. Choose an outfit that is flattering and easy to wear so you aren’t pulling at it or feeling restricted. Engagement photos are all about movement and if you can’t move without worrying that your outfit will fall out of place, you won’t be able to relax. So pick something you love, but also something you feel comfortable and confident in!
Consider the Formality of the Location
Some locations are more formal than others and your outfits should reflect that. I always recommend dressing it up a notch from your every-day style, without going overboard. For example, an engagement session downtown by The Capitol would be perfect with a dressier outfit with heels, while you may want to choose more natural, flowy options for a field or park!
Pick Your Colors Carefully
Color sets the whole tone of an engagement session, so you’ll want to think about the location, season and vibe you want to achieve in your photos. Neutrals are always timeless and photograph beautifully. Take the time to think about the season as well – light dusty pinks, blues and whites are perfect for spring with all of the fresh blooms. Earth tones such as tan, cream and olive greens are great for summer and fall.
While I won't limit what you choose to wear, I strongly advise against any overly bright colors as they can reflect those tones back onto the skin in the sun. I also recommend avoiding dark colors, especially too much maroon, dark blue, or black.
Don’t be Afraid to Embrace Trends
Some photographers will advise you that classic look is always best, and while I agree that you want your photos to be classy, I don’t think you should shy away from embracing trends. I believe that that best engagement photos capture a moment in time, and fashion is part of that, so don’t be afraid to try something a little trendy and fun. Take your everyday style and then elevate it to how you’d dress on your best day. Think date night at a new, trendy bar.
Avoid being Matchy-Matchy
When it comes to dressing you and your fiancée, coordination is key, but matching too closely is a no-go. Pick a general color tone and level of formality and then both dress to that look, without matching exact colors. If you choose to have a color in common, make sure it is subtle and serves as a thread running through the photos, not the first thing you’ll see when you look at the images.
Consider your “flow-factor”
I may have made this term up, but it’s one of the most important aspects of getting dreamy, ethereal photos. A long, flowy skirt or dress will allow the photos to document motion which is always a good thing.
Avoid busy patterns or stripes
Generally speaking, avoid patterns that will distract the eye, especially stripes, which are often unflattering in photos. That said, rules were made to be broken, so if you have a pattern in mind it could work out perfectly, I just suggest carefully coordinating with your partner and making sure it won’t distract too much.
This one is easy – if you have a fun hat, wear it! Awesome shoes or earrings, this is the time. Accessories add a fun detail to any shoot, and some can be taken on or off in different photos to mix things up.
The best way to guarantee some color in your photos is to bring a bouquet!
Bring two looks
In a standard engagement session, you’ll have plenty of time for two locations and two different outfits. I highly recommend mixing it up halfway through the session – either with two different color outfits or one look that is formal and one less so. I don’t recommend ever going too casual, but you can take it up or down a notch for part of the session.