What do we wear for our engagement session? Ahhhhh. The ultimate question that is always asked. As a wedding photographer, especially in South Florida, I get asked this A LOT. What do we wear? Do we match our outfits? Should I wear a dress? Should he wear a tie? Have no fear, after this post you will have a greater understanding about what looks good in photos…and why.
Here are some helpful tips that I like to tell clients when deciding on the perfect outfits for your e-session.
What are the overall themes of your engagement photos? Are you doing a styled engagement session or a traditional engagement photo session? Think about the things that you like to do and that you enjoy as a couple. Having a strong overall theme in your engagement photos can be a great way to incorporate your interests. If there is a strong theme in your photos, what outfits would fit into your theme? If the overall theme is “comics and colors” like Heather and Dave’s engagement photos, what outfits portray that message and theme?
This also goes along with the previous point, but think about the location of your shoot. If you’re planning on a romantic beach setting, a long dress that catches the wind may be appropriate. On the other hand, if you’re planning an urban shoot, that same long flowy dress may not be the best fit. Instead, something hip and funky (if that’s your style) might be more suitable to match the urban setting. If you’re getting your photos taken in a cute community park, a long evening gown would obviously look a little off… a cute sundress would be more fitting. That elegant evening gown might be perfect for an upscale downtown date-styled engagement session. More of an at home person? Maybe try an e-session at your house with your favorite cozy jeans and sweater.
3. Skin Tone
This is a HUGE tip that most photographers forget to mention. Skin tone. It’s best for the photographer if you wear a color that is not the same color or very close to your own skin tone. For instance, if you have very fair skin and wear a very light colored nude or pale shirt (white too if you’re very fair skinned) it can be difficult for the photographer to meter (get the lighting right) for your skin tone. Basically, if you wear the same color shirt (or close) to your skin tone, you’re going to look like you and your shirt are one giant blob on some occasions. This is also why very fair women look great in ivory wedding dresses rather than in pure white.
So, what do you wear instead? I think it’s best to wear a deeper color if you’re fair skinned or a lighter color if you’re darker skinned. If you have more questions on what color looks best for which skin tones, I would be happy to do another blog post on that too! You can also email me if you have any questions on what looks the best for you.
4. Should We Match?
NO. Unless you want to have a throwback 1980s-1990s engagement session. Hehe. The best advice that I can give towards Mr. and Mrs. outfits would be this: coordinate don’t match. Sure, there are some instances where a matching outfit could be cute (think matching save the dates jerseys) but for the most part it’s just plain tacky. Coordinate your outfits by colors and patterns. If you’re wearing a zebra print dress (it could happen) he probably should’t wear a red polka dotted blazer (hey, that could happen too!). If you’re wearing a nice navy and white striped dress for the beach, maybe some kaki shorts and a button down shirt in a color that compliments your dress would be nice. Look for colors that go well with one another (but that also go well with your theme).
5. Special Engagement Session Attire
One of my favorite engagement sessions involved a Sailor and his lovely bride to be. During part of their session, we made sure to incorporate his Navy Uniform. Not only is a uniform special, but it provides a level of sentimental value that other clothing does not provide. Does one of you (or both) have a unique job or trade that you want to incorporate? This also plays into the theme, but including a uniform or other props that describe your life together adds a whole new meaning to the engagement session. Something to think about!
6. What do you feel confident in?
Last, but not least, what do you feel confident in? If you don’t LOVE what you’re wearing, it’s going to show in front of the camera. When you’re uncomfortable, the camera is going to know it. I may not know it, but the camera sure will! When you are confident and feeling good during your engagement session, your photos are going to shine and show your true personality. So, find an outfit or two that you don’t want to take off. That you could wear forever and be content. Find an outfit that reflects who you are as a person and that highlights your best qualities. Often times we are our own worst critic (Trust me, I know!) but when you’re happy and confident with yourself, you’re going to be happy with your photos.