As a professional photographer, I get asked from my couples all the time for ideas on what they should wear for their engagement session. As a result, I finally decided it would be a good idea to put a list together for some tips and tricks on how to look your best. Here is what I suggest you keep in mind to have the best experience possible.
1. Bring Two Outfits – I alway recommend to my couples to bring two outfits – something classy and something fun and casual. For men, classy means slacks, a fitted dress shirt tucked in, nice shoes, a watch, a sport coat or something similar. For women, classy means a nice slip or sheath dress, or even a nice tube dress. If you need some dress ideas, here is a good article to refer to. For casual clothes, wear something you’re not afraid to sit in and get a little dirty as well as something you feel comfortable wearing. If it’s uncomfortable to wear, it may show in photos. For women, you may also want to consider bring extra shades of lipstick or gloss to go with your outfits.
2. Complement Each Other – Wear clothes that complement each other, but don’t match entirely. There’s a reason why you cringe every time you see that stereotypical white t-shirt and jeans family photo. You should both have accent pieces in your outfit that have similar colors or patterns. For example, if the woman is wearing a maroon dress, the man can complement her by wearing a checkered shirt with maroon squares, or by incorporating a maroon tie.
3. Stay Away from Distracting Colors, Patterns and Logos – Unless you’re going for a specific look, try to avoid colors and awkward patterns that will be distracting. This means no neon colors, tie dye shirts, clothing with big logos or designs, or anything that will detract away from the couple.
4. Wear Contrasting Colors in Relation to Your Location – You want to wear colors that contrast well from the environment. For example if you’re shooting in the Spring outdoors and there will be a lot of greenery around, you may want to avoid wearing green. Instead, pick a color like Blue or Yellow that won’t get lost in the background.
5. Wear Clothes That Flatter Your Specific Body – We’ve all been in this situation: you see a dress or a nice suit that looks amazing on that model in the catalog, but when you try it on it looks like crap. Even if you fall in love with that gown, try it on first and ask your friends if you think it flatters your body type. There are a lot of guides on the web that describe what types of clothing flatter certain body types.
6. Stick to Classic Trends – Try to stick to fashions and hairstyles that are timeless. The last thing you want is to look back on your photos 10 years from now and ask yourself “why did I wear that”?
7. Get Inspiration From Other Sources – Don’t be afraid to browse Instagram, Pinterest and Google. Look at what other couples have worn to their engagement sessions and don’t be afraid to steal ideas.
8. Dress for the Season – Complement your outfit to the season! In the warmer months, lighter and airy colors work well. You can get away with wearing sandals, flowy dresses, shorts, and anything that represents Spring. In the colder months, wear bolder colors and don’t be afraid to bundle up with scarves, jackets and knits.