Our tips on what-to-wear for beautiful engagement portraits.
1. CHOOSE CLOTHES THAT MOVE WELL.
One of my biggest tips for anyone who needs help dressing for their photoshoot is to wear clothing that moves. Flowy dresses that dance in the breeze or trail behind you when you walk photograph so beautifully. Silk blouses, skirts, trousers, & scarves are all great, too. An added bonus of not wearing something super clingy or tight to your session is that you are likely to feel more comfortable in front of the camera.
2. LAYER AWAY.
Layers are a wonderful way to add depth & interest to your outfit. They are easy to remove or add so they are a great way to quickly switch up your look during the course of your engagement session. Think about wearing or bringing a jacket, scarf, or cardigan to your shoot. (Or extra accessories like a favorite hat & pair of sunglasses.)
Consider the location that you are planning to have your session & choose colours that won't get lost in that setting. (i.e. If you are doing your engagement shoot in the woods, perhaps it's best to avoid wearing green or brown.) Another thing to consider is if you would like to incorporate any of the tones that you are planning on including in your wedding day into your engagement photographs (or, on the other hand, if you would like to avoid them).
Textures are a great thing to think about when dressing for a photoshoot. Lace, chunky knits, fringe, denim, flannel, embroidered tops, leather, & corduroy are all personal favorites that photograph wonderfully. Have fun & go nuts with incorporating different textures into your outfits.
5. SIMPLE PATTERNS.
Sometimes one cool, patterned piece can really give an outfit life. Florals, plaids, geometric patterns. & stripes are all wonderful, but try to avoid wearing any that are super tiny or busy - they have to potential to turn into optical illusions in photographs.
Think about coordinating with your fiancé as opposed to flat-out matching. Try wearing complimentary colours or variations of the same hue but include different pops of colour in your individual outfits. Also, try to avoid one partner dressing way more casual or formal than the other.
7. IT'S ALL IN THE DETAILS.
Thinking about little things can make a big difference in how your photographs turn out. For gals, this means everything from making sure that you can't see through the dress you are planning to wear to choosing jewelry that compliments your engagement ring. For guys, this means taking the extra time to iron your shirt that day or removing a cell phone holster from your belt. Try to keep any branding on your clothing to a minimum.
8. BRING along OPTIONS.
Bringing two outfit options to your engagement session is an excellent idea. I like to tell my clients to have one outfit that is super casual & one that is a bit more formal; or one outfit that is bright and bold & another that is soft and neutral. If you are being photographed in multiple locations, bring an outfit for each.
9. DRESS SENSIBLY.
With most engagement shoots taking place outdoors, wearing footwear that you can get around in is keen thinking. If you do happen to have a pair of fancy heels that you are excited about wearing to your shoot (& you aren't a pro at walking in them), bring along a pair of flats to wear while traveling from one location to the next. Also, check the forecast to see how warm or cool it will be on the day of your shoot & choose your outfit accordingly. The more comfortable you are in real life, the more comfortable & natural you will look in your photographs.
10. TREAT YOURSELF.
It's not everyday that you have professional photographs taken, so why not use as an opportunity to do something special for yourself? If getting a haircut is the sort of thing that makes you feel like a whole new woman [or man] than go for it! If you feel beautiful & confident during your shoot, that will absolutely radiate through your photographs. Think about treating yourself to a manicure, buying a new dress, or doing whatever else makes you feel like a million bucks. (If you enjoy getting made up, your engagement shoot is a perfect opportunity to do a trial run with your wedding day make-up artist.)
11. BE YOU.
One of my favorite things about doing engagement shoots is that it gives my clients a chance to get professional photographs taken of them that aren't in a white dress or suit. Take the opportunity to let your personalities shine. If you and your fiancé really just like to hike & wear flannel everyday, then great! Bring a bunch of flannel shirts to your shoot & go nuts! The most important thing is that you two are comfortable. Let your engagement shoot be a chance to capture the two of you as you really are. The wedding day is for playing dress-up.
View our Engagement Session // Styling Inspiration board for more advice + outfit ideas.