What should we wear for our engagement session?
This is one of the main questions I get from my couples while planning their engagement session. I completely understand this overwhelming feeling.
Very often, your engagement session is the first time you and your partner will have professional photos taken. In my opinion the engagement session is a great warm-up before the wedding day. It’s one of the best ways to create a connection between you and your photographer. It’s also an opportunity to do a hair and makeup trial and test your choices. You will probably be using your photos on your save-the-date cards, wedding website, and/or guest book. Thus, choosing the right outfit can be a very daunting task, and you may feel a lot of pressure about how you should look.
How you feel during the session is key! That’s why I’m always there for my couples, helping them create the best images possible. I know that a good session starts way before the actual photo shoot.
Below, you can find a few tips to consider while planning your outfits:
1. Reflection of you!
Like the location, your outfit should be a reflection of you. Wear clothes that make you feel like yourself! Don’t “dress up” if it’s not your style. If you and your partner like to wear casual clothes, wear your favourite outfits or something in a similar style. You want to feel 100% yourself. I love to capture authentic moments and emotions. If you don’t feel like yourself, you will be stiff and uncomfortable. Believe me, it’s going to be visible in your pictures.
2. Comfort is key.
During the photo shoot, you want to feel comfortable and not be thinking about what you are wearing. That’s why comfort is key. Choose an outfit that doesn’t limit your mobility. During the session, I provide basic placement and orientation suggestions for my couples. Instead of strict, prescribed poses, which usually result in stiff-looking photographs. I love it when my couples move around during the engagement session, so be prepared for some fast walking, jumping, or even running!
If you wear uncomfortable clothes, you will constantly be paying attention to how you look and what the final effect will be. In my opinion, the most important part of any great image is the connection between the people in the photograph.
It’s not how perfectly you pose that I will capture through my lenses, but the relationship and emotions which shine through when you are truly present in the moment with your partner.
3. Accessories are always welcome!
If you love to wear hats, scarfs, sunglasses, or any other accessories, just bring them to the shoot. Accessories often help showcase your personality and can be a great prop for some photos. I love to use accessories in creative ways. They are also very easy to slip on and off, which means you’ll be able to style a variety of looks.
4. Keep the same vibe.
No matter whether you decide to go for a more casual or elegant look, just try to keep the same vibe. Take it from me, you won’t want it to look like you two came for different photo sessions.
5. Think Colour Palettes.
Choose flattering colours that make you look alive and avoid any colours which wash you out or makes your skin look pasty. Try to coordinate as a couple but don’t get too caught up on looking like you both just walked of a page of a department store catalogue. If you’re worried about colour, pick a neutral and a few coordinating colour tones you both like (grey with blue and violet for instance, or brown with pink and blue), and stick to those hues.
6. Avoid All Writing.
Unless it’s your favourite outfit, your both huge Raptors fans or there’s an inside joke about you shirt that you both agree should be documented, leave the logos in your closet.
7. Excessive Patterns.
Whether you’re going more formal or casual, solid colours are preferred. A bit of patterns can be flattering but try to avoid excessive plaids, florals (including your favourite Hawaiian shirt), and head-to-toe black or white clothing.
8. Make Sure it All Fits.
It is important that you both try on your cloths and check your outfit from all sides looking for any clothing problem areas which may not flatter you. Be aware if your bra strap tends to show in that dress, if you need a slip, if you need a different size in pants, if a shirt hugs you a little too much, dips too low, etc. You can look amazing just the way you are, but the key is in the clothing and details. In the end you need to feel confident and comfortable in what you are both wearing to feel more relaxed during your shoot.
9. Coordinate and complement – Don’t match.
You and your partner don’t want to look exactly the same. When you choose your outfits, think about complementing each other instead of matching completely. To make your life easier, I have created a Pinterest mood board where you can take a look at what I have in mind.
10. Think about the location.
As I mentioned before, the location and your outfit should be a reflection of you. If your session is happening in nature, make sure to wear comfortable shoes because we will most likely be hiking a lot. Think about the colours of the backgrounds which will be a part of your location. You don’t want to blend in with the scenery, but you also don’t want to stand out too much.
11. Consider the season as well!
If your session is taking place in the summer, take advantage of the summertime vibes! Wear your favourite flowy dress or a simple top with ripped jeans. Don’t forget a light jacket just in case and some cool accessories like your favourite pair of sunglasses.
You can find some summer outfit inspirations here:
If your session is happening in the colder months, capitalize on all the accessories you can use: scarfs, gloves, hats, etc. In my opinion, layering is key. I usually recommend leaving your winter jacket behind and styling your outfit with layers. They always look great in the pictures.
You can find some winter outfits for your portrait session here:
I hope these tips will make your life easier while planning your engagement session outfit. Coordinating outfits might be very overwhelming, and I really believe that a great session starts way before you are in front of my camera. I always do my best to create a safe and laid-back environment during the shoot. I will probably play some music to get you moving a bit. I’ll give you some different, sometimes weird prompts as well, which will help me create some amazing images. Every couple is different, so I want to capture those quirks that make you who you are as a couple. I promise I won’t try to fit you into a mold. I won’t force poses on you, and I will adapt my direction to fit your personality.