The number one question I get before an engagement session (besides “where should we go?” of course), is “What should we wear?” Have no fear, as I have some tips for what to wear to your engagement session.
These tips are all weather and seasonally dependent, but I have shot in all seasons and the basic tenants of advice remain the same. Whether you want to search your closet, rent the runway, or go out and buy something new (treat yo’ self if you wish), here are my best tips for what to wear to your engagement session with me.
- Wear something you’re comfortable moving around in and that fits you.
My sessions require some movement. I’m not going to ask you to run around town, but we will be moving. Wear something fairly comfortable and that FITS you. If it’s too tight and you feel constricted, it will SHOW. I can work your angles and help you to feel confident in front of the camera, but an ill-fitting outfit is something that I cannot fix.
- Speaking of movement, ladies, it’s fun to wear clothes that move.
Do you know what I mean? Skirts that flow when you twirl, dresses that have layers and are made from fabric that moves lovely in the wind, sweaters that float when you move. Sometimes it’s fun to have clothing that can move with you and can create dramatic portraits.
- Try to coordinate, not match.
If you grew up watching What Not to Wear like me, you know that Clinton and Stacy always had this mantra: it has to GO, not match. Matching can be cute for kiddos but I don’t advise it for adults. Picking a general color scheme and having the outfits “go” together works the best. For instance, maybe he wears a navy button down and you choose to tie in navy with a scarf, etc.
- Whatever you do, try to avoid logos and words on clothing.
Probably the number one faux-pax in my mind is when someone wears a huge logo tee or clothing with words on it. Words don’t photograph well and distract from the subject — YOU! Subtle patterns are fine and solids always photograph well, so if in doubt, gravitate towards those.
- If in doubt, go neutral.
Neutrals rule in any season of the year. If in doubt, a nice palette of grey, white, light blue, taupe, slate, olive green, and black with pops of color in accessories always works well in most any season. Note that if there is snowfall, I’d advise darker colors to contrast the white flakes.
- Patterns can work.
They just don’t work on every person in the photo. If one person wears one, have the other in a solid. Think a lady in a floral print dress with the gentlemen in slacks or dark jeans and a solid navy button down.
- You can’t go wrong with a button down for men.
There is something about a button down that makes a man look really good. Of course, if it’s hot and humid, I don’t advise a short sleeve button down, but in almost every season, a button down is perfect for a man and with the right fit, will look put together and even slimming. No matter the fabric, most men opt to wear a button down of some sort as an outfit.
- Usually always avoid orange.
When it comes down to what to wear for your engagement session, there is one color I would tell you to use caution with, it’s orange. Orange is often very unflattering because it casts color onto skin, making it hard to get the skin tones right when I edit. There’s not a lot I can do to work around orange, which is why I say use caution.
- Aim for one more formal outfit, and one casual outfit.
I’m okay with as many outfits as you’d like during your engagement session, but realistically, people usually do two (some do one and that’s totally cool too!): one more formal and one more casual. Formal can mean a dress for women and slacks and a button up for men. It can also mean something like a tie and suit, and an evening gown. Most of my client are not the black tie sort, but if that’s what excites you, I’m in!
- Be yourselves.
Most importantly, dress like yourselves. This probably isn’t the time to try a dramatic new look. It’s okay to wear just a casual outfit because you two like to be outdoors. It’s okay to not wear the bright yellow dress that you saw on Pinterest because you love wearing black like me. It’s okay to be yourself…just leave the logo hoodie and flip flops behind and leave the rest to me!