Lights or darks? Bold prints or classic solids? Casual, dressy, or themed? There sure are a lot of things to consider when selecting what to wear for your engagement session, especially since the options and directions you could take are quite endless. So, when you’re up against this type of challenge, just how do you pick outfits that you’ll love now and forever? By following these nine tried-and-true tips, of course!
We know the tendency is to want to pick out things you never usually wear or go out all for your engagement photos. But, we’re hear to tell you (and any Cincinnati photographer will tell you this, too), that it’s usually a big mistake. First of all, your engagement shoot is a reflection of your and your fiancee’s personalities and relationship as a couple. So if you’re the type to spend a Saturday on the couch watching your favorite football team, then don’t dress up in cocktail attire just because you feel like you have to. When you embrace who you are as a person and as a couple, the photos come out so much better because you’re comfortable, you’re relaxed, and you’re letting your uniqueness shine!
This tip is twofold. Yes, we do mean that you should select clothing that is literally comfortable to wear, but we also mean that you should choose outfits that make you feel your best. Nothing creates awkwardness in front of the camera like feeling self-conscious, so be sure that whatever you end up wearing gives you confidence and makes you feel like a million bucks.
In addition to choosing a top and bottom that go well together or shoes and a dress that work nicely, it’s also important to make sure you and your fiancee both pick out outfits that complement each other. For example, if you’re rocking your favorite little black dress, then he probably shouldn’t drag out his ripped jeans and Pearl Jam t-shirt. Similarly, you probably also want to stay away form both wearing busy patterns. A key way to make sure you are both on the same page is to plan early and try out your favorite picks together before the day of the engagement session arrives.
That being said, another big mistake that we see couples make is over-matching. Just because you’re wearing a blue dress doesn’t mean he needs to wear a blue shirt. When there’s too much of one hue in a shot, everything sort of blends together and nothing stands out. You don’t want that – you want your photos to pop and have liveliness to them if you plan on loving them for a long, long time. Your best bet is to choose colors that complement each other, like blue and yellow or pink and white, but that don’t look overly staged.
While this isn’t for everyone, if you’re feeling it, go ahead and embrace bold prints and bright colors (in moderation, of course). You’ll be amazed how easily you become the focus of the photo, rather than just an addition to the landscape, when you’re wearing an eye-catching hue or pattern. But again, don’t both go for bold patterns. Instead, only one of you should, and the other should choose a top that pulls out a color from the pattern.
One quick and easy way to give yourself multiple looks with only one outfit is to incorporate layering into your style for the day. And did we also mention that whatever layers you end up taking off, like that sweater or hat, can also double as a fun prop for later on in the shoot?
We know it seems obvious that you shouldn’t wear a sundress in the middle of winter or don a peacoat when it’s 90 degrees outside, but we wouldn’t mention it if we hadn’t seen it happen. So check the forecast, prepare, and work with the weather that you’ve got. If you end up really having your heart set on a particular season, then schedule your session for that time rather than trying to fake it. Trust us, you can always tell when the environment and the outfit selections don’t mesh.
If your session is in the woods and you’re going for a rustic feel, you’ll look out of place in a little black dress & stilettos. Similarly, if you’re doing an urban engagement shoot, put together a sophisticated look rather than something too laid back. For beach sessions, something bright will be a nice pop of color against the sand & water, but if you go for neutrals, you’ll be drowned out. In an urban shoot with a lot going in the background, a busy pattern will make you look like part of the background, rather than the star of the image. If all else fails, we love bold colors while on the backdrop of the Roebling Bridge!
When it comes down to it, if you find it impossible to decide on just one style or theme for your engagement photos (we know we’d fall into this category), you can always bring multiple outfits along that are varying ranges of dressy. We love the idea of starting off casual with a few laid back looks, then amping it up with more high-fashion styles, then closing with a small little themed portion that really speaks to your personality as a couple. Remember, you aren’t being confined to a box, so feel free to try different things and go with dramatically different looks throughout the day. All that matters is that you are happy and feel good in your own skin!
There you have it, folks. Keep these tips in mind and be true to yourself and we have absolutely no doubts that when everything is said and done that, you’ll be more than happy with your engagement shoot and the outfits you chose to rock!
Creative. Clean. Different. We are a team of creatives in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky with a passion for storytelling. Founded in 2006, our studio has been recognized as one of the best wedding photographers in Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky by various publications, websites, and groups. We’d love to show you our studio and walk you through our albums, canvases and other print photography products. We can also provide more information on our Wedding Collections and introduce you to our team! We’d love to help, connect with us now.