how to choose outfits for engagement pictures
Choosing your outfits for engagement photos doesn’t have to be a painful process. The ultimate goal is to look your best. All of the couples that I work with are regular people, not models or stylists, so with some helpful tips below you’ll be on your way to looking and feeling great during the session.
Select things that show off your style
I encourage couples to pick out items that show off their personal style. You don’t need to go shopping for the latest trends, though you certainly can, to feel like your best self. You probably already know what looks great on you, but I’m always happy to jump on a quick FaceTime call to raid your closet.
Coordinate with contrast, but don’t match
You should try and wear pieces that compliment each other as opposed to matching. There are two types of coordination to think about:
1) color palette – select colors that will look great together. Working within a color family or specific hue is a solid way to make your outfits feel like they belong together. For example, a purple dress looks good next to a blue shirt.
2) level of formality or ‘dressiness’ – it’s also important to pair outfits that you would normally see together. For example, if one person is in a suit, a cocktail dress is a great compliment.
Bring four to six outfits
If you’re having trouble deciding on what to wear, bring extra options and I can help you decide. Often times the location or the light can affect what might look the best. We will probably shoot in three different outfits so I suggest you bring four to six. We’ll start with your most casual outfit and work our way up to more formal attire.
Accessorize and Layer
Adding accessories to your outfit creates variety and visual interest. Adding a colorful scarf or shoes can completely change your whole look. Layers add depth and style. Jackets, blazers, sweaters or cardigans are all great options to bring along. They’re easy to swap in and out to provide more variety.
Remember to iron/steam your clothes
There is nothing worse you can do than spend an evening with your partner selecting outfits and then stuff them in a giant duffle bag. Nothing defeats the point of a well fitted suit more than a wrinkled one. Take time to iron or steam your clothes. If you are short on time that week, take them to the cleaners. You’ll earn bonus points for giving your leather boots/shoes a quick polish.
Mountain outfit ideas
If your session is in the mountains select items that represent the environement. While you may love your favorite suit, it can look out of place in the high country. Try toning things down with jeans, brown boots and a flannel. A bold, flowy maxi dress or signature wool coat are some other great options. No matter what you bring, prepare for the weather. If you get cold, it can show in the photos so bring layers. Choose your footwear wisely as we’ll likely be on a trail or rugged terrain for most of the session.
Click through the gallery below for inspiration from past mountain sessions.
City outfit ideas
If you selected the city for your session, chances are that you love to get dressed up for a night on the town. This is your opportunity to show off your most stylish pieces like your favorite pair of jeans, high heels, custom suit or cocktail dress. We’ll be walking plenty so bring a pair of flats to wear between locations.
Click through the gallery below for inspiration from past sessions in the city.
Hair & Makeup
This is the perfect opportunity to do a trial before the wedding. Remember that we’ll be outside for the engagement session so heat, humidity and wind can affect your look. Pack whatever you need for quick touch-ups throughout the session.
Things to avoid
You should avoid neon colors, loud patterns, and large logos or words – we’re not shooting an advertisement. Cargo shorts/pants, flip-flops, and baseball style hats should be left at home. If you’re self conscious about your body, make sure to avoid pieces that don’t inspire confidence. If we’re shooting around downtown Chicago, we usually take Lyft between locations and do a lot of walking. If we don’t have a car to stash things in, we’ll need to be able to carry everything. An extra piece or two is fine, but don’t bring the whole closet. Speaking of walking, it’s not uncommon to do 10,000 steps during an engagement session. Wear comfortable shoes, (unless we’re going to the beach). If you have a favorite pair of heels, but aren’t sure about walking across town in them, pack them in a bag and you can swap shoes when we get to a new location.