As a wedding photographer, I am often asked for suggestions on what to wear to an engagement photography session. So, I decided to make a new post focusing on just that, as a supplement to my previous article on Tips for Creative and Fun Engagement Shoots.
Clothing is a very important part of mood and inspiration. I get good photos by paying careful attention to things like details, colors and style. It is very important to pick the right clothes and accessories.
When planning an engagement shoot, it’s important to remember that it’s not about just what to wear. You should remember the goals of the engagement shoot: to have fun and an amazing time together, and to document your love and connection.
Suggestions on what to wear:
-It is best to have hair and make up professionally done. It should complement what you are wearing in colors and style. I always prefer natural-looking hair and make up. Here are a few of my favorite looks:
-It’s important to wear clothing that fits well- not too tight, and not too big. The fit should be flattering.
-Complementary colors are good things to think about when selecting clothes for your engagement shoot. Consider not only your individual outfits but also how the colors in your outfit will harmonize with your FH – you don’t want to be too matchy-matchy. But, if one of you wears primary colors and the other wears muted neutrals, you will look odd. You should wear colors that complement each other and pieces that have common shades.
-Wear something that best represents you, and that you feel comfortable with. The best photos are the ones where the couple is just being themselves. So above all, wear an outfit you’re comfortable in, and one which accentuates your style and best features.
-Bring a couple (or a few) pairs of clothes that you can change into. It will give you a variety of looks to work with for the shoot.
-Besides the heels, you should remember to bring another comfortable pair of shoes to walk in (flip-flops or flats work great). You might find yourself walking around a lot as you explore locations for the photo shoot, and it’s helpful to have a change of shoes.
-Solid colors are better than stripes, prints or plaids. Sometimes the background has enough texture that patterns can make the photo too busy. (Depending on the location of the shoot)
-Consider the location where you’ll be shooting, the mood you want to create, and then pick clothes to match. Ultimately, you should pick clothes that match the location. If it’s 5 Pointz or the Meatpacking District in NYC where the walls are very colorful, then the wardrobe shouldn’t be too busy. These locations have lots of patterns and lines, so it would be nice to be bold with the colors and wear a bright, solid color to stand out and match the fun edginess of the location.
One of my photos from Alissa & Scott’s Engagement Session at 5 Pointz and DUMBO
-If a location is very romantic and dreamy, like Central Park or in a field, then the clothes should give that feeling. For that situation, the best colors would be a palette like cream or pastel.
Antik Batik Silk-georgette wrap-effect dress. Buy from The Outnet – $142
For an engagement shoot I did in the Las Vegas desert, I planned the wardrobe with the couple beforehand. We came up with a color scheme that matched the desert colors and the mood of the location.
One of my photos from Dana & Yossi’s Engagement shoot in the Las Vegas Desert.
-Wear clothes that are complementary in style and the same level of formality. Don’t dress up and have your fiancee wear everyday clothes.
For example, I photographed another engagement shoot in an amazing abandoned building, and the couple wore clothes that matched the feeling and colors of that building. James wore a blue colored blazer by Etro that beautifully complemented Suzanne’s beautiful, glamorous dress by Oscar de la Renta.
Three of my photos from Suzanne & James Engagement shoot in a beautiful abandoned building.
-Wear clothes that match the season. Short sleeves or a short-sleeved dress are not the best options on a cold day. This goes back to being comfortable – if you are not warm, it will be hard to enjoy the photo shoot. And if you aren’t enjoying the shoot, it will show in the photos- affecting the results and your level of enjoyment.
-Many couples think that black or white clothes will be the best, but these colors often lack excitement and vibrance. White reflects too much light and risks overexposure. Correspondingly, black not only looks somber, but absorbs light. Yes, black is slimming, but it doesn’t always come out well in photos. Be bold with your color choices, try to pick a bright color that will stand out.
Rent from Rent the Runway
Kate Spade New York ‘Mariel’ top – Buy from Nordstrom
Rent from Rent the Runway
Rent from Rent the Runway
-Add accessories. Jewelry, beautiful shoes, belts, etc. A beautiful hair piece can make all the difference. If your outfit is pretty casual, try sprucing it up with a pretty necklace, high heels or cute flats.
A Few Websites for Hair Accessories:
Twigs & Honey
A Few Websites for Jewelry:
I’m happy to recommend a couple excellent shopping resources. You can click the buttons below to browse through these sites and find beautiful dresses, accessories, etc.