We put your session on the calendar and found a perfect setting for telling a chapter of your story. And now, the outfit planning begins. Before decide you have nothing to wear and spiral into a black hole of online shopping, take a real good look at the pieces you already own. Make extra special note of the outfits that make you feel most you, and consider that maybe you’ve already got everything you need to fashion your perfect session outfit. Not sure where to start? That’s why I’m here.
These suggestions provide a starting point without demanding any certain kind of style. Nowhere below will you read, “button-ups required,” or, “If you don’t bring along your favorite pair of boots, you’re doing it wrong.” All the little details of your session will add up to tell the story of you and your love, so of course, your outfit selections should be a reflection of you, too.
The Rules of Engagement (Outfits)
1.) don’t: get all match-y match-y
Let’s make every effort to avoid the white top/denim family photo craze of the 2000’s, yes?Instead, coordinate your colors to compliment and play off of one another. Pair up different neutrals or plan to wear your favorite yellow dress while your love models their burgundy quarter-zip.
2.) do: embrace color
Don’t be afraid of bold. If color is a big part of your wardrobe, let’s show it off. Get a little adventurous and think about wearing that saucy red dress or bold yellow pants. I love a good neutral as much as the next person, but a little pop of color here and there never hurt anyone.
(Important note! If you know our location will include a ton of color, don’t forget to take it into account. Plan ahead so you don’t show up clashing. This might mean wearing gray to a rainbow wall or avoiding reds in the forest.)
3.) don’t: forget the details
It’s all in the details. What are the accessories that best display your personality? Bring ’em along! I’m not suggesting you buy a new wide-brimmed hat if you’ve never rocked one before, but your favorite head wrap, the sandals you wear every warm summer day, that killer leather jacket? They’ll infuse so much of you two into your images, so when you look back on them in 10 years, you’ll see your real selves. On the flip side, ignoring these details can often take away from the overall look of your images. If you’ve dressed the to the nines and your fiancé is wearing their favorite old pair of tennis shoes, something is going to look a little off when you’re standing next to one another.
4.) do: go big
Speaking of little details, if you’re planning to wear stripes, flannel, or patterns of any kind, the general rule is that bigger is better. Small patterns, especially stripes or checkers, create something called a moiré effect in your images, making whites look pink and green. Generally not a great look in your finished images. Keep it big! (Want to wear a pattern but aren’t sure if it’ll work well? Snap a pic and send it to me! I’m happy to quell your worries or let you know if you should keep looking.)
(You can see what I mean in action here. A’s black and white sweater—which I love—looks like it’s has hints of green in places due to the tiny blocks of contrast. R’s green flannel however is a great choice.)
5.) do: consider hair + make-up
I recommend getting your hair, make-up, or beard trim done professionally for your shoot. It’s not that I don’t think you’re gorgeous without a professional touch (duh, you’re a stunner), but let’s face it: a skilled hand at make-up, or a beard line-up, or having your hair styled by someone who has some serious chops with a curling iron tends to give us a little extra confidence boost. You don’t have to go crazy—a blowout bar, barbershop, or a visit to your local MAC counter is really all you need, but a professional will know exactly what tricks to use for a photo-ready look. Go ahead, treat yo’self.
6.) don’t: limit yourselves
Can’t pick just one favorite outfit? Fantastic. I actually recommend that you plan for two separate outfits to give your engagement gallery a little variety. Often couples will choose one with a dressier slant and another more casual vibe. It’s a great way to give you more flexibility when showing off your style, and outfit changes provide the mid-shoot half time break.
7.) do: get comfortable
The final, but truly most important piece of advice. The level of comfort you feel in your clothing will absolutely translate to your photos. If your clothes are too tight or extra clingy, bets are that you’ll spend most of the session pulling and tugging your pieces into place. I’m certainly not against something that shows off your glorious curves, as long as it you know it makes you feel like 100 fire emojis. Flowy pieces always a great choice. Plus, they make for a very fun element in the wind!
Comfort doesn’t just translate to sizing. If you’re planning on purchasing new outfits for your session (was there ever a better excuse for a shopping trip?), make sure you’ve broken them in once or twice and love how how you feel in your new pieces.