This might be the most common question I get as a photographer. It’s a stressful thing to figure out what will look best in photographs so that you can feel confident in your appearance. I even devoted several pages in my bridal guide just to engagement prep and wardrobe. There are some general rules but I always encourage to be themselves and wear things that make them feel great! I hope you find these engagement session wardrobe tips helpful! Be sure to click on the photos below to see more from each of these sessions.
I generally recommend at least 2 outfits. One that is more casual and one that is dressed up. Your favorite sports team jersey or your favorite casual date night ensemble work great for the casual shots.
Tip #1 No busy patterns, super bright colors and NO logos/screen printed shirts!
Any kind of overwhelming or prominent design on clothing can be distracting. The number one rule of portrait photography is the face is the most important part. Well, maybe not the number one rule but it’s definitely something I think about. Anything that will distract from your face is not a good choice. We want the focus to be on the connection between the two of you, not the Gucci logo or neon shirt. Also, bright colors like vibrant reds, oranges, or electric blues will cast weird colors on your face and make skin look strange.
Tip #2 Skip the spray tan
Every caucasian woman I know loves they way the look with a tan (including me), but tanning causes cancer so the next best thing is a spray tan in their minds. Most spray tans that look great in person will look orange in photos. I do my best to strip the orange out of people’s skin but that is a challenge with really orange based tanning solutions. Trust me, your natural skin will look better in a photograph than a spray tanned version. There is nothing wrong with natural pink skin. I promise I won’t let you look like the walking dead! If you are worried about your legs I think a little spray tan there is fine, just don’t let it wander up to your head and neck. PS: This applies to the wedding day too!
Tip #3 Dress it up! Get your hair did!
There is no such thing as being over dressed for your engagement session! If you have ever dreamed of a sequin ball gown or unique outfit this is your time! I love it when guys suit up too! I know they don’t love doing it usually, but there is no substitute for a great suit. Just tell your guy a well tailored suit has the same effect on women that lingerie has on men. Also, invest in a blow out and/or getting your make-up done. It will make your photos really pop and look special!
Tip #4 Cinch that waist!
A lot of women, including me for the first 25 years of my life, think big blousey dresses or tops hide their problem areas and look best. WRONG! The best way to make yourself look as small as possible is to wear something that fits you well and hugs your waist. If your waist isn’t defined you will look larger than you actually are. Think Goldilocks when choosing something, not too big and not too small. Monochromatic looks also are sure to be slimming and long necklaces or vertical stripes bring the eye in and elongate your frame. If you have contrast make sure it doesn’t fall at your hips. A short jacket or belt at your waist can help with this as well.
Tip #5 Neutrals are best
Soft, neutral colors photograph beautifully and don’t distract from you and your relationship. Soft creams, pinks, grays, and blues are often my favorites. Solid blacks and whites also can work really well!
To make your session look more editorial and unique consider adding a bouquet of flowers, a vintage bicycle, or bring a picnic! I also love it when couples pick locations or activities that are special to them and their relationship.
I hope you enjoyed my engagement session wardrobe tips! Check out the links below for some my favorite engagement session outfits available on Amazon! Also check out my engagement pinterest board!