The rest of this is pretty straightforward, and remember – these are only guidelines. If your favorite outfit in the world goes against most of these suggestions, bring it anyway. When I shoot engagement sessions, my goal is to capture a couple’s dynamic – not to show off a couple’s fashion sense. It’s certainly great to think ahead, but don’t let this stress you out. Regardless of what you wear, we’re going to have lots of fun and work together to take photos you’ll love.
Plan for 2 outfits, but bring as many as you’d like if you’re in doubt. I can help you narrow your options down to the most flattering/’photogenic’ choices.
- Logos/graphics/text on clothing. This is mostly geared towards the fellas, and there really aren’t many exceptions to this one. An engagement session is no place for Ed Hardy, not even if you’re Jon Gosselin.
- Ill-fitting clothes. Make sure your clothes aren’t too baggy or too tight. If your clothes are too baggy, you’ll look bigger than you really are and kinda messy/sloppy. Usually it’s men who have a tendency to wear clothes that are too baggy. For tighter tops (or sleeveless tops/dresses), always bring a cardigan or cute jacket for layering. Try to avoid sleeveless clothing whenever possible. If your favorite top/dress is sleeveless, bring a cardigan. Keep in mind what your body shape is and dress for it. Guys — please, please, please don’t wear clothes that are too big for you. Your dress shirts should not be baggy!
- Being too matchy-matchy. This might go without saying, but you both don’t need to show up in matching green polos and jeans. Here’s a good link about complementary colors in fashion. Also consider the general style you’re both going for. Guys – this means that if she’s wearing a chic cocktail dress and heels, you should reconsider your cargo shorts and flip flops.
- White shirts/pants/dresses and black shirts/pants/dresses.
- Running shoes. Unless we’re literally shooting part of your session at the track, keep the casual shoes non-athletic. Chucks are a great option if you’re looking for a ‘photogenic’ sneaker.
- Ladies – avoid overdoing your eye makeup. When in doubt, err on the side of caution. Makeup can go from classy to cheap with just a few too many swipes of liquid eyeliner!
- Jeans. For whatever reason, jeans tend to photograph really really well. I personally prefer the look of jeans in photos over khaki chinos, but that is really more of a personal preference. They both look great.
- Cute dresses. Another great thing for you girls to keep in mind is dresses! If you’re comfortable in dresses and have a few that you love (or want an excuse to go out and shop!), brightly colored dresses are a great option.
- Bright, solid colors. Rich colors can really help separate you from the background, especially if we’ve discussed shooting in any especially “green”, outdoorsey locations.
- Accessories. Feel free to bring a variety of jewelry, scarves, sunglasses, belts or hats. We don’t have to use them, especially if you’re the kind of person who usually keeps it pretty simple with accessories, but it doesn’t hurt to bring them along just in case!
- Bring your dog(s) for part of the shoot!
- Think about locations that are special to you. First date, where you met, your favorite date spot or activity, etc.
Here are some engagement session ideas I’d love to try sometime (in case you’re up for something different!):
- Nighttime photo shoot
- Nighttime photo shoot downtown
- Winter shoot (daylight and nighttime)
- At home (for people who love their home and want to show it off! I love photographing people in their natural environments)
Keep in mind that your photos will feel the most special to you the more real the shoot is. For this reason, we suggest avoiding the “styled shoot” craze. You know, with all the furniture in a field and elaborate antique-y picnic spreads. Be genuine to who you are and keep it simple. We don’t need a bunch of props! The engagement session is a fun time for us to work together to create some great artistic portraits of you guys (along with a few nice classic portraits that mom will love) and get a good feel for how to direct you guys so on your wedding day we’re already familiar with your most flattering poses & angles.