After years of photographing couples, I know that one of the most common problems you have is choosing what to wear for your engagement photos. Picking out what you’re gonna wear on a regular Wednesday is hard enough without having to think about how it will look in photos. We’re not stylists! Unless you are…then you can just skip right past this section, ha. If you’re still with me, I’ve put together some guidelines so that you can be sure that you’re looking hot and confident while still making sure the images are focused on the two of you and not what you’re wearing.
Full disclaimer: I’m definitely not a stylist, lol. Most of the time I’m in gym clothes or the same pair of jeans and one of like 3 t-shirts. There’s a good chance that you already have a better sense of style than me! These are just a few guidelines that I have picked up on through trial and error. They’re definitely not rules!
The main goal when choosing what to wear for your engagement photos is to have you look like yourselves. I want you to dress like you normally dress so that you feel as comfortable as possible. Don’t feel as though you need to follow this down to the letter or go out and buy an entirely new wardrobe! An old t-shirt and ripped jeans? Awesome. A lot of my couples will go shopping for “nicer” looking clothes (which is totally fine, btw) but sometimes they regret not just wearing what they feel most like themselves in. You’re not gonna look back at these photos in 20 years and care about what you’re wearing if the photos are a true representation of who you are right now.
Be sure to think about the conditions and locations we’ll be shooting in when choosing what to wear for your engagement photos. If we’re gonna be walking a lot, bring shoes that are easy to walk in. Usually heels are a bad idea unless you’re an absolute boss at walking in them, haha. If it’s gonna be freezing (when is it ever freezing in south Louisiana?), bring lots of layers and warm clothes and boots. Or if it’s gonna be hot, bring clothes that can breathe more so we can avoid the dreaded pit stains. COMFORT IS KEY!
I know I keep harping on the comfort factor, but it’s so important. Make sure you’re wearing materials that are easy to move around in. I recommend clothes that are “broken in” so that you’ll be as comfortable as possible. Clothing and accessories that can show movement by catching wind are also a major plus. It adds energy to the photos and just looks really damn good.
I usually recommend sticking with neutrals and earthy tones when choosing what to wear for your engagement photos. Neutrals don’t necessarily have to be greys and browns. There are neutrals for every color (mustard yellow, forest green, navy blue, burnt orange, etc.). Try to stay away from bright, fluorescent distracting colors. The only colors I tend to recommend to stay away from are pinks, bright oranges, and reds. An exception to this could be dark or olive toned skin depending on lighting. But a lot of time it results in people looking really pink in photos.
The smaller the pattern, the better! If the pattern is too loud, it will distract from your faces. I’m a sucker for flannels, though. However, try to avoid pairing too many patterns together because it makes the photos feels super hectic and it distracts from your faces and the location we’re in. Another pro-tip is to make sure that your clothes are ironed!
Props tend to have a negative connotation for a lot of photographers. It usually has something to do with ptsd from pinterest boards filled with cheesy chalk boards or empty picture frames. But when I think of props, I think of blankets, a truck or car, campfire, bouquet, etc. If you have a dog, it is required by me that you bring said dog to the shoot. It’s just how it’s gonna be. If you have a prop idea that you want to incorporate, let me know!