FAQ: Tips for your Engagement Session ~ What to Wear & More!

One of my goals for this off season is to catch up on some FAQ posts and tips for clients!! So here we go!! 🙂 I wrote a similar post to this a while back, but realized that it was actually FIVE YEARS ago now, so it could probably use a little update! 😉 This is a common question asked by our couples and these tips hold true for family and any other type of session as well – so hopefully it helps all our clients figure out the answer to one of the most difficult questions surrounding a photo shoot – WHAT DO I WEAR?!

I realized how stressful this is to figure out when we did our own family session this past fall and I had to coordinate our entire family (but not look too coordinated – that’s key)!! 😉 So here are some tried and true tips to get you looking your best for your engagement session!!

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Here are the tips I send to my couples when they’re trying to decide what to wear for their engagement session (or any session, for that matter)!

1. Wear something you feel GREAT in!!  This is the most important one of all!! If you don’t feel awesome in what you’re wearing it is going to show in the photos! You want to feel confident and comfortable – so that you can look confident and comfortable! It’s as simple as that!! If you’re not normally a dress and heels kind of girl, then don’t try to be that person for your engagement photos! Most importantly – you do YOU. 🙂

2. Wear something appropriate for the location and time of year you’ve chosen. If you’re doing a shoot at a ranch among hills, trees, and nature – then a fancy dress and heels are probably not really appropriate. I always say to save the dressy-dressy outfits for more urban locations – which tend to lend themselves better to that level of dressiness… while rustic/nature locations tend to work better with more casual clothing. If it’s cold outside – bring a cute jacket, scarf, or mittens! It looks silly trying to pretend you’re not freezing, rather than just wearing something appropriate (and cute) for the weather! ????

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3. Wear the same level of ‘dressiness’ as your partner. Meaning, if one is in a dress and heels, the other shouldn’t be in shorts and sandals. Enough said! ????

4. Avoid stark white clothing, and flat black clothing… instead aim to wear textures with those colors!  White & black clothing that is textured photographs great!! If you have a white dress with eyelets or a pretty white sweater – those items photograph well!! When I say avoid “stark white” or “flat black” I mean like a plain white dress shirt or plain black cotton dress shirt, for example. Otherwise, neutrals like ivory, off white, grays and shades of black can photograph well if there is texture in the fabric.

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5. Balance patterns. Patterns are great, but I suggest if one of you wears a pattern – that the other wear a solid color that is complimentary to the pattern so the photos don’t get too busy.

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6. Don’t wear matching outfits or colors! Wear colors that compliment each other, but that don’t match. Please, please, please – no white shirts + blue jeans. No red tops + khaki pants (this isn’t Target). You are individuals so dress as such! ???? (I feel like this one is common sense – but I mention it just in case!)

7. Wear layers! Layers always look great in photos and in real life! They add interest and texture to outfits and photos. Throw on a cute cardigan, scarf or light jacket to compliment your outfit! Bonus is that if you take it off you’ll have what appears to be a whole different “look” or outfit for other photos!

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8. Accessorize! Accessories add a lot of interest to photos…. necklaces, bracelets, belts, scarves, shoes… you name it – bring it!

9. Avoid big logos and words on your clothing. (This is more for kids/family sessions… but I throw it in there just in case again.) You don’t want to wear anything that distracts from you, which is what happens when the first thing someone sees is logos and words on clothes.

10. If you can’t decide on one outfit – then by all means, bring two! We can do a casual look and a dressier look, or choose outfits that lend themselves better in specific locations!

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11. Bring comfy shoes to walk in! If you’re going to be wearing mile high heels – make sure to bring a comfy shoe to walk around in if you aren’t comfortable trekking around in your heels. We cover a LOT of ground during engagement sessions – so make sure you’re comfortable in between shots!

12. Get your hair & makeup done! The engagement session is a good time to do a makeup trial for your wedding day! You can see how it looks in person and captured on camera. Also – if you’re up for it – get your hair and nails done! I know I always feel better when I’ve been pampered from head-to-toe, which translates to feeling even more confident and fabulous in your photos. (Of course this isn’t necessary – but if you’re like me and enjoy any excuse to get pampered & made up… then take it and run with it! haha)

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13. Relax and have fun! Engagement sessions are low-key and about capturing the two of you as you are – interacting, loving, kissing, laughing… so make sure to bring your sense of humor and be ready to have a great time! ???? And again if you need an excuse to hit the town – why not head out for dinner and drinks after the session?! You’re already all done up and ready to go – so why not make a night of it?!

If you want more ideas for engagement session outfits – I’ve started a Pinterest board specifically for this topic – pinning outfits I think work great for engagement sessions! You can check them out here: http://pinterest.com/christytyler/engagement-session-outfit-inspiration/ And if you’re reading this for ideas on family sessions – you can find that Pinterest board here: https://www.pinterest.com/christytyler/family-outfit-inspiration/

Let me know if you have any questions!

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Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!