How to know what to wear for your engagement session and a little help planning your perfect look.
One of the most intimidating things I’ve found for our couples can be choosing what to wear when planning for your engagement photo session. That can become even more when you’re planning your engagement session in Cleveland, or anywhere else where it’s not a tropical paradise all year round. Ya, SoCal. That was a direct dig towards you, my beloved homeland… 😉
I am a HUGE fan of the engagement session which is why we include one in every wedding collection we offer. You can read about why I think they’re important here. And how to plan a beautiful spring one, and summer one here, (don’t worry, fall, and winter, you’re turn is coming!). But this time we’re just chatting about what to wear once you have your engagement session all ready to go.
Below you’ll find a set of ‘rules’ that I think pretty much work every time. Can they be broken? Of course. Are you a fashionista? If yes, run free. I can’t wait to see what you come up with. If not, sometimes it’s best to have a few rules to follow to help you stay on course as you chose your look. Personal style is only helped when we have a little guidance along the way. So here are:
5 Tips for Looking Amazing for your Engagement Photos
1. Dress it Up: I officially give you permission to DRESS UP! Wear that amazing black dress you’ve always wanted to take out on the town. I love cocktail dresses, refined suits, great heels, and tailored outfits. Black is always a great option for photos – it’s slimming, polished, and elegant! But at the same time, don’t be afraid of color! Rich deep colors can add a beautiful look to your photos and maybe be a bit more you if black isn’t your thing (pick colors that work well with your skin, hair, & eyes). Nothing is too dressy for photos, even if we’re shooting in a meadow in the middle of nowhere – a classy dress and a tailored suit look great anywhere we go!
2. Keep it Simple: For women – pick a great solid colored dress, add a fun accessory like a beautiful necklace or earrings, then pair with some great heels. For men – pick a suit that is tailored to fit you well (or a really nice pair of dark jeans) and pair with a collared shirt in your favorite color and add a watch, pair of shoes, or a tie that you love (not if you’re wearing that collared shirt on obviously).
3. Get it Tailored or Make Sure it Fits Like a Glove: Pick outfits that you feel amazing in. A general rule is that if you feel really great in something that’s going to show through on the camera. Show off your best features (legs, arms, shoulders, abs, curves, etc.) and make sure that any dresses, jackets, slacks, or collared shirts have been tailored to fit both of you well. The better your clothes fit, the more gorgeous you’ll look!
4. Pick One Outfit for a Natural Engagement Session and Two for a Styled Session: I recommend one outfit for most of our Natural Engagement sessions because we don’t want to use our photography time changing looks. On our Styled Sessions however we have so much room to play, I LOVE having couples bring to looks. Generally, I recommend going for something dressed up like above and then something maybe slightly more relaxed. Summer sundress, type of feel. ALWAYS start with the dressier option FIRST and make sure your second option is something that can be easily changed into at our chosen location (think back seat of a car…)
5. Wear Fabulous Shoes: A great pair of heels makes anyone feel (and look) extra great. (Yes, that means you get to go shopping!) Basically I just want to give you permission to go buy shoes. You’re welcome.
Lastly Hair & Makeup…
1. If possible hold a run-through with your makeup artist. This is the perfect opportunity to get to know your artist for the wedding day and hold a mini practice session. They will know exactly how to prep your skin and eyes for natural light photography. If you need recommendations for makeup artists in your area, let me know and I’ll help you out! If you’d like to do your own makeup, pay attention to your eyes! Your eyes will be the most important factor in many of your images, so spend extra time making them look beautiful!
2. Have your hair blown out or styled for the session. Avoid flyaways with a good shine serum and bring along a brush for mid-shoot touch-ups.
That’s it! I am anything I am overly committed to all things love story and just plain a romantic over here so if you want more specific direction don’t hesitate to send an email to the studio email… If anything you’ll find me or one of the team on the other end ready to shoe shop with you. The question is… could there be a reason I, as the photographer, should get new shoes for your engagement session? 😉
A few beautiful couples who managed to pull of what to wear quite perfectly for their engagement sessions. Enjoy.