When planning for your engagement session you will want to consider outfits along with hair and makeup. The first question that I am asked as soon as the engagement session is scheduled is “what should we wear?” With that being said, I decided to write a guide that will enable couples to make smart decisions that will create the most flattering images.
What to keep in mind…
Multiple outfits: Depending on your personalities and the amount of variety you would like to present in your images, you and your fiancé may want to consider bringing two completely different outfits. Typically, this means one casual outfit and one that is a bit more on the dressy side. Remember, this is an investment in yourself so if you’re looking for a reason to go on a shopping spree… well, here is your excuse! Keep in mind these images will most likely end up as artwork in your home, as save the dates, and/or guestbook so take pride and enjoyment in your outfit selection.
Color coordination: Check out the examples below. You will notice that the couples coordinate but do not match. Choose colors that mesh together well but are not exactly the same. Neutral tones (tan/navy/gray, for example) work well together, as do light versions of primary colors (such as light pink and blues).
Coordinate styles: Always keep in mind what the other is wearing. If the female decides to wear a nice dress and heels then then her counterpart should complement her attire. Something along the lines of khakis (or nice jeans), dress shoes, and a sports coat would coordinate quite well. Likewise, if the female decides she wants to wear jeans or a skirt with booties then her counterpart can simply wear jeans, casual shoes (but refrain from running or athletic shoes), a button down, or even a nice fitted (non graphic) t-shirt.
Type of environment you’ll be shooting in: The location where your engagement session takes place will heavily weigh on the type of outfits you choose. For example, if you decide to do your session on a beach, you might want to reconsider wearing jeans and cowboy boots. Likewise, if you are photographing in a flower field or park setting, you may want to avoid wearing boat shoes and nautical style clothing. Of course, there is flexibility here — you don’t necessarily need to match your environment but you definitely do not want to clash with it. See below for some great examples. Even though the dressier look works well in almost any situation, it truly suits an urban theme best; whereas nautical attire may appear a bit misplaced if spotted in the streets of Manhattan.
Don’t be afraid to go “too” dressy: If you are like me and look for excuses to get dressed up, go for it! Do what makes you look and feel your very best — bring a suit, one of your favorite cocktail dresses, or those shoes that have been sitting in your closet waiting to be worn. The images below are a true depiction of how nice a fabulously dressed photo comes to life.
Shoes: This is so important. Ladies will want to wear shoes with heels – whether it be stilettos, booties, or boots. Guys will want to consider nice dress shoes and a pair of casual shoes such as oxfords or a basic pair of sneakers like Vans. Below are some examples of guys’ shoes that I find appropriate for these occasions. Ladies, I am not posting images for you because I am sure you know much more about heels than I do. For ideas, just look through the images in this article as they are all wearing appropriate shoes.
Correct Fit: Try to keep your outfits slim fitted for the most flattering images. Wearing baggy pants and oversized shirts are not ideal with this goal in mind.
Details: Accessories can really make an image pop. Bring your fashion jewelry, watches, sunglasses, bow ties, hats, etc… whatever it is you like to use to give your look that extra “wow” factor.
Hair and Makeup: Although not required, we highly recommend having your hair and makeup done professionally before the shoot. You may be great at doing your own, but professionals know exactly what reflects well on camera. We have a great list of hair and makeup artists that we frequently work with and are vastly familiar with our style of photography. Please let us know if you are interested, and we would be happy to share our list of referrals with you.
If you have 100% decided that you can do just as good of a job, then here are some make-up specific rules you can follow:
– Go a little heavier and brighter when applying to areas such as the cheeks, eyes, and lips. Photographs tend to tone down makeup and make it look as though you are wearing less. Going a little heavier will really give your images some “pow”.
– Avoid shiny or glittery makeup. This will turn your face into a giant reflector, creating unflattering spots on your skin. Stick to makeups that have a matte finish — this will give you a clean and natural look in photos.
Things not to wear:
– Bright white shirts
– Baggy clothes
– Tops with big logos or a lot of writing on them
Props to consider: Bringing along props is a great way to incorporate your personalities. If your into hiking and camping you could bring a tent, coffee mugs, small blankets, and s’mores to create a mini camp site. If you like the idea of this option, here are some great considerations.
– Musical instruments
Final Thoughts: I hope you enjoyed this compilation of engagement session suggestions pertaining to look and style. Nate Creamer Photography is vested in capturing your truest form – we only hope that your consideration to these tips and tricks will enable you to elevate your keepsakes from beautiful to extraordinary. Always keep in mind the most important tip, be yourself and have fun!