Style Guide | Engagement Session

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.

Multiple outfits: Depending on your personalities and the amount of variety you would like to present in your images, you and your fiancé will want to consider bringing multiple outfits. Remember, this is an investment in yourself so if you’re looking for a reason to go shopping for some new threads… 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.

Coordinate styles: Always keep in mind what the other is wearing. If she wants to wear ripped jeans and a tank top paired with some booties then he should wear a similar style. Things you should NOT wear during your session are things like baggy pants, khakis, pattern or colorful shirts, and running shoes. Stick with fitted jeans, neutral colors, basic tops, etc… If you want to go dressy for one of your looks thats absolutely fine just use the same rules for colors and fit.

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 are aways recommended and vibrant colors like green, blue, and red should be avoided.

Don’t be afraid to go “too” dressy:  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 important. Ladies will want to wear heels, booties, boots, r fashion sandals. Guys will want to consider nice dress shoes, boots, or even a basic pair of sneakers like Vans. Just look at any of the images in this guide to see how a nice pair of shoes pulls the entire outfit together. Below are a few of my favorites.

Details: Accessories can really make an image pop so don’t forget about these when putting together your outfits. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Watches

Hats

Necklaces

Jackets such as denim or leather

Props: 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. Take the bike out for weekend cruises? Bring it along for an amazing look that really ties in your true personality.  Like to spend your weekends soaking up the sun at the beach? Bring a bathing suit, some towels, and plan to get wet! 

Hair and Makeup:

Looking good on camera doesn’t require a makeup artist, but professional makeup tips help. Even if you prefer a natural look, the camera tends to exaggerate flaws and create artificial ones. Who needs that? These camera-friendly makeup tips focus on makeup application that enhances rather than detracts from your looks.

Makeup tips for the camera include an array of corrective and dramatic effects as well as enhancing one’s natural appearance. The key is to consider that images are two-dimensional, so shadows and highlighted areas may need to be emphasized, de-emphasized or even simulated, for the best overall effect.

photos by: Chris and Ruth

Skin, The Canvas: Before you apply makeup, start with smooth, toned and moisturized skin. If necessary, give yourself a facial or scrub treatment. This minimizes uneven or artificial-looking makeup application and promotes a healthy, glowing look.

Minimize Shadows: As photos are two-dimensional, the camera ages the subject by enhancing dark, fine lines, and wrinkles. To compensate, gently apply a lighter shade of concealer makeup to darker areas: around the eyes, crevices, and expression lines. Next, using an upward stroke, apply a light layer of foundation makeup over the face including lips. Blend makeup at the edges. Except for corrective work, use foundation makeup colors closely matching the natural skin color.

Bronze or Blush: Various makeup effects can be achieved with blush. Bronzer makeup powder is widely successful and produces a natural or lightly sculpted look, depending on its application.

To apply powder blush: blow off excess from the brush and apply gently to cheekbones and above the outer corners of eyes to the temple. For a makeup application guide, make a wide peace sign with a hand. Rotate 90 degrees towards your nose. Palms out, place the point of the “V” at your hairline and align with the corner of your eye and the bottom finger resting on the cheekbone. Focus color at or one finger below this area on the cheek, and at or above this area around the eyes. Apply a second thin layer on checks and blend lightly at edges as needed.

**Additional makeup tip: Bronzer makeup can also be applied to the sides of the nose to minimize width. And, a darker shade of blush applied under the cheekbones produces more definition.

Eyes and Lines: Unless you like the look or have the eyes for it, avoid harsh lines or the raccoon look, it makes the eyes look smaller and deeper set. Try a smoky colored eyeliner pencil, and smudge a bit if necessary. With liquid eyeliner, an option is to dot the eyeliner next to the eyelash base rather than create a solid line. For a different look, limit liquid eyeliner application to the top eyelid and/or the outer corners of the eyes. Smoky eye shadow applied above the eyelids and blended with the outer corners of the eyes also creates a desirable effect; a highlighted brow area enhances this effect.

**Additional makeup tip: To soften lines, lightly wipe the lid and brow area once or twice with a powder makeup brush dipped in light pink blush.

Lips: Most lips benefit from definition, even when lipstick is not generally used. For a natural but polished look, try a shade or two darker than your lip color, apply lip pencil, smudged lips a bit and use a little gloss or lipstick.

**Additional makeup tip: Apply a lighter lip color or gloss only to the center of lips to enhance a pouty look.

Powder: When Not to Shine – Apply a light dusting of translucent powder over your face to avoid shine and set makeup. Concentrate on the T-zone as necessary, and apply sparingly to lined or dry areas.

Eyebrows: Before applying makeup ensure that the eyebrows are properly shaped as they affect facial expression. For a guide, align a pencil vertically along the edge of nostril and inner corner of the eye. Do the same for the outer corner of the eye. This makes a good start and endpoint for the eyebrow. If the eyebrow arch needs help, align the pencil with the edge of the nostril and the outer edge of the iris to determine the highest point of the arch. Tweeze stray brows outside these areas and use an eyebrow pencil for even more definition. However, it is best to avoid significant tweezing just prior to applying makeup.