What to Wear to the Engagement Session
I know picking out what to wear for your session is a little scary because you want to look your best, but here are some tips that I’ve found to work when picking your outfit! Remember that these are just tips & guidelines based mostly on my own aesthetic preferences, and if you want to show up in a tie dye onesie, absolutely go for it. I work with all of my couples to find an outfit that works for them and their unique style and personality, and your photographer should be able to do that for you! Send them outfit options or a Pinterest board, and they should be able to tell you what photographs best.
Look like yourself.
My biggest piece of advice is to dress the way you usually do. I want you to feel comfortable and confident, and the best way to do that is to wear clothes you feel great in - wear that old band t shirt and comfy jeans. It’s way better than going out and buying a fancy new outfit, because the photos will represent who you are and what you’re like right now. You should look back on your photos and remember the moments as they happened - remember how in love and happy you were (are), and how much fun you had with your best friend (and your photographer/third wheel). You don’t want to look back at an outfit you wore once and think,
”Who even is that?”
2. Stay comfy.
Those really cute jeans that make your butt look great but cut off your circulation? They’re great at first, but it won’t take long before you’re in pain and wishing the shoot was over.
Movement in photos is my favorite thing, and it adds so much magic and genuine-ness to your photos. If your jeans are stiff and tight or your jacket won’t let you raise your arms more than a few inches, you’ll be more focused on how uncomfortable you are than on the moment, and your photos will look a little more static and a little less natural. So find clothes that let you move.
3. Mind the colors.
I always, always recommend neutral, earthy tones. That doesn’t necessarily mean gray and beige. “Neutral” includes mustard yellow, forest green, navy blue, burnt orange, etc. Just think muted colors that don’t distract from your sexy faces. Once you pick a location for your session, your photographer should be able to give you tips on which colors work best with that specific spot.
Colors made a huge difference in this session - the brown tones of her dress complement the tan/beige of his pants, both of which tie together with the earthy-tones of Cape Kiwanda, all without being TOO matchy-matchy (something to avoid). See their photos here.
4. The patterns.
Tight, low contrast patterns are your friend. Big, chunky patterns are distracting, so keep it subtle. Pairing too many patterns can be a bit of a no-no too, so if one of you is wearing patterns, the other one should stick to solids. Again - make your faces the center of attention. And don’t forget to iron your clothes, because, you guessed it, wrinkles are distracting.
Forest green is one of my favorite neutrals! It’s more fun than beige and gray, and it looks great in pretty much any setting! See how the stripes on her shirt aren’t too distracting - they add a nice contrast, but they don’t steal the show.
5. Bring props!
And by props I don’t mean cheesy Pinterest chalk boards (unless that’s your thing… it’s not mine :)). I mean anything that you think will add some meaning to your photos. That can be your dog (my personal favorite), a blanket to snuggle up in, a cute picnic, some champagne to pop, a guitar, you name it. Anything that will tell your story, bring it!
These two brought a blanket and their cute furry friend!
Need More Inspo?
Here is a link to a Pinterest board full of cute outfits. And remember - send your photographer outfit options, Pinterest boards, color schemes, whatever. It’s their job to help you look your absolute best!
Those are just a few tips and tricks that I’ve picked up. Use all of them or none of them - because whatever makes you feel the best will make you look the best :)
Before you figure out what to wear, check out this post for some epic locations in the pacific northwest that I love for engagement sessions (or even elopements!).
I’m an adventurous wedding & elopement photographer who lives in a big ol’ camper van, and is loosely based in the Pacific Northwest. I third wheel for a living, and I love capturing the real, candid stuff that makes you fall in love all over again.