If you’ve just booked a session for some engagement photos you might be wondering what to wear; so we thought we’d help reduce that worry. The most important things to remember are that you need to feel comfortable in what you wear, take into account your surroundings, and think about what you’ll look like as a couple when you’re photographed. Our tips are designed to be helpful rather than prescriptive, especially if this is your first time having professional photographs taken.
1. BE COMFORTABLE
If you’re comfortable you’ll feel and show more confidence in your final photos. It’s important to be able to move about in what you’re wearing and to feel good in your clothes, which is difficult to do if you’ve purchased a brand new outfit that is nothing like your usual wardrobe attire! You might be comfortable in a suit or a gorgeous gown but we’d suggest that you don’t wear the same pinstripe daily work suit. Otherwise it might look as though you’re having headshots taken and not romantic pictures with your beloved.
On the other hand, don’t be so comfortable that you look as if you’re settling in for a night of Netflix, which only requires PJs or yoga pants (which I wear, all. the. time by the way!) A photo shoot is an activity for the two of you so it would be a shame to lose the opportunity to look great in front of the camera. If you were going on a date with your significant other what would you wear? Great. Wear that!
2. CONSIDER YOUR LOCATION AND THE SEASON
Generally speaking your outfit should match your surroundings. A City shoot suits a smart-casual outfit, for example. However, if you’re in a park you definitely probably don’t want to be wearing a long flowing gown and stilettos on only to sink into the grass (although you could take them off)!
It’s also important to remember to dress for the weather – yes, it sounds boring and a bit obvious but the last thing you want is the discomfort of being freezing cold on a wintery day. Imagine your attempt to gaze lovingly at your partner – when you’re accessorised by goosebumps! I’m afraid we won’t be able to use Photoshop to change your pained expression so be kind to yourself.
(If you have planned your session to take place in two locations then, you guessed it, you’ll have to think about two outfits that suit those places).
3. COORDINATE – BUT DON’T COMPLETELY MATCH YOUR OUTFITS
Generally, it’s best to match the general style of outfit so that you look like you’re going to the same event. One of you wearing formalwear and the other in ripped jeans will look a little bit odd. But if you’re both wearing a similar level of smartness or casualness your pictures will look much more cohesive. Just be careful that your clothes aren’t so similar that you would be mistaken for siblings; this is a couple’s photography session after all!
4. CHOOSE COLOURS CAREFULLY
If you want to play it safe with colours, my best suggestion would be to select simple neutral or pastel pieces but wear colours that suit your skin tones. With my darker skin tone I (Kizzy) might choose bold jewel colours – whereas Matt never took up my suggestion to wear baby pink (something about it not matching his ginger hair…)!
As already mentioned, your outfits should complement each other. You don’t want to match each other perfectly but you don’t want to wear colours that compete with each other. Perhaps you want to wear an all-Black or all-White ensemble? Either could work and are quite classic, especially for a stylised look.
5. COLOURS AND LOCATIONS
When considering what you’ll wear you should, again, think about your location(s). For example, if you stand in front of lush green trees whilst wearing green there’s a chance you just might melt into the background. This would also be the case if you were having a London City photoshoot against grey buildings and you wore – you guessed it, a grey outfit.
This is a couples portrait session and the focus is you, so be mindful if choosing strong patterns such as checks or stripes. These patterns can often cause an effect in images known as moiré which can be quite difficult to fully remove afterwards. I’d generally suggest that you avoid fussily patterned clothing and logos and just keep it simple.
6. DON’T BE AFRAID TO GO GLAM!
Most couples ask for candid, natural photography that represents them and their unique love story, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t go for something more editorial and magazine-like.
7. BE READY FOR A CLOSE-UP
At some points we will probably take some close-up photographs. You may want to consider booking your hair and make-up trial on the same day as your engagement shoot. That way you have professional-looking make-up and you get an idea of how you will look in your wedding images. And if you’re doing it yourself remember that you might need just a little bit extra so it shows up on camera. You’ll also (both) feel good if your hair and nails have been done.
We’re more than happy to help you plan for your shoot using a mood board and talking it through, and once you’ve chosen a location what you’re wearing is a much easier choice to make. We’re not fashion gurus but we do have some ideas of what looks good in photos and how that can be made simpler so let’s talk about what you want from your photoshoot and take it from there. That was the inspiration for this guide and it is just that, a guide. We want you to be comfortable, confident, and most of all to enjoy being photographed by us. We’re sure you’ll look great whatever you choose to wear!
So, to sum up (and tell your other half what you just read):
- Be comfortable, and be yourself – sans tracksuit bottoms.
- Consider your surroundings.
- Complement each other’s outfits, without looking like twins.
- Choose colours that suit you and don’t fight for attention when we all want to see you.
- Match your colours and locations.
- Don’t be afraid to glam up!
- Get ready for a close-up!
- Most importantly, use this blog as a guide, you’ve got this!
We’d love to talk to you. If you would like to speak with us about booking a portrait session for engagement photos (or a couples shoot, you don’t have to be engaged!) just get in touch. If you’re not sure if you want an engagement photo shoot, read our previous post 8 Reasons To Have an Engagement Photo Shoot.