What to wear for Engagement Photos

For many couples, their engagement photo shoot is their first time taking professional photographs together. Naturally, there are a lot of questions and concerns that arise when planning this photo shoot, one of the largest being the outfits! Your engagement photos will be used in lots of different places; invites, save-the-dates and on the wall in your home. Here are some tips to help you pick an outfit for you and your partner that will have you feeling your best!

If you’re still on the fence on whether or not to do engagement photos at all, click here for 5 reasons why you should!

1.) Pick an outfit that feels like yourself

Consider the types of clothing that you feel the most comfortable in. If you are a jeans & t shirt type couple, I would encourage you to base your outfit choices off of that! Alternatively, if you find you and your partner frequently dressing up for a date night out, you would have a great time choosing a dressier outfit.

2.) Consider your location

You should start deciding on your outfits once you and your photographer have decided on a location (or several) for your photoshoot. You want your outfit to allow you to stand out from your background while still complimenting the environment you are in. For example, natural earth tones will look especially good in a park whereas a more classy dress and heels would work very well in an urban location. Keep in mind that there are no right or wrong types of outfits to wear, but a little bit of coordination with your location goes a long way.

3.) Consider your season

It may seem obvious, but the time of year that you schedule your engagement photos for will have a big impact on the types of outfits you will choose. You wouldn’t wear a large scarf and jacket for a summer photoshoot, and would wouldn’t wear a sundress during a winter photoshoot. No matter the time of year, I always recommend that guys wear full length pants, no shorts, even in the summer. If you are doing a photoshoot during a colder time of year, I would recommend bringing some extra layers that you can wear in between pictures to keep yourself from getting too cold.

4.) Go slightly dressier than normal

This tip is in relation to tip number 1. While you want to pick an outfit that feels like yourself, I would still recommend dressing it up just a touch more than normal. After hundreds of engagement shoots I have found that the slightly dressier outfits tend to photograph the best. So if you are a jeans and t shirt couple, consider a button up shirt or a blouse instead of just a t shirt. This also applies if you typically dress more formally as well. The key here is “slightly”. This isn’t the time to completely change your style, you still want to feel comfortable in your outfit.

5.) Neutral colors will always look good

Neutral and muted colors will go well with just about any outfit and location. I would pick a color that compliments the colors of your location. If you need some inspiration, I would ask your photographer to see some images from the location you are shooting at. This will give you a great starting point.

6.) Pick a maximum of 2 outfits

Unless you have very carefully planned out exactly when/where you will do your outfit changes, I generally encourage couples to stick to 1 or 2 outfits. The reason is that changing outfits takes a long time and it introduces a lot of extra options that may not be beneficial. And you’ll be stressing yourself out more trying to make sure that each outfit gets the proper attention during your photoshoot. I’ve found that one dressier and one more casual outfit is the sweet spot for most engagement shoots!

7.) Avoid large graphics and brands

This one really should go without saying, but avoid picking clothing items that feature large graphics and brand names. They don’t look good.

8.) Avoid small/tight patterns

This is more of a technical tip that applies specifically for photography, but very small patterns on clothing can end up being distorted when photographed, also known as moiré. Stick with solid colors or a larger pattern to avoid this issue.

9.) Be intentional with your accessories

I generally encourage couples to remove their smart watches at the beginning of their shoot. If you have very noticeable tan lines on your wrist, I would opt for a traditional watch in its place.

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Peter Barnes

We all live beautifully unique lives, but there are two things that draw a commonality between all people; time moves too quickly, and our memories are inherently flawed.

It’s my mission to capture the fleeting & once-in-a-lifetime moments that are quickly and easily forgotten.

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