When choosing the “perfect” outfits for your engagement session, it can feel daunting. Whether you and your honey are well-seasoned pros at taking photos together OR these are the first professional photos you’ve had done together, trust me when I say that these photos are about so much more than what you’re wearing. As a wedding and elopement photographer, I’ve had the honor of capturing so many in-love couples for their engagement photos. At this point, it’s safe to say I’ve nailed down 7 styling tips for your engagement session to make sure you’re feeling just as beautiful as you are! Let’s get into it.
Yep, you read that right. My biggest tip for your engagement session is to wear something you feel comfortable in. While you may be tempted to go out and buy a brand new outfit – make sure it’s something you feel comfy moving around in.
I don’t know about you, but I loveee to explore with couples. Whether we are walking from our car down to the beach or hiking through the mountains, I want to make sure you’re comfy. The more comfortable you are, the more confident you will be. If long, flowy dress are your thing, great! On the other hand, if the thought of wearing a dress makes you cringe, maybe opt for your favorite pair of jeans and a cozy sweater.
Bring different options to your session! Having different styles of outfits allows you to get a variety of photos. I recommend bringing some “fancier” clothes, and some casual, laidback outfits.
Depending on the different styles you bring, also bring some different options of those styles. I really like to help my couples by making sure their outfits compliment the environment; the focus should be on you two, nothing else (including your outfits).
Make sure your outfits make sense for the locations your session will be at. If you’re planning to hike around some mountains during your session, wear shoes that have a good grip (and that you won’t twist an ankle in). You can always change into other shoes when you get to your destination. And if you’re on the beach? Maybe consider running barefoot – because wool socks just won’t cut it 😉
Colors are such an important part of putting an outfit together. When picking colors, think about neutrals – or as I like to call them, nature neutrals. We all know you can’t go wrong with neutrals. Cremes, grays, whites, tans – they all go well with pretty much any environment. BUT you don’t have to be monochromatic. That’s where ‘nature neutrals’ come into play.
Pretty much every color in the rainbow has a shade that could be found in nature. However, they are most often subdued and soft. Think burgundy instead of bright red. Forest green instead of lime green. These are just a few examples of tones found in nature; just tone down your color options if you’re struggling.
Let me be the first to say that I am not against patterns. However, there is a time and place for patterns. My biggest tips for working with patterns? Only one person should be in a pattern. The other partner should be in a more solid, simple piece.
There’s a big different between big patterns and small patterns. The smaller the pattern, the better it works on camera. Like I said, the focus of your engagement photos is on you as a couple – not your clothing. Simple, repetitive designs like stripes may work better than a large, loud floral pattern. The exception to this rule? Flannels. They’re always a go for me 🤩
Okay, okay. Usually matching is a “no-no” when taking couples photos. But there are definitely some cute ideas if you do want to ‘match’: wearing apparel from your university, your favorite sports team, or band. Ultimately, do what you feel best in and what suites you best as a couple.
I get asked quite a bit by my couples if they should get their hair and makeup done by a professional. The best answer I have would be “whatever will make you feel best, do that.” My personal opinion is that I want to look like MYSELF rather than super glammed up version. However, if you wear makeup on the daily, and like to have your hair done, DO IT!
Speaking of professionals… My pro tip is to skip the spray tan! Yep. It might seem counter-intuitive, but even getting a spray tan days in advance will still leave your skin with an orange tinge to it. Your natural skin tone will photograph best.
And one more beauty tip – CLEAN THAT RING! Your rock will be featured in alllll the close ups. Get your ring cleaned (and treat yourself to a manicure). You deserve it!
There we have it, folks. 7 Styling Tips for Your Engagement Session! Please remember that these are just tips – not hard and fast “rules”. When in doubt? Refer to Tip #1. Capturing your love and personalities is what your photos are about, after all. Looking for some engagement session outfit inspiration? Check out the sweet couples over on The Blog. And as always, keep up with me on Instagram (@lauraburnsphotography) for BTS and more!
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