Almost all of the couples I photograph, most of which are much more stylish than me, have the same question. “What do I wear for engagement photos?!” I’m definitely not an expert in fashion, but I do have some tips for what to wear in your engagement shoot to set yourself up for flattering photos.
The clothing you wear reflects tones on your skin. While it may not be noticeable in everyday situations, there’s a good chance it will be noticeable in a photo. Bright colors and neons are fun, but try to keep them away from the upper body whenever possible. I love bright colors! If you want to wear a colored top, just make sure it isn’t neon. But we don’t want any lime green face surprises when its time to edit the photos.
Avoid slick ponytails, buns, and tight updos. You know that big Texas hair? You can totally do that for a photoshoot and it probably won’t look over the top. A low, curled side ponytail or style that pulls your hair to one side is a nice option if you want your hair off your neck. Getting a blowout for the occasion is also a great idea.
If you’re wearing a flowy dress, your shape may get lost in a photo. Photos are two dimensional captures of a three dimensional world. Think of it as dumbing down your figure to a language cameras understand.
I live in black clothing. Over half of my closet is black. Going with the theme of this post, things that look great in real life don’t always look great in photos. In post processing and editing, blacks can get lost or muddied or fall flat if edited certain ways, so it can create limits to what I can do with a photo.
If black is a must, only one of you can wear it. I was photographing one of my favorite couples when I realized this black-on-black problem. When two tops or two bottoms that are black or extremely dark get pressed against each other, it’s hard to see the shape of either person. Seriously. This is probably the most important tip.
This goes back to the two dimensional thing. My goto outfit “in real life” is black leggings, a black flowy top, and platform sandals. I break most of the rules presented in this post. But when I know I’ll be photographed, my goto outfit is a fitted top and flowy skirt, the exact opposite of my typical silhouette.
Heels are great. If you want to wear heels, wear heels! But please avoid heels that you have trouble walking in. We’re probably going to be moving around a bit. We’re probably going to be in grass and dirt. I’m probably going to make you walk back and forth in the grass and dirt. You heels are probably going to get stuck in grass and dirt.
If you’re not a manicure kind of gal, that’s really okay. But for engagement photos, take a look at your nails and make sure there aren’t lots of hang nails, dryness, or chipped polish. Try to stick to light or neutral polish, if you think about it. You don’t have to have your nails looking perfect, just cleaned up and photo ready.