Marissa Eileen Photography » Columbus, Ohio Wedding & Engagement Photographer

What to Wear for Engagement Photos

One of the most common things that clients struggle with when it comes to any type of portrait session is what to wear. This makes total sense because your clothing plays such a huge part in your photos. The outfits can be almost if not as important as the location and lighting! So for today’s post I’m going to be helping you out with tips on what to wear for your engagement session. Some of these tips may be applicable for anniversary sessions and other types of portrait sessions as well.

Coordinate, But Don’t Match

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is to wear matching outfits. Remember those family photos on the beach where everyone is decked out in head to toe white? How about the family photos at the park with everyone in matching tops and jeans? Matching is not a good look for modern day portraits. If you don’t match in your everyday life, why would you want to match in your pictures? However you do want to plan and coordinate so that your outfits don’t clash. Colors that are next to each other on the color wheel look good together and so do complimentary colors which are colors that are directly across from one another on the wheel.

Be Minimal with Pattern

You want your outfits to be simple and not overpowering. The focus of the session is the two of you and your love for one another. Your outfits simply are there to help reflect that. So you don’t want to both be wearing outfits full of pattern that would be distracting and busy. If one of you wears a pattern then the other can wear solids. Or if one of you wears a big pattern, then the other needs to wear a pattern that is tiny.

Bold or Neutral Colors?

Some photographers recommend wearing neutrals while other may recommend bold colors. I don’t have a specific preference, I love both! Neutral colors may blend in and in turn will put more of the focus on you. But if you want to wear something bright and bold that makes a statement then for all means, go for it! Jewel tones especially can be so beautiful. I recommend staying away from anything too crazy like neons near the face because they can create a weird color cast on your skin.

Keep It Classic

I recommend wearing classic outfits that aren’t super trendy. The trendy clothes are fun but you don’t want to wear something that is going to quickly go out of style and will date your photos. You want to be able to look back at your photos years from now without cringing at your outfit choices. Something like a classic black dress and a suit and tie have stood the test of time.

Accessorize & Layer

By accessorizing your outfit and layering you will be adding interest and depth to your photos. So don’t forget about the jewelry or accessories such as scarves. Also try playing around with different textures with your outfit. Juxtaposing different fabrics can be so pretty. Something like a leather jacket over a silky dress or a jean jacket paired with a lace blouse. By layering you will also be able to have more variety in your photos because you can add a jacket and then take it off or wear a scarf for some pictures and then have it off in others.

Wear 2 Outfits – Casual & Dressy

Another thing that I suggest is to wear 2-3 different outfits in your photos for more options and variety. You also want the outfits to be quite different from one another. So I recommend wearing at least one casual outfit and one dressy outfit. Now this can look different depending on the couple. For some couples they may want to wear a sundress and heels and shirt and tie and khakis for their casual look and a ballgown and tux for their formal look. For other couples they may want to wear sweaters and jeans for their casual outfit and a maxi dress and a button up and khakis for their dressier look. It’s totally up to you and your personalities and personal styles. Though I always recommend erring on the more formal side because it’s a chance to have fun and get all dolled up!

What did you wear for your engagement photos? Do you have any regrets? Photographers, what tips do you recommend to your couples? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!

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