The Engagement Session: What To Wear
Inevitably I will get asked the question: "What should we wear to our engagement session?" I hear ya! It's tricky finding clothing and accessory items that fit your personality and express who you are. After several years of photographing engagement sessions and having had the opportunity to be in front of the camera myself I've learned some helpful tips on how to dress to look your best. I have shared them below. Enjoy!
1. Match your location and think of the season.
It seems simple enough but dressing appropriately for the season and location in which you are being photographed in is important. For example, if you are having a snowy, winter engagement session, dressing in shorts and flip flops would look strange AND you'd be incredibly uncomfortable. Whereas, if you dressed in layers of sweaters, jackets, hats, mittens, boots and a cute scarf, you'd not only look appropriate to the time of year but you'd also look adorable! The season in which you choose to have your engagement session is the back drop to your photos. As you dress for your session, think about where and when you'll be having your images taken and try to match and coordinate with the locale. Look at the woman above, who is dressed in warm layers, pops of color, all with and edge of style. She is coordinated for the season in which she is being photographed all with a pop of color to help her stand out against the white snow. She fits effortlessly into the scene, that is what you want to try to achieve:)
2. Keep it personal
Sometimes people feel the need to dress in clothing choices that are completely out of the norm for them. And while I am ALL about fashion and stylish couples, if you're dressing in items that just don't fit who you are, then you're going to be uncomfortable. And that will definitely show in your images. Picking clothing options for your engagement session requires a little bit of thought. Who are you as a person? What do you like? Do you like the beach, do you like the outdoors? Do you like fashion and super high heels? Do you like to wear suits or a pair of jeans? It goes on and on, but the better sense you have of yourself and your style the easier it will be to know how to dress for your session. For me, I relish the opportunity to dress up, so an outfit like the one above, a pair of high heels, cute earrings, a tote, white pants and a simple black shirt would do just the trick. I can see me know walking around the city feeling all glam, yes please! But that's ME. Sure everyday I wear a comfy shirt and my favorite pair of jeans, but I also love the opportunity to dress up! Really think about who you are and your personality and use that to help you plan out outfits and locations for your session.
3. Don't be afraid of color and don't forget to accessorize!
Often times I'll see couples who dress in grey, black, dark blue and more black. Maybe it's a Northeast thing, we sure do love our blacks and greys! But please don't be afraid of pops of color! I love the examples of the coral and teal for summer above. But color isn't just for summer and spring! Plums, shades of cranberry and forest greens are great for fall and crimson is an amazing color to pop against the bleak landscape of winter! Adding color to your outfit, whether it is in your clothing or accessory choices, adds much needed contrast and interest to your images. Also think about your accessory choices. Adding a pendant necklace or some hoop earrings or a statement ring are just some of the ways to add interest to your outfit. Accessories are a key element to help bring your entire look together! Don't be afraid to be bold and colorful with your accessories!
4. Compliment, don't match.
In all of the examples I have chosen, I have tried to pick outfits that compliment each other but that are not matchy-matchy. Whether it is in color choice or style of outfit, they fit well together. For example below the two outfits on the left work for several reasons. First they match the season. I can picture this for a fall engagement session in the woods or up in the mountains. It has a great relaxed and casual look to it that is reminiscent of that time of year. Secondly, the hints of brown and green help to tie both outfits together without looking identical. The color is a unifying factor. Third, the outfits are simple yet stylish. While the guy has a plaid pattern on his shirt, the girl has kept her top to a simple cream and green cardigan. This helps to keep everything cohesive and clean.
5. Use tools like Polyvore, Pinterest and your favorite magazine or clothing catalog.
All of the examples I have brought together were found on Pinterest and Polyvore. Finding your fashion inspiration is so helpful in creating outfit choices that fit you. For me that has changed dramatically over the last few years. Today I find myself drawn to J.Crew, Michael Kors, and Tommy Hilfiger. I'm a mix of glam and preppy and that suits me just fine:)! I'll often find myself scouring through magazines to help find outfits that I like as well. Find whatever inspires you and build from there. Look at your favorite clothing lines, your favorite brands, your favorite stores, heck even your favorite celebrity. Figure out why you like those things and how that speaks to who you are. From there, choosing clothing items that fit you becomes a much easier task. You have a clearer idea of what will look good on you and what will express your personality.
I could go on and on but I'll stop there:) I hope even the least fashion savvy of you are left feeling inspired and encouraged! Fashion can be overwhelming because there are so many choices, options and opinions. Narrowing that all down to only what speaks to you, you'll have a clearer vision of how to express who you are through the items that you wear!