What to wear for an engagement shoot is a really common question & it's important to get it right since your photos will be memories you keep forever. The most important thing is to be yourself. I want to capture who you are as a couple and show your personalities. If you wear something you don't feel comfortable in, it will show in the photos. Below are some tips to help you achieve your perfect engagement shoot look.
1. Coordinate but don't match.
Try not to both wear the same shade, wear different colours that compliment each other. For example: Imagine wearing a yellow dress, it would be too much for your partner to also be in a yellow shirt. Either a grey or navy shirt and some smart dark jeans would go well with the yellow dress. Compliment each other, don't blend in to one.
2. Try not to wear anything with any logos.
Logos, characters, labels and graphics can really make a professional shoot look 'less professional' What may be a fashionable label now, may date your photos in ten years time when that's no longer a known label. It also can really draw your eye away from the most important focus point of the photograph if you're wearing a big character face on your top so try to avoid these things as much as possible.
3. White's blend in, colours pop.
White is beautiful, but in moderation. Make sure you add some colour somewhere if you want to stand out. For example, a colourful statement necklace, bright shoes, a colourful handbag or a hat. Any bit of colour can really make your photographs pop.
4. Accessorize, add colour and interest
Hats, flowers in your hair, jewellery, jumpers & jackets. These accessories can take your styling from 'Good' to 'Amazing', but try not to overdo it. The viewer should notice you first. Accessories can really help personalise your photos. They are also great to add as the photo shoot goes on, so instead of outfit changes, you can add accessories to make multiple different looks. Soft silk scarves look amazing blowing in the wind and your partner could wear a jacket which you could hold as you pull him close for a photo.
5. Add layers and texture
Layer up with colour and add texture with different materials, Tulle skirts, lace tops, chunky jumpers, embroidery, ribbons and ruffles! These details and added depth look incredible in black and white images. Follow your own vision & style and use what works best for you.
Who doesn't love props? They are so much fun & sometimes make you feel more relaxed. Try not bring too much, less is more. Maybe a simple lace parasol, pick some wild flowers to hold, a basket of apples, picnic blanket, milk bottles filled with your favourite drink and cute straws, or if it's on the beach, why not get ice cream? If you love your pets, bring them too. Horses and dogs make excellent companions for your engagement shoot photos.
7. The shoes make a difference
Try not to wear your old trainers, unless they are fun converse ones which go with your style for the shoot. Boots, wedges, colourful ballet flats or wellie boots always look amazing. Sometimes, no shoes look good too!
8. Don't date yourself
This is your own personal choice but try not to wear anything 'too fashionable' your images will date quicker. Maybe something classic and slightly vintage as these will make your images timeless.
9. Add some movement
We can dance on your shoot if you want to, clothes that flow and have movement always look amazing in photographs. Dresses or skirts that flow behind you as you walk, ones that flare out with ease as you spin. All of these make for such breathtaking images. If you want to wear a ballgown and a tux and dance around gardens of a grand home then that's fine too. We can make your shoot as magical as you'd like. Almost anything goes.
10. Make sure you are both comfortable
Don't make yourself uncomfortable, if your idea of getting dressed up is wearing nice jeans and a pretty top - then wear that. I would never want for my couples to feel like they had to wear something that just isn't 'them'. It would definitely show in your photos! If you are a girl that lives in dresses and heels, then wear that! Just make sure whatever you are wearing makes you feel confident.
11. Wear patterns in moderation
Patterns look beautiful, draw your eye in and add texture to an image, but don't overdo it. Too much isn't always a good thing. For example: If you are wearing a floral dress, don't dress your partner in a stripey shirt, a plain shirt would look much better.
12. Take your location into consideration
If you are having your shoot on the beach, I would avoid stiletto heels. Dress for your surroundings. When at the beach, a flowing dress, flip flops or bare feet and a floppy hat would be perfect or if you are having a more vintage location, like a fairground, dress in vintage and make sure your outfits are bright and colourful, maybe even a bow tie?
- Have your hair and make up done professionally (unless you prefer to do your own hair & makeup)
- Embrace bold colours
- Bring props
- Relax, have fun & enjoy (I promise you'll love how you look when you just let go & enjoy yourselves)
- Anything with logos, graphics, characters & labels.
- Don't get a haircut the day before, let it grow out a week before for a more natural look.
- Avoid wearing the same colour (for example: both in a white t-shirt and jeans)
- Try not to pick a current trend, it will date your photos quicker.
- Avoid old trainers (fun converse are fine!)
If you are stuck for ideas, have a look at my past engagement shoots on my blog, you can take inspiration from their locations, outfits and props. There are so many possibilities, from simple and classic ideas to ones inspired by your favourite movie or book.
Good luck, I can't wait to photograph your pre wedding shoot!