November 16, 2017
One of the most frequent questions I get as a wedding photographer is what to wear to an engagement session! Since my husband and I got our engagement photos taken not more than a year and a half ago, I totally understand the apprehension and necessity for some counsel on the subject.
Recently, a friend of ours commented “wow Klaire, I’m so glad you came into Shadi’s life – his wardrobe is so much better.” Although I loved the affirmation, it may have had more to do with the fact that Shadi wasn’t even halfway through college when we started dating.
I thought it would be helpful (read – hilarious and probably kind of embarrassing) to illustrate some engagement tips by using some photos of shadi’s fashion choices throughout the years!
#1 Wear something comfortable, but not TOO comfortable.
I love engagement sessions for a variety of reasons, one being that my clients get photos of themselves in more every day clothes. Our philosophy is that you would want your grandchildren to find your images one day and be in awe – in awe that they would get a glimpse into their grandparent’s lives when they were young and in love and on fire as people and as a couple.
Wedding day images definitely accomplish capturing the beginning of a marriage, but engagement photos tell a story of what you were like all the other days of your relationship.
For example, Shadi was taking photos with his InterVarsity small group, and showed off an outfit that though entertaining, was much too casual.
Instead, feel free to choose a casual outfit that suits your personality and your interests. Luke and Ashley did this perfectly when they chose to wore flannels and hiking gear. They love to be outdoors, they met at a summer camp, and will enjoy having images that reflect what they love to do together.
Check our their full session: Luke and Ashley’s Charlottesville Engagement Session On Film
#2 Don’t wear something popular just because it’s popular.
Have you recently seen a friend wearing sophisticated stiletto’s in their engagement photos? If you dream of taking photos along historic cobblestone streets, I can promise those will not be comfortable and will distract you from a really fun and celebratory evening.
I encourage my clients to bring along one casual outfit and one formal outfit to create variety and fun within their images – but I never encourage wearing something just because it’s in everyone else’s photos. Feel free to wear something unique to you that you can have fun wearing.
For example, Shadi wore this huge costume all around the dining hall at JMU, and of definitely got some stares. This is a HUGE exaggeration, but you get the point – don’t feel the need to wear something just because it’s the newest thing floating around Pinterest.
Instead, feel free to wear something that makes you feel beautiful! Abby wore this beautiful gold and blush gown to her and Gene’s session after wearing it as a bridesmaid. She remembered loving this dress, and decided to incorporate into their images.
Check our their full session: Gene and Abby’s Old Town Alexandria Engagement Session
#3 Avoid bright reds, oranges, or neon colors.
This is a particular piece of advice I give to all of my clients simply because the colors we wear reflect on our skin – and can create odd skin tones in the final images. If I have a couple who wants to wear warm fall colors, I simply suggest going for more muted colors such as burgundy or muted orange.
For example, just look at all the neon colors Shadi is wearing as a college freshmen.
Ben and Sarah accomplished this perfectly by choosing more muted fall colors.
Check our their full session: Ben and Sarah’s Virginia Beach Engagement Session
#4 Feel free to bring props that tell your story.
I try my best to tell a couple’s story as authentically as I can. Sometimes “props” can be distracting, but if it helps tell your story, the images turn out so well! Some examples are to bring your dog along, to bring your favorite bottle of champagne to pop open together, to grab a cup of coffee outside your favorite coffeeshop, or to set up a picnic.
I must say, Shadi photographs really well with puppies:
Mike and Ashley had so much fun bringing a picnic along to their session – their first date was over a picnic, and they loved to do that frequently throughout their dating relationship. It was the perfect thing to bring along as we took photos of them along the water at Burke Lake.
Check our their full session: Mike and Ashley’s Burke Lake Engagement Session