We are so excited for your upcoming engagement session, as we hope you are too! Often clients find that once the thrill of booking a session has settled in, they are faced with an overwhelming number of decisions to be made regarding what to wear during the big day. To make this task a little easier, and to make sure that you are completely happy with the way you look on the day, here are some tips that you should keep in mind when planning your looks. it is never too early to start planning, and I hope that this comprehensive guide can help you, and may even serve as an inspiration to do some shopping!
Coordinate your colours, but don’t match them.
Long gone are the days of matchy-matchy outfits. Instead of matching colours exactly, you & your fiancée should be complementing each other. Show some personality and style in your photos by picking a few colours that pair well together, and select outfits based on that colour scheme. Think navy/beige/gray/white | pink/taupe/cream/olive | coral/white/cream/gray etc. See our Pinterest board for inspiration and colour palette ideas.
Choose pastel, muted, light colours.
Think pretty pastels, soft colours, grays, neutrals and earthy tones. This will make almost any colours work well together. Strong bright colours will appear neon-like in photos and become a distraction from the face. Avoid dark and black colours, and limit whites.
Solid light colours are best, subtle patterns are okay.
If you wear bold stripes, flowers or contrasting plaids, that piece of clothing will be the number one thing that stands out in your photos (rather than faces) and will quickly become annoying in a collage or an album. Plaid shirts are not recommended unless it’s a really mild pattern. Really fine stripes can photograph strange- if in doubt, ask us!
Add layers and texture.
Texture and layers are your friend as it adds interesting elements and style without the distraction. Think scarves, knits, cardigans, lace, flowy silks and skirts. Be careful however not to add too much bulk to avoid unflattering photos. Layers are also wonderful to change up the look midway through the session, while still being cohesive overall. It’s not just for ladies, either! Other members of your family should also consider going for the layered look. For the man in your life, this website has plenty of information on how to put together the killer outfit.
Accessories bring your photos to life and help tie the outfit together. Choose classic and somewhat minimalist jewelry. Trendy statement necklaces may draw too much attention from your face and date the photo. Layered bracelets add a nice touch. Men can never go wrong with a great watch. Don’t forget to bring comfortable matching shoes for all outfits. If you choose heels, bring walking shoes along as well.
Look to your home decor for colour inspiration.
Not sure which colours to choose? Look around your home and see if you tend to use bright and vivid colours, or more neutral tones to decorate. These photos will become artwork that you will display proudly in your home, and you want them to complement your decor rather than compete with it.
People aren’t generally used to posing in front of the camera, which can make for awkward body movements, so bring props to keep your hands busy. A picnic blanket works great in the park, you could even set up a cute little picnic- don’t forget the champagne! This is the moment to let your personality shine through. Think fishing poles, golf clubs, bikes… The possibilities are endless!
Bring your furry ones!
Your fur baby is more than welcome to join you in your session! After all, they are a big part of your family and your daily life. This is not just limited to puppies, either. We have had a session with a cat before, too. Bring a leash, some toys, treats and water on hot days to keep them happy once their moment in the spotlight is over.
Avoid all white or all dark clothing.
It’s easy for the colours to get blown out when you’re wearing all white, and blacks can lose detail and reflect dark shadows onto your face making you look tired. Try not to have dark colours at least for your tops. Generally speaking, it’s best to stay closer to your skin tone to avoid too much contrast – my goal is to expose correctly for your face, so if your outfit is much darker than your skin, it will be underexposed and resemble a black hole. Similarly, if your skin is dark, wearing white or very light colours will make your outfit completely disappear into a creaseless, blinding white cloud.
When shooting outside in colder weather try to do multiple warm layers instead of typical dark coats, but do bring them along for extra warmth in between photo set ups.
Avoid reds if you have a reddish complexion
Reds are best used in moderation as it can mess with the overall colour temperature of the photos if it’s the main colour used. Also people who tend to have pinkish complexions or get red noses easily in chillier weather, will want to avoid reds close to their face as it will accentuate.
Avoid logos, characters and words.
We want the focus to be on your beautiful faces, not on what’s written on your sweater. Large brand labels also date the photos.
Natural make-up and usual hair style is best.
Avoid overdoing your make-up and hair and choose your typical styles instead. If you don’t wear much make up usually, try covering any blemishes and blotting away the shine, add some mascara, a lip gloss and you’re done! If you prefer to wear full make-up, here’s a great tutorial on how to get it camera ready.
Men can often benefit from oil blotting sheets in the summer and some chapstick in colder weather.
Avoid getting a radically new hair style before the session as ladies need some time to practice working it and warming up to it. Men’s hair looks best a week or two after the trim, just to grow it out a little. Allow some time to live with your new look before your portrait session for maximum confidence.
Keep your location in mind.
While a beach or forest location may call for dreamy, flowing dresses and dressed down shirts, these outfits may seem out of place in the middle of the city, just as a constructed formal dress & a full suit wouldn’t work in the park. Think about the colours, textures & the atmosphere of the place you’ll be photographed in. There’s a reason you picked your perfect location- let it inspire you to dress up (or down) for the occasion.
Make sure you have a permit.
Speaking of locations, some may require you to obtain a photography permit. This is completely your responsibility, so make sure to find out well ahead of time whether your dream location requires a permit- or we may be rudely interrupted on the day of the session. If a permit is not in your budget, you may have to pick a different location.
Pull it all together.
Take all of the outfits (shirts, pants, dresses, shoes, accessories) and lay them all out on the floor together as individual outfits. Take a photo of them all together on your phone and see how they look next to each other. Are your eyes automatically drawn to the shirt with neon stripes? Does that skirt seem out of place? Make substitutions so that the wardrobe choices complement each other rather than compete with each other.
Ask for advice!
Send us your photos that you just snapped and ask us what we think! We are more than happy to help you with this so that you look and feel your best the day of the session. You are also encouraged to bring 2-3 outfits each with you to the session so that we can make substitutes on the go or change up our look for some of the photos.
Finally, think classic.
These photos will be hanging on your walls for many years. Avoid trendy fashion and stick with the classics while still showing your fun personalities. High-low skirts are so last year! Choose longer skirts and sleeves to be comfortable when you pose and help hide any flaws.
This should be plenty to get you started! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need any help at all.