Now that the weather is starting to cool off a bit (or at least us SUPPOSED to be cooling off a bit), I have several Phoenix and Scottsdale engagement sessions coming up soon. So I thought now would be a great time to write a post (which will also become a page link above) about my suggestions on what to wear for your Wedding Photography Engagement Session.
Please Note: My first and most important suggestion is to be yourself. You can and should read through the following suggestions prior to your Phoenix wedding engagement photography session, but always, always, always make sure that your clothing choices follow your personal style. After all, your engagement photos, just as your wedding photography, should be a reflection of who you are as a couple. I can help guide you to make choices which will likely make your style shine in camera, but you need to make sure that what you wear is something you’re comfortable in, and something that is “you.”
Things to Keep in Mind when selecting your clothing for your Engagement Session
– Wear something comfortable. Your engagement photography session will likely last an hour or two, and while it’s important to look nice for the photos, you don’t want to wear something uncomfortable which will distract you from looking your best. That’s not to say “dress in yoga pants and an old T-shirt” either.. “business casual” is kind of a good rule of thumb. But whatever you choose to wear should give you the flexibility and comfort to move comfortably, sit down, stand up, stretch, lay down, even run a bit…
If you want a few different looks, I recommend bringing a change of clothing, or wearing layers so you can change outer shirts part way through the session. Girls: wear a black or simple camisole under an outer shirt, and bring along another blouse and a light sweater. We can get shots of the first shirt, the second blouse, the sweater and the camisole. You may also want to bring along an extra skirt, dress or pants too add even more variety to your shoot.
But if you want to keep it simple, a classic, comfortable sun dress or cocktail dress would certainly do the trick for the entire session. Really, this session is all about you and what you want. If you want one single, simple, classic look, then that’s what we’ll shoot. If you want to mix it up a bit with many different looks, then that’s great too.
If you do bring multiple pieces, think mix and match. Pick a color family and stick with it. That way both of your outfits will all flow together and the final set of photos will have a much more cohesive look to them, perfect for your guest book photo album at your wedding.
– Coordinate colors and styles . I always ask my couples to select clothing that coordinates well with each other’s. They don’t have to match, but they should definitely compliment each other (example: bold blues, light blues and greys… maybe a pop of pink or orange in there occasionally.) I prefer a selection of clothing that looks great together without looking too “matchy-matchy”.
Guys make sure you consider the overall style and formality of your girl’s outfit. If she’s wearing a fun flirty dress, maybe you wear khaki’s and a casual silk button-down short sleeve shirt. If she’s rockin’ some killer jeans and high fashion boots, then perhaps go with an edgy jacket, a super thin tie and funky leather shoes.
– Wear solids or simple patterns. Don’t over do it with patterns, unless they’re super bold and make a statement all their own (like a funky, retro style, super hip mini dress)… in which case I’d recommend you also bring some more simple clothing and get some shots in that too. As a rule of thumb, solid darker colors are generally the most figure-flattering.
– Stick to more fitted clothing (but not too tight!). Anything hanging off your body (baggy) will make you look bigger than you are and the results will be messy. That said, if it’s a windy day, a long flowing skirt or scarf, in the right location can look A-H-H-H-MAZING!
– The layered look is always a winner for your engagement shots. For example:
Guys: Nice dark jeans, hip shoes, collared shirt and a loose tie. A jacket to finish it off.
Girls: Nice jeans, paired with a dressy top, splashes of color or patterns, funky jewelry and high heels. (or cute dress).
– Use accessories to jazz up your outfit
A cute pair of heels, boots, a fun scarf to blow in the wind, a funky necklace or even a playful white parasol can give your look that extra punch it needs to take it to the next level.
Note: if you’re going to be wearing high heels in your shots, you may also want to bring some more comfortable flip-flops for walking around, as we typically walk a lot during an engagement session.
– Properly fitting, clean and pressed clothes are a MUST.
Need I say more? Please, please, please wear clothes that fit you well, and make sure they’re either new or newly dry-cleaned. It looks terrible in photos to have wrinkles, puckers, stains, etc.
What to Avoid
– Bright white matching shirts and Khakis
– Loose, baggy clothing which tends to make you look larger. Stick with clean, simple silhouettes tailored to your body shape.
– Tops with big logos or a lot of writing on them – keep it clean and classy.
– Mid-drift shirts, super-short skirts, clothing that’s too tight.
– Matching outfits. Look coordinated, not matching.
– Nothing toooooo terribly trendy. Remember, your engagement session album will be with you a lifetime. And while it’s great to look back on styles of the time, it’s also good to have a classic style throughout the engagement photo session so that it remains timeless. Now is not the time to bust out the latest Lady Gaga fashions. Keep it simple. Keep it classic. And you will treasure your engagement photos for a lifetime.
Other Fun Ideas
Another fun way to make your session unique and fun is to bring props. For example, some fun props are:
– A “Thank You” or “Save the Date” sign on a poster-board for personalized thank you and save the date cards. Remember: it’s always great to get your engagement photos out there for everyone to see!
– Instruments you play, sports items you enjoy, your favorite teams (just for a shot or two, LOL)
– Balloons (I have some fantastic, oversized balloons… so if you’re interested, let me know what you’re wearing and I’ll prepare some for our session. – $30 additional charge)
– Parasol – super cute and playful… best to keep it to a neutral color.
– Anything else that makes your relationship unique or that is special to you.
– Oh, and OBVIOUSLY bring your engagement ring. That will be the center focal-piece for several shots as well.
IMPORTANT NOTE: MAKE SURE TO HAVE YOUR NAILS CLEAN AND WELL MANICURED. We will be getting shots of your hands close up, so please, please, please pay attention to that prior to your session. Yes, guys, this includes you too! I like to get shots of the two of you holding hands, often close up, so everyone needs nice looking hands both for your engagement session and also for your wedding photos for that matter.
Personal Grooming: hair, makeup, etc.
It probably goes without saying… but just in case, LOL… Pay close attention to your overall appearance prior to your engagement session photos.
If your hair needs cutting – get it cut and styled.
If your roots are showing – get your color touched up prior to your session.
Do NOT lay in the sun for an extensive period of time, or use a tanning bed just before your engagement session or your wedding day. You do not want freshly burned or even darkly tanned skin for your session.
Use an oil-less lotion on any dry areas of skin, if needed. Nothing shiny, though!
Gals AND guys: make sure your hands are clean and well-manicured.
Girls: I recommend a neutral shade of polish, or just au-natural… unless bright red is your “thing”. If so, by all means, rock the R-E-D! Just be prepared for close-up shots of the two of you holding hands, ring shots, tight embraces, etc.
Are you having your makeup done for your wedding? Then consider getting it done for your engagement session as well. I’m sure you are absolutely wonderful at doing it yourself on a daily basis. But a professional makeup artist and stylist will know what photographs best and how to make you look drop-dead-gorgeous for your rockin’ engagement photo session that you will be looking at for years to come. If you are worried about cost you can always arrange to have your wedding day makeup trial done on the same day of your engagement session!
Side note: If you need a makeup artist or stylist recommendation for your wedding, let me know. I’ve worked with several FANTASTIC girls whom I highly recommend.
DO NOT USE SPRAY TAN!!! Let me repeat: DO NOT USE SPRAY TAN!!! Spray tan tends to look orange in photos. Avoid using it at all costs!
Side note: is your wedding gown strapless? If so, you may want to switch to a strapless bathing suit well before your wedding so you don’t have tan lines with your dress. Look in the mirror. If you have any tan lines, now is the time to start getting rid of them. Do not do that just a few weeks before the wedding, planning ahead is your friend here!
WEDDING ENGAGEMENT PHOTO SESSION WHAT TO WEAR IDEAS:
Here are a few looks I put together to help you visualize some looks that work great for Phoenix Arizona wedding engagement sessions… but don’t be afraid to embrace something completely different. Remember, this is about you and your style… so let it SHINE!