with the most photogenic season of the year fast approaching, it’s the perfect time to schedule your engagement session (or really any couples session!), and your wardrobe can make or break the session like nothing else. I’m constantly getting asked by clients what to wear to their engagement sessions, and while I’m no fashion expert, I’ve put together a few little tips that I’ve picked up from years of taking + editing fall engagement photos.
as far as colors go,
as a general rule of thumb, try to stick to neutral, earthy tones. Navy + yellow is a really beautiful color combo if we’re shooting in a bright and green environment. Whites, blacks, and greys are extra beautiful if we’re surrounded by fall leaves (ok or anything…). Stay away from anything too fluorescent, link pink, bright orange, bright red – it’ll actually change your skin tone ever so slightly in the photos. The photo above and the two below are really good examples of a nice earthy red, which compliments the surrounding natural colors. Also, don’t be afraid of a white dress – I know these aren’t your bridal portraits and it isn’t your wedding day, but you’re still going to look absolutely stunning and elegant in white.
coordinate, don’t match
be mindful of keeping your tones similar, but don’t try to match outfits (unless that’s very much your thing – more power to you!).
don’t be afraid to dress it up
a fall engagement session is the perfect time to show off your favorite maxi dress or long sleeved dress before it gets too chilly! If you’re wanting super formal engagement photos, go with a nice dress + boot for the girl, and a very casual suit for the guy.
if you’re going with patterns, try to limit them
patterns are beautiful and eye-catching, especially with fall leaves as a background, but if you’re going with a patterned shirt or dress, I would recommend that you keep it to only one of you, and that the other stay solid + neutral, otherwise the photo ends up getting too visually crowded. Flannels are always a good choice, and can actually be the one exception to the “not mixing patterns” rule if one person has a nice dark + subtle flannel on, and maybe you both throw a jacket or vest on over!
when in doubt, stick with simple + classy
because is there anything better than the classic black dress + white shirt/black pants look? Nope.
some other general tips:
– be mindful of accessories. Watches, key rings, etc – keep it all to a minimum and make sure it is cohesive with the rest of your outfit. I can’t tell you how many photos I’ve had to delete because a bulky watch got in the way of an otherwise really sweet moment, or how many hours I’ve spent in photoshop because a keychain didn’t get taken off a belt loop (actually, the below photo is an example!). My recommendation: scan your body before you head out and make sure you’re aware of everything that’s showing, and that it’s cohesive with whatever else you’re wearing. That being said, don’t be afraid to rock a cute hat or some funky jewelry to compliment what you have on.
– blankets! My favorite fall session accessory. Bring a cute blanket to your session – you can sit on it, wrap up in it, or just use it for warmth when the sun starts to go down. You really can’t go wrong with a good blanket.
– my favorite other props: motorcycles (seriously, please?), dogs, a bouquet, if you have some kind of cool and unique car pleaaaase drive it (1950’s anything yes.), a canoe if that’s your jam… reach out to your photographer if there’s some fun element of your relationship that you want to incorporate into your session to make it even more fun and unique!
– be comfortable! There’s nothing worse than stiff, uncomfortable photos, and they’re so unnecessary. If you’re not a button up + heels kinda couple, you don’t need to pretend to be for these photos! Just because this is a nice photo shoot doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be fancier than you’ve been since high school prom. Be you. Be comfortable. Wear something that you would actually wear. I promise you, it’ll show in your photos.
– if there’s every anything you’re concerned or curious about, ask your photographer! They’ll be able to guide you through what will look best and flow the most easily, especially keeping your chosen location in mind.