July 21, 2008

[what to wear] engagement sessions

Engagement

I love shooting engagement sessions and include them in all of my Philly area weddings so that the couple and I can really get to know each other. (See this for more reasons.) The inevitable question before a portrait session: what do I wear? There are no hard and fast rules, but there are some suggestions that you may want to consider before your big day in front of the camera. Here are a few…

• I absolutely encourage outfit changes. So consider wearing something dressy and bringing along something more casual/everyday.

Janene and Greg rocked my world when they contrasted upscale with the crumbling walls of Eastern State Penitentiary.

Philadelphia engagement photography session Eastern State Penitentiary

And then changed into something more casual.

Philadelphia engagement photography session Art Museum

• Beware words, logos, loud colors and patterns that might distract from the truly important aspect of the pictures: you! The human eye will locate familiar words in pictures and put them together, taking away from the true subject.
• Coordinate your outfits, but don’t wear the exact same thing. Stick to complementary tones and bear in mind that darker colors are most slimming on women.
• Think about wearing an outfit that matches your surroundings. Floppy summer hat for a beach session: yes. Floppy summer hat for a snowy session on the ski slopes: maybe not.

Cole broke out the blazer for some preppy shots at Grace Cathedral and the Fairmont.

Alyssa and Kyle went with boat shoes, navy, and white for pictures around the marina.

Engagement photography in Havre de Grace Maryland

• Give your shoes as much attention as your shirt. They will be in the pictures and may even be highlighted in a few. Heels are great with jeans, pants, or skirts, if you’re comfortable in them. They make the legs look longer.

• Wear something that you feel defines your personal style.

• Wear something you can sit, walk, run, lay down, jump, kick, and spin in.


• Check the weather and dress appropriately. No matter how cute you look in that flirty tank top, you’ll be completely miserable when you wear it in thick fog. Wool sweaters and wellies can be just as awesome. When in doubt: LAYERS!

• Bring props, especially if they have some kind of special meaning to you.

Lisa and Jeff did the long distance relationship thing for a while.  A vintage suitcase in Union Station in Washington DC was absolutely perfect!

Washington DC engagement photography session
• Accessorize with your favorite jewelry, scarves, hats, belts, shoes, and even pets (well-behaved, of course).

Tips:
• Unless you want it in the pics, don’t bring a purse; you’ll just be putting it down every few seconds.
• If you’re particularly concerned about something, mention it to me so that I can keep an extra sharp eye out for it. (examples: that cowlick you’ve had since you were 5, the necklace that is constantly flipping around, more cleavage than grandma would appreciate, etc.)
• If you want to see what others have done, check out some of my other engagement sessions for what you like.

In the end, be true to yourself. If you are not comfortable, it will be obvious in your pictures. If these suggestions don’t feel like you, break all the rules and show up in something that is completely, and totally you.

“The only rule is don’t be boring and dress cute wherever you go. Life is too short to blend in.” – Paris Hilton

Helpful source: Miss Avocado on Weddingbee

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