I visited my hometown, Tallahassee, last year for the first time in many years. I was visiting for an old friend from high school’s baby shower. While I was there I took photos of another friend and her new baby...
May 8, 2018
For the perfect engagement session consider these three principles and you’ll be great!
By coordinate I don’t mean match! Gone are the days of jeans and white shirts. Please… Please don’t match.
Consider colors and patterns that compliment each other. Your photographer will be able to guide you with this. For example, I prefer female clients to wear pastel or lighter colored dresses or skirts. They often pick out a dress they love and then we discuss what their fiance should wear to match it. Above you see that Rhett’s navy slacks compliment Rose’s pale pink dress perfectly. Also you’ll notice how at Cody and Candice’s Black Balsam Knob Engagement Session, the bold and darker color palette of Cody’s shirt was complimented nicely by the simplicity of Candice’s white dress.
Another thing to consider is how formal you want to dress. What one of you is wearing will either elevate or diminish the formality of the other persons clothing. For example, a simple sundress looks far more elegant when standing next to a man in a blazer and tie than it does next to jeans and a t-shirt. Notice (above) for their Lake Lure Session, how Allen’s tie and slacks makes Shannon’s dress look extra beautiful.
Tony and Elizabeth wanted a more casual look for their Max Patch engagement session. They picked outfits that perfectly coordinated. One outfit that emphasized their love of fitness and another nicer, but still comfortable and casual look that fit their personality as a couple.
I believe that you will love your photos only as much as you loved having them taken. If you’re feeling uncomfortable and awkward having your photos taken, you’ll never be able to look beyond that experience when you see your photos. It doesn’t matter if you look stunning and the photo is so perfect it’s being featured on the front of a magazine about perfect photos. You will never be able to love it.
That is why I think it’s important for you to feel comfortable in what you’re wearing physically and emotionally. You need to feel beautiful (or cool if you’re a man) in what you’re wearing. You need to feel like it represents you as a person.
In addition you need to not be freezing. (Although a little cold is ok because it makes for beautifully, genuine cuddly poses.) You also want to be able to move around easily in what you’re wearing. Check out Kyra and Brennan running. They look great and also wore shoes they were comfortable in. Rhett and Rose were also able to share a dance on a mountain top as part of their Asheville Engagement Session.
This is the most obvious but can be the most challenging for people. What does it even mean? I’ll give you some sure fire tips to set you off in the right direction, but also know that if you’re selected me as your engagement or wedding photographer, I totally expect texts of different outfits and am perfectly willing to help you pick out the best one.
First for guys, I definitely recommend a blazer. They make shoulders look broader and stomachs look slimmer. Plus its manly. With this, you definitely want to go with a button up (or down… whats the difference? I don’t know) not a t-shirt. A t-shirt and a blazer fall under the category of “trendy is the last stage before tacky” and that is never a place you want to live. You want your photos to have longevity. Don’t wear something you’re going to be cringing over in just 2 years. I don’t have anything against trends but they don’t photograph well. Brennan paired his blazer with a bow tie and looked dashing for his and Kyra’s Engagement Session.
Second tip for guys is always make sure that the pattern on your tie is bigger or bolder than the pattern of your shirt and when in doubt, just wear a solid shirt. Check out Allen’s tie below for reference.
Now tips for the ladies. First thing is I’d recommend wearing a dress or a skirt. They’re always most flattering and elegant. They photograph in a beautiful flowy manner. In addition I recommend is accessorizing. Add a sweater or a necklace to the ensemble. If guys are interested in accessorizing, I recommend a tie or a watch. Hats are not a good idea for photos because they block the light to your face. Also I recommend picking a dress with sleeves or adding a sweater to a sleeveless dress. Shannon and Kyra represent both of these great options (and accessorizing!) below.
Another recommendation is to consider having your hair and makeup professionally done or done by a talented friend. This can be fun and also adds a lot of value to your experience and the photos. It makes them truly special and it might even help you in wedding planning to gauge an idea of what you want and how it photographs.