5 Tips for Finding the Perfect Outfit for Your Engagement Session!
The day is FINALLY here...
You and your fiance are on your way to your engagement session! *insert praise hands here*
First off, CONGRATS, friend! I say this all of the time, but I genuinely mean it with my whole heart. You're getting married!! There are a lot of things you need to do, and one of the biggest is your engagement photos. These are what you'll post on Instagram, print out for your family, slap on your wedding invites or save the dates, and cherish forever.
Your engagement photos set the stage for your wedding. From choosing a location to your photographer, but the number one question I get asked by all my wonderful ladies is, "Michaela, what do you think I should wear?"
I was really inspired to unpack this a little bit because it's a question I get asked by my brides ALL of the time. Honestly, I think it really comes down to you. Yes, as a photographer I have a pretty good eye and can look at an image and know how to make it look aesthetically pleasing, but if my couple isn't happy, then I didn't do my job. On the other hand, I think an outfit can make or break a photo. You can be in the most Pinteresty (is that a word?) location and have on a Rolling Stones T-shirt and ripped flare jeans - not a good look. Save that for the Urban Jungle session while you're running down the streets of L.A with your boo.
So, the question remains, what the heck do you wear?
I gave this post a lot of thought because I really wanted to make sure that the information was as easy to follow as possible so you're not laying on your closet floor the day of your engagement session, crying and wondering what dress to put on.
Where Will the Photos be Taken?
As many realtors say, "location, location, location". This is huge and it took me a long time to figure out that an outfit really can ruin a photo, or make it super cute and Instagram ready.
If you've chosen a beach theme for your photos, you'll want to wear something light, airy, and flowy. Or if you're going for more of a casual look, jeans cuffed at the ankle and a simple light shirt can do wonders for the overall look of a picture.
If mountains are more your thing, try going for something versatile. You can do SO much with a simple jean jacket and a sundress -- you can even go all out and wear something super formal and stand in the middle of an open field. (that's actually SO CUTE and I would die to take your photos if you chose that! -- just saying).
Ultimately, it's up to you and your love. I think having fun with it is what makes good photos stand out from great ones and at the end of the day as long as you're happy, any photographer will be too - especially me!
What are You Looking for?
Often times, couples will be looking at photos long before they choose a photographer. They're looking at style, poses, candid shots, adventure, silly, serious, you name it, they're gathering intel on the types of photos they love, and the ones they don't.
I totally did this before my engagement session so I had an abundance of pictures I wanted. Now that I'm a photographer, I highly recommend gathering ideas so your photog knows exactly what you love.
For me, I want to capture the raw moments that make up a couple's personality. I've found it's way more authentic than saying, "okay, now I want you to smile like you just heard something funny." While I have done that in some cases, I find it's more relaxing for my couple if I let them make each other laugh - I love melting into the background and just capturing moments.
If you want more candid photos, go for a photog who does that. If you want more posed, choose someone who will meet that need. If you want a combo of both, call me! Just kidding, can we joke here? Really though, my heart is for you to get the photos YOU want, if that's me, yay! I'm SUPER honored. If not, that's still amazing that you found what you were looking for.
What's the Mood?
Do you have a theme for your wedding? Maybe it's too early to tell, but your engagement session will nine-times-out-of-ten set the mood for your wedding day.
Will you be formal or glam? laid back in the country? Exotic and moody? Rustic? Hipster? Gatsby inspired? The list can go on, and on, my friend. But the good news is that your engagement photos can help you decide! You could even be totally original and do an outdoor rustic engagement and a formal wedding, but adding pieces of that formality (i.e your outfit) can tie the engagement and wedding together seamlessly.
Think About What You Like!
I encourage you to look at what you and your fiance love doing together and incorporate those things into your photos. A while back I shot an engagement and the couple really loved books, specifically The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I grabbed one of the books called "The Fellowship of the Ring" and took a picture with their rings sitting on top. (I won't show it because it was at the beginning of my career and I've improved SO MUCH since then!)
If you two really love being outside but also love movies you could do an outdoor movie theater for your pictures. Likewise, if you're really into nerding out together (like my husband and me) then maybe try doing your photos at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter or Disneyland! Any theme park would be super cute for a playful couple.
Maybe you're more on the formal side or you just really want classic photos. Pick a location that means a lot to you and your love. Telling a story through your photos is what sets you apart from Pinterest -- it makes you BETTER than the Engagement board!
Always be True to Who You Are.
At the end of the day, these tips are just suggestions if you're having a hard time picking the perfect outfit for your engagement photos. Wear what you want to wear, laugh as silly as you want, and never be ashamed of who you are. Seriously, friend. You're enough.
I made this list as a way to help you compartmentalize your decision and give you some ideas. Nothing more, nothing less. Take what you want from this! I really want you to be prepared going into your next session. This is such an incredibly amazing time in your life and if you've stuck around until the end, thank you for allowing me to speak into it a little.
Good luck with your engagement photos! I can't wait to see them floating around Instagram!
Still looking for a photographer??
I would be SO HONORED to be your wedding photog! Let's set up a time to chat and talk about your big day!