What to Wear for Engagement Session?!

Gooooood morning!  Happy Sunday to you all…OK many, many people have been asking lately about what they should wear for their engagement photos so with the help of our facebook followers who requested a blog post on this, here we go.

Disclaimer #1 – I myself am no Joan Rivers when it comes to “fashion” but, I can at least attest to what I think looks good from a photographer’s perspective.
Disclaimer #2 – This is a topic that can have differing opinions from different people themselves and even what other photographer’s may recommend to their clients, so with that said, this post reflects solely my own opinions 🙂

Tip #1 – Jeans always look good.  I always tell my clients this when they have no idea what to where.  I feel they look great in color, vintage edits and B&W or Sepia as well.  They give texture and contrast to the photo.  Also – since most of us where jeans quite often anyway, this automatically makes us feel natural and confident wearing.

Tip #2 – Do NOT try and match outfits.  Some people think matchy, matchy looks nice, but its a recipe for all subjects to merge into each other in the photo or even worse someone wears a different shade of red or blue or even black.

Tip #3 – Black is a color that looks great on everyone.  Unless photographing a night session, having 1 person wearing black provides good contrast for photos – also looks great in a variety of edits and is a “slimming” color.

Tip #4 – Even though we don’t want both people to be wearing identical outfits, the outfits should “work” and complement each other.  No “clashing” outfits or colors.

Tip #5 – Don’t be afraid of wearing a “print” just be aware of it.  If one person was wearing vertical stripes and the other had horizontal that likely wouldn’t work too well, but, if one is wearing a solid dark color and the other is rockin’ a plaid button-up or a dress with a nice print on it, then go for it!

Tip #6 – Match your outfit with the location – don’t wear your high heels for photos at the beach and conversely if you are going for a urban downtown chic session than don’t be crusin’ with your rainbow sandals on.

Tip # 7 – Don’t over think “what to wear” – be yourself.  Find clothes that you feel comfortable in and most important clothes that are “YOU”.   At the end of the day there are ZERO rules, just helpful guidelines.  These photos are for YOU and put yourself into clothes that you are going to feel confident and natural in.

Tip #8 – No neon/bright colors! I’ve never had this problem since its no longer the 80s but figured I better add it to the list, just in case…

Bonus Tip #9 – Don’t wear your sunglasses when driving down to the photo session, you want your eyes to get acclimated and adjusted to the natural light of the day to prevent a whole shoot of squinting.  We always do our very best to work in even shade and get away from the sun but locations like the beach sometimes there is no where to hide.

For all the visual learners out there lets take a look at some examples:

Leah’s boots worked well with the outdoorsy portion of the session, as did Lance’s plaid.  I don’t find the plaid being distracting since Leah has a solid color on and of course the jeans work well with this vintage edit and also full color and B&W.  The blue and black combo worked well too, for the beach, her necklace adds some dimension to the outfit.

These next shots I wanted to demonstrate how great black and jeans (and boots) can look… Desiree’s (and Brian’s in the bottom shot) neutral color is nice and complements the other darker color well

Great color combo here…

I wanted to use this photo primarily to show how a print can work and add color to a shot.  Of course if Wes had on something other than a dark single color it wouldn’t have worked as well.

Jeans ALWAYS look good, Jill and Richard got this shot in both the vintage and B&W and I love them both equally 🙂

Another example of pairing a plaid or print with a single color…

Hey how about a few shots of yours truly and my beautiful wife back when WE were in the hot seat…lets see if we practice what I preach!
Photos by: Ann Sumi Photography

For me I simply did 1/2 of the shoot with a black mini pinstripe dress shirt and then went with a black T-shirt since I didn’t want the whole shoot to be so “dressy”.  What can I say I am a T-Shirt and shorts/jeans kind of guy 😉

Anyways – I hope that this answers some questions that you may have an have found this informative….now, I got to go and get ready for an engagement shoot!




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