July 1, 2020

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Emily Pottiger

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Engagement Sessions

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Engagement Session Outfit Ideas

*This content can be found in your ‘Wedding Guide’*

Selecting Outfits

& Styling Your Shoot

Believe it or not, you have so much control over the outcome of your shoot and what it looks and feels like! What do you choose to wear is a big decision that often causes a ton of stress for many couples before hand. However, my hope is that with a little education, you will be able to determine the style and feel you desire for your shoot and then that will make your outfit selection so much easier and less complicated! Let’s start by de-bunking some very common outfit myths that a lot of people believe about what they should wear to their session!

OUTFIT MYTHS

  1. MYTH ONE: Avoid neutrals; they wash you out! Whoever started this myth couldn’t have been further from the truth. Sure, there are some colors that don’t work for some people, but I spent a large majority of my life believing that I could never wear neutrals and I was missing out! The truth is, neutrals are the most photogenic color for portraits.
  2. MYTH TWO: Always wear black or you won’t look thin! Sure, black is slimming, but it’s always very heavy in portraits. There’s nothing wrong with black, but if you’re only wearing it to look thinner, and deep down you’re hoping for light and airy portraits, it may not be the best choice.
  3. MYTH THREE: You two need to match! Please, for the love of all things beautiful, don’t try to match your significant other! Instead, try to coordinate. Coordinating is a completely different concept from “matching.” Coordination means you are usually choosing different colors look good together, but are not close to being the same. I have some more tips about this concept in the following pages.
  4. MYTH FOUR: Your location determines the style more than your outfit. False! Your outfit has way more impact than your location. Your location is just a setting in the background, but you two will still be the main focus of the images. 
  5. MYTH FIVE: You have to buy something new! False! If you know you look awesome in an outfit that you already have and it fits the style you want for your engagement session, that would be a great choice!

What style do you prefer? 

BOLD or NEUTRAL 

DRESSY or CASUAL 

CLASSIC or TRENDY

These choices represent three main decisions you will have to make in regards to your outfit choices. There are no right or wrong answers! Maybe you want one outfit to be dressy and the other to be casual. Maybe you want one outfit to be very light and neutral, but you want to wear more color in the next outfit. These categories will hopefully help you determine what you’re hoping for in your engagement session. If you’re feeling stuck and can’t seem to determine what you prefer, that’s very normal!

There are some general “rules of thumb” when it comes to styling during an engagement session. Once you read through these, you may have a better understanding of what you prefer and you can start planning your outfits. These “rules of thumbs” are based on my experience and are not concrete rules that can’t be broken. However, if you have questions about one of them in regards to what you want to wear, just email me and we can talk about what would be best.

Things to Avoid;

  1. Colors to avoid: bright reds, neons, bright oranges (they reflect color onto skin and can be difficult to edit!)
  2. Avoid patterns smaller than a quarter: Tiny patterns cause something called a chromatic aberration in digital images. Men’s checkered shirts are fine if the checks are on the larger side.
  3. Alternate heaviness: If one of you is wearing very dark jeans, the other may want to wear lighter pants. If one of you is wearing a navy top, the other shouldn’t wear a dark/heavy colored top. To a certain degree, alternating the “heaviness” of your outfits can make your images look more balanced. 
  4. Avoid one of you being casual while the other is dressy: This can look a bit awkward in photos. If one of you is dressed up and the other is casual, it can look a little odd and not fully balanced.
  5. Other things to avoid: Tennis shoes, graphic tees, bold logos on shirts, sunglasses & baseball hats.

Romantic Style

If you’re hoping for a more romantic style of shoot that includes “light” and “airy” colors, you can actually make outfit choices that will lend your images to turn out brighter, softer, and extra photogenic! Here are some ingredients that go into creating a romantic-styled shoot. It’s important to know that you do not need to choose all of these ingredients in order to have a light and airy style to your images, but the more ingredients you include, the more romantic it will be:

  • Neutral Colors: Blushes, tans, light pinks, faint blues and light minty teals, creams, grays, and whites will always result in more of a light and airy look in your images. These colors photograph softer and more romantically! 
  • Long Flowy Skirt/Dresses:  Dresses and skirts with feminine ruffles, multiple layers of fabric and the ability to blow and move in the wind will always photograph beautifully! You would be amazed at how impactful moving fabric softens an image. 
  • Khakis vs. Jeans: If you really want your images to be as bright as possible, consider having your partner wear lighter pants instead of dark dress pants or dark jeans.

Bright & Bold

Just like the “romantic” recipe, you don’t have to apply all of these “ingredients” to get a perfectly bright and bold look to your engagement session. These ingredients include:

  • Only one wears a pattern: If one of you has a bold pattern, it’s very important that the other doesn’t. The more bold the pattern the more important this rule is!
  • Bold backgrounds: A lot of time, if my couples are going for a bold and bright look, I will notice solid colored backgrounds to use for part of their engagement session! It’s a double win if the background coordinates with their outfits!
  • Only one bold color: If you really want a bold and bright look but you want to do it well and tastefully, I would suggest that only one of you have a bright and bold colored outfit and the other stay in a solid neutral to avoid over-doing it!
  • Large patterns are preferred: If you really want to wear a pattern, my only request is that your pattern is on the larger side. Patterns that are smaller than a quarter can be difficult to photograph. This isn’t true of all patterns, but it’s a good general rule to go by!

You can also check out our Pinterest page for more outfit inspo!

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