Photo by Julia Park1. Choose the theme and location first. Before you can decide on the specifics of your outfit, you first need to know the overall mood that you want your photos to have. If you plan on shooting on a farm, you might want rustic, country-inspired attire. If you’re shooting at an amusement park, bright colours and playful designs might be more appropriate. “I had a couple that was really into camping,” says Park. They decided to shoot in a forest and chose themed outfits—“plaid, sweaters and Hunter rain boots.” Park suggests creating an inspiration board for the engagement session. This can include engagement photos that you like, favourite colours, prop ideas and location snaps. “This way the photographer and the couple can work together as a team to make sure the shoot will unfold the way the couple imagines,” she says. 2. Wear comfortable clothes. It’s important to be comfortable and feel confident in what you’re wearing the day of the shoot—but that doesn’t mean you should wear sweatpants. Dress up in clothing that lets you move freely and have fun. Wear something that flatters your figure without being too tight and then jazz it up with accessories to give it your own personal touch. It’s a good idea to bring two outfit options each—one casual and the other a little dressier. 3. Don’t colour-coordinate your outfits. “I never suggest doing the matchy-matchy thing. It just looks like the couple’s trying too hard,” Park says. “You want your session to look like one of your usual dates together, with the photographer who “happened” to be there.” Instead of matching, go for similar tones and colour palettes. During the outfit planning stage, lay both your ensembles near each other to see if they look good together.
Photo by Julia Park4. Follow the ‘mood’ of the photo shoot when choosing colours. For outdoor summer sessions, choose lighter hues. Pastel colours are always a great choice. If you’ll be shooting in the fall, deeper jewel tones might be a good fit. “Some women wear their wedding colours to the shoot,” Park says. “Couples often use their engagement photos for ‘Save the Date’ notices and invitations, so it makes sense to keep one theme.” 5. Skip busy prints and brand names. “You want the viewer’s eyes to be drawn to your face and to your love,” says Park. You don’t want the clothing to distract. Skip busy printed pieces and shirts with text, big brand logos and graphic T-shirts with images.
Photo by Julia Park6. Have a pro do your hair and makeup. Park often sees brides-to-be use their engagement shoot as a makeup trial for their wedding. “This will give them an opportunity to see how the makeup will look in photos and they can request changes on the day of the wedding, if necessary.” She also recommends that women (and maybe even the men!) get a manicure so the photographer can take gorgeous shots of the engagement ring and the couple holding hands.
Photo by Julia Park7. Bring props. Scarves, hats and other props to hold onto and play with can help you relax in front of the camera. Park suggests balloons and vintage props as great starting points. If you’re doing the shoot in a park, “why not go the extra mile and bring a cute blanket, a basket, some soda bottles and fruit,” she suggests. Pets are another great addition to a photo shoot.
Photo by Julia Park
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