You’re engaged, congratulations! After saying yes to that special someone, naturally you’ll want to share the news and show off the ring, but there can be a lot of pressure associated with getting your engagement photos just “right”.
My name is Amanda, Toronto based Costume Designer and with a lot of experience creating and styling looks for people in film and print. I’m here to share some insights to help save the stress and come away with an engagement photo you’ll want to highlight rather than hide for years to come.
Firstly, work with your location. You’ve probably picked the perfect place for your photos so keep it in mind when selecting your outfit. Whether you’re hiking in the woods, strolling through downtown or rolling around on a sandy beach, make sure you wear something appropriate for the setting. Also, embrace the colour palette of your surroundings. Are you against a red brick wall? Standing in a green forest? Pick an outfit that works with these colours and doesn’t cause you to blend into the background and you’re already ahead of the game.
Be yourself. Your engagement photos are just that ,YOUR engagement photos. Above all, choose an outfit you feel comfortable in. If you’re generally a casual dresser, dress casually and if haute couture is your thing, rock it. You never know what interesting poses your photographer might have in mind, so make sure you can move freely in whatever you choose, or have a game plan for the limitations a pencil skirt holds.
Engagement photos are a chance to be less formal (you’ll be dressed to the 9’s on the big day). For the gents a nice pair of jeans with a button down shirt and pullover sweater works nicely. Ladies, if you have a favourite dress or top, incorporate it into your look.
I suggest avoiding baggy or ill-fitting clothes, anything that’s overly revealing or overly casual, like running/tennis shoes or graphic tees. You want to look good while still feeling comfortable.
That being said, feel free to dress up! A cute cocktail dress or a suit aren’t too much and will look just as nice. (You can even channel your wedding day with a white dress!)
This may be your opportunity to try out that amazing outfit you’ve been eyeing. However, it is important to make sure you’ve worn the clothes and planned your outfit ahead of the photo shoot. Buying a new outfit can be great, but make sure you feel comfortable and not awkward in it. Nothing could be worse than showing up on the day and worrying the whole time about bunching pockets or a rogue shoulder strap. Take the guessing game out of the equation and wear your new outfit at least once, even if it’s just for dinner and drinks at home.
Play off your partner. Definitely don’t wear matching outfits (even if you want to, please don’t, you’ll thank me later), but coordinating colours can help create a feeling of cohesion. If you’re looking to add a pop of colour, ties and heels are a great place to start. They can add the element of fun and flare you’re looking for and pairing them with an otherwise neutral look ensures you won’t be over powered by your outfit.
Remember to choose a look that feels timeless and avoid anything that is too current or on trend. You’ll want to enjoy your photos for years to come.
Finally, don’t forget the little details. You’ll want the classic engagement ring shot so your hands better be camera ready! (male and female) I tend to prefer neutral tones but you can always add a pop of colour, it is a celebration after all! If you’re like me and don’t normally wear nail polish, get a manicure in a nude or neutral shade. This will keep your nails looking nice without making it feel like someone else’s engagement photos. And guys, tidy up those hands too. You’re going to be on display and while it may not be your thing to get a manicure at least trim those nails and keep them clean for the shoot. Earrings that suit but don’t distract and a simple watch or bracelet are all simple items that help the photos feel less like a catalogue ring photo shoot.
Whatever you choose to wear, remember the focus is about you choosing each other. Confidence will help you move more naturally and make your photos that much more successful and the shoot more enjoyable, so don’t loose sight of the intention and exude the confidence you felt saying yes into those pictures.
This is by no means a rule book, the most important thing is to make the session unique to you and ensuring that you enjoy it! If it starts to rain, incorporate cute umbrellas. If you break a heel, have your other half lift you up. If you forget the ring, well you better go back and get it, it’s an engagement photo after all, and I’m sure it’s going to be lovely.