ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS : WHAT TO WEAR
I think 9 out of every 10 couples asks me what they should wear for their engagement photos. What you choose for location will have a big impact on the answer to that question, as well as the time of year (ie: at home near Christmas might look pretty different from outside in May). Overall, I want your personalities to be the driver behind choices like this, but here are some general pointers while you're staring into your closet.
It all depends on you.
Unlike you're wedding, where you're more-or-less expected to be some kind of white dress or gown, your engagement photos are all about you - anything goes. You can take it in a few different styles - you can wear something super comfortable, maybe a favorite outfit from your closet, where you know you're going to feel like yourselves. Maybe it's a cozy sweater and leggings for an at-home shoot where you want to feel and look intimate and relaxed with one another.
If you're standing on top of a mountain, however, you might take a different approach. Use what you've got around you : wind and scenery. Maybe you're wearing a hiking outfit with cool colors and an outdoorsy feel because thats who you are, and you want outdoorsy photos to capture your active, adventurous spirit. Or maybe you're all about the drama and you find a long, flowy dress that'll be stunning on top of a mountain and you'll end up with photos unlike anything you've ever had before.
One more option - get fancy! Most people don't get dolled-up and fancy together unless it's for someone else (a ball in someone's honor, another wedding, etc). Why not get dressed-up together for your engagement photos? Maybe you're dressed to the nines walking around downtown or in a big open field at sunset - either way, your photographer can help you find a location that'll take advantage of your outfit. Involve them in what you're thinking and see what they can come up with.
KEEP THINGS NEUTRAL.
No matter the setting, I’ve found a general rule of thumb is that neutrals tend to be some of the more flattering and universal options on almost everyone. This includes everything from maroons, burnt oranges, darker greens, browns, mustard yellows, grays, denim, whites, and even black - all photograph beautifully! Combinations of lighter and darker colors (where one person is wearing a darker color and the other in something lighter) feel balanced and still avoid feeling boring. The same thing goes for patterns - I love a good floral as much as the next girl, but patterns are best when only one of you rocks them.
GUYS VS GIRLS
Coordinating outfits is always tricky. One thing I recommend to almost everyone is to coordinate the tone of the outfit, not the colors. If you're in a ballgown, maybe he should be in a tux. If you're in hiking boots, maybe he shouldn't be in a tux. Try to start with the vibe you're going for and match those instead of the same three colors.
As for the girls, playing with accessories is a great direction to take. You can totally change the feel of an outfit with a bold scarf, big jewelry or funky boots. If you're outside and going for a cool bohemian feel, find accessories that play that up - cool hats, a retro vest, or a flower crown? Leaving your hair down leaves the opportunity to play with it in photos and create movement with those flowy dresses in the wind. If you're getting dolled-up downtown, maybe you bring out your fanciest jewelry and hire a make-up artist for a dramatic look. I tend to advise people either stick to neutrals or go fairly saturated and bold with colors. There are exceptions to every rule, but I do a lot with contrast and therefore recommend lighter colors for mountain views and darker backdrops, and darker / more saturated colors for lighter backdrops like the coast or a snowy field.
The guys are typically a little bit simpler - something casual but not sloppy is a good rule of thumb for almost everyone. In most instances, he's complimenting or coordinating with your outfit, so something a little more neutral and understated helps to go a long way. I'm all for some cool accessories (suspenders??), just remember you're both in the photos so you want some balance.
As a rule of thumb for guys and girls, wear or bring nice looking shoes - we will definitely see your feet and this is typically the first thing people forget to plan for. Cool boots for guys are always good, and girls - if we're walking around outside on a mountain, either skips the heels or bring them with you. Bring layers and accessories that you can add or remove for variety, or bring a second outfit all-together if you'd like - we'll be together for a while, so if you can't decide between two options, bring both.
As with everything, I'm happy to help weigh-in if you're considering a few different looks - text me from the dressing room or send me links! I'd love to help you create the look in your mind.