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I'm Amanda and I am a Raleigh wedding photographer!  I serve excited and enthusiastic couples with an elegant and elevated wedding photography experience! This is where I share sneak peeks from my latest weddings, engagements, and sessions! Check out my Raleigh wedding photography blog to view my latest weddings, engagements, styled shoots, tips, venues, and more!

What to Wear for Engagement Photos

One of the biggest hurdles to planning any kind of photo session is figuring out what to wear. It feels like there is a lot of pressure to figure out what to wear for engagement photos especially! The majority of my couples are not models by trade (though they could be – am I right?). Therefore, most couples experience a professional photography session for the first time at their engagement session.

What should I wear for engagement pictures?

What to wear for engagement photos doesn’t have to keep you awake at night. I have compiled some helpful tips for what to wear for engagement photos as well as some tups for what to avoid. By the end you will fee so much more confident in what to wear at engagement photos! So if you find yourself asking – What should I wear for engagement pictures? – then let’s get started!

What to wear for engagement photos!

What to Avoid

First, I want to rule out some wardrobe choices to make your engagement outfit selection process easier. Knowing what to avoid will make figuring out what to wear at engagement photos that much easier.

#1 Avoid Brights

I am all for going bold and beautiful for your engagement photos. In fact, I encourage it! Let your style and personality shine! However, there are some colors I want couples to reconsider when planning their outfits! I recommend avoiding bright reds, oranges, and super neon hues. The reason I recommend avoiding these colors is because they can cast and reflect color to your skin. If you stand next to your partner in hot pink in bright sunlight you will have pink reflections everywhere! It is the same reason we don’t stand right next to trees or in front of rolling hills – they will cast green to your skin! Ick!

#2 Avoid Small Patterns

More often than not problems with patterns are found in men’s clothing. A lot of suits, blazers, and dress shirts have slightly textured or checkered patterns that can warp under the lens of a camera. Some lenses have a hard time getting colors right in a super fine print. If you want to go with a printed or checked dress shirt I recommend keeping them on the larger side. Generally a print/check larger than a quarter will diminish any significant issues!

#3 Avoid Distractions

I will preface this by saying if you have a fun vision or theme you are planning for your engagement session then let’s do it! The general rule of thumb is to avoid these things. Accessories like sunglasses, hats, and sneakers can be distractions. You want what you wear to engagement photos to showcase YOU. I would also recommend against graphic tees and bold logos. It is hard to imagine an album, print, or canvas blown up to feature a t-shirt with a crazy graphic on it!

Tips for what to wear for Engagement Photos

#1 Complement Each Other

You and your partner can coordinate a color palette without completely matching one another. With complementing I recommend alternating dark colors with light colors. If one of you wears dark pants then the other can alternate with something lighter. This will look really balanced and beautiful in your final images!

#2 Dress for the Style in your Vision

If you are imagining a specific style and vibe for your engagement photos you can dress accordingly. This means if you love light and romantic you should choose a light and neutral color palette. If you’re bold and bright you can shake it up with bold and bright outfit selections. Dressing dark, moody, or in black can still yield light and airy images if that is the style photographer you choose! If you are envisioning a classy black and white theme that can still photograph light and airy – in fact it would be beautiful! (I would love to book someone with this vision – reach out today if you think this style is for you!)

#3 Plan an Outfit Change

I always schedule enough time in an engagement session to do an outfit change. My recommendation for couples it to bring a casual and a dressy outfit. I love how a gallery comes together with fun and romantic elements. Having two styles for your engagement photos gives you more photo variety and more opportunities to showcase different sides of your personalities!

Style Your Session | Style Recipes

Style recipes are a great guideline for helping to style your session! You can pick and choose various elements and create your own unique recipe for what to wear for engagement photos! They are merely a guideline and incorporating some or all elements will help you achieve the look you are ultimately going for!

Romantic Style Recipe | What to Wear for Engagement Photos

I am a light and airy photographer. My style showcases and highlights images that are bright, vibrant, and true to color. If you want images that align well with my style and match the light and airy vibe then the Romantic Style Recipe if they style for you. This style is soft and intimate with natural colors and flowy fabrics. The recipe usually goes something like this:

Neutral Colors

Blushes, tans, light pinks, faint blues, and light minty teals, creams, grays, and whites will photograph soft and light. I love the dusty labeled colors as well for this recipe. Dusty blue and dusty rose are so gorgeous for this style and offer just a little bit more color saturation if you’re into that! All of these colors photograph softer and lend themselves to that dreamy romantic style you’re after.

Flowy Fabrics

Dresses, skirts, and blouses with ruffles, layers, and lightweight fabrics have amazing movement! Seriously the right fabric can create magic! The fabric of a dress or skirt will blow and move in the wind or as you walk and elevate the romantic style of the image. You will be amazed at how impactful moving fabric can be to soften an image!

Khakis vs. Jeans

I thin kyou can get away with certain colored jeans depending on what your partner is wearing. Generally, I think that something one step toward formal like khakis or light colored dress pants will polish up a final vibe. Lighter pants instead of darker dress pants are always going to photograph brighter and give your style a clean, romantic feel.

Bold and Bright Style Recipe | What to Wear for Engagement Photos

You can love a light and airy style photography (hi, me) and still show off your bright and bold style. If you are into vibrance with bold, colorful looks (uh – yes, PLEASE) then consider some of these ingredients for your engagement session style:

Only One Wears a Pattern & Color

If one of you is going to opt for a bold and fun pattern OR color then the other should stick to something neutral. The more bold the pattern then the more important this tip is! To do bold and bright just right it is important to limit over-saturation so you and are partner are not distracting from what is most important – YOU! And remember – with patterns you should opt for ones that are larger than a quarter so there wis no wonky image distortion!

Bold Backgrounds & Locations

If I know you are going bold I love to look for bold and fun locations! It is so fun to explore places with murals and bold solid colored walls! Bonus if the location coordinates with your bold outfit choices!

Bonus Tips & Things to Remember | What to Wear for Engagement Photos

Other than what to wear for engagement photos I also have some helpful tips and tricks to make the most out of your engagement session!

  • Empty pockets and clear wrists! You don’t want to see your phone or wallet sticking out of your pocket. While your Apple Watch is super nice, it may not gel with the style of your images so remember to take it off!
  • Watch your timing! If you are planning on multiple outfits or locations for your engagement session be sure to watch the sun and your time! You have to budget in plan to change and travel before you lose light or the session ends!
  • Clean your ring! Seriously one of the most underrated tips is to clean your engagement ring! This is your engagement session so I am going to take a picture of your engagement ring! Let it shine!
  • Check for fees and permits. Most photographers leave the logistics of photography fees and permit fees to their clients. If there is a park you have your heart set on and there is an entrance fee be sure to check that ahead of time!
  • Bring extra shoes! Your shoes are obviously amazing but are they comfortable? Can you walk from one end of the park to the other without wanting to take them off? Throw those flip flops or sneakers in your bag just in case your engagement session turns into an adventure! And if you’re hiking to your spot then this is going to be a critical tip to remember!

Location Scouting

Looking for amazing locations for engagement sessions in the Raleigh area? Be sure to check out my blog post for Engagement Session Locations in Raleigh NC! In the meantime – here is a short list of some of my favorites!

Your Engagement Session

Remember, your engagement session is all about YOU. It is your opportunity to get in front of the camera – sometimes for the first time! Have FUN with planning your outfits and locations. Have FUN during the session with your partner. Choose a photographer whose style you LOVE and whose personality makes your FEEL comfortable and relaxed. If you’re looking for someone who helps take the weird out then book a free engagement photography consultation with Amanda Graves Photography to get started!

July 7, 2022

  1. […] Looking to plan your Zebulon Engagement Session? Reach out today and we can make it happen! If you are loving their look (which is gorgeous, by the way) be sure to check out my post on What to Wear for Your Engagement Photos! […]

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