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What to Wear for Your Engagement Session? 12 Tips from Wedding Photographers

san-francisco-engagement-sessionWhen I saw Miki and Chae’s engagement session, one of the first things I noticed was how great they looked together. Not only because they’re clearly smitten but their style was impeccable and complementary with each other’s. But not everyone is fluent in fashion, especially when it’s being captured on camera, so I asked some of the most talented photographers I know to share the secrets of what looks good from behind the lens.

“Slimmer cut outfits work best and are the most flattering—for both guys and girls.” — Jacob Whyman, Whyman Studios

“Whatever you do, avoid matchy-matchy! All white… all black… both of you in red plaid… no need to be too safe or too gimmicky! Don’t be afraid to mix it up. Then wear your selected outfits BEFORE the day of our shoot so you can be certain you’re comfortable in your clothes.” — Anne Almasy, Anne Almasy Photographer

“I always encourage couples to coordinate with each other and dress in complimenting styles. Try to avoid strong contrasting colors and even black, as it often looks heavy when next to soft skin tones.” — Kate Neal, Kate Neal Photo

Black is the worst. It just fades into the background. Lighter colors work great in warm weather. I typically encourage my clients to bring a few outfits.” — Jacob Whyman, Whyman Studios

“I advise to stay away from wild, crazy patterns!” — Mikkel Paige, Mikkel Paige Photography

“The biggest thing I tell my clients is to have fun. If you are dressed sharp, at a location you think is cool, and are having fun, you are golden! The poses and set-ups will just fall into place if everyone is having a good time.” — Mike Sperlak, Mike Sperlak Photography

“You’ll only get engaged once, so don’t just dig through your closet; style yourself! Visit websites you love—J.Crew? FreePeople? TopShop?—or pick up magazines whose esthetic matches yours—Garden & Gun? Kinfolk?. Use those visuals as inspiration, or shop directly from these resources, buying pieces especially for our shoot. We’ll be working together to make images that tell your story and represent this journey on which you’ve embarked. Let your clothes be part of that expression.”– Anne Almasy, Anne Almasy Photographer

“The key to beautiful and natural-looking photos is effortlessness. It is important you wear something that reflects your own style and personality. If you feel comfortable and relaxed, you will look comfortable and relaxed.”– Kate Neal, Kate Neal Photo

“Textures are wonderful! Choose pieces that cling only in places you’re comfortable with your shape. Select clothes that lend structure and emphasis to your favorite features. Layers photograph superbly, whether you’re layering clothes or jewelry.” — Anne Almasy, Anne Almasy Photographer

“Have fun while still looking dapper—tucked in shirts and no sneakers! High heels are great but I recommend bringing along a pair of ballet flats for walking in between locations.” — Kate Neal, Kate Neal Photo

“Go to your favorite stylist and get your hair styled the day of our shoot. Not cut, just blown out or straightened. Unless you’re practically a pro with your hair, you’ll probably appreciate the finishing touches only a stylist will apply.” — Anne Almasy, Anne Almasy Photographer

“If you’re not a makeup kind of gal, no worries: the only thing that really matters is to put at least a light layer of lip color on. Match your natural lip tone or go a shade darker if you don’t want anything that stands out too much. Even the must subtle lip color will really help your smile to stand out in photographs. Trust me! And no, Chapstick doesn’t count! Aside from that, don’t feel the need to put on more makeup than usual. I’m shooting with natural light, so the way you look in your mirror when you stand by the window is the way you’ll look on camera.” — Anne Almasy, Anne Almasy Photographer