Engagement sessions, anniversary photos, or just your good ol’ couple’s adventure session. No matter what you are preparing for everyone always asks the same question “what do I wear?” Don’t you worry. I am here for you, and I am going to share with you my top tips and tricks to help you pick out the PERFECT outfit for your upcoming couples session.
FORMAL VS. MORE CASUAL/informal outfits
To start, you need to decide an overall vibe for your session. Some couples want to go formal, others more casual, and others very specific to a look they’re trying to create.
PERKS OF FORMAL OUTFITS:
- often more timeless as formal styles stay trending longer
- most likely to be printed and framed by yourselves or family members
- makes your session feel more “special”
A lot of couples choose formal outfits for sessions like engagement sessions, maternity shoots, or when they’re feeling the need to dress up. Formal outfits bring a unique touch to outdoor sessions, particularly in rugged areas like a field or forest. Your photos will have a special contrast to them that will naturally make others ooo and ah!!
WHAT DO WE MEAN BY FORMAL?
A formal outfit for your couples session may involve a free-flowing dress, dressier pants & a unique shirt, or something you’d wear to out on a weekend. I love couples session with formal looks as it really contributes to how unique photo couples are!
PERKS OF INFORMAL OUTFITS:
- allows more movement during your session
- you can focus on having fun during your session instead of keeping your outfit clean
- often more comfortable
If you are unsure I always recommend couples do an informal outfit, so we can get those dreamy, in love, 100% connected photos. Informal outfits give you more confidence as it is something you would more frequently wear (generally) and will translate into wayyyyy better photos! If you do a formal look, you can also bring along something more casual.
These also tend to fit better into the natural landscape. You will look well-placed and make the photos seem “comfy and cosy” no matter the season.
1. Stick to neutral & earthy colours
- I always recommend avoiding wearing bright colours, big logos or patterns. You don’t want your outfit to be the main focus in your photos. Wearing more neutral earthy colours will help keep the focus on the connection, look great with the location and is timeless. Earthy tones and colours like rust and olive are a dream to photograph and complement the backdrop/environment beautifully. This also keeps the sunlight from reflecting the unusual colours back onto your skin, causing a discoloration.
- Do consider your environment when picking colours, e.g. don't wear green if your location is a lush forest, as you will blend with the location instead of popping off the natural surroundings.
- Coordinate, don’t match. Rather than wearing the exact same colours, wear colours that compliment each other.
2. Dress Comfortably
Wear something that you feel comfortable in and that you can move around in with no issues. You might be running through a field or having a little dance and the last thing you want is to be worried about is fussing over the fit of something you haven't worn before, feeling your dress flying up, or if your bra strap is showing. Make sure they clothes fit properly, are ironed, and you consider underwear for low cut/tight-fitting clothing. If you are choosing from your own closet, you already know what is comfortable, flattering, and it's more sustainable.
3. Match your location, the weather & add layers
If you are in the snowy mountains, a light jacket would probably fit, and you could always add a beanie/hat. If you are on the beach by the ocean, you’d probably feel more comfortable in a swimsuit. If you are in your own home, sweatpants and a t-shirt (or no shirt) would be just fine. If it’s the middle of fall, wear colours that will compliment the fall colours. Try to think of what your location is like and what the weather will be, and then dress accordingly. Lastly, think layers. If you want to spice up an outfit or even make it look like you have more than one or two outfits, bring along jackets or your favourite cardigans, and we can throw it on for some photos! It’ll give you even more images to choose from and can bring a lot of interesting texture to your photos.
Bring any props that make you guys you. Tossing back a couple before the shoot can help you relax but why not bring along some champagne to pop (and spray everywhere for some fun shots) or something from an activity you do together, like rollerblades or a basketball.
Other prop ideas:
- Cozy blankets – these will keep you warm and make for some sweet moments
- Accessories that you want images of (like your engagement ring, etc.)
- Anything you want incorporated in a photo (signs, vows, letters, etc.)
- Warm drinks if its cold
- Champagne or beers if you’re celebrating!
- Letters that you’ve written to each other
- Twinkly lights
- Items from a hobby like rollerblades or paddle boards
- Your favourite foods: pizza, donuts, whatever you like!
- Pets (check with us and we’ll let you know if your location has any rules you’ll need to
- Got a cool motorcycle or truck? bring it!
- You like to paint together? Bring your stuff!
While you can’t bring all of these things to your couples photo shoot, hopefully this will spark some interest and get your brain going on how to make your session fully prepared AND mega fun and meaningful!!
Again, let’s chat to get a game plan perfect for your couples photo shoot so we can make it unique!
5. Be yourself
This is THE most important tip I can give you. These photos are about YOU and sharing YOUR story which is why it is so essential you dress like yourself. This is not the time to experiment with new styles. You know what you look good in and feel confident in, so wear that! Be 100% YOU, and ROCK that with confidence!!
Here are some links if you would like to rent or borrow something - there are also some kids stuff on the Mama rentals site!
- Mama Rentals - Bonus this is both sustainable and I can get you a cheeky 15% discount. (use the code TiffanyAlexandria)
- Have a look at my client closet - I am thrilled to offer a selection of hand-picked dresses for portrait clients, available for your photo session at no additional cost.
Makeup & Hair
I also recommend using engagement sessions as a wedding makeup trial to see how it lasts and looks like in photos.
Can’t get your makeup trial the same day? I can recommend Makeup artists I usually work with, or you could book in at Mecca if you use their products – they do your makeup, and you just have to purchase a certain dollar value of products instead of payment.
- Make sure you are wearing clothes you feel confident and comfortable in.
- Go for loose, flowy, natural fabrics like linen, cottons etc that will move with you.
- Neutral, earthy colours such as beige, grey, white, black, denim, rust, mustard, blush, blues all look beautiful in the locations I generally shoot at.
- Avoid large prints, patterns and any large graphics or logos.
- Avoid being overly matchy-matchy, ideally everyone should have some variations in their colours. Remember opposites attract!
- Make sure you consider your shoes! Classic shoes or barefoot is best! Remember to choose footwear that works with the location we are working in.
- Make sure your clothes are ironed/steamed, take anything out of pockets, and it usually looks best not to have any watches on wrists.