11/9/09 EDIT- Love this article? Check out the updated version over at http://www.mariannewilsonblog.com
One question that I get asked more often than not is "What should I/we wear for our photography session?"
I have decided to write a few hints and tips that you might want to take into consideration before deciding on an outfit (or outfits).
Things to Keep in Mind
- Your body type. We all hate those glamour magazines that tell us all of the ways that we are making ourselves look horrible in the clothes we love. But, for certain occasions, it is worth doing a little research. For women and men both, there is no shortage of information about general body shapes and clothes that will be the most flattering for those body shapes. Put in the effort, and dress accordingly. (Example: almost no one looks good in a tube top. Also be aware of sleeveless outfits.)
- Coordinate colors. A great example is shown here with Amanda's beautiful blue dress and Phil's sweet vest to match. They look great together without looking too "matchy". One thing to remember is they don't have to be the exact same color. The same color family would work well too (example: bold purple and light purple).
- Coordinate styles. Guys make sure you match the overall "feel" of your girl's outfit. If she's wearing a dress, make yourself look a little nicer. If she's rockin' some jeans and fashion boots then funk yourself up a little with a snazzy tie.
- Wear solids or simple patterns. Don't over do it with the patterns. Solid dark colors are the most flattering.
- A cute cocktail dress is always a good way to go.
- Stick to more fitted clothing. Anything hanging off your body (baggy) will make you look bigger than you are and look messy.
- The layered look is always a winner for downtown settings. For example:
Guys: Nice dark jeans, hip shoes, collared shirt and a loose tie. A jacket to finish it off.
Girls: Nice jeans, paired with a dressy top, splashes of color or patterns, funky jewelry and high heels. (or cute dress).
- Spice up your outfit with a cute pair of heels or a funky necklace (or cute purse!).
(note: if you're going to be wearing high heels, also bring some more comfortable flip-flops or slip-ons with you for walking).
- Talk with your photographer (preferably me =o)) about the locations you will be shooting at so she can give specific recommendations.
- Variety is the spice of life! It is always best to bring a few different outfits so that you can change for your specific location.
- Most importantly: Be comfortable! You will have a much better time which will make for better photos.
Things Not to Wear
- Bright white shirts.
- Heavily patterned clothes.
- Horizontal stripes (or any thick stripes).
- Tops with big logos or a lot of writing on them - keep it clean and classy.
- Shirts with short hemlines and mid-drifts.
- Too many bright colors. A little pop of color is ok, but don't overdo it.
- Short skirts.
- Exact matching outfits. Look coordinated, not matching. White shirts and jeans don't have much personality.
Another fun way to make your session unique and fun is to bring props. For example, some fun props are:
- A "Thank You" or "Save the Date" sign on a posterboard for personalized thank you and save the date cards. Remember: it's always great to get your engagement photos out there for everyone to see!
- Instruments you play
- Your favorite cool couch (Yeah, I'll tote around a couch for some awesome sessions)
- Anything else that makes your relationship unique or that is special to you.
"Let Me Explain. No, There Is Too Much. Let Me Sum-Up..."
Finally, the most important thing to remember about preparing for an engagement session is that we are trying to photograph you, so be yourself! Dress nice, but don't get so "dressed up" that you are uncomfortable. Interact with each other the way you normally would. Goof off, make faces, cuddle, laugh, play. In short, have fun!