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How to STUN in Your Engagement Photos

This is not just a “felt cute might delete later” moment, this is an investment! Your engagement photos will capture a time you can never go back to, and you want to be looking your absolute finest! We’ve put together some quick tips from the photographers themselves to help you see what is really going to make you sparkle in these photos! There are at LEAST seven things to consider when choosing your ensemble!

When doing a half hour engagement shoot, we tell couples to bring a single outfit. If the shoot is longer than a half an hour, bring two outfits! One formal outfit and one casual. Here are our 7 Pro-tips for looking good in whatever outfit you choose!

Dress For The Occassion!

  • hawksbill engagement
  • max patch engagement

The location of your engagement photo shoot is the first thing you need to consider! It’s more than just the backdrop for your photos; it’s your whole vibe! Your location frames you in multiple ways, so think about what your vibe-goal is for your photos. Are you going for a ritzy, uptown rooftop vibe? A cozy mountain or warm beachy vibe? Once you’ve got that down, think about what that will mean for you logistically– hiking? Lots of stairs? Possibly getting wet or staying cold all day?

Whatever the aesthetic you choose, there will be some practical and logistical implications you need to consider before choosing your outfit. Just do what feels most like you as a couple and then plan your outfits accordingly.

Solid Colors are Timeless & Patterns Are Time-Stamped!

You absolutely want to avoid any “What was I thinking?!” moments later on, but maybe you have a new red dress with a blue floral print that you just adore for all of its trendy glory. 

There’s one question you have to ask yourself before taking your engagement photos: do I want timeless or time capsule?

Patterns are one thing we can look at and know their decade of origin almost instantly! If you don’t mind your photos being timestamped by your 2020’s style, go for it! If you want timeless, keep it simple. There are so many other things to play with like cut and fit!

If you LOVE pattern but still want to aim for the timeless look, pick one piece to be an accent! Use your man’s bowtie, tie a scarf in your hair, maybe have a printed jacket you don’t wear for every photo!

If you opt for a time-encapsulated, full-outfit pattern, make it minimal! There are so many ways to play with this without looking like your grandmother’s living room furniture set! Here’s some examples of couples who killed it in the pattern game!

  • nc mountains sunset mountaintop photo

One final thought, you will have endless photos from your wedding day of you wearing white, so don’t worry about looking too ‘bridal’ in your engagement photos, just look like you! 

Think About the Undertones of Your Skin: Are You Warm, Cool, or Neutral?

You’ve probably heard all about warm and cool skin tones, but if you haven’t, do a quick google search to figure out what you are! If you’re cool, you’ll probably look really great in emerald greens, royal blues, and cool violets.

If your skin is a warmer tone, you’ll probably look best in burnt umber and yellow ochre. Reds, browns, oranges and olive greens are your friends.

If you are neutral, you can probably pull off almost any color! You should still consider things like your eye and hair color and what will accent them nicely. 

You Can Never Go Wrong with The Little Black Dress!

Girl, go get out your LBD! Everyone knows about the little black dress, and there is hardly another piece of clothing that says “Timeless Luxury” like it. Black creates contrast with every color, so your eyes will pop and your skin will glow!!

Do A Test Run With Your Outfit!

It’s simple: if you’re not comfortable, it’s going to show in the engagement photos, so do a test run! Wear your outfit around the house for a few hours! Make sure you can move in it!!! Who knows what kind of poses you’ll be doing! You’re not going to have your portrait painted – this is an active photographic session!

So PLEASE make sure it fits you right! Your ensemble was designed to fit you in a certain way, so don’t make the mistake of assuming it fits you perfectly because it did in the dressing room. We did just go through quarantine! lol

If you’re not one of the Olsen twins (c. 2005), don’t go swimming in baggy clothing. On the flip side, just because there’s stretchy material out there doesn’t mean you need to find a dress that will squeeze you from every angle! 

With quality clothing, you should always remember that it was DESIGNED to fit you in a certain way, and if it’s not flattering you, it’s probably not fitting you right. 

If something doesn’t fit you right, you’ll either have all kinds of unpleasant lines and shadows OR you’ll disappear altogether! This is not the time to experiment, your engagement photos should capture what looks the absolute BEST on you! 

For our grooms, we have two words: SLIM FIT. Think slim fit suits, jeans, vests, everything! We promise you, it will look amazing! You may feel like you need that 3XL shirt but, honey, you don’t! Get some quality slim fit clothes and you will look and feel like the absolute stud you are!

Wearing your outfit before your engagement photo session will also ensure that you know how it does when you sweat. Does it change colors? This is a HUGE reason to stay away from gray, but depending on the material, some other colors will darken when they get wet as well, so think through it before you commit! Finally, make sure your outfit doesn’t wrinkle super easily, it may end up looking a little careless in the photos.

Don’t Go Crazy With Your Hair & Make Up!

I know you’ve heard all about exaggerating your make up for the camera, but as makeup gets better and better, so do our cameras!! Try using a high quality concealer instead of a thick foundation. You don’t want every closeup to end up looking like the Best British Baking Show! Don’t cake on the makeup! 

If you’re going to add anywhere, layer in a little extra eyeshadow to make your eyes pop! False lashes are okay too, but don’t get clumpy with the mascara, because you will see it in the photos! If you go for a fun lip color, make sure you bring it with you as well as a pocket-mirror so you can touch up as you go! But again, try this stuff out beforehand, don’t guess! You will feel confident when you KNOW it looks good on you and you’re not just hoping!

You know your hair best, but there’s one little thing we’ve got to say: make sure it’s going to last! If your hair tends to go flat an hour after being styled, consider using a little dry shampoo to add longer lasting volume! If your hair tends to get frizzy, bring some sunflower oil to tame it and add shine! Don’t just assume that your hair is going to look the same as it did when you walked out the door this morning! Bring extra hairspray, bobby pins, etc. and be prepared for the worst, but don’t try to make it perfect! Some of the best pictures are of wind-blown hair or in the middle of a waterfall!

Wear What Feels the Most Like You!

You feel your best as your most authentic self! If your thing is your favorite pair of jeans and a white t-shirt, go for it! Do you adore your bright red pumps? Wear them! Whatever feels the truest to you as a person is what you want to capture in these engagement photos. This is also why we’re advocating for the simple and timeless wardrobe, because you can let go of just what’s trendy now and think about what’s YOU.

The bottom line is that confidence echoes in your engagement photos for years to come and you will make the best artwork if you are happy with what you look like!

Take a look at some of our best dressed couples

Lydia & Emil

Deanna & Solomon

Lisa & Huy

Madi & Dayan

Krisa & Nick

Devin & Alex

Michele & Jeff

Saralynn & Chris

Paulina & Scott

Lydia & Nick

Hannah & Drew

Charmeen & Brian

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