My goal for my sessions has always been to make the process from first reaching out to me about photos all the way to hanging them up on your wall or displaying them in an album, very simple.
I also want to make sure you have photos that you LOVE. Your heart should flutter when you look at them! You should think “Wow, we look amazing!” We all have that one ‘pintresty’ friend, who makes everything look effortless and it turns out perfect. Somehow her photos are always sweet and dreamy. They look like they have the perfect relationship and everything in the photo just beautifully complements them.
But over the years, I have learned that this effortless look takes a little thought and planning. There are ways to style your outfits, to make sure you end up with those soft and romantic photos. I also know there are so many outfit myths that keep you from having those dreamy photos.
Hopefully, by reading this blog you will know what looks beautiful on camera and what to avoid when choosing your outfits. Just by having a little education on how to style your photos, you can avoid the stress of not knowing what to wear to your session. And you really can have those ‘effortless’, dreamy photos too.
Let’s start by de-bunking some very common outfit myths that a lot of people believe about what they should wear to their session!
1. MYTH ONE: Avoid neutrals, they wash you out! Whoever started this myth couldn’t have been further from the truth. Sure, there are some colors that don’t work for some people; however, the truth is neutrals are the most photogenic color for portraits.
2. MYTH TWO: Always wear black or you won’t look thin! Sure, black is sliming, but it’s always very heavy in portraits. There is nothing wrong with black but if you’re only wearing it to look thinner and deep down, you’re hoping for light and airy portraits, it may not be the best choice because black is not light and airy.
3. MYTH THREE: You two need to match! Please, for the love of all things beautiful, please don’t try to match your significant other! Instead, try to coordinate! Coordinating is a completely different concept from “matching”. Coordination means you are usually choosing different colors that look good together but are not close to being the same.
4. MYTH FOUR: Your location determines your style more than your outfit! False! Your outfit has way more impact than your location. Your location is just a setting in the background but you two will still be the main focus of the images.
5. MYTH FIVE: You have to buy something new! False! If you know you look beautiful in an outfit that you already have and it fits the style you want for your engagement session, that would be a great choice! I also have heard wonderful things with clients renting a dress or outfit from Rent the Runway. You don’t have to spend a ton to look and feel like a million bucks!
Okay, secondly, I thought it would be helpful to share things to avoid when choosing your outfits. This will save sooo much time and stress from the styling part of the process. If you are able to understand the different elements of clothes and understand how they will look on camera, you can flip through your closest quickly and decide what will look amazing and what you might want to avoid.
Here are some general “rules of thumb” when it comes to styling for your engagement session (*or any session for that matter). These “rules of thumbs” are based off of my experience and aren’t concrete rules that can’t be broken. However, if you have questions about one of them in regards to what you want to wear, just reach out to me and we can talk about what would be best!
Things to Avoid
1. Colors to avoid: bright reds, neon’s, bright oranges (they reflect color onto skin and can be difficult to edit!)
2. Avoid patterns smaller than a quarter: Tiny patterns because something called “Chromatic Abberation” in digital images. Men’s checkered shirts are fine if the “checks” are on the larger side.
3. Alternate Heaviness: If one of you is wearing very dark jeans, the other may want to wear lighter pants. If one of you is wearing a navy top, the other shouldn’t wear a dark/heavy colored top. To a certain degree, alternating the “heaviness” of your outfits can make your images look more balanced.
4. Avoid one of you being casual while the other is more dressy: This can look a bit awkward in photos. If one of you is dressed up and the other is casual, it can look a little odd in your images.
5. Other things to avoid: Tennis shoes, Graphic tees, Bold logos on shirts, Sunglasses & Baseball Hats
Choosing outfits and styling your session shouldn’t be complicated… It is one of my favorite parts of the process. Hopefully, once you have a better understanding of the outfit myths, choosing your outfits will be much simpler. And I think you’ll be surprised with how much more you love the way you look in your photos just by following these simple guidelines!