"What to wear to your engagement shoot" by Oregon Elopement Photographer Black Salt Photography
I want to take a break from blogging about your wedding for just a moment and talk about what to wear to your engagement shoot. Maybe seeing all the wedding advice and timelines and fabrics are stressing you the hell out and that's okay. Maybe you're not even there yet and you just want to enjoy your newly engaged selves before everything else comes storming in. What's the first step to enjoying this time? I recommend a long & steamy night in 😉
After that deliciousness, it's always nice to celebrate with an engagement shoot. Having these photos can give you the perfect way to share the news with friends and family online, as well as change out that old basic selfie profile pic.
Many wedding photographers will offer a free engagement photo shoot if you purchase one of their wedding packages, but don't let that stress you out if you're not ready to commit to a wedding photographer just yet. You can do more than one engagement shoot. This can be particularly helpful if you plan to have a long engagement! My husband and I had a two-year engagement and ended up with three engagement sessions.
We got away with that through happenstance and I am in no way suggesting three shoots is the norm, but we had fun with it. It was a blast seeing how much we changed over the 24-month period (my hair was a different color in every shoot) and we felt less pressure at ensuring we were PERFECT.
That said, one of the most difficult decisions you have to make for an engagement shoot is deciding what to wear. Should you match or is that tacky? Should you wear white or are you giving yourself bad luck on the wedding day? Bright colors, bold, muted? HALP.
Ultimately these decisions really depend on who you are as individuals and as a couple. You'll want to find the right engagement photographer who can mesh with the two of you and compliments your style appropriately. You can read about some of the most popular photography styles here.
First, you should decide if you're going to use the location as it is or if you want a more prop-heavy shoot (think picnic, vintage biking, coffee shop/bookstore). Location obviously helps determine what you should wear. You're not going to wear a bikini in the snowy mountains nor a parka on a cute row-boat in Spring. Examples of using the location as it is would be a downtown/graffiti wall shoot, a walk through the park, or a moody, cliffside hike. Places like these are already busy enough and rarely need anything extra (besides your adoring faces) to make it pop. You'll want to make sure your outfits reflect the location. Don't feel like you have to be dress-y for your engagement shoot. Let the photos represent the two of you and all the quirkiness you share together. Those will be the photos you share for a lifetime.
Don't forget! When Googling, only pay attention to the photos that were taken around the same time you'll be there. Spring vs Fall will look a hell of a lot different in photos, just like stark noon vs dreamy golden or purple hour. Don't fall in love with a 5 pm, brisk fall shoot if you know you're going at 11 am in March. It just ain't the same, girl.
You know which body parts you love and which you're still a little self-conscious about. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT pick something to wear that will only accentuate the parts you don't like! Your face and body language will give you away every time and could ruin all of your photos. Can't walk in heels? Don't wear them! Love your boobs, hate your shoulders? Hello long sleeve deep-V! Clothing provides so many options. You simply do not have to settle.
You can extend your leg line with nude pumps, make your hair seem fuller by using makeup to fill in your part line, and make your eyes pop will a nice extended wing liner and soft lip. See some of my favorite outfits on Pinterest.
Color choices will really depend on you and your boo and the style you want. Your personal style and your photographer's style are probably already pretty aligned -- I mean, that's why you picked them, right? Read my tips on how to choose your photographer here.
My personal favorite color schemes are the muted & deep jewel tones. Something about the depth they provide always has me grabbing for my camera. If you're more of a playful, chipper type then maybe a brighter color or print would be better for you! Pinterest is a lovely tool to help you find outfit ideas, color schemes, and accessories. I wouldn't recommend having too many bold colors on one body or too many contrasting vibes between the two of you. If you're bold, make him a little more monochromatic but still flattering. If too much is happening in your clothing it will be distracting. You want to coordinate but not be matchy-matchy. Matchy-matchy puts you in the Google results of awkward family photos.
Do yourself a favor and don't pack up your whole closet and bring it to the shoot. Limit yourself to one or two (mayyyybe three) outfits. You want options but not to be overwhelmed. Having two outfits can give you the classy & sophisticated formal announcement photos, as well as those adorable scrunchy face kissing shots along the beach. You don't necessarily have to change the entire outfit to create a new look either (have you heard of a capsule closet? It's a lifesaver). Unless you're wearing some really poppin' pants, they likely aren't the focal point in your photos and can be used with a knit sweater and dress shirt.
Accessories can be your friend and enemy if you have too many. Bring a jacket or hat to easily liven up the photos. Wear a pop of color in your necklace or put him in a velvet bow-tie. Adding patterns and textures to an outfit will help give your photos more depth and may even create that edgy feel you wanted without pulling out your middle school emo-phase eyeliner. Not that I'm judging.
Make sure you're comfortable in whatever shoes you choose to wear. If you buy new ones before the shoot, break them in first! I've never tried putting my shoes in the freezer, but if Blake Lively does it, then it must work, right? You'll likely be doing a lot of walking around and standing for your photos, so if you wear shoes that mush your pinky toe, you're going to have a bad day -- and nobody wants that.
Don't let choosing the perfect outfits stress you out! These tips should help you decide on a few key pieces pretty quickly and then the two of you can just focus on being in love in front of the camera. It's great practice for your wedding day!
Click here to book me for your engagement session!
Black Salt Photography is an elopement photographer and intimate wedding photographer based in Portland, Oregon. Photographing in the surrounding PNW areas and traveling often for destination love stories. Specializing in intimate candids and editorial portraits to craft a one-of-a-kind wedding day for every couple. Her moody photography style plays with natural light and shadow, laced with raw emotional moments, to create an authentic narrative experience. She photographs you as you so you'll love your photos authentically.
"Destiny definitely stood out amongst other photographers because we absolutely loved how involved she was from the very beginning. She really wants to get to know you- which makes for really intimate photos! She asks tons of questions, which is awesome because you feel like you know her before even meeting her! And once you finally do, she is so so sweet!!! Destiny is so great at communicating and being really involved in every detail! She captured every emotion and detail perfectly, whenever I look at our wedding pictures, it brings back every feeling on our special day. TEARS!"
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