Our Top 3 Tips on Dressing for Your Engagement Photo Shoot: The Do's and Dont's of Picking the Right Engagement Session Outfit

Picking the perfect outfit for your engagement shoot can honestly seem like a daunting task. You probably already have a million questions swirling around in your head. Where do you even begin? Should you and your boo wear matching colors? How casual is too casual? And for the love of all that is good in this world, what shoes should you wear? These are the questions we hear all the time. As a team of traveling wedding and elopement photographers, we totally get it. Picking out the right outfits for your engagement shoot is as much a science as it is an art, and we're here to help demystify the whole process for you.

The outfit selection process can be stressful, and unfortunately a quick search in Pinterest doesn't always provide the results you may expecting. As photographers well versed in color and styling, we're here to help you sort through your closet to find the perfect outfit for your upcoming engagement session.

Our specialty is making sure our couples look and feel gorgeous in front of our camera lenses. We take outfit selection very seriously, so that you can show up on the day of your shoot and only have to worry about cuddling up and having a blast playing in front of our cameras. So without further ado, here are our top tips:

1.  Don't Get Matchy-Matchy. We totally understand that you both want to look put-together and intentional with your outfit choices, but wearing the same exact colors more often than not tends to look tacky and posed (There are exceptions, of course. For example, a white dress for the ladies, paired with a white shirt on the guys can look beautiful. But white and black tend to have a lot more wiggle room than most colors). A great place to start is a monochromatic color palette. Now you're probably thinking, what the heck does that mean? Basically, rather than both of you trying to wear the exact shade of green, try wearing different shades of the same color. This gives your outfits enough distinction so they don't look matchy-matchy. But you also get the added benefit of a cohesive look between the two of you. Feeling a bit more daring? We love it when couples choose outfits that may not be made up of the same colors, but that complement each other nicely. Our favorite look is when our couples wear neutral and earthy tones (think browns, dark greens, off-whites, and maroons). The colors of nature always tend to look nice.

Notice how in the image below, Shaye and Chris's outfits compliment each other without being exactly the same? 

 Notice how Chris and Shaye are both wearing different shades of black, gray, and white without giving off a super matchy impression. This monochrome color palette allows each person to still have their own distinct look while also being cohesive. Since their outfits are both relatively simple in design, the slight pattern to the skirt draws some nice attention without being overwhelming.

Notice how Chris and Shaye are both wearing different shades of black, gray, and white without giving off a super matchy impression. This monochrome color palette allows each person to still have their own distinct look while also being cohesive. Since their outfits are both relatively simple in design, the slight pattern to the skirt draws some nice attention without being overwhelming.

2.  Wear Clothing That Moves. We completely understand that you may want to dress up a little for your engagement shoot, and that's totally fine! But when we capture our couples in love, we tend to have them moving around quite a bit: running together, spinning each other around, jumping, and even climbing up onto surfaces. You want your outfit to be able to move with you comfortably in these moments. We usually recommend that girls wear flowy dresses and blouses. Not only are these comfortable, but they tend to look absolutely stunning when blowing in the wind. Guys tend to luck out in this department, since pants are typically easy to move around in. As for shoes, we love telling our ladies to pair their dresses with a cute pair of comfortable boots. If your engagement shoot is happening during the summer months, a nice sandal or low heel works just as well. For guys, try to avoid sneakers. Dress up your look with a pair of leather or suede dress shoes. That being said, since we live in Colorado and so many couples like to have their engagement sessions in the mountains, we highly recommend bringing a pair of hiking boots to wear on the way out to the engagement photo location. You definitely don't want to be trekking through the mountains with dressy shoes.

 There's nothing sweeter than having your love spin you around while your dress blows in the wind. Flowy, boho-style dresses are a definite plus during engagement shoots.

There's nothing sweeter than having your love spin you around while your dress blows in the wind. Flowy, boho-style dresses are a definite plus during engagement shoots.

3.  Earthy and Neutral Tones Are a Go-To. We love to tell our couples to choose from a neutral or earthy color palette. These colors (including forrest greens, beige, gray, white, browns, and blacks) tend to photograph beautifully. They complement your love without overpowering the whole look. If you decide to include a more vibrant color in your outfit, be sure to use it as an accent color rather than the primary color (unless of course you have a very specific theme or look you're trying to achieve). Vibrancy is absolutely fine, but it stands out best when it isn't too overpowering. Again, the thing we really want to stress in your engagement photos is your love, not your outfit. Your clothing should enhance the moment, but it most definitely shouldn't steal the show. 

 Notice how Victoria is rocking the earthy greens, browns and reds in her outfit. The green shirt makes her stand out from the background without being distracting. While she opts for a patterned pant, the neutral tones don't allow it to be overpowering.

Notice how Victoria is rocking the earthy greens, browns and reds in her outfit. The green shirt makes her stand out from the background without being distracting. While she opts for a patterned pant, the neutral tones don't allow it to be overpowering.

One thing we pride ourselves on at Sheena Shahangian Photography? Taking killer photos in some of the most amazing locations. Think we'd be the right photographers for you? Hit us up. We can't wait to meet you!

P.S. If you'd like to see some more outfit inspiration, we've created two Pinterest style boards to help guide you through the process: our Women's Style Guide and our Men's Style Guide

Happy styling!