Many of my clients wonder what on earth they are going to wear for their E-session. As a photographer, I want my clients to look their best but wear outfits that express who they are. There are no hard and fast rules so if you’re unsure about an outfit, it’s always best to discuss it with your photographer. I often have my clients snap a picture with their smart phone and forward it to me with something like “how about this one?” A second opinion never hurts. I also send a personalized email with all kinds of good information regarding wardrobe selection including helpful links.
Engagement sessions are a great way for us to spend some time together and get to know one another. You will be more comfortable around me on your wedding day and I will have a better sense of your unique personalities and styles. It’s like we’re friends already and most of the time, that really is true.
Color and Style
You always want to express “who you are” in your outfit selections but it’s you in your very best. In other words, the styles are yours but you’ve played “dress-up” for this happy and fun occasion. I always a recommend two outfits (at least) for your e-session to spice things up. Generally, it’s one formal or semi-formal outfit and the other a more casual look. I refer to the formals as a “date-night” look. A pretty dress is always a winner but ensure that you both match styles. If you’re in a long gown and he’s in shorts, that simply won’t work. You want your colors to be somewhat bold and to complement one another without being too “matchy.” I find that for ladies, a cute summer dress or cocktail dress with the right accessories works well. It’s all about being comfortable but bringing out your best. Location plays a vital role in your outfit selection as well!
Location, Location, Location
Location plays a role in what to wear. You wouldn’t “look right” wearing a gown in your favorite record store unless you simply think that’s the “cat’s meow” and it fits your style. (did I really just say “cat’s meow)? I like my clients to pick locations that mean something to them, if possible. Maybe you met at a local University or ice cream shop. The key is to discuss these things with your photographer and go over the possibilities. Parks are a popular e-session venues and “flowy” (not sure that’s a real word but I like it) and romantic outfits works best like a short dress with the guys in slacks and a button up shirt, perhaps. For urban, you want a more “urbany” look that reflects a more bolder style. This is your chance to take that quirky dress you love but rarely wear out of your closest and spice your guy’s jeans up with suspenders and a splash of color. Maybe even a tie!
Makeup and Hair – It’s Really Important
You are probably getting your hair and makeup done for your wedding so it makes perfect sense to have it done for your e-session. I always recommend a professional doing your makeup and hair whether it’s stopping by your favorite salon or having someone come to your home prior the shoot. I have a list of preferred vendors I am always happy to share with my clients. I can’t tell you how much of a difference this simple, little step makes. If it’s not within your budget, try scheduling your e-session on the same day of the makeup trial for your wedding. You will be so happy that you opted to do this, I promise!
Yes, we all have a unique and fabulous body type! I personally have a dress that I love but it doesn’t love me back…at all. In fact, I look like a geriatric Muppet in the darn thing! My point is, ensure that your outfit is flattering and doesn’t accentuate the “unfavorable” aspects of yourself. You may look rockin in short shorts and a bikini top but then we are back to color and style. Save those for the beach. Then again, you don’t want to wear baggy clothes that will make you look messy and bigger, either. So the bottom line is to select cloths that flatter your body type. Your mirror can be your best friend so don’t hesitate on using it!
Talk to me
If there are is something you don’t want in the pictures, let me know! It’s really that simple. For example, I love body art but some couples prefer not to show theirs in the e-session photos. Always feel comfortable enough with your photographer to talk about what you want and don’t want in your photos.
I am an avid animal lover and live with my two yellow lab mixes, Matt and Dylan. (Matt Dylan, get it)? So if you want to bring your furry family member along, I’m all for it. But there are a couple of things to consider. Is he/she suited for a photography session? In other words, if your furry companion will fight you all the way to chase squirrels in a park setting, we may opt for a different location. Bring a friend. This way, when your little bundle of joy is tired of striking a pose, your friend can assist and provide water and hang out with Fido. (I swear, I don’t know where I’m coming up with some of these phrases). But the important thing is to be honest about how your companion will do at your e-session shoot. I work well with animals and make great squeaky noises so we are “one-up” already!
Spice it up
Nothing enhances an e-session more than bringing items that have special meaning to you. Let’s say we’re shooting in a park. If you both love to read, have a taste for good wine and cupcakes, let’s add those items to some of your photos. Bring a pretty blanket or quilt, a picnic basket, wine, cheese, books, well, you get the idea. It doesn’t hurt to incorporate some of the things you both love into your session. So basically, props are fun and can add jazz to any session. The important thing is that have some meaning to you or you just like them because they’re fun! Balloons, umbrellas, cupcakes, chess sets…well, you get the idea. It all WORKS!
What Not to Wear
White shirts…especially white matching shirts. Again, this isn’t a rule because white can actually work. I’ve included an example of how white DOES work well.
Big, loud horizontal stripes
Tops with logos. You want to keep it classy!
Flip Flops. I know, we’re in Florida and I live in thongs on my days off but for e-sessions, a big no.
Shoes that hurt your feet
Cut-off shorts and T-shirts with big logos on them
In a Nutshell
Dress comfortably and pretend it’s date night! How’s that for a nutshell? Be color coordinated and feel free to hop on Pinterest for even more inspiration. I have my own e-session “What to Wear” board on:Pinterest