When it came time to figure out our engagement photos, I found the whole experience to be (unnecessarily) stressful to be honest. I had such a hard time trying to figure out what outfits we should wear that complimented each other and fit our personality as well as finding a location to shoot at. I spent far too many hours searching through Pinterest and various photographers’ Instagrams for inspiration. During this process, I gathered a few tips along the way that I wanted to share in case any of you are also struggling big time to find outfits that coordinate to achieve that “cohesive look” everyone strives!
- Bring two to three outfits: For our engagement shoot, we planned out two different looks. I feel like you get a lot more variety in your photos by doing this, which ultimately helps you get more bang for your buck during your session! My suggestion would be one casual outfit and one fancier outfit, but you can go for a look that is completely unique to you. You do you boo!
- Coordinate but don’t be too matchy-matchy: This was probably the hardest thing for me to figure out when it came down to picking out our outfits. From what I learned, coordinating and matching are two completely different things! You want your outfits to complement each other but not match. Try avoiding that 90’s “white tee shirt and jeans look” that we all did back in the day, haha.
- Select a color palette: This is my number 1 tip that I feel really helped me figure out our outfits! To get that cohesive look with your partner, I recommend picking clothes that are similar tones. Stick to either neutral tones, solids, and pastels. These colors look best on camera!
- Wear something that’s true to your style and makes you feel confident: This one is pretty self-explanatory but you want to wear something you feel good in and that fits your personality. The last thing you want is to look back on your photos years from now and say, what the heck was I thinking wearing that outfit?
- Find a location that matches your vibe: For our engagement session, we decided on El Matador Beach in Malibu, CA for a couple of reasons. For starters, I originally wanted to get married in Malibu, but we opted out of that idea because A). It was way too expensive B). It would have cost our guests a lot of money for their stay (which I wasn’t down for), and C). I didn’t want to have a beach wedding so what would be the point of having it there then. Secondly, going to the beach is one of Mike and I’s favorite things to do together. And lastly, we actually took a long weekend trip up to Malibu/ El Matador Beach early on in our relationship, so we thought what better place to take our engagement pictures than somewhere that holds a special meaning to us!
- There’s no such thing as being too dressed up: It’s important to remember that these are YOUR engagement pictures and nothing’s off limits! In fact, there’s literally no better time to wear something that you’ve always wanted to wear. If there is a dress or an outfit that you’ve had your eye on, now’s your chance to rock that look with no judgment!
- Shoot during golden hour: The lighting in photos is always best either at sunrise or sunset. If you’re shooting in a location that’s normally very busy, I highly suggest going at sunrise to avoid the crowds so you don’t have to worry about people being in the background of your pictures. Our session was about 2 hours and I felt like it was the perfect amount of time for us to warm up in front of the camera, get a good variety of pictures/poses, and change into our second look without ever feeling rushed for time.
Bonus tip: Take a few screenshots of inspo pictures/poses to show your photographer to help them gain a better idea of “the look” you are going for during your session.