Ionna Photography and Imaging, LLC | What to Wear to Your Engagement Photo Shoot

What to Wear to Your Engagement Photo Shoot

Why Have an Engagement Shoot?

Engagement photo sessions are usually the first time you work with your photographer. Often, it is also the first time you and your fiancé have professional photos taken together. Not only do engagement photo shoots help us build rapport with you before the wedding day, but we also often find that couples are more relaxed about photos when the wedding day arrives because they’ve already worked with us at their engagement photo shoot. You are more relaxed in front of our cameras, and you know what to expect! Because engagement photo sessions are so important, we include them in most of our photography packages!


Suggestions for What to Wear:

  • Choose comfortable clothes: If you’re not comfortable, it will be noticeable in the pictures. Also, wear comfortable shoes if your location will include a lot of walking (but not tennis shoes).
  • Choose clothing that compliments your personality: Make sure your clothes look like “you” and fit your personality.
  • Wear solid colored clothing
  • Choose muted tones that are a bit subdued
  • Choose similar tones for your top and bottom (both dark or both light)
  • Choose a top with sleeves at least to the elbow
  • Choose long pants or a skirt below the knee
  • Choose dark socks and footwear
  • Coordinate your clothing with each other: Wear clothes that are the same level of “dressyness,” and wear similar shades that compliment each other. Choose clothes that look best on you.
  • Choose clothes to compliment your location: If you are taking pictures in a field or the mountains, consider clothes with more natural colors. And if you are taking pictures in a downtown area, you might consider more urban clothes with bolder colors.
  • Choose colors that compliment your skin tone: For example, if you have light skin, white clothing can wash out your complexion in photographs.
  • Keep jewelry simple and minimalistic
  • Do your hair the way you’d normally do it while wearing these clothes


Suggestions for What NOT to Wear:

  • Fluorescent Colors: Fluorescent colors (such as bright orange) tend to color cast on faces, necks and hair. When the shirt is so bright, it often also changes the color of the person standing next to them.
  • Trendy Clothing: They will date your photos as soon as the trend goes out of style.
  • Major changes with your hair and makeup: You want your engagement photos to reflect who you really are, and you want to be comfortable in your own skin.
  • T-shirts and old tennis shoes: Guys, we know you are comfortable in t-shirts and your favorite tennis shoes, but they don’t look the best in photos.
  • Large Patterns: Wide-striped shirts, dresses and tops with large patterns on them such as large polka dots, or animal prints.
  • Large shirts that are not tucked in: For guys, it’s usually better to wear a belt if you are wearing a polo shirt or a nice button-up shirt. Sometimes, if untucked shirts are too big or too wide, they don’t look good and are “boxy.”
  • Clothing that takes too much attention and that it becomes more about the clothes and a fashion photo that it does your portrait.
  • Headpieces.  We suggest using head pieces toward the end of the shoot.  They tend to move and part of the shoot could be dedicated to adjusting and readjusting the headpiece.
  • Jewelry that stands out too much, subtle jewelry such as stud and small pieces are best.


Additional Tips:

1. If you choose a location outside, the best time for the photo shoot is in the late afternoon as the sun is setting. You can avoid hard shadows in photos taken in the late afternoon.

2. Plan on having a good time! If you’re in a good mood, it will show in the pictures, and you will get more great photos!

3. Consider bringing an outfit to change into mid-way through your photo session. You could start your photo session wearing dressy clothes, and then change into more casual clothes (or vice versa).

Here are a few suggested items to bring to your photo session.  This will make the session comfortable to you:

  • Hair grooming items such as a comb or brush
  • Makeup items for touch-ups
  • A small mirror
  • Bottled water
  • Oil or lotion


Examples of What to Wear for Engagement Photos

Engagement pictures will be used in your photo albums, hang on your wall, and will be placed in engagement announcements and “save-the-date” cards. Taking a few moments to make the best of your photos will be priceless in the many years to come. Here are a few clothing examples from engagement sessions we have recently photographed in Knoxville! Also check out this Pinterest board for more ideas.


Tip: If you both decide to wear colorful outfits, consider taking a look at the color wheel. You can’t go wrong with complementary colors.