Taking the time to pick, style, and organize your outfits goes a long, long way in the overall design and result of your photos.
Here are a few simple guidelines to go by when choosing your outfits, whether they be for engagement photos, portraits, etc.:
Outfits, Colors, & Mixing Patterns
- Where and when are you shooting? Coordinate your wardrobe to fit your surroundings and the season.
- Pick at least 2 or 3 colors overall, and then use different patterns and shades of that color. Various textures and shades of colors are more visually interesting and blend better than trying to match colors exactly.
- You can pick whatever colors you like, I’m personally a fan of navy as a starting color, it goes well with everything and works for any season. I also recommend staying away from bright/light reds or coral colors, as they tend to change color if I need to make adjustments to skin coloring; dark reds are usually fine. Jewel colors almost always look good with any skin type or environment if you want something bright, but be aware that any bright color paired with bright sunlight create a color cast. I’m an advocate for neutral colors, as they reflect light beautifully without casting colors under your chin or on your partner’s face/neck.
- Do not put everyone in the same outfit. Mix it up, play with patterns and layering.
- Avoid teeny tiny patterns or stripes, as it can create a wavy effect in camera, called “moire.” This is nearly impossible to fix during editing, and I can’t guarantee that it’ll be fixable.
- Layers!! Jewelry, scarves, vests, hair accessories, jackets; layers make all the difference in the interest of the photo. Men, you can accessorize as well! Think watches, belts, scarves, socks, etc.
- And finally, just be real. Wear what you are comfortable in, and be practical. If you feel like you’ll be fighting to keep your articles of clothing in proper place the whole shoot, you will likely look stiff and unnatural, and it will take up shoot time to keep adjusting clothes.
Here are a few simple tricks when it comes to makeup and skin care:
- Don’t feel like you need to cake on the makeup. It’s important that you feel like yourself and not like something recreated on Pinterest. If you don’t normally do a full coverage foundation with a smokey eye, then your session isn’t a time to try that out. I recommend doing a trial run before your session to see what you like. Need inspiration for natural looking makeup? Click here!
- Don’t know how to highlight your best features naturally? I highly recommend hiring a makeup artist, even for your pre-wedding sessions. The professionals know how to make you look your best, not just in person but on camera; makeup translates differently through the lens. This can also be an excuse to test drive a makeup artist for your wedding day. You can find just a few of my favorite artists over on my preferred vendors page.
- Don’t try out new face cleansers or masks less than a week before your session. You’d hate to have a bad reaction and not have time for your skin to calm or clear.
- The same applies to haircuts. If you need a trim before your session, plan it at least a week or before your session, depending how quickly your hair grows. That way you’ll have time to fix it if your haircut doesn’t turn out the way you were hoping. The same goes for brow waxing! Another thing to leave to the professionals and not do less than a couple weeks before your session date, unless you are a seasoned pro.
- For the gentlemen, the tip above goes for you as well. I recommend getting a haircut before your session. If your hair grows quickly, then a day or two before your session have someone trim the back of your neck to crisp up your hairline. This will make your haircut look fresher without your whole hairstyle feeling too short. Ask your lady to give you a hand on that one.
- Okay this one might seem a bit obvious, but brushing your teeth right before your session will help your smile look its best. Not only are you brightening up those pearly whites, but you’re increasing blood flow to your gums which makes your teeth appear even whiter. However, don’t overdo it; we don’t want you feeling sore or having your gums look inflamed. Standard brushing technique is perfect. Plus you’ll want that minty breath for all the snuggling with your love.