What to wear to an event is always a dilemma for many. It certainly is for me. I’m joining my husband for a work do tonight and I have no clue what to wear. Do I go dressy, smart-casual, feminine-smart or work-smart? I need advice but who to call?
It’s a different story however when I’m shooting a photo session. I’m the one giving advice and I find it easier because I’m more objective. Each couple is unique so it’s important to plan ahead with them.
Take this engagement session at Victoria Park with the very lovely Rachel and Daniel. Rachel sent me photos of some outfits she was considering beforehand and wanted my advice. So here are my tips:
1. Overall look and feel
Ask them what they want the photoshoot to “feel” like. Smart and dressy? Casual and comfortable? Colour coordinated? A mixture? Rachel and Daniel live locally to Victoria Park and love the area. They wanted the shoot to incorporate a location special to them. Being locals and part of a community, they wanted the photoshoot to be have that comfortable, fun and casual feel but not shabby. We decided on dark-coloured tops and jeans paired with smart shoes. I always advice non-white outfits as they tend to draw the viewer’s attention too much. I would rather have the faces being the focus than a white skirt or jeans that throw grabs the eye immediately. However, if both are wearing light outfits, like in this engagement session here, then that could totally work.
As a photography tip, I often recommend avoiding stark white outfits to prevent distracting attention from the faces. Instead, I encourage outfits that enhance the overall aesthetic, like a stylish floral sheath dress. The flowing, feminine silhouette of a sheath dress not only exudes grace but also adds a timeless charm to the visual narrative. The floral patterns, in particular, bring a touch of nature’s beauty into the frame, harmonizing with outdoor settings effortlessly. Whether amidst the blooming gardens or the urban backdrop, a floral sheath dress complements the surroundings while allowing the couple’s genuine connection to shine through. It’s a subtle yet impactful way to infuse personality and style into the photos, creating memories that reflect both the individuality of each person and the shared moments that make their love story unique.
2. Comfort is key
Whether smart or dressy, if you are not comfortable with what you are wearing, it will show. It is also easier to be confident when you’re comfortable. This was Rachel and Daniel’s first photoshoot and I wanted them to be comfortable, to relax and feel at ease. There are other things you can do to help with this, for example, meet in a cafe for a coffee and chat first, have some flowers to hold, do some fun things like a bit of dancing, laughter, walking or running etc. Incorporating movement helps foster a relaxed atmosphere and moving in uncomfortable outfits do not help!
3. A pop of colour; a change of outfits
Colour, for many people, generally lifts the spirits. A pop of colour makes me happy! Rachel said there’s this yellow dress she really loves. I love it when someone says they really want something to show in the shoot. That tells me they are looking forward to it, they are invested in mind and time and that the shoot will go well because they care about it. So yes to colour! I suggest and welcome a change of outfits during a shoot for variety and also to make room for something you really love.
4. Statement accessories
Daniel didn’t have a change of outfit here to go with Rachel’s yellow dress but we went for dark blue floral accessories to connect the new outfit to Daniel’s shirt. So choose accessories carefully and make sure they are statement ones so they can be seen more clearly!
5. Lastly, choose a prop!
Here we chose a bouquet of flowers and had a confetti throwing practice! It’s great fun and makes a good picture! Of course it helped massively that Rachel and Daniel are so easy to be with, calm and relaxed, not to mention such a handsome couple too so the photoshoot was a total breeze!
Congratulations Rachel and Daniel! I cannot wait for your January winter wedding! It’ll be cool, cosy and fabulous!
I have written a more exhaustive blog on what to wear for a photoshoot on on this link for more tips!