What to Wear for Engagement or Portrait Sessions!

Engagement and portrait sessions are one of my favorite things about being a photographer (well, and shooting weddings of course). It is a great opportunity for me to get to know my clients, learn all about you, who you are and what and who you love! Engagement sessions help a couple become more comfortable in front of my camera (because let's face it, having your picture taken is awkward) so that you feel more relaxed in showing off your personality and relationship before the big day. Portrait sessions are even more casual, and allow for a relaxing time of laughing and getting to know one another. 

You want to look your best in your photos, so I thought it would be a good idea to write a guide on what people should wear for their engagement or portrait sessions! All of these are applicable to portrait and engagement sessions but a few are just specific to engagement sessions.

Be You!

  • You are the subject matter of my photos, so you want to wear something that reflects who you are and what you love. 
  • Wear something you know you look good in, something you feel good in.
  • If you LOVE a specific color, wear that! Dark colors are especially slimming.
  • Don't be afraid of patterns or bright colors. Just make sure patterns don't clash!
  • Dresses for the ladies and nice shirt/slacks for the gent is always a classy way to go, but if you aren't one to wear a dress or a nice/shirt and slacks, wear whatever would be authentic to you!
  • I LOVE color! I am also an abstract painter, so I see the world as a very colorful place and wanted to express that in my own engagement photos. I don't normally wear complimentary colors every day, but I wanted to show off my love of color. I also love headbands, and so I made my own just for our engagement shoot.
A picture from our engagement shoot. By the fabulous Shannon Leith

Comfort is Important

  • Don't wear super tight clothes, they might accentuate curves that you are't thrilled with. 
  • Think about the time of year and the location of the shoot, so if it is cold outside, a short skirt and tank top may not be ideal.
  • If you have some amazing heels you want to wear, but we'll be walking a long ways, try bringing another pair of shoes and just wearing the heels for the actual shot.
  • Beach = No Shoes! So be prepared for that! :D


  • There is nothing like having new clothes just for a photography session! I love the idea of having "never before seen" clothes for a special shoot.
  • And for an engagement shoot, if you are all dressed up, it is a great excuse for a date night!

Engagement Session: Dress on the Same Scale!

  • If you are wearing a formal dress, he shouldn't be wearing torn jeans and a t-shirt. 
  • Outfit changes are totally welcome! As long as we are at a location where changing clothes will be easily an option and the session is scheduled to be longer than an hour.
  • If you want to dress to a certain scheme or theme, make sure you find your mate a suitable outfit. 

Engagement Session: Compliment One Another & Your Personalities!

  • Wear clothes that go together, or compliment each other well.
  • If you both do want to wear the same color, try wearing varying hues or shades.
  • Avoid feeling like you have to "match" unless you are really devoted to the same outfit, in which case, embrace it!
  • Props can be a fun way to also express your personality and interests! Do you play instruments? Do you love picnics, flowers, your iPhones, balloons? Cycling? Bring what you love and we'll incorporate it into the session!
  • I also provide my own props! See a list here.
Be yourself and enjoy!


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