Engagements on our Blog

Engagement photography tips

When planning for an engagement photo shoot, the most frequently asked question we get from clients is, “What do we wear?” To help answer that question, we’ve compiled some tips and a gallery of sample outfits to make sure your engagement session produces the most timeless photos possible, ones you’ll be proud to share with friends and family.


Two outfits are all we recommend you bring. This will give you variety without sacrificing our limited time and light. If your clothing wrinkles, be sure to bring it ironed and on hangers.


If you’re not comfortable in your clothes, it will show in your pictures. Likewise, if you feel beautiful, it will shine through on camera. Classic lines and styles over trends are always recommended, but, again, wear what makes you feel most like “you.” If one of your outfit choices is more casual, try balancing it with something dressier. Likewise, make sure that what you’re wearing balances with what your fiancé is wearing. For example, if you have on a flowing dress and pearls and he’s wearing t-shirts and shorts, it might look like you don’t quite belong in the same photo! Also, if you have a specific outfit theme in mind, such as wearing matching sports jerseys, let us know ahead of time as we may be able to suggest some photo locations that would work.


High contrast clothing (black and white) and bold colors don’t photograph as well as more muted, classic tones. For instance, if you’re considering red and blue, try maroon and navy instead. Textures, layers, knits, and sparkle all photograph well, as do most patterns—with the exception of thin stripes which cause a wavy, vertigo-effect on camera.


Edit accessories so that the ones you choose have the most impact. Consider a cute hat, necklace, scarf, belt, earrings, watch, or hair accessory…but don’t wear all of them at once! If you have eye glasses, make sure your lenses are treated with anti-reflective (AR) coating to avoid glare, or consider switching to contacts or empty frames for the session. Also, be sure to bring shoes you’re comfortable walking in as we will try to squeeze in several locations during our time together. Even if they aren’t the shoes you want to wear in your pictures, bring them along to slip on for moving between shots.


You’ll never regret the expense of having your hair, makeup, and nails professionally done for your engagement session. Schedule a spa day (makes a great gift, guys!), or a session at a makeup counter and hair stylist on the day of your session. You don’t want any surprises, so plan things like hair cuts or eyebrow waxing for a week before. Men, consider splurging on a professional shave—you’ll look and feel great! Also, take time to look through our engagement gallery pictures together so you’ll both feel confident knowing that we’ll make you look GORGEOUS, even if you’re not confident in front of a camera.


We’re sure you’ll want some close ups of your ring, so give it a little extra love in advance as well. Any jewelry store should be able to professionally clean it for free or a small fee in just a few minutes. Or, you can do it yourself by soaking it in a small bowl of hot water with a squirt of Dawn dish soap and a few sprays of Windex. After it has soaked for approximately five minutes, give it a scrub with a soft tooth brush dipped in baking soda around the band and under the diamond, then return it to the hot water/Dawn dish soap/Windex soak for a few more minutes. It will really bring out the sparkle! (Make sure this treatment is suitable for your ring before trying it)


If you’re not sure that what you and your fiancé have chosen to wear will work together, try laying out both outfits on a plain surface and photographing them. Sometimes it’s easier to make a decision when the clothing isn’t on your body. You want to be complementary without being too matched. Pinterest boards are a great place to get inspiration for this. Be sure to fit your clothing to the season and climate if you’ll be taking your photos outside. Finally, if you’re still uncertain, feel free to text or email us photos of what you’re considering wearing, and we’ll be happy to give you our thoughts based on our experience.

Now, relax! It’s going to turn out awesome!

Rory & Stacy – Crystal Cove and Fashion Island in Newport Beach, CA

Kristen and Martin – Montage Resort in Laguna Beach