One of the most frequently asked questions we receive about DC engagement sessions is “What should we wear?” Of course, that depends on the season and the location you’ve chosen. Whether it’s an urban neighborhood, a rural farm or suburban garden, there are a few fun tips we like to pass along to to help couples feel comfortable and look amazing.
Choosing Your Outfits
- We recommend wearing two different outfits for your session that will let your style shine. You will arrive wearing the first one, and then change into the second outfit for a different look. For example, you can wear one casual and one dressy outfit, or start with a dressy outfit and bring one that looks edgy or romantic that complements the scenery of the place you’ve picked. It’s all up to you to create the kind of look and style that fits your personality. If you are casual and laid back, two relaxed outfits in different colors is the perfect combo. If fashionable and sophisticated describes you best, then fashion forward outfits will be ideal. Just vary your first and second choices by color and/or style. Most importantly, wear something that looks great with your skin tone and makes you feel comfortable. If you feel good, your true self will come through in your photos and that will make them priceless.
- Coordinate your outfit with your partner, but don’t get too matchy matchy. For example, if you are wearing blue & yellow, your partner can wear something with a pop of color and a complementary hue, rather than both of you wearing yellow or blue predominantly. If one of you wants to wear a pattern, put the other person in a solid color so you don’t clash.
- Stay away from clothing that has logos or words on them. They tend to be distracting and take away from the timeless feel of a photo shoot.
- Don’t neglect your feet! Shoes and/or socks are important in completing an outfit. Want to make a fun fashion statement? Bring an extra pair of silly socks that will make you smile.
- Don’t neglect your hands! A manicure goes a long way in close-up photos no matter what your gender. Do scrub your nails, push up those cuticals, and apply hand cream even if you’re not doing your nails.
- Accessorize, but don’t overdo it. Pick one or two accessories per outfit. Items like jackets, wraps, lapel pins, cufflinks, patterned socks, cute belts, earrings, necklaces, hats and body jewelry can help personalize your look as long as they don’t appear overwhelming.
- Feel free to bring props, but don’t go out on a limb or your shoot will start feeling kitschy. For example, some couples love sports teams, and I encourage them to bring team hats for quick photos but I wouldn’t bring baseballs, basketballs, footballs, multiple hats, multiple jerseys, and chalkboard scoreboards. You catch my drift. 🙂
Caring for Hair & Skin
- If it is going to be hot out, bring a towel to dab any sweat. If you have a gym or microfiber towel, that will work quite well. Be sure to bring water, which is critical to keeping hydrated and looking fresh.
- If you are a person who has long hair or likes to wear their hair styled, I highly recommend having your hair done professionally. This can be as simple as a blowout, braids, or a beach wave. It can be as complex as an updo, color treatment, or extensions. Feel confident that you can amplify what you normally do and look great on camera. I know several extraordinary hairstylists and I am happy to refer you.
- If you are a person who wears makeup, I highly recommend having your makeup doneprofessionally. Even if you want a more natural look, a professional can help you get the right results. Remember that cameras can make your make-up look somewhat dull, so if you choose to do yours at home, you may notice a slightly faded makeup result when you see your images. When you hire a good makeup artist, they will apply just enough makeup to look optimal on camera. And if you are worried it looks like too much when you leave, it probably won’t be when photographed. I work with a lot of beauty pros, so I am ready to recommend someone with experience and I am always ready to lend vendor support for all my DC engagement sessions.
- Bring something like a compact or loose powder to pat down your skin and remove any unwanted shine. If you want a glossy lip, bring additional gloss to reapply throughout the session. If you have a matte lip, you will likely not need touch-up color but it won’t hurt to have it on hand. For hair, bring extra gel, hairspray, a hairbrush or clips, and anything else that is needed to maintain the look you want. The weather plays a big part in how much touchup will be needed. Windy, hot or humid days can be tricky for both hair and makeup. Don’t worry, I will be there to remind you when it’s time to reapply makeup or manage your hairstyle.
Dressing Up Your Furry Friend
I adore animals of all kinds and I encourage you to bring your dog (or parrot) to your session. While your list will vary depending on the animal, there are some fun ways to dress up your pup that can be applied to other furry and feathered friends. 🙂
- Coordinate their collar and leash to the outfits you are wearing. If you don’t want to coordinate your colors or patterns, purchase a neutral collar that won’t distract from the photos. No neon or colors that are brighter than yours.
- Bring treats or their favorite toy so that we can bribe them to pose for your photos.
- Have them groomed before the session so they are clean, brushed and looking adorablefor your shoot.
- Assign a friend or family member to be your pet sitter. We will photograph you with yourpet for the first 20 minutes or so. Then you can hand your pup off to your sitter so they can be taken home or entertained for the remainder of your session.
Here are the items you will need to pack to be fully prepared for one of my DC engagement sessions.
- Your second outfit on a nice hanger or in a rolling suitcase packed so it won’t wrinkle. The pop-up handle can work great as a makeshift bar to hang your clothes on.
- Any accessories needed to spice up your first or second outfit.
- A towel to keep sweat at bay on hot days.
- A heavy jacket and warm shoes to wear when walking between viewpoints during the cold days of fall and winter.
- Comfortable walking shoes. We may walk a considerable distance, so you’ll want comfyshoes that won’t give you sore feet.
- Touch-up products for maintaining your hair and/or makeup look.
- A travel mirror so you can see yourself and make any adjustments you desire.
- Props that are lightweight and meaningful.
- Water and snacks, always important to have on hand. You definitely don’t want yourblood sugar to drop in the middle of your romantic shoot.
- Pet supplies: leash, treats, toys, and most important of all, your pet sitter.
Location For Your Session:
If you haven’t picked a location for your engagement session, check out this post for some inspiration.
Before your engagement session, we will chat on the phone to go over any questions you may have. We’ll talk about what to expect, discuss more about what to wear, and be sure you’re prepared and excited about your photography. To book one of my personalized DC engagement sessions or a shoot further afield, just reach out. I can’t wait to meet you!