What to wear for your session

Once you've booked an engagement, couple, maternity, or family session, it's totally normal to stress about what you're going to wear. Before you start an online-shopping, let's talk about a few principles that can help you narrow things down (and chances are, you already have something perfect in your wardrobe!)

Being comfortable is most important

Above all else, you should look and feel like yourself. You may want to order that sparkly, stiffer dress for a photoshoot - and that's great if that makes you feel like your best! But remember that most sessions incorporate a fair bit of movement to get those candid shots, and so you might want to choose and outfit that gives you the feeling of being in your own skin.

Pick something tried and true that you LOVE wearing - that moves with you and hugs you in all the right places. That could mean jeans and a t-shirt, or a dress you love if you want to glam up.

engagement session outfit ideas
maternity session outfit ideas

Incorporate texture and movement

Fabrics that have movement and flow photograph in a really dynamic way. Think about chunky knights that add cozy texture to your photos, or flow dresses and light fabrics that get picked up by the wind, and filter in light. Natural fibres like linen, cotton, and wool all look amazing.

Stiffer garments, especially ones with collars, can look a bit too formal and can wrinkle / get tucked weirdly during sessions.

Layers is a great way to create more texture, and also helps to keep you comfortable and warm!

engagement session outfit ideas

Finding coordinated colours

A good rule of thumb is to stick to a maximum of 4 colours, one of which can be a feature colour. (for example, a neutral palette with one mustard dress would look super epic in a green, park setting!).

Neutrals (softer tones, but this includes colours!), earthy tones, and metallics are always safe. These compliment most studios and outdoor environments, and look really great once printed and framed.

Primary colours are beautiful, but can often detract from the main subject (you!) So instead of a crimson red, opt for a dusty rose; instead of electric blue, sky blue might photograph more nicely and make the focus you!

Left photo: credit Angie Choi

Coordinate colours without matching

Remember the colour wheel from art class when you were younger? This can be super handy when making decisions about colour, and can help you understand what colours look great vs a bit weird together.

Complimentary colours create a harmonious look, and sit across each other on the colour wheel. For example: Blue and orange, purple and yellow. The photo one left is a great example of complimentary colours.

Analogous colours can be soothing to the eye - and are next to each other on the colour wheel. There's a great example of this in action in the photo to the right.

Be careful with patterns and prints

If you are incorporating patterns into your outfits, opt for subtle, smaller patterns that compliment the location. Less is more, and I would recommend using pattern as an accent that one person is wearing - it's very difficult to match patterns.

Avoid large, bold patterns since these can detract from your beautiful faces!

maternity session outfit ideas

What about shoes?

Consider your location first, and pick something that you would wear to be comfortable in that setting first and foremost. Being barefoot probably makes sense on the beach, and boots can look great in park or mountain setting.

Wear shoes that are comfortable! If you choose to go with heels, just remember that we will likely be moving around quite a bit, and you definitely don't want to twist your ankle.

Props that bring personality

If you choose to incorporate prompts into your session, opt for ones that bring out your personality or show off an activity that you love! A favorite beer, bottle of wine, your dog, a skateboard, or a clear umbrella if you love the rain are all great places to start. Avoid the cheesy props!

Hair, makeup, and hands

Look and feel like yourself, and stick to that philosophy for makeup! Do what you normally do for a nice dinner out. Less is truly more, and the notion of "more makeup" looking better on camera is definitely not true.

A biased opinion, but let that hair run wild! It can add so much more movement to your photos.

Hands tell such beautiful stories, and it's very noticeable if fingernails are dirty or if polish is super bright (if you can, treat yourself to a manicure!)

engagement session outfit ideas
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