What is an engagement session? What is the purpose of an engagement session? What should I wear to an engagement session?

What is an engagement session and why do I need one?

You might be asking yourself what is an engagement session and why do I need to have one? Let me answer this questions from a professional photographers perspective first. Who you hire to document your wedding is one of the most important decisions you'll have to make in regards to having the best experience on your wedding day. Doing an engagement session with the professional you choose to document your wedding will give you time to get to know that person and see how they work. Engagement sessions are an opportunity to create memories with your partner, while getting comfortable in front of the camera. You can think of an engagement session as practice for the wedding day!

What do I wear to my Engagement Session?

First and foremost, I encourage you to wear whatever makes you feel like you! You need to be comfortable in your clothes. If you feel uncomfortable in your clothing, it will definitely show in camera. Listen to your gut when it comes to what you feel good in. Some couples love an excuse to go all out and dress to the 9's. Other couples might prefer a more casual, but polished look.

It is entirely up to you, but most of my couples choose to wear two outfits at their engagement session. One “us on a cute, casual date” outfit and one more formal outfit. This will give your session two different looks, and I recommend beginning with the “cute date” outfit first. We do offer a an upgraded engagement session that allows up to 3-4 outfit changes and more time for the session of you want to take it up a notch!

Your engagement session is the perfect opportunity to rock a fun, dressed up look that you might not normally have an excuse for. Long, flowy dresses and skirts look awesome on camera — they add movement and a dynamic that tends to be very flattering and natural-looking. That being said, if you guys are a casual couple that hates to dress up, don’t feel pressured to wear anything that you don’t actually like.

The Majestic Downtown Los Angeles Engagement Session

Choose what you're going to wear based on location

Take into consideration where you want to do your engagement session. I've written a guide to help choosing a location for your engagement session much easier based off of some of my personal favorite locations. If you want a Beach engagement session make sure to wear colors that will pop against the blue backdrop of the sky and water. If you want to do your engagement session in the desert for example Joshua Tree make sure to choose your color palette accordingly. Muted colors work really well if you want the focus to be more on your expressions and bold colors work well if you want to pop off the background and draw the viewer into the photos. Personally I love to see a bright red dress against a deep blue scene. Think about your intention and ultimately go with what you feel empowered in. Bonus tip: Don't wait until last minute to decide on what you're going to wear. You can't always rely on Amazon's two day shipping and lot of the time items won't fit right.

Yosemite Engagement Session, Yosemite National Park

Choose Your Outfits to Flatter Your Body

FLATTER YOUR FEATURES WHEN SELECTED YOUR OUTFITS. I’m going to preface this ENTIRE section with some reassurance that you will look incredible on your engagement session. That being said, you’re only human and it’s natural to have some things that you’re self-conscious about. We are all guilty of thinking that we are flawed in some way. For me I think my ears are too big and I don't like my picture taken straight on. You may not like your side profile or the way your arms look from a certain angle. That is okay, and that is why you hired a professional that will take the time to learn more about you and help you look your absolute best! When you wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident, you’ll look comfortable and confident on camera! Here are a few common concern areas: Arms: Three-quarter length sleeves can help to create a slimming effect on all arms. You could also bring a cute jacket, blazer or cardigan along. Skinny straps or strapless dresses can have the opposite effect on arms, so I recommend avoiding those if you find yourself focused on your arms a lot. Legs: Heels tend to elongate the look of women’s legs (especially closed-toe heels!). If you do choose to wear peep-toe heels, remember to give your toenails some love before your session too. Height differences: This can go both ways! Make sure that you’re comfortable with your shoe height and where that puts you next to each other if this is something you’re self-conscious about.

No matter the concern, know that the focus of the session will be on having fun and spending time with the person you love. I find that couples that have been dating for awhile actually forget how to flirt with each other, so use this session to flirt with your partner and really enjoy being affectionate with each other.

Joshua Tree Engagement Session

Pay Attention to the Details

Be bold with layers and accessories — jackets, sweaters, necklaces, scarves, belts, etc. all add dimension to your photos. Layers like jackets, sweaters, and scarves also make it easy to give yourself two “looks” without actually changing your outfit.

MOST patterns are okay for photos . . . but, graphics are not ideal. If you’re wearing a pattern, make sure it’s not overwhelming and distracting. Similar to choosing colors, we want to first draw attention to your faces, not your clothes.

Empty those pockets, literally. Guys, this one is generally most applicable to you. You’ll regret seeing your cell phone or keys showing through your pockets.

Just for the Guys

Long pants and dress shoes will give you a sophisticated and masculine look for your photos. Whereas shorts and open-toed shoes can draw attention to your legs and feet, the former creates a sleek look for your engagement session. Suit pants, dress pants or colored pants work best. Brown leather dress shoes complement almost every look, whether you’re wearing a full suit, blazer, or simply a collared shirt. Talk with each other to make sure that you’re both dressed on the same level of formality. It can be common for one partner to like dressing up more than the other, so finding the common ground in between for you both can be big for your engagement photos. Like we discussed already, layers can add a ton of interest and dimension to your photos! Blazers, vests, and coats are all easy enough for you to have multiple looks without changing your outfit. Likewise, ties, bowties, pocket squares, colored socks, belts, tie clips, suspenders, and watches can all be fun accessories for you to consider as well. Use these kinds of accessories to pull in each other’s coordinating colors. Have fun with choosing your outfits, try new clothes on before the session and when in doubt just shoot me a text or email and I can guide your decisions.

Joshua Tree, CA | Engagement Session

Griffith Observatory Los Angeles | Engagement Session