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What to wear for engagement photos

Everybody stresses about what to wear for engagement photos, so rest assured: you’re not alone! Here are some general tips to guide you in the right direction…

The most important thing is that you feel comfortable and relaxed.

If you’re constantly thinking about how the outfit is making you feel, it will show in the photos. So instead of spending the session worrying about whether something is too tight or too revealing, pick something that makes you feel relaxed, happy, and confident.

But it’s also important to dress nicer than pajama pants! πŸ™‚

A good approach is to think of it like your anniversary date night out. And if you’re going to purchase something brand new, make sure to give yourself some time to break it in and feel comfortable in it. (Hint: it’s not a good idea to wait until the night before to head to the mall.) πŸ˜‰

Keep the location in mind

The location you choose for your photos should serve as a general guide. For instance: a tuxedo might not be the best choice for a beach shoot, and a bathing suit might not be the best choice for a library. The same goes for colors: if we’re doing urban photos in front of a red brick wall, a pink/red dress might clash with the environment. Likewise, if we’re out in nature, fluorescent anything might look out of place.


As far as specifics, stay away from noisy patterns (narrow bold stripes, neon yellow + gingham, etc), and avoid red, dark pink, and orange tops if you can (they reflect into the other person’s face and can make them look demonic :).

You don’t have to dress identically, like you’re 80 years old on a church retreat to Disney World, but it’s a good idea to make sure your colors compliment each other. Natural tones are always very classy and flattering: browns, khakis, blues, etc.

In general, it’s most flattering when gentlemen cover their legs (pants instead of shorts), and when ladies hide their shoulders and upper arms. Bare upper arms draw attention from your pretty face and make you look wider than you actually are. (Pro Tip: Simply hiding your upper arms can easily make you look 20 pounds lighter.)

Bottom Line

Dress nicer than usual — like you’re headed to a romantic night out. And wear something that won’t make you feel awkward or stuffy. And if you have questions about specific items, feel free to shoot a photo with your cell phone and send it over.

Examples on Pinterest

I’ve created a few Pinterest boards that might help:

Can we wear more than one outfit?

Yes, absolutely! Two outfits can work really well with the amount of time we have. Three outfits are doable but might require some extra time. Doing more than three will stress you the heck out. πŸ™‚

Congratulations on your engagement!

Hi, there! My name is Justin Hankins, and I’d like to photograph the happiest day of your life. I have a reputation for taking incredible care of couples just like you, and can’t wait to surprise and delight you!

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