One of the most overlooked aspects of Engagement Photography is the choice of attire when a couple is to have their Engagement Picture taken.
Before you roll your eyes and skip ahead to the next post, concluding that this is going to be the most boring topic ever featured in a photography blog, hang in there with me for just a few minutes! These rules apply anytime you'd like to have a visual impact in a group situation, whether it's in a photograph - or just attending a formal occasion with another person.
Catrice & Jonathan in formal attire. Not for you? Then keep reading, this next section should help!
First, ask your Photographer for some ideas concerning what you should wear for your Engagement Session - and what to avoid. If he/she stares at you blankly with a "deer in the headlights" look, don't worry. Just refer back to this blog entry for some helpful tips and suggestions in making your pictures the success they should be.
Here are some quick-hitting bullet points that are hard and fast rules:
Try to Avoid:
- "hot" colors
- shades of green - if your pictures are going to outdoors
Checks, stripes, patterns, plaids, prints and logos cause visual confusion to the person viewing your photograph. When you add a second person to the mix, it only amplifies the visual clutter. Remember: our goal is draw attention to the you - the subject featured in the photograph - not the clothes you are wearing!
"Hot" colors are equally distracting. Reds, Oranges, bright Yellows, Fuscias, etc. are subliminally alarming to someone viewing your Engagement Pictures. These colors also tend to reflect/bounce discolored light onto your partner, hopelessly discoloring their faces. Guys: Leave the red shirt for Tiger Woods to wear on Sunday afternoon at the Masters Golf Tournament. Don't risk having your fiancee's face look like a freshly cooked lobster.
And if you choose to wear clothes that are predominantly green, you will find yourself undoubtedly clashing with some or most of the folliage surrounding you! You don't want to "camoflage" yourself by receding into a background of folliage!
Having eliminated the clothes to avoid, let's take a brief look at what you should wear.
- Whites or off-white shirts
- neutral colors
- soft pastels
- long-sleeved shirts
White, off-white, and neutral shirt selections will bounce clean light onto your faces. Your photographer will love you for it.
Since the human eye is naturally attracted to skin tones, large areas of uncovered skin will make it difficult for your portrait viewer to ultimately find your face. Long sleeved shirts help steer your Portrait viewer to the most important part of the portrait - you!
By following these guidelines for attire, you'll be looking great in your Engagement Portrait - and that's the goal!
If a conventional Engagement session seems a little too tame, you may want to try this: