What to Wear for Your Engagement Photo Shoot

Planning an engagement photo shoot can be super exciting, yet the outfit planning can feel daunting at times. After all, you want to look your best for the photos that are documenting this special time in your life! To make sure that you look great and feel confident in front of the camera, here are some tips on what to wear for your engagement photo shoot.

Plan two outfits each and bring an extra for the car ride home.

Most photographers let you change outfits halfway through your session so you have more variety in your photos! Additionally, it’s always a good idea to bring extra clothes in case of last minute mishaps (like spilling coffee on the drive over). If you want a couple of those oh-so-romantic splashing and kissing in the water or rolling around in the sand images at the end of your photo shoot, it can be nice to change into a dry set of clothes afterwards.

When picking out what to wear for your engagement photo shoot, I recommend choosing different styles for each set of outfits. For example, one outfit set could be more formal and classic, such as a dress or suit. The second outfit set could be more casual – say jeans and a t-shirt, or a skirt and cute top. You don’t have to go with formal and casual. Try and think outside the box! Maybe you want an outfit set to be wild and fun, sensual and romantic, or vintage and chic. Let your personality shine and wear what makes you, YOU.

Dress comfortably.

I always tell my clients to never wear something that leaves a mark on your skin after you wear it. (I live by this rule.) Also, loose fitting clothing is generally preferable for outdoor shoots because it moves with the wind and looks much more natural than something fitted that won’t move at all. For ladies, avoid dresses that are too tight because they won’t flow naturally in the breeze. A better idea would be to wear a flowing skirt paired with a fitted top, or loose trousers or shorts coupled with a chunky knitted top – these will all look great against any background!

Use a color wheel.

If you’re feeling stuck when it comes to coordinating colors, try using a color wheel reference guide online. Choose one main color, then select 2-3 accent colors from either side of the chosen hue on the wheel. This technique ensures that all colors will coordinate nicely with each other and give a feeling of harmony in the photos. However, there are many alternative ways to coordinate colors for your photos. If you want to learn more, this blog post is a great resource.When in doubt, choose neutral colors. Neutral colors like beige, gray, and khaki look great in engagement photos and tend to create a timeless feel to your images. I personally don’t love black or bright white. Wearing black in some settings can cause you to fade into the background. Alternatively, a bright white can be distracting at times. If you wear white, aim for an off-white, cream, or a textured fabric. Of course, there are always exceptions to this so don’t be afraid to reach out to your photographer and ask for their recommendations ahead of time!

Add layers and textures.

Layering clothes helps add texture and dimension to your photographs while also keeping you comfortable during the photo session. Think about adding sweaters, light jackets and scarves. Remember to avoid mixing too many patterns. While patterns are fun and can be great in certain photos, mixing too many can be distracting from the purpose of the photo – which is you!

Textures are great. Instead of using multiple patterns, mix in different textures like leather, knits, corduroy, silk, etc., to enhance your pictures without overwhelming them.


Don’t forget the accessories! Things like scarves, hats, and jewelry can go a long way to show off your unique and individual personality. These items can really tie the outfit together and make the photos even more interesting.

Plan hair and makeup.

Preparing your hair and makeup ahead of time for an engagement photo shoot is essential. Keep things light and natural – after all, you want to look like yourselves in your images and too much makeup can be distracting in photos. Use subtle colors like nudes and soft pinks, and add a hint of shimmer to the eyes for a touch of glamor. Use a light layer of foundation that still allows your natural skin texture to show through, and choose some waterproof mascara and lip color so it will stay put throughout the shoot.

If you don’t generally wear makeup (ahem, meeeeeee), that’s okay too! Let your natural beauty shine through! As for hair, practice your hairstyle ahead of time or schedule an appointment with a hair and or makeup artist. (Reach out to your photographer if you need recommendations!) We want to avoid the stress of an unexpected “bad hair day” on the day of your photoshoot.

Don’t forget the nails!

It’s important to keep them clean and neat because there will be many close-ups of hands for those important ring shots. If you decide to polish them, choose a color that will complement your ring but won’t distract from it—avoid bright shades that can draw attention away from the ring itself.

Let your personality shine!

Above all else though don’t forget to let your personality shine through – this is an opportunity for you and your partner to express yourselves! Wear something that reflects who you are at this moment in time and try not to overthink it.

I hope you found these tips on what to wear for your engagement photo shoot helpful! Be sure to bookmark this blog post so you can refer back to it when you’re planning your engagement or couples photoshoot. Questions? Leave them in the comments below.

You can book your engagement photo shoot with me today by clicking here! I can’t wait to work with you!

With love and gratitude,


If you found this article useful, you may also love:

Tips for Feeling Comfortable in Front of the Camera

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Couple engagement photo session with their two dogs on Ring Mountain in Marin County.

March 27, 2023

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