GIRLS! YOUR ENGAGEMENT SESSION IS COMING
Such and exciting time and think of all the things you can do! But, do you know how to look your best during your engagement session? Are you ready?
Deciding what to wear is one of the most enjoyable and exciting things during Engagement Session prep! Of course, this is next to getting pampered – getting your ring shined (this is a must!!), makeup done, nails done and maybe even your hair. But for me, the dress is the highlight! And in all honesty, I say, GO ALL OUT and even go as far as to say…
That dress you have been eyeing for the longest time! GET IT! But, don’t forget that the most important part of this all is to have fun and, meaning, your engagement session should reflect you and what you love!
HOWEVER YOU DRESS, BE SURE TO MAKE IT YOUR BEST!
But what is your best?
How to look your best during your engagement session will depend on your attention to the little details and also your ability to look at the big picture! Will these be photos you want to post on your walls forever? Will these photos be photos you want your guests to see on your wedding day?
We all want to look gorgeous in front of the camera. We are more likely than the guys to throw all the stops for this one single portrait session – our engagement session. But beyond that, being in front of the camera is probably the one place we are most afraid to be. Unless you’re a beauty queen and the camera just loves you, it’s hard to trust people easily and be comfortable in front of the camera. Soo.. with all my clients, I like to…
START WITH A LITTLE TRANSPARENCY… BUT BE ANALYTICAL INSTEAD OF CRITICAL!
Part of our booking process is to send out a questionnaire to answer. One of the questions – a very essential one – asks what part of you are you most conscious of or is there anything I would need to keep in mind as I’m taking photos. Most women have said “my belly”, “my flabby arms” or “my double chin”. And next to “I like the right side of my face better than my left”, all those other concerns are what typically makes us the most self-conscious! So… be truthful when asked because it’s really our job to make you, the client, feel the most comfortable in front of the camera. It’s our job to flatter you!
But before being in front of the camera,
MAKE THE RIGHT PREPARATIONS FOR THE SESSION… CHOOSE THE RIGHT OUTFIT!!
Meaning, do your homework to discover what looks great on you! And, pick something that will allow for you to enjoy your time! Because what you wear will either make you look really confident or self-conscious. If you are uncomfortable in the dress or outfit you are wearing – for instance if you’re constantly fixing your straps, or you feel the need to keep pulling your top up – it will show in the photos. So preparation in the key!
HOW YOU DRESS CHANGES YOUR LOOK
How you dress to look your best during the engagement session can definitely change your overall look, a whole lot! It can direct the feel of the photo and how the photos turn out! Colors and patterns definitely play a big part in how the overall look and feel of the photos! How you match your patterns can either make a photo look great or really terrible!
But on much simpler terms – not getting into colors, patterns and such – what’s the best way to make sure the clothes you wear fits your figure? Well, my first suggestion is first be honest with yourself – know your problem areas – and then decide from there!
KNOW YOUR PROBLEM AREAS
Below we’ll talk about the cut of clothes and clothing styles that will best flatter each area you are most worried about. The problem areas I’ll cover are 1) the arms 2) the stomach & 3) your legs.
#1 Your ARMS
If you are concerned about how your arms look, wear something that will flatter them or, to be blunt, cover them! This will be easy because trends have definitely changed! When I was married – 10 years ago – strapless and sweetheart cut dresses was the trend. But, these days, lace sleeves, bubble sleeves – any intricately made sleeves – are in!!! Could the beautiful Duchess of Cambridge’s have anything to do with that?
#2: MID-SECTION, A.K.A YOUR STOMACH…
Some of the best choices for a fuller figure would be: blouson, tent, sheath, high waist & asymmetrical dresses! Probably stay away from dresses that are tighter around the middle. But aim for dresses that are tight around the bust and flair out below. – image from http://www.grosgrainfab.com/2012/04/modcloth-dress-ed.html
The best way of hiding your mid-section is wearing dresses like the photo on the left – vs. wearing a dress that are form-fitting. This style of the dress also gives photos great movement! If you mid-section is your worry point, wear something that flairs down instead of tight around the waist. For instance, pick an empire waist over an a-line dress. And if you want to wear a blouse, wear your blouse loose and do not tuck them in. If, perhaps, you want to tuck it in, wear a jacket over it for a layered look so you can create cover around your mid-section. Layers are an awesome thing!
BUT if you plan on wearing something more form-fitting, layering is the best advice – like wear a cardigan, a jean-jacket or a shawl. But even if you have nothing to worry about – in the mid-section – laying is always a great way to flatter the body – for any body!
#3: YOUR LEGS
STYLING YOUR LEGS
Okay, maybe not a pair of $1000 Jimmy Choos… but if you want to go all out, why not?
If you are worried about your legs there are a couple of things you can do to flatter your leg!
- Dark tights with solid wedges or heels (just like the photo on the right) – just as black makes your look thinner, black tights also help slim down the legs! Adding the same color heels will help make your legs look extra long.
- Trouser legs! 🙂 Trouser legs are an awesome way to cover as well as elongating your legs, especially if you wear heels with them!
- Boots – especially tall riding boots with details at the top! The details on the top of the boots will draw attention away from your thick calves!
- Wear a full skirt – or A-line skirts! The larger skirt helps make your legs look narrower because of the contrast between your dress/skirt and your legs (the dress is thicker/wider than your legs).
Accentuating your winning areas
If you are confident in your body and you have nothing to hide, what you choose to wear can guide the eyes to the parts you want to accentuate!
SHOW OFF OF YOUR SHOULDERS?
Strapless, halters or thin strapped tops/dresses are two options to show off your shoulders!
The only tips on strapless is to make sure the dress stays up! The less you have to fix your clothes, the better the photos!
NOT AFRAID OF YOUR WAIST?
A-line or Fit and Flare dresses are awesome choices for you! The top of an A-line dress naturally ends at the waistline before flaring out. This is an easily emphasis on your beautiful waistline!
WANT TO SHOW OFF YOUR LEGS?
Mini-skirts/baby-doll dresses with nude booties (similar to your skin color) or thin heels are an awesome way to accentuate your legs! Or, you could wear long trouser legs with heels as well! Trouser pants and heels can show off the length of your legs!
MAKE A STATEMENT
Pairing an accessory or two with your outfit can really help bring some extra dimension to your images.
Whether it’s a necklace, belt, bracelet, earrings, hat, or scarf, bringing an accessory or two can bring great visual interest to your photos, so choose one or two that don’t compete for attention when paired together. For example, if you go with bolder earnings, you might want to choose a more humble necklace, or maybe even no necklace at all. Fresh florals in a crown or bouquet can be a really romantic touch as well!
Watch? Ditch you apple watch – which is functional but not very fashionable – and switch it out for a beautiful traditional watch like the one on the right? Her watch has a hint of pink or gold which makes the overall look really awesome!
MAKEUP & HAIR?
PROFESSIONAL HAIR AND MAKEUP IS ON THE TOP OF MOST OF OUR CLIENTS’ PORTRAIT SESSION CHECKLISTS. WHY?
Professional hair and makeup looks amazing on camera and removes the stress of getting ready on your own. Remember, you’ll have these photos forever, so this is the time to pamper yourself! Whether it’s lash extensions or blown-out hair, professional hair and makeup will give you an extra boost of confidence in front of the camera, and it always photographs like a dream. If you’re working with a makeup artist, have her apply your makeup in natural light (if possible) so that it looks fresh and not too heavy. Plus, that’s the type of light we’ll be shooting in, so it’ll give you the best expectation of how it will translate on camera. Most of our clients feel like their makeup is “too much” at first, since it’s more than they would wear on a normal day, so if you feel that way at the beginning, don’t worry! Good makeup artists know how to get it just right for the camera — and our clients always love the final result.
If you already have a makeup artist lined up for your wedding, your engagement session is an awesome time to take her out for a trial run! An engagement session will test the makeup out and you might even find the look you want for your wedding.
My last and final advice on how to look your best for your engagement session is probably the most important. This little piece of advice will also apply for your wedding portrait and any other portrait you will have in the future! Always keep this in your heart whenever you find yourself in front of a camera!
I know planning for an engagement session is a big deal! And often times we over plan and worry to the point of where we enter the portrait session overwhelmed. But I have one final note that I want to share with you.
The location you choose and the outfits you wear won’t matter nearly as much as the fun you have together and the memories you make. Now don’t get me wrong – your clothing choice is absolutely important and can even make or break your session. But even if you are dressed the best, if you don’t have the right mood or attitude your photos will show!
The most important accessory to bring with you is joyfulness and lots of laughter – which is the one that makes the biggest difference in your photos. You don’t need to have prior experience in front of the camera. Just show up with ready to smile, laugh and have fun and we’ll take care of the rest 🙂
SOME OF MY FAVORITE PLACES TO SHOP
- ANTHROPOLOGIE: IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR UNIQUE ONE-OF-A-KIND ITEMS.. THIS IS THE PLACE FOR YOU!
- Amazon: Believe it or not, Amazon has become one the most popular place to find dresses – especially for affordable long maxi-dresses.
- Nordstrom: you can never go wrong. Not only is nordstroms a great place to shop, their return policy is awesome!
- Modcloth: for dresses and clothing out of the box this has become a popular place to shop for anything!
- Morning Lavender: for beautiful feminine dresses, blouses shirts and etc.
- JoyFolie: For bohemian dresses as well as dresses with a lot of dress for movement!
- Baltic Born Another place for modern, boho and feminine flowy dresses, tops and clothing!
HI, I’m Amy and I am a San Diego wedding photographer that loves serving people who are genuine, fun and yearns for a photographer that doesn’t just scratch the surface but can truly understand, bring out and authentically tell the love story that is unique to every couple!