What to Wear for Engagement Photos

What to Wear for Engagement Photos

Ottawa and Gatineau Engagement Photographer | Black Lamb Photography

Spring is finally here and summer is just around the corner. This means that people will start having outdoor portraits taken, including engagement photos. I wanted to help couples look their best for their engagement photo shoot, so I’ve written this blog post to help you know what to wear for engagement photos.


Dress to Impress:

I prefer for couples to wear dressed up casual clothes or dressy clothes. For men, a nice polo or button up shirt with dressy jeans or khakis looks awesome. For ladies, a beautiful dress or skirt with nice shoes looks beautiful. If you prefer to wear pants, slacks or dressy jeans look nice. Jackets, nice sweaters or dress coats look good for colder weather. Of course, it’ll depend on the weather.ottawa-rustic-engagement-photos

Women, please take care to choose outfits that will flatter you. You don’t need to be a size 4 or smaller to look fabulous. You just need to dress for your shape. I’ve seen some awesome plus-sized ladies who rock their look because they know how to dress for their body. Most women (me included) don’t have perfect model bodies. We have things that we’re self conscious about. We all want to look our best, so to help you look your best, avoid clothes that are too baggy, too tight or just too revealing in any way.

I may be a wizard at Photoshop and I will definitely pose you to your best advantage. However, don’t expect me to photoshop anyone to look slimmer, unless you plan on compensating me for the extra time it takes me to create those photoshop miracles, which is presently $40/photo. ‘Nuff said about that.

You can also wear traditional clothing if you prefer. I welcome any of my clients to wear a sari or cheongsam. If you want to wear that, by all means wear it as it will give a unique touch to your photos.


I’ll say one more thing. When all is said and done, if you have an outfit that makes you feel like a million bucks and you’ve already had tonnes of compliments about how you look in it, that’s probably the outfit that you should wear.

Dress Appropriately:

If you’re having your photos taken in a rustic location, you might want to choose a more casual look. However, I would still advise to wear nice shoes and pants, but maybe not a dress. If you’re having your photos taken in an urban setting, more dressy clothes would be more appropriate. If you do decide to have your photos taken in an open field or in front of a barn, by all means wear dressy clothes if you choose. It’s up to you, of course.


If you’re having your photos taken at a funkier sort of location, you can get away with wearing more casual wear. Better yet, bring an extra outfit to change into to add variety to your engagement photos.graffiti-wall-engagement-photos-ottawa-ontario-black-lamb-photography

Colours and Patterns:

Don’t match your outfits entirely so that you look like twins, but do collaborate with your fiancé with the colour scheme. You could have a small element, like a scarf, necklace or shoes that match the colour or pattern of what your fiancé is wearing.


Gone are the days of couples wearing matching outfits. Remember when everyone wore jeans or khakis with white shirts so that they matched in their portraits? Those outfits belong in the past, so please, please, please don’t dress like those people stuck in the 90s. I cringe when I even think that some people still dress that way for photos.

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For women, a beautiful necklace, scarf, hat, bracelet, earrings and rings are beautiful touches for an ensemble. Choose a couple of tasteful and stylish pieces to accentuate your outfit. You don’t need to wear all types of accessories. Remember less is ALWAYS more. For men, a stylish watch adds to an outfit.



In keeping with the theme of dressing to impress, steer clear of wearing shoes that are scuffed up or dirty looking. Men:  For men, loafers, dress shoes or nice boots look awesome in helping you to achieve a GQ look, or even just a stylish look. In order to maintain a dapper look, stay away from running shoes, unless they happen to be stylish sneakers and you’re going for a metro-sexual look. Women:  boots, heels or pretty flats will keep you looking feminine and stylish. If you want to wear open toed shoes, please get a pedicure.engagement-photography-gatineau-ottawa-wedding-photographers

Socks for men:

To maintain a classic look wear black, brown or navy socks. To be playful men can wear argyle or bright coloured socks. However, please for the love of all that’s good and holy, DO NOT WEAR WHITE SOCKS!!! That is a HUGE fashion faux pas! My eyes bleed whenever I see men wearing white socks! (Ok, that was overly dramatic, but you get my point,)


Women, if possible, have your hair styled for your engagement photo session. A genius way to do this so as not to be out extra money is to schedule your wedding hair trial appointment on the same day as your engagement photo shoot. And/or you can also schedule your wedding makeup trial on the same day as your e-session. By doing this you kill two beauty birds with one stone.

One of my former brides scheduled her trial hair appointment on the same day as her engagement photo shoot, while another one of my brides scheduled her trial makeup appointment on the same day as her engagement photo shoot. By doing this, these ladies looked GORGEOUS for their engagement photos.


Savvy Women Wear Makeup:

Unless you have perfectly matt skin (ie. no shine) with zero blemishes, I highly advise all women to wear makeup for their engagement photo session. I know not all women like to wear makeup, but pretty please make an exception this one time.  These are your engagement photos that you will be showing to everyone (and possibly adding in your wedding invitations). You don’t need to wear much to get the job done. A little concealer under the eyes and on the face hides dark circles and blemishes, while a touch of powder keeps the shine factor down.


Some lipstick helps to accentuate the lips. If you’re like me and your lips are close to the same colour as the rest of your face, be sure to wear a coloured lip gloss or lipstick so that your lips actually stand out from your skin, instead of blending right in. When in doubt, hire a makeup artist. Better yet, you can schedule your trial wedding makeup appointment on the same day that you’re having your engagement photo session.



Your hands will be showing in your engagement shoot to show the engagement ring, so make sure you get a manicure–even if you get a friend to do it. You want your fingers to look awesome for the ring shots.


Book your Engagement Photo Session!


I would love to photograph your wedding and engagement photos as I LOVE shooting portraits of couples in love. Please note that I include complimentary engagement photo shoots in all of my wedding photo packages. Contact me today to book your wedding date and engagement photos.

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