What to Wear for a Photoshoot?

Desert Engagement Shoot

I don’t even have a clue as to how many couples have stressed over this very question when we sit down to plan their shoot at our design session!! Can I get an “Amen!” that it is CRAZY difficult to coordinate without looking…. matchy… (gag). So without further adiu, here are my hints, thoughts, DON’Ts, how to flatter your body, and a Bonus of my fav looks.

Waterfall Engagement in South Carolina

Consider Your Location

I could also say consider your style here as well. For example, if you are going to go for a romantic soft look on a beach, wearing a very structured look like a suit might not be the answer here. Also think of convenience, because if you’re at a beach you may get a bit damp and you want something you’re ok with having a little fun in. Pro Tip: If you’re going somewhere there is more than likely going to be wind, opt for something flowy that will catch the breeze. Adds some movement to the image and creates a dramatic effect.

Thoughts on styles + locations that I like together:

Urban Setting/Downtown = try a night on the town look or maybe something super casual that is a little hip and trendy (think cool kid)

Forest/Dramatic Landscape = Now oddly enough in this setting I love an outfit that is a little out of the ordinary (like maybe the girl is in a soft flowy dress and the guy is in a nice pair of jeans and a T)

Beach/Waterfront = When it comes to waterside the palette of the clothes always comes to mind and I love something either super dreamy and pastel or you guys are pretty much in all black and pop off the soft tones of the water and sand!

Maybe You Only Need One Outfit

We always offer our couples the option of several changes if they wish, but if you’re somewhere that is quite remote (which very often happens on photo shoots because that’s where the cool locations are 😎) you will have to haul all of that with you and possibly do a quick change out in the wild! I am also all about images having a very authentic feel to them and sometimes having multiple changes (especially if you aren’t changing locations too) starts feeling a little staged when flipping through your album.

Beach Couple Photoshoot in Outer Banks

Keep it Casual

Along that same theme of authenticity that I adore in photographing couples, I often love to recommend a super casual look. I like to think of it like I just snuck up on an actual real life moment between you two and captured the magic that is already there. So if you’re wearing something casual i.e. something you could see yourself wearing on a weekend that’s kind of cute, you get that real life moment feel.

Asheville Anniversary Photoshoot

Choose Accessories Carefully

Now opinions can vary from person to person, but I have a few personal thoughts on how to accessorize. I generally recommend you keep the jewelry to a bare and simple minimum. Large necklaces/bracelets often just distract in my opinion. And fun shoes can be awesome, but we usually like to keep the focus on your faces in this scenario, so think cute but neutral tones. My recommendations to add personality are often in scarves, hats, or a unique/nice jacket. All of these will bring the focus up and lead to your faces. Now in saying all of this I do have a few disclaimers: Guys don’t have quite as many options for accessorizing generally, so a really nice/interesting watch can be a great way to personalize. And maybe you guys are fashionistas and into an unusual or colorful style…. I 100% always recommend that you go with what feels true to you!

Greenville wedding photographer

Pro Tips:

  1. Less Makeup. It is a common rumor in the arena of being photographed that you need more makeup so your features stand out. This is FALSE! Wear something that feels natural to you, what you might wear every day. I have had clients unhappy when their pictures come back because they say the makeup makes them look like a different person. Play it safe. This is not the moment to go crazy with experimentation. Keep it simple.

  2. TAKE OFF YOUR FITBIT… also any hair ties that might be riding along on your wrist. And fellas…. take all of the random stuff out of your pockets. No one loves an iPhone impression showing up in your pocket. 😂

  3. One of my all time favorite tips I learned from a stylist if you want to dress in a way that is flattering to yourself, wear similar tones from head to toe. For example avoid a dark top and light colored pants. Your whole outfit doesn’t have to be the same color, but keep it in the same tonal range. Because a hard contrast basically stops your eye at the point where the tone contrast is (basically your hips or waist) instead of a similar tone from head to toe allowing the viewers eye to travel easily up and down avoiding any areas we might not want to focus on. Ladies you can keep this simple by wearing a full length dress! (One of my ABSOLUTE favorite and most flattering options)

  4. If you are going to go the patterned fabric route, make sure at least one of you is wearing a solid color. And try to avoid very loud or bold prints. Because again this just distracts from your faces.


This isn’t actually a wardrobe tip, but something I recommend to my couples all the time. Bring along something to do on the shoot. If you are beer/wine drinkers, being some craft beer or a couple glasses, some vino and a blanket. If you are hikers, grab your packs and let’s go on a hike to somewhere beautiful to photograph and grab a couple shots of you guys and your gear or in your eno. The possibilities for this are endless, but this will give you something to do or something to hold and put you more at ease and really add to the storytelling aspect of your photos because it is something you two ACTUALLY do together as a couple!

Last Thoughts…

And work with your photographer! ASK QUESTIONS! I often encourage my clients to send me pictures of items from there wardrobe if they need help deciding and we chat back and forth about ideas.

Be yourself! Every single time! Choose something that feels authentic to you as a couple and you feel comfortable in.

Cheers! (That’s me and my usual cup of coffee 😂👇)

South Carolina Elopement Photographer
Mary Ann Summey