Engagement Sessions - What to wear and where to shoot?
Typically, the first step after booking your photographer is to schedule your engagement session. The most frequently asked questions I get asked by couples are: What do we wear? And Where should we do the session?
What to Wear?
If you are shooting for an hour or more, most couples choose to wear two outfits for their engagement: one dressed-up and one a little more relaxed & casual. It’s the best of both worlds- most people don’t get the opportunity for many dressed-up photos, and you get to feel more relaxed in casual attire; the two combinations make for a nice variety in the photos we take.
Definitely don’t match and go with the same colors- coordinate! Please don’t go with the white shirt and blue jean combo! One perfect example of this is if it’s fall go with coordinating fall colors. Josh and Alex here do this perfectly below.
Keep to one pattern at a time. If one of you is wearing a pattern, the other should wear a solid color or neutral tones. Don’t mix classy & casual. It’s important to be on the same level with your attire. For example, if she’s in a dress, her fiancé should be in at least business casual.
Add some nice accessories to your outfit! Break out that nice watch your mom gave you that you rarely wear! Bring some hats, necklaces, belts, scarves, ties, and statement shoes…they can add so much to an image and tie everything together! Plus they add more variety to the photos and allow for you to be holding something which helps your comfort level.
Where Should We Go?
I always pose a question back to my couples for this answer. What would you be doing or want to do if we weren’t going on an engagement shoot? Would you be hiking, walking around town, enjoying quiet time at a cafe, wine tasting, cycling, or skiing? You should do something that you both enjoy together so your relationship shines. It also allows you to pick those outfits more wisely for the two activities.
Oftentimes it’s best to mix two things during an engagement session - go for a short hike then wine taste or mountain bike and walk around town and grab a coffee. This adds variety and allows more of your personalities to come out.
Think of a short adventure! Some of my happiest clients came to me with an idea like we’d love to go on a snowshoe and grab hot chocolate after, or we’d love to hike around the Colorado National Monument and ride a tandem bike around town (see pics below for Anna and Dave’s session). Think of a fun day you’ve been wanting to do and we’ll go do that!
Engagement sessions shouldn’t be thought of as a stuffy and a chore. Have fun with it. Bring options you feel comfortable in and so we have variety, and do something enjoyable you both identify with. A lot of couples make a weekend trip out of an engagement session. That way you’re more relaxed and enjoy the session more than if you were rushed.
OK, So Give me some Ideas about Locations!
I’ve been all over the west and here are spots where I’ve either enjoyed or did an engagement shoot. I’m constantly venturing out to Utah and Wyoming, so stay tuned for more locations in those states as well!
The map below shows a variety of outdoor options for your engagement shoot including short walks to long hikes, vineyards and orchards, kayaking/SUPing, mountain biking, and backcountry skiing. Maximize it to see the key.
Although I always enjoy going to a new location to shoot an engagement, I can’t help but have my favorite spots. Here are some of them:
Dillon Reservoir in Frisco/Dillon, CO
Why is this on my list? The possibilities for variety are endless. You can hike, kayak or SUP, and have some amazing views of the mountains on all sides. Pairing some mountains with a visit to the marina or downtown Frisco is a must. I end up here at least two or three times a year.
The Colorado National Monument in Grand Junction, CO
Why is this on my list: Other than it being in my back yard, this area has some of the most stunning views on the western slope. The stark contrast of green junipers and red rock makes for an amazing backdrop and shooting north created a beautiful minimalism against the Bookcliffs and Mount Garfield.
Chautauqua and Flagstaff Road, Boulder, CO
Why this is on the list: The busiest of my favorites, this area obviously has the iconic flatiron views. Beat the crowds by going along trails to the north instead of the main trail out of the Ranger station. Side trips can include a drive and shots off Flagstaff road with nice views to the west. To get variety, drive 5 minutes to Pearl Street for some shots downtown.
Still need more location ideas?
Check out my list of 15 EPIC LOCATIONS IN COLORADO FOR ENGAGEMENT AND ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY
Hey there! I’m Jeff Chrisler. I’m the photographer and guide behind Couloir Creative. I can promise to help capture your unique wedding experience in a creative, meaningful way, while being here to answer all of your wedding questions! I help with directing you to look your best so you can relax and your true relationship shines through.
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