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Styling Tips for a Great Engagement Session by Aaron and Jillian Photography

We hope everyone had a lovely holiday weekend! We’re thrilled to be able to kick off the first Monday in December with an informative post from Charleston wedding photographers and our friends, the husband and wife duo at Aaron and Jillian Photography.  This talented twosome has been around the block and knows a thing or two about Charleston weddings and how to plan the perfect outfit and atmosphere for your engagement session and has kindly shared their knowledge with A Lowcountry Wedding.  So without further ado, let’s hear it for Aaron and Jillian Photography!

Whatever you pick to wear for your engagement photos, the best advice we can give is to make sure you’re comfortable in it!  If you feel uncomfortable, you’ll probably look uncomfortable… and stay true to who you are! The rest of this is pretty straightforward, and remember if your favorite outfit goes against most of what we suggest, bring it to your shoot anyway. Regardless of what you two wear, you’re going to have lots of fun and get photos you’ll love!

1. Embrace Jeans. For whatever reason, jeans tend to photograph really, really well. We personally prefer the look of jeans in photos over khakis, but that is really more of a personal preference. They both look great.

2. Cute dresses. Another great thing for you girls to keep in mind is dresses! If you’re comfortable in dresses and have a few that you love (or want an excuse to go out and shop!), brightly colored dresses are a great option.

3. Bright and rich colors can really help separate you from the background!  And don’t be afraid to wear patterns!  As long as the colors and patterns that you and your fiancé chose are complimentary, go for it!

4. Fellas: Have a fun bowtie to throw on for a couple shots?!    You certainly don’t need to wear it for the whole shoot, but it could be fun for your personal portraits!

5. Fun shoes. Don't stress about this aspect, but if you do happen to have a fun pair of colored shoes, they always seem to photograph well.

6. Patterns: plaids, stripes and polk-a-dots always seem to photograph well!

7. Have fun with accessories. Bring a variety of jewelry, scarves, sunglasses, belts or hats. You don’t have to use them, especially if you’re the kind of person who usually keeps it pretty simple with accessories, but it doesn’t hurt to bring them along just in case!  They typically add a nice element of texture and interest to your photos.

8. Pamper yourself with a manicure! Ladies, your photographer will probably want to get some hand photos in, especially for engagement sessions, so make sure that you're nails are looking beautiful.  You'll thank us later!

  1. Being too matchy-matchy. This might go without saying, but you don’t both need to show up in matching white polos and khakis. Here’s a good link about complementary colors in fashion.
  2.  Large logos!  This is mostly geared towards the fellas, and there really aren’t many exceptions to this one.  A couple photo session is no place for promoting a label.  Even if it is your favorite brand!  Try and pic something without large text running across the front of it!
  3.  Ladies: For tighter tops (or sleeveless tops/dresses), always bring a cardigan along or cute jacket for layering!
  4.  Ladies: Our advice is to try to avoid sleeveless clothing whenever possible. If your favorite top/dress is sleeveless, just bring a cardigan along!
  5. Ladies: Try and avoid overdoing your eye makeup. When in doubt, err on the side of caution. Makeup can go from classy to cheap with just a few too many swipes of liquid eyeliner!
  6. Ladies: Never wear 4 inch stiletto heels if you’re a girl who lives and dies by adorable flats!
  7.  Fellas: Please, please, please don’t wear clothes that are too big for you. You’ll look bigger than you really are and kinda messy/sloppy if your dress shirts are too baggy!
  8. Always consider the general style you’re both going for. Guys – this means that if she’s wearing a chic cocktail dress and heels, you should reconsider your cargo shorts and flip flops.
  9. White shirts with jeans / black shirts with jeans.  Don’t hate me, but they create boring photos. We're just being honest!
  10.  Running shoes. Unless you’re literally shooting part of your session at the track, always keep the casual shoes non-athletic.
  1. Anything that tells your story is a bonus – just be creative!
  2. Tasteful “Save the date” , “Thank you” , "Merry Christmas" signs, or anything else you can think of to help involve your reason for having these photos taken.
  3. If you play the guitar, bring it along!

4. If you own a boat and are out on the water a lot, consider scheduling your session on the boat!

5. Is there a street in town that’s special to you and your fiance’s story?  If so, jump right in the middle and snap a fun shot of the street as your backdrop!

6. Your dog!  We love dogs in engagement sessions!  Some photographers may not feel the same, but some would love to see your furry four-legged friend at your session!  But always arrange for a friend to come along and “doggy sit” while your photographer is snapping photos of just you and your fiancé!

7. If you’re a wine connoisseur, bring a bottle and some glasses along!

8. If your fiancé gave you a thoughtful gift or piece of jewelry that can be photographed, bring it along!  It'll help tell YOUR love story and document a special gift given!

9. If you love picnics and are a great cook or love to bake, set up a picnic in the park or at the beach!  Bring a cute blanket along too!

10. If you and your fiancé spend a lot of time sipping coffee, bring a couple cute mugs with a carafe and enjoy ‘a cup of jo’ while you’re photographer documents your love for coffee during a part of your photo shoot!

On that note, we’re going to go pour ourselves a cup of jo and enjoy the cool Charleston temps this afternoon!  Congratulations on your engagement!



Aaron and Jillian

of Aaron and Jillian Photography