What to Wear Guide by Brandi Thompson Photography

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THE WHAT TO WE A R G U I D E Tips & Tricks on being Photo Fabulous

By Brandi Thompson Photography


For most of my couples, is a big question. You’ve made an investment and you want to look good! Choosing clothing for photographs is a commitment in and of itself. Perhaps you remember having family portraits done at the mall, and everybody wore something matchy-matchy. This will be a completely different photo experience. To help guide you in the right direction, I’ve put together some information covering everything from head to toe (literally!).

WHAT TO WEAR? Before you go into your closet and start tearing things off hangers, consider developing a game plan. How many outfits do you want to bring? I strongly suggest that you bring two, or even three, completely different looks to your session, especially if we are going to be shooting in more than one location. Most commonly, people will do one more relaxed look and one dressier look. However, you could do two dressy looks or two casual looks; whatever best suits your personality. The most important factor in any item of clothing you choose is fit. Not only do you not want to choose items that are too small, but you want to make sure they aren’t too big either. You should be comfortable enough in what you’re wearing to walk, sit, cuddle, and possibly climb on things (you never know what we’ll find!). Don’t be afraid of color or pattern in your clothing. Jewel tones tend to be universally flattering on all skin tones. Patterns should be kept relative in size to your body type, smaller patterns for petite people and larger patterns for taller ones. You do not have to wear the same color! The days of everybody dressing the same in photographs are long gone. Consider a color palette that is complementary or analogous. Not sure what these words mean? Click here to find out! If you have ever watched America’s Next Top Model, you have probably heard them talk about how important the neck is in photographs. Well, it’s true not just for models, but for all of us. A long neckline makes us all look longer and leaner. Keep this in mind when planning your outfits. Avoid items like turtlenecks and consider things like scoop or v-neck tops.

RANDOM TIPS • Jackets and cardigans add an easy sophistication to many outfits. • It’s best to avoid obvious logos, unless it’s something significant to you (like your favorite sports team). • Remember to start your outfit with the proper foundation (hey, it has to be said!). • Have fun, and be creative! For more style tips and ideas check out What Not to Wear, Frugal Fashionista, or Steal This Dress.

ACCESSORIES Accessories are what turn an okay outfit into an awesome one. They add personality and visual interest to your clothing. Accessories to consider are: bold jewelry and watches, belts, hats, headbands/hairclips, colored/patterned tights and socks, scarves, funky ties, and sunglasses. If you are unsure which accessories to wear, you’re welcome to bring a selection and we’ll pick the perfect ones together. You can find a slew of unique accessories on sites like etsy.com. You can also find lots of fun and inexpensive accessories at places like Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe.

HANDS & NAILS I tend to take pictures of couples’ hands at almost every session. Make sure your hands are photo ready just like the rest of you! If you were looking for an excuse to go get a manicure, this is the perfect time. If you aren’t going to spring for a manicure, make sure your nails are trimmed and filed and that your hands are moisturized. This applies to both women and men!

Hands aren’t the only things I pay attention to with the camera. Your feet will also be prominent in many pictures, so don’t forget about them too. Engagement pictures are a great time to show off some of your favorite shoes. If you have a hot pair you’ve been saving for a special occasion, break them out! Ladies, if you are wearing high heels for the session, please make sure to bring a pair of flat shoes for walking in between locations. We will do quite a bit of walking, and I don’t want you to get blisters! If you are wearing open toed shoes, please give your toes the same treatment you give your hands.


HAIR & MAKEUP If you are planning on getting a haircut for your engagement session, please schedule it about a week in advance. This is also a good tip to remember for the wedding as well! This gives hair time to grow slightly and soften up any blunt ends from a fresh trim. It’s also good to consider your hair as part of your outfit. Ladies, if you are planning a dressier outfit, think about a dressier hairstyle as well. For engagement session makeup, I highly recommend a professional application. Remember that these photos, just like wedding and bridal photos, are forever. I am happy to provide a list of qualified makeup artists in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. If you can’t, or don’t want to, hire a professional makeup artist, check stores like MAC, Sephora or Nordstrom for tips and products from professionals that will help you look your best. If I had to pick four key tips they would be the following: 1) It is absolutely essential your foundation is a good match to your skin tone and that it be well blended. You want to avoid noticeable differences between your face and the rest of your body. 2) Curling your lashes and applying mascara can make a huge difference in appearance. It helps you look more awake and increases focus on your eyes. 3) When it comes to lipstick, don’t forget that I always encourage couples to kiss during their sessions. If you want to wear bright or dark lipstick, make sure it’s the kiss proof kind. Also, be sure to bring your lip color with you for touch ups! 4) Avoid wearing thick black liner on your top and bottom eyelids. It makes your eyes look smaller and tends to look harsh in photos.

EXTRAS & PROPS Now that we’ve covered all the basics regarding you, let’s move on to the extras you might want to include in your photos. If you have a child or children you would like to be part of your session, they are more than welcome. I will do a mix of shots that are both you as a couple and your entire family. If you have young children, it may be best to bring a family member along that can take the children home after we include them in some shots.

Pets are also happily welcomed into your engagement session. Dogs can be included in outdoor sessions, but make sure your dog will be comfortable in our chosen location. Having a family member or friend present to take your dog home afterwards is also a good idea. If you have cats or other indoor pets, I am always happy to shoot part of your session in your home.

Props are much like accessories for your session. They can add whimsy and personality to your photos. You could get some motion going with bicycles, motorcycles or skates. You could show off your love for reading with old books, funky magazines or comic books. Musical types may want to bring along their instruments or cool records. If you want to go for a whole theme for your session, let me know and we can discuss ideas together on how to make it awesome. If props aren’t your thing, that’s absolutely okay. In the end, all we really need is two people in love (you two!).

All information in this guide written by Brandi Thompson of Brandi Thompson Photography.

Please do not copy.








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