June 11, 2021
Trying to figure out how to pick out your engagement photo or adventure photoshoot outfits? Let’s dive into my top 3 tips for what to wear for your PNW adventure session with me!
What to Wear for Your Photoshoot: My Top 3 Tips
1. Keep it simple
The biggest topics around clothing that come up when clients ask me what to wear: colors, patterns, and “are we supposed to match each other?”
Earth tones all around
When it comes to colors, you truly do want to keep it as simple as possible. This isn’t the time to pull out that neon yellow, floral-patterned shirt your dad gave you from his disco years 😉 (but if it is actually special to you, we can take a few photos in it if you just ask me!)
Earth tones are colors that, well, are found in the earth – in the land around you. The tones you see in trees, grass, fields, mountains, lakes, etc. That means the majority of earth tones feature some shade of blue, green, brown, beige, black, white, etc.
And I’m not talking neon green – I’m talking more muted, pale colors like emerald green, burnt orange, cream, or mustard yellow. If you just take a quick look at my website, the colors of my fonts + logos are a great place to find some beautiful earth tones!
If you need some earth tone inspiration, you can go to Pinterest and find inspiration in color palettes + even interior decor/design! There’s tons of design inspo on Pinterest that show what colors go well together, and what types of earth tones you can wear.
Click here for a ton of great earth tone color schemes to get you started!
But, don’t match the background
The one thing about earth tones is that by wearing them, it makes it easy for you to blend in with your surroundings during an outdoor session.
For example, let’s say we’re shooting at some awesome sand dunes and you show up in a light beige jumpsuit that pretty much matches the color of the sand. You’ll blend in with everything around you, and we want you + your boo to stand out. You’re obviously the highlight of the photos, and a beautiful background is just an added bonus!
The same goes for something like a forest adventure session. If we’re shooting somewhere surrounded by deep green trees, avoid wearing a deep green dress that’s going to make you look like you’re one with the trees.
Instead, find colors that allow you to stand out against whatever background/type of landscape we’ll be shooting in.
Are we doing your adventure session in the mountains? Wear something like a deep mustard yellow or a burnt orange that you won’t find in the mountain scenery behind you.
Or maybe we are shooting in a classic lush, PNW forest: wear maroon or burnt orange, which will look great against the greenery of the trees.
Keep prints to a minimum
If there were only *one* thing I could tell my clients when they’re deciding what to wear for engagement photos or an adventure session, it would be this: keep your prints + patterns to a minimum.
Like I mentioned before, the whole goal of your session is to focus on you two, so we want you to really stand out in your photos!
So if you show up in the biggest leopard print that the PNW has ever seen, or in a bright shirt with huge flowers, it’s not gonna help us with that goal. Wild prints like those are going to draw attention much more to your clothes than to you two, and have the potential to take away from the emotion in the image because they’re so distracting.
I always tell my clients: when in doubt, ask me. If you have an outfit with a simple print that you *really* are dying to wear, send me a photo of it and I can give you my professional opinion based on the print + the location we’ll be at. Especially if one of you wants to wear flannel or something plaid – make sure the stripes aren’t too tiny (the camera often picks up tiny prints/lines weirdly).
Matching? Nah. Coordinate – yes!
Another big question I get about outfits is whether or not you and your partner should match your outfits.
The simple answer: nah, don’t do it!
The longer answer: don’t match – coordinate.
Instead of you both wearing a burnt orange shirt + black bottoms, we want to coordinate your colors in a way that makes both of your features look amazing & doesn’t distract from the other person.
Pinterest is the best resource for looking up color coordination inspo! If you’re having trouble coordinating your outfits, go to Pinterest and type in “couples outfit inspiration.” You’ll find all sorts of ideas to help you get started, and you can look at other couples to see what colors/tones/shades look good together.
2. Wear appropriate footwear
The second tip I have is to wear appropriate footwear. This is such a big one that will really affect how comfortable you are throughout our session, especially if we’re doing any sort of hiking or traversing land that isn’t flat/smooth.
Don’t be afraid to bring multiple pairs of shoes: wear your best hiking/outdoor shoes for whatever type of terrain we’ll be on to get to your location (e.g. if we’re hiking to your session spot), and bring along your cute shoes in a backpack to change into.
Avoid wearing sandals on rocky land – the last thing we want is for you to trip/sprain an ankle during our session because you didn’t bring the best shoes. Make sure you have enough traction and are comfortable + confident walking across the land we’ll be on in the shoes you choose to wear!
Bonus tip: you can do the same thing with outfits! Bring one to hike in that you can get sweaty/dirty, and then bring your cute shoot outfits in a backpack to change into.
3. Be comfortable above all else
Finally, my biggest tip is that you need to make sure you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing, in two aspects:
- Be physically comfortable – you want to be able to move around freely, walk, hike, run, give piggyback rides, etc. You don’t want to be thinking about how tight your pants are the whole shoot, or how the dress you wore is too snug + doesn’t allow you to move comfortably.
- Be comfortable + confident – we also want to make sure you’re super confident in whatever you choose to wear, and aren’t feeling insecure during your session! Wear outfits that truly feel like you, not just outfits you thought were cute and don’t actually represent you as a person. Wear what makes you feel like your best self so that you can feel like your best self when the camera comes out + be able to be authentic with your partner.
Want some more session outfit inspo? Check out some of my recent couples who had great outfit combos!