Style icon Audrey Hepburn once said: “I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. And I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls.”
I adore the last line! As a long time professional photographer, I’ve learned that it pretty much sums up everything you need to know about looking good on camera. But perhaps you’re searching for more concrete advice on what to wear for your engagement session. Unless you have a lot of experience in front of the camera, you may be wondering: what colors should I wear? Do I need to get my hair done? If only you had a personal stylist finding the best looks for you! Not to worry. Looking flawless and photogenic is easy if you follow these simple guidelines.
1. THE CAMERA LOVES COLOR
Tip number one – color is gorgeous on camera.
If your outfit features mainly neutrals or softer shades – which is totally fine – think about adding a color somewhere in your accessories. Shoes, nail color, scarf etc. Or a bright lip color. A pop of bright color is fabulous.
2. SOLID BLOCKS OF WHITE CAN BE PROBLEMATIC
Cameras get fooled by lots of white. But don’t let this get you down – there are exceptions to this rule. For example if you have a gorgeous white dress that fits you perfectly, ignore this rule. Fit is more important than anything!
3. TIME FOR A MANICURE
Your hands will be in many of your photos. Holding hands, showing off your ring, running your fingers through your fiancés hair… these are all likely scenarios during your photo shoot. And depending on your shoes (are you wearing strappy sandals or a peep toe heel?) you may want a pedicure too.
4. COORDINATE YOUR COLOR PALETTE WITHOUT BEING MATCHY
You don’t want to look like twins!
5. THINGS LOOK A LITTLE DIFFERENT IN PERSON THAN ON CAMERA.
I suggest grabbing your iPhone, snapping some full-length selfies in the mirror, to see how a camera “interprets” your outfits. That will give you a rough idea of how an outfit is going to play on camera. Then email your pics to your fashionista sister (or cousin or BFF) and ask for their advice. A photography tip: take your test shots in natural light (stand facing a big window, or go outside).
6. GET PAMPERED!
Get a professional to do your hair and/or makeup. If for no other reason than it will make you feel more put together and relaxed in front of the camera. Also, it is the perfect opportunity to try out a new look or a new stylist for your wedding, sangeet, reception etc. Think of it as a trial run before the Main Event.
7. SHOW OFF YOUR BEST ASSETS
If you need some help identifying your best features (or just narrowing them down!) ask your fiancé. This is a prime opportunity to hear them talk about your sexy legs or gorgeous eyes or luscious hair.
8. IGNORE THE RULES AND DO WHATEVER YOU WANT
At the end of the day – don’t get overwhelmed with rules. Take the tips that work for you – and throw out the rest. If there’s any secret to dressing well, it is to wear what makes you feel really good.
When you are relaxed and enjoying yourself, it shows in your eyes and through your body language. And the camera picks up on those cues. Remember, your engagement session is all about capturing the special bond between you and your fiance. So it doesn’t really matter if you’re wearing pink or yellow or red or even zebra stripes – remember to enjoy the experience, and you’ll look gorgeous!
* * * * *
Uma Sanghvi was just named one of the “Top 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography” by Rangefinder Magazine. She is based in beautiful Austin, Texas, and specializes in modern Indian wedding photography.