Whether it's an anniversary, engagement or your family simply consists of the two of you, couples portraits are a wonderful way to celebrate the promise you've made to one another and the unique relationship and bond you share. These photos can help you mark another year of togetherness and the changes you both have enjoyed and endured with one another. They are also likely to serve as a beautiful reminder one day of a time long past. For better or worse your commitment changed your life like no other relationship with another human can, and that is certainly worthy of documenting.
Couples sessions can also be an intimate and playful time that becomes a memory in and of itself. While the most important factor to documenting your love story is something I'm here to take care of, I know you'll want to look amazing and do your part. Your choice of clothing can make a huge impact on how you feel about how you look in your pictures and that's where a little prep work on your part can help. Here are some of my suggestions to help you achieve a memory you will treasure for years to come.
START WITH STYLE
Consider first where you would like to hang or display your photos in your home. Is your home modern or formal? A cocktail dress for her and a button down shirt for him may be the perfect look. If your home is shabby chic or a rustic style, maybe jeans and knit shirts are your best bet. If your home decor is ocean or lake inspired, then by all means dress the part in khakis for him and a simple skirt for her. When in doubt, I suggest going classic and traditional, which is sure to offer a timeless portrait that you will never tire of seeing or feel is dated. We all know it's hard to be relaxed when you are uncomfortable in your clothes. Representing your authentic selves in the best possible light is the goal here, so go with what you know always makes you feel comfortable and like you look amazing and you can't go wrong.
Try to have your attire fit the scene of your session. If you plan on having your portraits in front of a barn, in a field or a wooded area, perhaps jeans and boots would be the look you would like. Planning a romantic sunset walk along the beach for your portraits, a flowing skirt and rolled up khakis may be your choice. As sometimes some there is some walking during a session, I recommend considering your choice of shoes with regards to location as well, or an extra pair that is easy to slip on and off. Location will also help set the mood and feelings in your images so consider if your attire supports a relaxed comfortable look, classic and more formal or a romantic feeling.
Coordinating (not matching) is key. It's always best to start with a neutral base and add in color for personality, style, and fun. A simple way to coordinate colors is to have one person in a pattern and the other person in a solid. Pulling one color from the patterned outfit and matching it with a solid item for the other person. Another great option is complementary colors or the same color in different shades. Pinterest is full of ideas for color palettes if you find yourself in need of inspiration. Muted colors tend to photograph better than bright or multi-colored and busy patterns. I also like to pull from colors you choose to decorate your home in making the photo already an easy fit for that particular room.
HEAD TO TOE
Plan everything you'd like to wear from head to toe. This includes your underclothes. There's a lot to be said about having perfect fitting underclothes to keep everything lifted, tucked and fitting smoothly with the right undergarments. (No shame in my game either- I Spanx it up for all planned photos I'm going to be in too.) Don't forget about shoes for either of you. I'm not a shoe addict, but I do know having the wrong pair can be a real bummer and throw off the whole look.
A great way to add in style, personality, color pops, and fun is by accessorizing. Light layers, vests, jackets, sweaters, scarves, jewelry, and belts are all perfect additions to your photos. Additionally, accessories can offer variety in your photos with a quick swap out without having to deal with a full clothing change.
For those of you who want the simplest breakdown possible -- Here are my TOP THREE DO'S and DON'TS. If you follow even just these you will be just fine.
1. Always consider fit first OVER anything.
2. Start with your own outfit first! Well, if you're the woman of the house and have gotten this far in reading this, girl you do you!
3. Take time to plan and prepare and text me a snap shot of your options if you have any question at all.
1. Avoid words or large logos.
2. Don't wear tank tops or sleeveless shirts unless you would like your arms featured. (Same for plunging necklines, and shorter skirts or dresses.)
3. Don't wear flip-flops or tennis shoes.
Just remember in the end it's all about being able to capture your relationship to one another. I am always more than happy to help guide you through the process of clothing selections, but I wholeheartedly believe it's the people that make great photographs, not the clothes. Feel free to send me a quick snapshot of your options and I am always willing to offer my opinion and make suggestions. Your portrait is created to help you document your special relationship and unique personalities, so really the very best thing to wear is your smile :)