What to Wear for Your Engagement Session


Photo by Tiffany Ingro | Pei guest blogs for Anna Wu Photography

I’m excited to welcome my friend Pei, who’s guest blogging with us today. Pei is a freelance costume and production designer in Los Angeles, and she recently launched her own lifestyle blog, Have Patience. I love Pei’s ability to combine casual clothing with elegance, and I thought she would be the perfect person to help “regular people” figure out what to wear for their professional photography shoots.

Below are four awesome tips from Pei on what to look out for when you’re deciding what to wear for your engagement session. 

Take it away, Pei!

1. Be Yourself

The most important tip I can give you is to stay true to your style no matter what outfits you and your partner decide on. You don’t want to wear the clothes you lounge around the house in, but there’s no need to wear something that makes you feel totally uncomfortable either! If you are pulling from your own closet, pick an outfit that you feel represents you the best. If you decide to buy an outfit for the shoot, find something you love enough to wear again.

2. Fit

Well-fitted clothing will flatter you and look like you’re wearing the clothes and not the other way around. A shirt that is too tight can be distracting, and pants that are too long will bunch around your ankles making you look shorter. If you have areas you’re a little more self-conscious about, wear something with more structure or made of a thicker fabric and stay away from stretchy or clingy fabrics like lycra/spandex. Try on your outfit(s) and check to see that everything fits as it should. Perhaps you’ve lost some weight since you last wore a dress, or you never got around to getting a pair of slacks hemmed. If you want to buy a new outfit, do it at least a week in advance to give your tailor time to do any necessary alterations.

What to wear for your engagement session

3. Complementary vs. Matching

You want your outfits to look complementary, not matchy-matchy. For example, if one of you wants to wear a bright blue top, the other shouldn’t say, “Perfect, I have bright blue pants to match!” Instead, one partner can wear the blue while the other should wear something neutral to not compete. Varying shades of gray and cream would go nicely with a bolder color like blue. A complementary color (think: color wheel) like orange would work as well.  If you are not comfortable with color, a neutral palette is the way to go. You can add dimension to your outfit by adding layers (ex. sweater over a shirt), different fabrics (ex. chambray, tweed), and jewelry.

4. Colors & Patterns

You want a balanced photo, and it helps if your outfits are harmonious. One partner’s outfit should not overpower the other. Keep the levels of color saturation close or the same in both outfits. For example, if you like pastel colors then both of you should be in pastel shades. I would advise staying away from very bright and neon shades.

When deciding between patterned or solid clothes, opt for the latter. Solid colored clothing works well with most if not all backgrounds. Leopard print heels or a plaid shirt with a sports coat or sweater are good ways to incorporate patterns into your outfit without overdoing it.


A big thank you to Pei for this wonderful guest post! If you’re newly engaged and looking to book an engagement session in San Francisco (or beyond), contact Anna directly.  She loves capturing the excitement of this special time!

Pei is an explorer of creative outlets. She freelances as a costumer and production designer in Los Angeles. She likes DIY projects, painting, and amateur flower arranging in her free time. You can find follow her adventures on her lifestyle blog Have Peitience and on Instagram

Anna Wu is a fine art and photojournalism photographer based in San Francisco. She love photographing couples in love and capturing genuine emotions and fleeting moments. See more of Anna’s photography at annawu.com and follow Anna on Facebook.