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Couple standing in the woods

How to Pick a Color Palette for Your Engagement Session

I’ve chatted a few times about how to pick out your engagement session outfits (one of my favorite topics!), but let’s go a step further! If you’re struggling to find outfits that you love, try picking a color palette first. My photos are always on the lighter and brighter side, but your clothing choices will dictate if your images will be soft and romantic or bold & bright! Are there colors that you prefer to wear – based on your skin tone, do you look better in jewel tones or pastels & neutrals? Obviously, you don’t want to match with your partner because coordination is KEY, but you won’t want to be completely opposite either. Most couples choose to have two outfits, and you can have one darker & bolder than the other.

Couple laughing together on a dock

For lighter, softer, more romantic photos, you’ll want to stick to neutrals & pastels. A few key tips for lighter outfits:

  • if your groom is leaning toward darker jeans or pants, get him to wear a khaki pant instead.
  • flowy dresses and skirts photograph beautifully and the movement helps soften images.
  • patterns are great for softer images, as long as they’re big!
  • a few tones to stick with are blushes, grays, creams, light blue, soft minty green, light pink, and all neutrals.

Man and woman walking through apple orchard

Couple walking through garden in the spring

Man and woman standing on top of mountain with dog

For brighter and bolder photos, you’ll want to edge towards more jewel tones. A few tips for darker outfits:

  • some jewel tones to stick with: navy, mustard, burgundy & forest green – black is also great!
  • if you really want to wear darker pieces, make sure that you balance your outfits out with some lighter pieces, otherwise it will be overpowered by the darker colors.
  • a darker pattern like a flannel is PERFECT for fall and winter and can help balance out the other outfit.

Man and woman walking on rocks

Man and woman kissing in field

Man and woman standing on top of mountain

As always – if one of you looks significantly better in certain colors, put one outfit together first. My husband annoyingly looks great in all colors, so I *always* pick my outfits first for photos (I’m not sorry about it!). If you’re unsure about what to wear, think about what some of your favorite normal outfits are – are they all similar in tones and palettes? That’s where you start. If you have any questions, I love to help my couples figure out their outfits!!

Man and woman standing in middle of park

For more outfit inspiration, check out this post and this one!

How to pick a color palette for your engagement session

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HI, I'M caitlin

New England based wedding and lifestyle photographer