Beyond the Lens: What Not to Wear

Have you ever seen that hilarious article floating around Facebook that shows about 20 family portraits that are absolutely ridiculous? You think to yourself, "How did someone ever possibly think that looked good?" Well those people are real people and they really thought that their outfits looks great! This is exactly the purpose of today's "What Not to Wear." I don't want you to end up being one of those people, added to a global article that everyone laughs at and the sends to their friends and family to do the same.

Let me start off by saying one thing: I know that everyone has their own style and I absolutely agree that your engagement photos should reflect that style. So I am not going to tell you that you have to wear a green dress and nude heels in order to have fabulous photos, but I am going to tell you the types of outfits that really should be saved for another occasion. Now this does not mean that your anchor man shirt isn't amazing, but with your engagement photos, we have three goals in mind:

1. We want the viewer of the photo to focus on you and to not be distracted - you are the purpose of the photo!
2. Your true personalities should shine!
3. You should be confident and proud to show your children and grandchildren these photos one day!

To start off, I am going to present you with two photos and I want you to choose which one you like better...which one would you feel more proud posting on Facebook? Which one would get more re-pins and retweets? Which one would your parents and grandparents like more? Which can you see yourself looking at and still loving 50 years from now?

If you chose the photo on the left, then you can probably stop reading here. And I say this because if you don't feel that the image on the right is the only classy image here, then unfortunately you are not going to like anything else I have to say. But moving right along...

Think about what these photos represent. They are representing your engagement, your love for each other, your future marriage. Marriage is not just an every day event we take lightly, so why would you dress in a way that reflects an every day lifestyle? "The what not to wear image looks like a day out, rather than an engagement session. However, the proper outfit finished the images and makes them look polished." (Theresa, Theresa Bridget Photography)

I want you to take a second and scroll up to the photos and take another glance at the one on the left. What is the first thing you look at? Yep, it is now time to scroll back up and come back to this paragraph once you've taken another quick look.

I will tell you the two things that I first looked at when I saw this photo for the first time:

1. My husband's favorite anchor man shirt (he was very excited that he go to wear it in an actual shoot!) and
2. My pasty white legs that are completely revealed...not the best look for me, is it?

I am sure many of the men out there would choose the photo on the left as their favorite - his favorite shirt, favorite pair of sunglasses, and his soon-to-be wife's sexy legs?? What more could he ask for! But unfortunately, your parents, your grandparents, your children, and grandchildren and YOU (someday) will not agree. So choose the clothing that in 50 years from now, you will continue to think was a classy outfit.

While there are certain items of clothing that I think should be eliminated from your engagement outfit options, just remember that there are no absolutes. When it comes to choosing what you are going to wear, remember that you want to stay away from choosing something that will "take away from the overall feel - this is an engagement image, not a night out." (Theresa, Theresa Bridget Photography) Take this list as a starting point on what not to wear and ultimately, you will have to make the final decision.

What not to wear...

- shorts
- open back shirts
- flip flops
- t-shirts
- logos
- sunglasses
- tank tops
- anything that you wouldn't want to look back at in 50 years

What to wear...

Now that we've gone over everything that you shouldn't wear, I wanted to provide you with some beautiful images to leave you with some inspiration for your own engagement shoot! And before you get to the images, here are some tips from Theresa Bridget Photography that will help you with some of that inspiration:

- Match some of your colors, but not your outfits
- Pick a style and complement it
- Match your surroundings.

Let your personalities shine while keeping it classy :)

I believe that photography is one of the most important aspects of anyone's wedding day. Your cake will be consumed, your flowers will wilt, and your dress will be put away deep in the closet to be hidden until you have kids who want to see it. But despite everything else that doesn't stay with you, your photos do. These are the images that will sit in a beautiful album on your coffee table for each visitor to look through. These are the images that your children, grandchildren, and maybe even ancestors will look at one day, laughing at how silly that gown and hair do are. These images will last a lifetime.

"Beyond the Lens" is a collaborative series helping brides make the most of their wedding photos - the do's, the don'ts, and the absolute musts.

Theresa Bridget PhotographyLove and Lace Bridal & TailorDevon Duff Makeup Artistry