Photo: Chaffin Cade Photography
When you're paid to make people (and clothes) look good for a living like NYC-based celebrity fashion stylist Kimmie Smith, knowing how to knock engagement pictures out of the park is pretty much par for the course. Here, the style expert spills her top tips on nailing your next photo shoot.
Garner inspiration from the past
Take a trip down memory lane and browse through old photos of you and your partner together, as well as individually. Now, pick out the absolute best parts of those pictures (perhaps it's a pose you love or a gorgeous backdrop), and create a mood board on Pinterest to start planning the direction of your engagement shoot, instructs Smith. "Seeing what makes sense and what you're into will help give you some guidance."
Consider your color scheme
More specifically, how it will translate throughout your photos and create synergy, as opposed to just being a random collection of images. "For example, if you love light blue, you can wear this as a dress or a jumpsuit," says Smith. Then have him incorporate the same hue (think a blue tie or accessory) in a later look during the shoot to tie things together without it being too matchy-matchy.
Don't shy away from signature pieces and props
Whether it's a go-to hat, your favorite shades or a cigar band of a family member's that you wear around your neck, Smith urges couples to really let their personalities shine through with signature pieces. Props are always a fun touch too! In fact, the best ones are those that you use all the time, according to her. "I love the idea of cute statements on iPads, personal hobbies that people know you enjoy doing, as well as pets."
Show off several sides of yourself
Just as photo shoots have an array of looks that are included, engagement pictures can and should reflect the various facets you represent (both individually and as a couple), points out Smith. "Opt for an outfit or two that accurately depicts your style on an average day and one for a night out on the town." And do let him have some say. "For instance, if you're the ultimate glam girl and your partner is more country chic, these aesthetics should be within the pictures, as this is what people see you as." Love over the top jewelry, but he's a minimalist? Talk to your photographer to brainstorm ways to marry the two aesthetics.
Don't forget these three things
Statement shoes. Interesting jewelry. And striking fabrics (think lace, fur, etc.). "These elements add a ton of visual texture, which in turn, brings more warmth to your images," explains Smith. "Plus, they'll work well with whatever scenery you decide on." Yes, fur on a beach is a really cool contrast!