What shoes should you wear for your engagement shoot?

Art Director Tip: What shoes should you wear for your engagement shoot?

For men
Surprisingly I get asked this question more by men. I have no idea why. It’s quite funny cos for men, there are really only a few different shoe options: Brown, black and something casual. And when they ask me, I just ask them what they would normally wear and the answer is usually pretty obvious.

For Women
For the woman however it’s a completely different story. Of course it depends on the outfit she’s wearing but here’s my art directing tip: ALWAYS bring a pair of boots, a pair of heels and a pair of flats. Regardless of the outfit or season, I will always get my ladies to bring at least one pair of each!

Why you ask? Because the best photos often take place in spontaneous moments. Although I have an agenda for the day, if I see something beautiful like like a sea of poppy fields on the side of the road, I will stop and grab my couple and shoot inside the field (just like we did with Mina and Thai below).

In the above picture Mina is actually wearing tights and leather boots underneath her dress to protect her as she’s walking through the poppy fields. Although you can’t see the boots in makes a big difference! To see more of this shoot, click here.

Always bring a pair of boots!
The problem with spontaneity is you need to be prepared and flexible for it. As an art director I need to make sure you’re not going to get hurt, scratched or uncomfortable if I decide to shoot somewhere random at the last minute (ie. a random field or forest).

I can’t tell you how far a good pair of boots can go! Often the floor is wet from rain from days prior, there are sometimes prickly things on the ground, slippery mud on the floor, tall grass can make you itchy and I even accidentally stepped into an ant hill once! (lucky I had my wellies on!).

Often the boots won’t be seen in the images (eg. when you’re walking through a field) but it makes such a big difference and the ladies are much more comfortable knowing their legs aren’t going to get scratched and their shoe’s aren’t going to get damaged. I usually ask them to bring wellies if they have them, but if not leather boots work fine.

Although it didn’t rain on this shoot the ground was still wet and muddy from days before so boots were essential even on a sunny day! To see more of Justine & Andy, click here.

Always bring a pair of flats
I know this sounds obvious but it’s often overlooked. Often when you’re shooting you just don’t know how much walking you are going to be doing. Because I often shoot 2 or 3 different looks in the one day, we are often moving about in different locations. High heels get tiring and I can’t have ladies with sore feet and unhappy faces.

Note the UK the ground is especially hard and painful because of cobblestones. And it’s just as bad when there’s grass or stairs. Always ask your ladies to bring a pair of flats and then change into heels once the shoot starts (if you’re heading to he beach I would definitely bring flip flops).

What kind of heels to wear
Most woman look and feel prettier in a pair of heels so naturally I always get them to bring at least one pair to match their outfit. Sometimes two pairs depending on what we’re going for. Try to avoid any canvas / fabric shoes unless you know they won’t get wet or damaged. Generally, unless you’re using the shoes as a statement piece, I like to keep the shoes classic so they don’t age the images over time.

Be prepared so you can be spontaneous
Whether you’re organising an engagement shoot or planning one for yourself, I hope this blog post has helped you plan your shoes so you can be spontaneous on the actual day! You never know what amazing location is going to present itself so it’s best to be prepared : )

Justine & Andy’s ‘lost between space and time’ photo shoot was shot on the same day as the one picture above (the boots one). Funny enough it was also shot at the same location, Gunnersbury Park. We just utilised different parts of the park for different looks. We kept her shoes classic and simple for this part of the shoot to make it timeless. One of my all time favourite images from this shoot. If you haven’t seen it, check it out here (I wonder if you can guess which one it is 🙂 ).

ps. I think Justine also had a pair of slippers on the day – it wasn’t a great look (LOL!) but it allowed her to walk around freely on the path (in flats) so her feet weren’t hurting.

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