What to wear for engagement & couple photo shoot in Johannesburg

Temperatures are falling and so are the leaves.

Although the weather isn’t a bed of roses – and you’d much rather stay in bed.This is a prime time to do a photoshoot here in Johannesburg. The rusty colours this time of the year, make for the most unbelievable couple, engagement and wedding photography.


As a photographer (who’s obsessed with light) I’ve learnt that the best way to compliment these majestic hues, is by what you wear and by shooting during “golden hour”.

This magical hour happens twice a day. It’s where we may witness some of the most spectacular sunsets and sunrises in South Africa. Most importantly it’s a time of day, when the sun creates a creamy golden light that makes your skin radiate and your hair glow.

I try to keep these shoots down to an hour (this applies to your couples photoshoot on your wedding day as well).

If the weather does get nasty, let’s rather reschedule our photo shoot… Forcing a smile through chattering teeth is not my idea of fun – and fun is high on my priority list! That being said, I know it’s not quite as simple to reschedule your wedding photographer.

Not to worry, I have lots of creative ideas to make the most out of the weather – no matter what it throws at us.


Let’s face it. Wearing black throughout the cooler months is almost a given. I plead guilty. When it comes to photographs though, it’s not the most flattering.

Avoiding, dark, dull colours make for much better photos. So, let’s ditch the dark brown and black coats for pops of soft colour – scarfs and hats are great for this.

For wedding photography what you wear is entirely up to you, and is generally influenced by your body shape and personality.

While it’s still common for most brides to opt for white wedding dresses in South Africa, the trend in recent years has offered a lot more variety.

We now see wedding dresses catering for bohemian brides and whimsical South African elopements that no longer fit the “wedding mold”.

This significantly affects the “look and feel” in their wedding photography as a result.

I have four easy tips when picking and pairing colours for your photoshoot during the Johannesburg Autumn/Winter season. These are mostly applicable to Couples photography and Engagement photoshoots, but if you’re more of an adventurous bride feel free to spice up your wedding photos with a bit of colour using these tips.

1. If you’re wearing one bright colour, then tone it down with a complimentary shade. For example, you can tone blue down by going either darker (dark salmon) or lighter (pastel pink) in the complimentary colour. There are tones of complementary colours. Some of the most eye-catching combinations are;





Other combinations include:




2. Picking the colours that compliment your skin tone, will work wonders.This applies to wedding dresses and colours you pick out for your wedding theme and flowers. Remember, neutral colours like grey, tan, beige, navy and cream are the perfect additions to any of the above colours. They are also necessary – that is, if you’re not keen on smiling rainbow looks.

3. My general rule of thumb (and this works every time) is to combine one neutral shade (grey, navy, tan, cream etc.) with two colours (yellow, pink, maroon, blue etc). If you prefer to wear one colour or only neutral tones, then why not wear it in different shades. The layering adds a dimension of depth to your outfit, and keeps things interesting.

4. Playing around with accessories is also a fun idea. Just stay away from items that steal your limelight – the focus should always be on you and not your bling. To be on the safe side, rather trade your sparkling accessories for splashes of colour (Hint: use your bouquet to incorporate colour in your wedding pictures). When in doubt, remember less is more. This is especially true for wedding photography. It might be tough picking just one option amidst all the beautiful accessories out there, but you’ll need to be cut throat here.

In order to create classic photographs (that don’t date), it’s best to steer away from trends and fads and rather keep it simple.


Now that you know what to do, here are a few things to avoid:

  • Lumo colours. Great for Halloween, but not so much for photoshoots
    • Branding and large wording. It’s very distracting
      • Clothing that is uncomfortable (believe me it shows). I have noticed more and more brides forgoing the heels, and opting for sneakers on their wedding day instead. Fact is no one ever sees what is happening under your wedding dress and we end up getting some of the coolest photos.
        • Clothing that is too tight or too baggy.
          • Too much bright red (will make you glow like Rudolf’s red nose – especially when it’s close to your face)
            • Too much dark clothing (does nothing for anyone)
              • No sunglasses pretty please. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to bury my head in a bush when someone asks if they can bring their sunglasses along for the photo shoot. It might look really awesome for one or two shots, but when the time comes to take them off, we’re left with those lovely nose indents (that take at least 30-45mins to go away)… and no, photoshop ain’t gonna fix em.
                • Finally bring your adventurous spirit, we’re going to have loads of FUN!
                • YOUR OUTFIT/S for engagement and couple’s photoshoots

                  If you have chosen a package that includes more than one “look” (number of outfits), it’s important to be prepared. Make sure you have your outfits (plus one extra) planned out. We don’t have a lot of time to capture the best light in the day. Keep in mind that The weather in Johannesburg can change pretty suddenly, so use the forecast to help decide on what to wear for your photoshoot.

                  Finally, the clothes that you wear should reflect who you are – If you take one thing away from this post, let it be this.

                  When you look back in 10 years time, the only thing you are going to want to recall is who you (and your loved one) were back then. So, dress in a way that reflects your personal style (comfortable and casual). Think Sunday lunch as opposed to ballroom dinner bling.

                  Okay, let me stop there before I get completely carried away. I hope this wasn’t too technical. Let me know if you have any questions about the colours I’ve mentioned. I’d be more than happy to put my “stylist” hat back on – believe me I can talk about this subject all day long. ????.


                  If this is your first photo session be it a portrait, couple or engagement photoshoot – I know it can be daunting. Like I have already mentioned,

                  the most important thing to me is that you have an amazing experience and fabulous photos. So just sit back, relax and pretend I’m not even there.

                  The best photos happen when you’re not thinking about me and just enjoy being with each other. I’ll keep an eye out for anything that is not in place. I might occasionally ask you to flash some ivory at the camera – but I won’t make you hold a cheesy grin, till your cheeks ache. I might give you some suggestions on where to stand and what to do, but I’m happy to have you re-adjust until you’re comfortable.

                  My style of photography is capturing candid moments. The best reflection of who you are, are in the moments you allow yourself to enjoy.

                  LET’S CREATE TOGETHER

                  If you have any ideas or suggestions that you’re keen on trying out, or there is something that you love doing as a couple (games, tickles, telling jokes, hugs or even go-karting) – I would love to include them.

                  You are part of the creative process and there’s nothing more exciting, than seeing your Pinterest favourites come to life.

                  If you have any questions for me, please let me know – so we can sort them out in advance.

                  If you’d like to share your photographs from our session on Social Media, that would be awesome! Please do credit me in them, I put a lot of love and time into creating each one of them You can easily do so by including my information on any one of these platforms:

                  BUDGET BRIDE

                  WEBSITE: www.budgetbride.co.za

                  FACEBOOK https://web.facebook.com/budgetbridesouthafrica/

                  Let’s keep in touch on FACEBOOK, I’m always giving something away and wouldn’t want you to miss out, and…. I would just love to hear from you!

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment


Kelly & Wesley Johannesburg wedding

Wedding Photographer in Johannesburg

shaakira & shakeel Johannesburg wedding

Wedding Photographer in Johannesburg

Maxine & Adrian Johannesburg wedding