What to Wear for a Sedona Engagement Shoot


HEY - I'm Annette

An Arizona based Wedding, Elopement & Couple's Photographer. I am here for the wild, messy and imperfect moments. Let me help you create an experience that will last a lifetime.


May 25, 2023

​​Planning what to wear for your Sedona Engagement Shoot.
Desert-friendly options from a Sedona Wedding + Engagement Photographer.

Sedona Photographer, Annette Ambrose Photography, shares her tips on what you should wear to your Sedona Engagement Shoot in the desert.

Getting ready for your Sedona engagement should be filled with fun and excitement! Definitely not the stress of “what should I wear?” or mixed color palettes. 

Don’t worry, I got you! This guide is simply here just for those moments. 

Picking out what to wear for a Sedona photoshoot can be hard! I always get the question, “Do you have ideas on what to wear in Sedona?”. Well, this guide is for you for everything on what to wear for your photoshoot, where to shop, and even clothing ideas you can order right now!

So, if you’re looking for outfit ideas on what to wear for your upcoming Sedona engagement, you’re going to want to stick around!

How to Start Picking Outfit Ideas for Your Sedona Engagement Session

The desert backdrop can be very integrated so when picking out your outfits, it can really make or break your photos! I personally understand that choosing what to wear for your photoshoot can be stressful…let alone choosing who to wear in Sedona! That can be even more difficult.

This guide is to help ease your pain when picking out an outfit and even give you ideas on what to buy. With my years of capturing couples, families, and everything in between here are my tips! 

Ladies, wearing white for your Sedona engagement photoshoot is always my favorite! Anything in the color palette with whites or beiges always looks the best in Sedona against the red rocks. 

So, fellas, you’ll want to wear something in a similar color palette. What you both want to avoid is “twinning” by wearing the same outfit style. Basically, go for something in a similar color palette and style to complement each other. That way you both will look like models against the iconic red rocks.  

Additionally, the most important thing to consider when choosing your outfit is picking something you feel comfortable in. I want you to feel confident in yourself with your outfit. The more confidence, the more we can see those genuine smiles! Ultimately, that’s what we want at the end of the day. 

A Desert Photogarpher’s Outfit Recommendations for Your Sedona Engagement Shoot

For an engagement or couples shoot, I always shoot for a 60-minute time frame during sunset. Personally, you get the most out of this time frame and time of day! The lighting is just magnificent and I highly recommend two outfits of your choice. 

First, I always recommend picking a casual outfit. The casual outfit lets you have more movement than a dressier option. So you’re able to be more carefree in this because it’s the “everyday” fit. Right?! For example, poses like picky back rides or lifting your partner over your should like a bag of potatoes. 

Then, I recommend changing to a dressier option. This is usually what I recommend for the finale of our session because you are warmed up from the casual outfit. As opposed to starting off in the dressier outfit where you feel a little bit more restricted. Although, I do encourage selecting a dressier style that works with movement. So as opposed to a tight dress, go for an option that has a little bit more flow. For example, one where you can twirl or when you dance are some of my favorite photos!!! 

Trust me, it’s the best way to get the most out of your time during the golden hours of Sedona. Just look at these couples! 

Shoes to Wear for a Sedona Engagement Shoot

Certainly, we know no outfit is complete without SHOES! 

First of all, I always recommend wearing a shoe that you are able to hike or walk in. Most locations in Sedona you either have to hike to the location or walk into the hiking trail a little bit. I recommend wearing a hiking/workout shoe to get to the location then bring the shoes you want to wear for the shoot to change into. 

Sedona is also very dusty and sandy so in most locations we will be walking on all the red sand or red rocks so make sure to wear something comfortable. As well as something you don’t mind getting too dirty with the red rocks. 

Finally, if you are not a heel-type person then I don’t recommend wearing heels for the first time during our shoot. If you do want to stunt in a pump then I will recommend breaking them in the first way before your Sedona engagement day. Most importantly, (again) wear something you are used to and comfortable in to make the best out of your session. 

10 Tips for Choosing What to Wear for Your Sedona Engagement Shoot

There are a ton of factors that go into choosing what to wear, and I know it can be tough to decide which outfit will suit your photos best!

Given that your Sedona engagement session is coming up, these 10 tips will help you narrow down what to wear. 

1 | Wear Something You’re Comfortable In 

Wear something that makes you feel YOU. I love to offer the opportunity for an outfit change throughout the session. This gives you the opportunity to get a few different looks and feels with your session while maximizing our time together. Many couples opt for one dressier option and one more casual option. 

Warning: You may need to change your car (depending on where we are shooting).
Just be prepared for the adventure without worry because I’ll stand guard!

2 | Allow for Movement

Each session involves a lot of moving, so wear something that you can move in. Ladies, make sure if you choose a top that is more busty, do the wiggle test to make sure nothing wiggles out. IFYKYK

3 | Consider the Location in Sedona

Wear something that makes sense for the location and terrain. I don’t want you to look out of place in the environment by wearing stilettos in the sand for example. 

So if we are hiking, make sure to wear hiking shoes and bring your heels in a backpack to change into when we get to the final destination.

4 | Colors Colors Colors

Neutral colors are always my go-to colors because they photograph the best. If you can’t decide on what to wear. I advise you to choose more earthy tones that aren’t too bold or distracting. If you want to go all out and wear something flashy, LET’S DO THE DAMN THANG & WEAR SPARKLES!!! 

Obviously, we all know you can’t have enough sparkle! But also, if one partner is in a dark color then make sure the other is in a lighter color.

5 | Consider the Location & Season

It’s important to consider how the colors you wear complement the colors of the environment in Sedona, without causing you to blend in or get lost in the landscape. For example, red might not be a good choice of outfit color in Sedona because of the red rocks. 

So go for options that complement the stunning landscape! 

6 | Patterns

Stay away from any bold or distracting patterns. Read that sentence again! (haha)

If you want a pattern, pick minimal or smaller patterns. Secondly, make sure only one partner is in a pattern and the other is in all solids if you do decide to go with a pattern. 

Overall, solids are always the best picks and safest choices!

7 | Compliment Each Other 

Here I like to tell you to coordinate without “matching”. Although it seems cute, avoid the twinning moment. 

Instead, wear something that complements each other to get the best photos. Think of a runway collection line! You can scroll through Pinterest or magazines of couples if you want a better idea of what I mean. 

8 | Avoid Distractions 

I highly advise against accessories like big watches or bulky pieces. They just distract from the focus of you both and can sometimes restrict movement. Also, steer clear of logos. They may be part of your everyday outfits but when it comes to being photographed for your Sedona engagement it doesn’t work.

Examples: Nike Swoosh, Adidas logo, Sports Team logos, etc. 

9 | Accessories 

I love accessories like hats, scarves, jackets, etc. to wear! Remember though that smaller, dainty jewelry photographs are better. They’re harder to notice in photos so if you want your jewelry to stand out be cautious what you wear. 

Small details like having manicured nails to show off your ring are always something to consider. So ladies, use this as an excuse to go get your nails done! 

10 | Bring Lots of Options! 

While we are trying to help narrow down outfits, it’s okay to have more than 2 options. Bring a lot of outfit options so I can help you piece them together if you can’t decide. And hey, if you can‘t decide on shoes either, bring them all!!!

What to Look for When Picking Out an Outfit for a Sedona Engagement Shoot

In short, there are a few key things to consider when picking out an outfit for your Sedona engagement.

To help make your decision even easier, here’s a list to keep in mind:

  • Don’t pick anything with a lot of patterns
  • Don’t pick a color that will blend into the rocks 
  • Pick more solid colors 
  • If one partner is in a dark solid, have your other partner in a lighter color solid 
  • If one partner is in a pattern, the other partner should be in a solid 
  • Ladies, be careful on picking tube tops (it looks like you are naked in photos)
  • Choose a color palette of 3-4 colors
  • A dress that shows movement (a more flowy dress style)

Shop Women’s & Men’s Outfit Ideas for Sedona Engagement Shoot

When I said I got you, I meant it! 
Here are links to my Amazon Storefronts:

If you need ideas on where to shop or get some more clothing options, here’s a list of my favorite stores for outfits. These are some of my favorite stores in Arizona and online (in no particular order): 

Favorite Clothing Stores for Women’s Clothing:

  • Lulus
  • BHLDN (there is now a store in Arizona at the Biltmore) 
  • Nordstrom
  • Nordstrom’s Rack
  • Abercrombie & Fitch
  • Alter’d State
  • Zara
  • Anthropologie
  • Madewell
  • Free People

Favorite Clothing Stores for Men’s Clothing:

  • Abercrombie & Fitch
  • ASOS
  • Nordstrom 
  • Nordstrom’s Rack
  • Zara
  • H&M
  • Marshalls/TJ Maxx

The Necessary Mindset for Your Sedona Engagement Photoshoot

Finally, treat your session like it’s a date night.

I recommend going to dinner before in Sedona because most restaurants will close by the time we get done. Give yourselves plenty of time to get ready so you can relax and not feel rushed. It will show in photos if you are relaxed.

Also, I recommend a little happy hour to loosen up or go to one of the local Sedona breweries in town before. You can always bring a couple of drinks during the session like a bottle of your favorite wine, pop a bottle of your favorite champagne, or even bring your favorite drinks to sip on. That’s if you prefer or need a little somethin’ somethin’ to loosen up. 

Besides, it’s more than okay to feel nervous! Please know that I do not expect you to be models. My job is to direct you in a way that helps you relax, feel natural, and be your true comfortable selves in front of the lens.

By the end of the session, you will both feel so comfortable you won’t even know I am there.

I am always here to help you and give you any advice if you ever need it on what to wear. I usually recommend my clients to send me pictures if they need help or even bring all their options of outfits when we meet up. Then, we can go over the outfit ideas when we meet up! 

Lastly, remember there aren’t any rules on what to wear, these are just all recommendations. Always pick the option that you feel the most comfortable in!


Found this helpful?
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HEY - I'm Annette!

An Arizona based Wedding, Elopement & Couple's Photographer. I am here for the wild, messy and imperfect moments. Let me help you create an experience that will last a lifetime.


Annette Ambrose

Weddings, Elopements, & COUPLES