Ah, to match or not to match, that is the question. Or at least, that is the question I get asked the most often when it comes to couples asking me what they should wear for their engagement shoot. 

Being in front of the camera rarely comes naturally to people, and an engagement shoot is no exception. You may be feeling pressure to get the “perfect” shot for your save the date, wedding invites or to share with your family, but I’m going to tell you something you might be happy to hear: stop

Stop worrying about what you’re wearing, how your hair lays, or if you have a blemish on your face. The best photos happen when you are comfortable and yourself. It’s not your job to get good photos - it’s mine! So just take a deep breath, relax and have fun!

That all sounds good in theory, but I get that it doesn’t answer your question. So let me give you a few tips to help direct you to show up to your shoot looking (and more importantly, feeling) your best.

1. Dress for the weather and location.

First and foremost, consider where you’re going to be for the shoot. If you’re outside, or even hiking to a location, the most important thing is that you’re dressed for the circumstances. Like I said, photos come out the best when you’re actually having fun, and that’s hard to do if you’re trying to hike a mile down a trail in heels.

2. Coordinate, but don't match.

It’s natural to want to make sure you and your partner look good together. The best way to do this is through wearing pieces that work together . Stick to a color palette you both like, and if one person is wearing a pattern, consider keeping the other’s a bit more simple. You can browse Pinterest for some inspiration on how to coordinate outfits without matching. 

3. Avoid complicated patterns and bright colors.

The focus of this shoot is you two and your love. We want to avoid anything that distracts from that, like bright neon colors, overly-complicated patterns or logos. These things all bring your eye away from your beautiful faces, so try to keep it simple. 

4. Wear something you're comfortable in.

The most telling factor of whether a photo will turn out well or not isn’t lighting, weather, perfect skin or the best outfit; it’s how comfortable you are in the moment. True authenticity makes an image, so being comfortable is key. If you’re purchasing new outfits for this shoot, make sure they arrive early and wear it a few times so it’ll feel more natural on the day of the shoot. 

5. Take a look at your nails, friends!

For engagement shoots especially (but even other couple shoots too), make sure you take a look at your nails and your hands. Clip your nails and make sure they’re clean (or even get them done up if you want) and take off any band aids or hair ties. We want those hands looking good for the close-up ring shots!

6. Bring layers and a change of socks.

There’s a saying supposedly from someone in Ireland that gets quoted way too much in my opinion, but I’m going to do it anyway. It’s something along the lines of this - “there is no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing”. It’s Washington after all, folks! Rain is a big possibility (especially in the winter) and instead of working around it, learning to embrace it will get the best results. So make sure you bring layers for before the shoot, a change of socks for after and maybe even a blanket for the car ride home. I’ve got the clear umbrellas covered, let’s go play in the rain! 

7. Let go of the rest!

Once you pick out your outfit, decide on hair and makeup and get all packed and ready for the shoot, that’s all you can do. Let any other factors go; you can’t control them, so there’s no use in worrying about them anyways! 

With that, you’ll be looking fab, feeling your best and in the right mindset for some seriously glorious photos. And that’s the most I could ever ask of you as your photographer. All you have to do now is just show up as yourself, embrace the awkwardness and have fun!