Photos by Megan Daas
Deciding to take engagement photos was an easy decision. Choosing a location and a theme was a challenge. Some brides opt for a casual engagement shoot in a park. Others don a fancy gown and pose in front of an iconic landmark. I talked about it with Sean, and neither of those options felt like us. We didn’t want our photos to look staged. Instead, we wanted our photos to capture who we are as a couple.
That’s why we decided to have our engagement shoot in our neighborhood. We live in the North Loop, which is full of amazing restaurants and urban backdrops. I’m comfortable in front of a camera, but Sean isn’t. I knew that being in a familiar setting would make him feel relaxed. Our photographer, Megan Daas, was also a fan of the idea.
Megan met us at our apartment, and we went for a walk around the neighborhood. We took photos in front of our favorite local spots such as Spoon and Stable (where we got engaged), The Bachelor Farmer, and Askov Finlayson. We stopped for a drink at Borough. Instead of a stuffy photo shoot, it felt like we were showing a friend around town. Megan encouraged us to laugh and talk, which resulted in some great, natural-looking photos.
Besides our favorite neighborhood spots, I also wanted to capture our first home together. At first, Sean wasn’t a fan of this idea. He was worried the photos would be too casual or boring. But I’m glad he came around, because those apartment shots are some of my favorites. We put on jeans, cracked a couple of beers, and played Yahtzee in our living room. We chatted on our balcony. We were just having fun at home, and Megan was able to capture that.
After a few final shots in the courtyard, we were ready to call it a night. Sean said, “All that’s left for us to do is to jump in the pool!” I paused for a moment. “What if we did?” I asked. Sean was joking, but I thought it was an amazing idea. We had all the main shots we wanted; there was nothing to lose at that point. Megan encouraged us to go for it. She set up her camera, told us where to stand, and gave us a countdown. Sean and I held hands, jumped, and took the plunge with all of our clothes on. It was a blast.
Looking back on the engagement photo experience, here’s my advice:
- Choose a location that’s meaningful to you as a couple. You’ll feel relaxed and have fun, and that will come out in your photos.
- Have some photo ideas in mind, but trust your photographer. Take their suggestions. Give them the freedom to do what they do best.
- Trust the experts when it comes to beauty prep. You don’t want to stress about a bad hair day. I got a spray tan from The Glow Lounge, and I got my hair and makeup done at The Wow Bar. I walked out feeling fabulous.
- If you don’t want to spend a fortune on engagement outfits, rent them instead. I rented two designer dresses and a necklace from Rent the Runway. The process was easy, and they photographed really well.