You guys! We are obsessed with our engagement photos because they are beyond what we could have ever imaged they’d be, us being as non-photogenic as we are.
Seriously y’all we typically take 10-15 pictures to get one good one and in most cases it’s just what we could consider “usable.” My eyes never seem to close simultaneously and LeBraun’s mouth does everything but smile normally when the shutter closes. We laugh about it and rarely get upset by it, but these are like official engagement photos, you know, so we were determined to get some good stuff. Reason #1 to get a pro photographer.
We’d been bouncing around between DC and New York leading up to our engagement shoot so we only had a small about of time to research what to wear, find what to wear, and decide on style, pick locations, etc.
When researching we found a lot of engagement photos to be…cheesy! We didn't want to awkwardly hold signs, run through fields, or look super posed. We wanted to make sure our relationship and all that love was captured. Reason #2 to get a pro photographer.
Enter Teale Photography. If you can’t tell, Teale is amazing! We met her when she photographed LeBraun’s brother’s wedding in September and instantly felt a connection with her and her husband. They’re both genuine, energetic people with a portfolio packed with photos that capture a couple’s personality and love!
During our session Teale made us so comfortable. I mean it’s not like you make out with your boyfriend while someone takes photos of you everyday, right? She talked us through several “games” or “actions” that instantly got us laughing and relaxed, which translated directly to the photos. Seriously Teale Photography is a gem.
We had so much fun, all while making out all over Nashville so win-win! :)
Also a big shoutout and huge thank you to Tiana Trotz who colored and styled my hair for the shoot! She always makes me look goood! xx
Thank so much for letting me share these with y’all, and sharing in the excitement of this special time in our lives. We’re so excited for next summer (date TBD)!
Now that we’re seasoned engagement photo professionals :) we wanted to share more details about location and outfits,
Engagement Photo Tip #1: Research, research, research photographers. Grabbing local wedding publications is a great place to start. They showcase local events and list the vendors so you can narrow your search in one place. In Nashville Nashville Lifestyles puts out a wedding issue annually.
Engagement Photo Tip #2: Engagement sessions are a great way to get to know your photographers. If you’re comfortable with them during your shoot and love the way the photos turn out, you know you can trust them for your wedding. Kind of like a makeup trial, but with photographers.
Choosing The Location
Engagement Photo Tip #3: What store do you want to tell with your photos? Where do you see yourself as a couple? Are you romantic…outgoing…homebodies…adventurous? Is there a special place to your relationship?
We’re city people, always have been. We thrive in the hustle and bustle. Choosing a location is just like choosing a wedding dress—choose something that’s you! If you hate strapless dresses normally, you’ll beat yourself up for choosing one for your wedding day. You wouldn’t find us walking through fields or in the woods, so why would we take our engagement photos there. We would instantly look out of place, like “What’s LeBraun doing by a creek?” Haha.
We’re planning a destination wedding, but with a larger reception when we return to Nashville. Even though Nashville’s not technically home anymore it still holds a place in our heart. It’s the place that we met, fell in love, and spent the first 10 years of our relationship. Many of our family and friends still live in Nashville so it seemed only fitting that our photos capture the city.
The John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge was an obvious place to start. From the bridge you get an incredible view over the river towards the skyline.
Next to the bridge on the east side of the river (across from the city, by the stadium) is the Bridge Building. This building was home to the Nashville Bridge Company that built barges. The space was renovated in 2010 and now houses a few offices and an event space with exposed industrial elements and tons of windows with views of the skyline.
Luckily we had already booked our Nashville reception venue—L.A. Jackson—a rooftop bar at the Thompson hotel in the Gulch. It’s by far one of our favorite places in the city. Located in Nashville trendiest neighborhood, The Gulch, the hotel is CHIC. It’s a mid-century modern, mixed media dream! Sleek lines, muted colors, bold patterns…hallelujah choir sings Can someone come decorate my house like this one day? Pleeeeaaaasssseeee!
It’s bar is no exception. It’s half indoor, half outdoor rooftop bar with a mid-century modern tropical twist and GORGEOUS! We loved that our engagement photos could be taken at a venue we love. The venue that we would be celebrating our marriage in in a few months.
Deciding What To Wear
Engagement Photo Tip #4: Wear something that looks like “you!” You don't want to look back at these photos and see yourself wearing something that doesn’t reflect your style or personality. You don’t want to be uncomfortable during your session. Don’t forget to iron your outfits ahead of time.
Your location will most likely determine what decide to wear for your engagement photos. There are thousands of Pinterest articles that help with colors, ideas, and more.
Many choose to have a couple outfit changes during their session, but we choose to change locations instead of outfits. Based on our research we found that many couple choose outfits they were comfortable in like jeans and boots, or ones that reflected their personalities like a favorite shirt. Typically something more relaxed.
However, when given an opportunity to LeBraun and I will always choose to dress up. We love overdressing for dinner, date night, or a night out to the theatre just because it’s fun and it’s an confident boost. We decided that a suit and nice dress would be timeless attire for our engagement shoot.
LeBraun just had a beautiful custom black suit made for his brother’s wedding last month so check!
I really didn’t have a specific vision for my dress so I scoured the internet and numerous shops before find THE ONE at Bloomingdales—a silver beaded black velvet sheath dress with LONG sleeves!
The beaded belt accented my waist at just the right spot (I’m short-waisted) and the dress was kind of reminiscent of classic country music fashion, like a subtle ode.
We loved our outfits so much and are glad we wore them the entire time.
Engagement Photo Tip #5: Have fun! A good photographer will help direct you and make sure you’re comfortable. So let loose and trust them. Don’t worry about the final image, that’s the photographers job. And if you’re not sure what to do, kiss!
Lastly remember engagement photos are not required. If you don’t really want engagement photos or perhaps had a professional photographer take pictures during the proposal, you may feel you don’t need them and that’s alright! Plus you can put the money you save towards the wedding.
We decided we wanted them because we planned on using them on our Christmas cards, save the dates, and photos for our grandparents to hang up.
L.A. Jackson was finishing setting up for their Halloween party during our engagement session so we had some fun with the haunting decor. Haha. Remember never take yourself too seriously!
Photography by Teale Photography.