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A Fresh Idea for Engagement Photos

A candid spin on the traditional.

I never seriously considered an engagement shoot until my friend Evangeline, a talented L.A.-based wedding photographer generously offered to take photos of Jonah and me as an engagement present. She captured ethereal photos of us laughing, squeezing, hugging, and kissing in the trails walking-distance from our house. I love them so much, I cried when she sent them to us. 

When another photographer friend, Neta, offered to take more photos of us (hooray for talented friends!), I initially questioned whether we needed any. We had more than enough frame-and invite-worthy options—but she insisted, telling us she had a "unique" spin on the idea. In the end, we met Neta and her husband Andrew, Jonah's college roommate, for brunch. She brought her camera, told us to just "do whatever we normally do on a Sunday," and then proceeded to follow us for the next few hours as we went about our regular routine.

We bought groceries at Trader Joe's, stopped to climb a tree on the way home, prepped dinner, and spent the afternoon reading, as she snapped away. Neta even challenged us, "What would you do if we weren't here?" to which I immediately answered, "Pee with the door open..." She laughed then encouraged me, "I'm serious! Pretend we aren't here!"

The results are photos that would have never been captured, because they're so unsensational, but offer an accurate glimpse of what our life actually looks like together—not just on Instagram or laughing at golden hour.

They also confirmed our style of photography for the big day. For our wedding, we're opting to skip posed photos altogether and hiring a photographer to capture all of the candid moments of our wedding—happy, stressed, anxious, excited, or nervous. 

As beautiful as traditional engagement and wedding photos are, there's something that feels so special about these photos in their ability to freeze this moment in time (even if I was too chicken to pee with the door open, in the end). 


P.S., My friend Neta is just started her photography business in L.A., after living in Israel then Houston. You can follow her here!

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