I can’t handle it. I just can’t. Engagement photo shoots actually make me sick to my stomach. I wish I could love them, because so many of my friends have done them and will certainly think I’m suuuuch a betch for popping their blissful balloons, but I just can’t keep my feelings bottled up–I’ve never been good at it. The Engagement Photo Shoot is so disingenuous: a cheesy, staged production, often taking place weeks after the proverbial popping of the question. It goes a little somethin’ like this:
- Down on one knee
- Ring. Ooooh, sparkly
- Scream “OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!” (even though she picked out the ring)
- Gush to family and friends
- Instagram and Facebook pictures of the ring (ensure that manicure is fresh)
- Bask in newlyengageds bliss
- Google search “engagement photographers NYC”
- Find perfect photog named Todd whose portfolio speaks to you
- Make hair, nail, teeth whitening, dermatologist and makeup appointments (and maybe plastic surgeon consultation?)
- Shop for perfect coordinating outfits for hubby-to-be and you
- Pose. Pose. Pose. Pose. Fierce.
It doesn’t make any sense to me. The function of photography is to capture a moment, but that “moment” has already happened. Thus, engagement photo shoots capture nothing but a forced, self-indulgent frolic through a meadow/stroll across a bridge/seductive stare into the distance/jump in the air on a beach at sunset. No one needs to see you sucking face on your save the date fridge magnet every time they try to get a glass of milk. These photo shoots represent another win for the wedding industry, sucking more money out of wrapped-up bride-to-bes who follow wedding laws like a strict diet.
Can I throw a couple ideas into the wedding suggestion box? I understand the appeal of capturing your engagement bliss and I don’t want to be a complete party pooper, so if you must have photos taken, how about you have someone on hand to snap candid photos during and immediately following the proposal (15 minutes, max)? Those photos tell a true story of a beautiful, sentimental moment. Option two is to hire your wedding photographer and have him/her spend a few hours with the two (or three, depending on how you roll) of you doing real things: cooking together in your apartment, taking the dog out for a walk, going for a run, sitting at the table planning the wedding…? It’s still cheesy, but at least it will be more natural and at least kind of real. Orrrrrr option three, you could just ignore me and do whatever you want, because… it is your life, I guess.
Here a few of my favorite engagement shots:
And just when I thought engagment photos couldn’t get any worse, they did: “The Notebook” inspired engagement photos. Click that.