I know, right?!! This couple absolutely rocks.  They are so incredibly full of life and they aren't afraid to have fun -- from riding a fake roller coaster, to acting old, to pooping in your pants, and then to stuffing your mouth full of marshmallows.  These two really LIKE each other!  Of course they love each other, but it's so obvious how much they enjoy their friendship.

For their photo session, I threw out the idea of doing something they might do on a normal day just for fun.  Zach's response was "like getting ice cream cones from Chick-Fil-A?!"   Of course, the double drive-thru on Kingston Pike was a given.  I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but I LOVED it!!

Guys often have a hard time getting on board with engagement sessions.  They always seem like they hate photos, but I know they don't all have feelings that extreme.

Lately, I've had a few guys get up the guts to ask me what the point is in engagement pictures.   Your fiance/boyfriend/guy friend/brother/you-name-it might be wondering the same thing.  We, as girls, often just sorta shrug their dumb question off as if to say "duh...to have engagement pictures!"  The reality is that we haven't really communicated the purpose very well, and, honestly, I think we occasionally lose sight of it.

Having 67 different Pinterest poses to choose from is super-fun.  We love to play dress up.  We love outfit changes.   We think styled shoots are really interesting ("if only we were that creative!").  And there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of it...except for when we try to drag some DUDE into our tea party.

Boys don't love to play dress up, unless they're a 5-year-old pirate.  Men don't love to play dress up either.

Engagement sessions are a chance to have this season of your life photographed.  It's not your wedding.  It's the months that come before you're his Mrs.  It's the fun, flirtatious, giddy,  can't-wait-to-be-married stage.  Documenting it is a great idea.   Up until this point you've only got the handful of random photos friends have posted on facebook from that time everyone went to that concert (which were all taken in the dark with flash).  And you've got a few others here and there, but all the good ones were with your iPhone.

This is an attempt at beginning to tell your story, to document what your relationship looks like at this point in the game: the beginning.  You're not "just talking" and you're not wearing white while he's wearing a tux.  You're something in between (which you're probably both excited about and frustrated with).  You're engaged.  You're officially together and this is a chance to capture the two of you as you are: crazy about each other.

With that said, keep it simple.  Be you.  Let him be him.  Granted, he's normally not this affectionate toward you around other people, but maybe just consider it a really fun date.  And make sure your photographer is someone who you think you could both feel comfortable with quickly.

You're just getting to enjoy him.  Laugh a LOT.  Reminisce about how you met, about your first date, about the time he met your dad, about the proposal.  The more you engage with him and the more comfortable you are, the more comfortable he will be, which will most likely result in you feeling like your photos accurately captured you.  The more you just relax and hang out with him and forget about trying to look like the latest featured couple on your favorite blog, the more you will LIKE your pictures.  Be authentic and I guarantee you your guy will be ten times more likely to get on board with your photo session.

This, from what I can tell, is Zach & Julie on a normal day.  They really like each other and it's obvious.

My hope is that photos like these -- at Chick-fil-A on a weekday eating ice cream wearing clothes you would wear on a normal day -- photos like these tell the story of you and your guy the best.  They're genuine.

Zach proposed to Julie at one of their favorite places -- Remedy Coffee on Jackson Street in the Old City.  It's possibly the coolest coffee shop in K-town.  Since their story as an engaged couple began there, we thought it was fitting to tell part of their story by taking a few photos there.  I just couldn't resist the coffee + ring shot!

We ended our session in a park where Zach & Julie often spend time together.  We not only had a gorgeous sunset but it was perfect for a shot of the moon in the distance. 

Zach & Julie -  Thank you for being so genuine.  Even with the little that I know of you both, I can already tell you love people well by the way you love each other.  I'm thankful to now call you friends and I'm excited to be a part of telling your story!

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