As I spend more time planning my wedding with Amanda, I’m finding that there are so many “wedding traps.” What do I mean by that? I think it’s easy to get wrapped up in all the things people tell you that you’re “supposed” to have. Rings are a great example. I wrote about that in one of my previous entries. It’s easy to see all the fancy rings that people post on social media and think that those are the rings you need. But are they the ones you want? Venues can also fall into that category. And don’t even get me started on the engagement photos.
We’ve all seen them . . . John and Jane are getting married, so they decide to get engagement photos. They pack up with a photographer and head into the woods for a beautiful scene in nature. Problem is, neither John nor Jane have ever set foot in the forest before. But they know that everyone else has beautiful pictures sitting on logs and pretending to look at cute birds in the sky, so that’s what they want.
Many people in my life have had the same engagement photos. It’s almost like they had their photos taken in front of a green screen. To each their own, but so many I’ve seen don’t represent who the couple are. That has always been important to Amanda and me. It’s easy to give into the social constructs of planning a wedding and lose yourself in the process.
I’ve never been super comfortable with my physical appearance. Engagement photos were always going to be tough for me. We looked at a lot of photographer options, but decided to keep it in the family. We got in touch with our good friend Bridget who is a photographer for WBAL. This proved to be the perfect decision for a couple of reasons . . .
- The price was very affordable.
- She knew us and knew how to bring out the best in us.
We had a few discussions about where we wanted to take our pictures. All the stereotypical Baltimore locations popped up. Domino sign in the background, pictures on Federal Hill and even the Sagamore Pendry were talked about. All of them beautiful and all places we’ve seen in a million photos. Ultimately Bridget suggested we find something a little different. So, we packed up our things and went to the Union Collective.
We started at Union Craft Brewing. It has so much personality both inside and out. I’m pretty sure we got some interesting looks when we set up a tripod in the tap room. It was awkward for me, to be honest. I generally try to avoid attracting extra attention on myself. There’s no avoiding that when you’ve carved out a little spot in a bar while surrounded by a few hundred drinking individuals.
The shoot started out great. We got some shots of us just hanging and enjoying a beverage. Being good friends with our photographer really helped because she knew how to keep us (mostly me) from feeling awkward. Then we moved over to the little airstream they have set up. That turned out to be a great spot. Although, what we didn’t realize before we started taking pictures there was that there were people in the airstream. Some of our pictures have a couple of surprise photobombs. After that, we stepped outside to get in front of Union’s painted wall. Those pictures came out great. In fact, we ended up using one of those for our save the date.
After Union, we walked around the corner to the Charmery. Nothing describes Amanda and I more than a bowl of ice cream. I wasn’t sure about it when we first walked in, but the vibe and atmosphere of the Charmery ended up getting us some great pictures. The people working there that day got into it too. They were suggesting different areas and even pointed out the best angles to avoid glare on the glass ice cream cases. They have these mini bleachers set up. One of my favorite pictures from the entire shoot was taken on that. I was just messing around and pretending to do the wave. Bridget captured it perfectly.
We made one last stop after that. There’s this graffiti wall underneath the JFX and near our venue. We got a few more pictures there and decided to call it a day. What a great day it was. It felt more like Amanda and I were just having a fun day with our friend, bouncing around a few of our favorite locations. I never felt the pressure I was expecting with a photo shoot. I’m glad we kept it about us.