I'm a senior this year, and it's engagement season — a lot of people my age get engaged as they prepare to graduate, so there are a ton of wonderful young couples around me preparing to tie the knot! cute engagement photo ideas

I was really pleased when a friend from high school, Dana, asked me to do her engagement pictures! Fun fact — she and I were on yearbook staff together. Her and her fiance, Sam, have been together about as long as my boyfriend and I have — four years — so it was nice to see them beginning to make these preparations.

engagement photo columbia mo

I have not done an engagement photo session before, and when I do senior pictures (which is not often), I usually do them back in my hometown, where I have spots that I typically go to. Dana asked me to do their session the day I got back to Columbia, so I knew I wouldn't be coming back to the Kansas City area any time soon. But she thankfully agreed to make the drive to Columbia with Sam to have the pictures taken here!

engagement photo columbia mo

That meant I needed to do some research. A few of my friends, such as Rachel Coward, have taken gorgeous engagement pictures lately, but most of the ones I remembered were taken in September and October, featuring wonderful golden light and lush vegetation. It being a Missouri winter, we were now surrounded by dead and bleary landscapes, meaning I knew I needed to refer to some nice walls around town or indoor locations.

engagement photo columbia mo

I didn't want to get too complicated, and I knew Dana was looking for the same kind of style I usually go for in portraits, which was comforting — I could go for the stuff I usually gravitate toward! So, I headed down to the North Village Arts district and scoped out the beautiful Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ mural on the side of The Bridge venue, the garage door at the Root Cellar and some other simple brick walls.

engagement photos in a diner

I also remembered a place I personally love — the 63 Diner, which you may have seen in a feature shoot I did for The Missourian a couple months ago. I thought of the 50s atmosphere and milkshakes with two straws and knew it would be a fantastic and fun space. The lighting was awful and the background was obviously busy, and although they're not my favorite shots from the session, I think it's still something fun and unique — and we had some delicious milkshakes, to top it off!

couple kissing with a milkshake

I wish Dana and Sam the best as they continue to plan their wedding and the best of luck in their future years together after they tie the knot in July!

cute engagement photo ideas