I love engagement photos. Every Monday morning I log into Facebook and am met with a brand new engagement album that a Charlotte acquaintance posted over the weekend. I happily click through the 12-30 photo selects and try to guess which one will be used on their save-the-date.
But amidst all my happy clicking, I have discovered an unsettling pattern: Every photo is the same. All of these couples are different and wonderful in their own way, so why do they choose to take identical engagement photos?
I know what you’re thinking: “Mary is just a bitter un-engaged girl who enjoys hating on other people’s happiness.” And to that I say, “You’re correct.” I am a bitter un-engaged girl. But I’m not bitter because I’m un-engaged. I’m just a bitter person in general. Also, my boyfriend knows full well that I much rather he “put a puppy on it” than a ring.
I’m not saying that Charlotte couples need to travel to a sandy white beach to get the perfect shot. All I ask is that they get a little more creative. Here are the top five most unoriginal Charlotte engagement photo locations:
(1) Standing at the entrance of Brevard Court
Brevard Court (or what I hear most people call “The French Quarter”) is one of my favorite spots in Charlotte. It’s 101 years old and full of delicious restaurants.
I’ll admit, the alleyway is pretty with a great view of the city. But do you really want to pose where thousands of other Charlotte couples have posed? Do you really want a “Skyscraper Vapors” sign in the background of your engagement photos?
And, most importantly, do you really want to take pictures in the same alley where I allegedly ate two entire Zablong pizzas on St. Patrick’s Day?
More creative idea: BB&T Stadium is right across the street and has a ridiculous view. Go into the stadium early before a game and get a shot in the stands or on the lawn.
(2) Leaning against a tree in Freedom Park
When have you naturally just leaned against a tree? Have you ever looked at a tree trunk? It’s crawling with insects. No one tree-leans in real life, especially not wearing a $500 dress you rented from Rent the Runway.
Now, I’m not opposed to getting a little green in your engagement photo line-up, or even to snapping a few shots at Freedom Park. But leaning against a tree? There’s no need for that.
More creative idea: Head to the Little Sugar Creek Greenway and take photos on the adorable swinging chairs in Elizabeth Park.
(3) Standing along the light rail
Did you and your fiancé meet on the light rail? Was your first kiss on the light rail? Do one of you operate the light rail as your full-time job? If you answered no to these questions then I don’t want to see the light rail anywhere in your photos. Everyone knows there’s only one purpose for the light rail: getting home from Hornets games when you’re drunk.
But, if you absolutely have to get a shot in front of Charlotte’s mass transportation, please choose any station other than Bland Street. That is, unless you’re trying to be ironic, because bland is exactly what your photos will be.
More creative idea: The Charlotte Streetcar may be a point of local contention, but it has character. Plus, its benches are much easier to snuggle up to your fiancé on then the butt-indent seats of the light rail.
(4) Kissing in front of the directional sign in The Green
I’m going to be honest; I’m not sure what draws all newly engaged people to this spot.
Unless you really need to know how many miles Michigan is from Charlotte and have no access to the Internet, then I would cross this one off your list. Besides, there are a ton of other cool things in Charlotte that don’t include Comic Sans.
More creative idea: You don’t even have to leave The Green to find a better photo location. What about the stack of books? The giant fish? Or the creepy kids disappearing into the brick? Ok, maybe not them.
(5) Sitting on railroad tracks
Since when did railroad tracks become romantic? Did every engaged couple just watch “Stand By Me?”
What a lot of Charlotteans don’t know is that railroad tracks are private property, so it’s not only irresponsible to walk on them; it’s illegal. And they’re illegal for good reason, deaths from walking on railroad tracks are up nearly 10%, with 483 last year alone. I know you want a great Americana photo, but is it worth dying before you even get to taste the chicken/fish/vegetarian option at your wedding?
More creative idea: Literally any location where you won’t be run over by a train.
So, Charlotte couples, I look forward to cyber-stalking your engagement photo albums full of new, creative Charlotte locations. But if you do find yourself in front of Brevard Court, kindly Photoshop out the brunette in the background housing two entire Zablong pizzas.