Cuddly photos at home, a pup in a raincoat, and drinks to cap off the day? Pinch me! This lesbian engagement photoshoot seriously had it all. Even in the rain, Rachel and Colette brought the fun (and the warm and fuzzies) to these super sweet, super real images.
And would you guess that all these photos are from just a few blocks of downtown Chattanooga? We kept things simple with a walk through their neighborhood, hitting all their favorite spots and even the location of their first kiss. You never have to go far from home to find cool photo locations, especially if you’re in Chattanooga. (It also helps if your photographer knows the area. Just saying.) With the rain, we had the city to ourselves.
I had a blast shooting these lesbian engagement photos, and I can’t wait for Rachel and Colette’s wedding in August at the Turnbill! Stay tuned!
Rainy Day Lesbian Engagement Photos
When I saw it was going to rain on Rachel and Colette’s engagement session, I offered to reschedule. But they said, “Let’s do it!”
And I’m glad they did! I love it when my couples ask for out-of-the-box engagement photos. Your engagement session doesn’t need to look like every other session you see on Pinterest. You and your partner are unique, and your photos should be, too.
I’m especially honored to capture underrepresented couples like those in the LGBTQ+ community. This was my first lesbian engagement photo session, and I was thrilled when Rachel and Colette reached out.
(Psst! If you’re wondering whether I’ll shoot your same love wedding, the answer is always yes.)
For LGBTQ+ folks, it can be nerve-wracking to ask wedding vendors if they’re willing to work with you. Screw that. No couple should have to wonder if they’ll be turned away by a photographer, venue, or bakery for who they love. I do my best to make sure none of my couples have to worry about that. I don’t even want them to have to ask. I’m vocal about advocating for LGBTQ+ couples and pushing for more representation in the wedding industry because I want my support to be a given. If your vendors are vocal on social media and openly share gay or lesbian wedding photos, you’re golden.
Cuddled Up At Home
Where better to start an engagement session than at home? Rachel and Colette have this super cozy home on the North Shore tucked away on a hill. Inside, it feels like you’re in a treehouse. Their home couldn’t have been better for snuggly, sweet photos.
And not because it was gorgeous (which it totally was), but because they were comfortable there. These two were a bit nervous in front of the camera, but starting at home definitely killed their jitters. It’s hard to be nervous when you’re curled up on the couch in socked feet with your fiancé. If your home is where you feel most in love, let’s shoot there! It doesn’t have to be Pinterest perfect. It just has to feel like you.
Not only is their home significant because it’s, well, their home, but it’s also where Rachel proposed! She popped the question while Colette played the guitar for her on the couch. Having gotten to know them, I can say that perfectly sums up their natural chemistry.
And of course, we couldn’t forget their pup! I always love it when my couples bring pets to their engagement sessions, especially when they’re as photogenic as Bonnie. (Seriously, bring your dog. You won’t regret it.)
Exploring Downtown Chattanooga
Next, we left Rachel and Colette’s house and went downtown. Because of the rain, we had most of the city to ourselves! They spent some time under the Market Street Bridge, snuggling and laughing, before we headed up top to the walking bridge. I’ve never had the chance to shoot on the bridge while it’s empty, so you bet your ass we took full advantage of it. And even though it was wet, the reflections in the puddles photographed so well and added a fun detail to the shots.
By now, it’s no secret that downtown Chattanooga is one of my favorite engagement photo locations. There are so many hidden gems in the city, and no two sessions end up looking the same. And just like shooting in a couple’s home, hanging out in the city with them just feels natural.
If you’re from Chattanooga, let’s talk about capturing the city in your engagement photos. We’ll definitely hit the classic spots, but I also have some secret locations up my sleeve. Just ask!
Lesbian Engagement Photos With A Dog
Rachel and Colette are cute and all, but you know who truly stole the show? Their dog, Bonnie! I couldn’t get enough of her yellow raincoat, and she was such a good sport for her moms’ photoshoot. (It probably helps that she got an extra walk out of it.) And since we were just exploring the neighborhood, Bonnie was familiar with the route and totally comfortable. Much better than toting your dog off to an unfamiliar location for photos!
Not every pup is so eager to participate in a photoshoot. But if your dog is friendly, loves walks, and doesn’t mind sitting for a few shots, I say bring them along! I want to capture your family, whatever it looks like. Bonnie and her moms make the sweetest little trio, and tagging along on their rainy day walk felt like peeking into their everyday lives.
I’m also a fan of accompanying you and your partner on one of your usual outings – whether that’s a trip to the farmer’s market, a drink at your favorite bar, or walking your dog. In thirty years, you’ll get to look back on these photos and reminisce about what your life used to look like. I think that’s pretty magical.
Recreating Their First Kiss
One of our last stops of the day was this totally unassuming parking garage. To a passerby, it was probably odd seeing two women smoochin’ in a parking garage. But this is actually where Rachel and Colette shared their first kiss! When they told me that as we passed Hair of the Dog Pub, I knew we just had to stop.
The result: these dynamic, one-of-a-kind photos. If you just scrolled by them, you’d never realize they were taken in a parking garage. Truly a testament to the idea that you can take beautiful pictures anywhere.
And can we talk about their outfits? This couple is the perfect example for how to dress for an engagement shoot. You don’t need to spend a fortune on new clothes for your photoshoot. And you absolutely do not need to match. (In fact, please don’t.) These two nailed the casual vibe with raincoats, jeans, and leather boots. They’re not matching, they’re not faking it, they’re just themselves. And that comes across in their attire.
Not sure what to wear for your engagement photos? I got you. Check out my past shoots for outfit inspiration, or just reach out! I’m happy to help you and your partner pick your attire.
Ending The Night At Their Favorite Bar
Our final stop of the night was Rachel and Colette’s usual haunt, Il Primo. It’s their favorite spot in the neighborhood and regular drink spot. I could tell as soon as we walked in that they felt right at home, and I’m so glad we decided to stop there.
Again, this isn’t your typical engagement shoot location, but it totally worked. (We did get a couple funny looks, but the restaurant was cool with us shooting there!) Having your engagement photos taken in your favorite cafe, restaurant, or bar is a great way to capture who you are as a couple and preserve a memory of your favorite place. Whether you move away, the place goes out of business, or you get to grow old at your local pub (the dream!), the photos will last forever. Rachel and Colette will have these shots at Il Primo to look back on no matter where life takes them. How cool is that?
Tip: If you want to shoot in your favorite bar or restaurant, holler at me first. That way, we can check with the owner beforehand and plan to pop in at a slow time of day. (No quicker way to make enemies than taking photos during the dinner rush.)
No matter what your love story looks like, I’m here to celebrate it. I’m always down to shoot in nontraditional locations, brave the rain for a sweet moment, and advocate for underrepresented couples. Even if your story isn’t the kind you see in wedding magazines, you deserve bomb-ass photos. Period.
If you’re an LGBTQ+ couple, you can get beautiful engagement and wedding photos even here in Tennessee. Reach out, tell me about yourselves, and let’s make some magic together. (And I’ve got the scoop on other same love lovin’ vendors in the Chattanooga area, so don’t be afraid to ask!)
And make sure you’re following me on social media to keep up with my travel schedule and get even more engagement photo inspiration. My couples are creative as hell, so you’re bound to get ideas for your own photos over there.