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Hey there.

Welcome to Quarter-Life Living, my outlet to help others bring style and sophistication to their twenty-something homes. Everyone deserves to love where they live, no matter the square footage.

ENGAGEMENTS

If you've been keeping up with Quarter-Life Living for these past few months, then you know that I got engaged in May to my favorite, Jonas. Going from "girlfriend" to "fiancée" has been a wonderful and crazy journey so far. Life threw us a few curveballs this summer, but we are stronger for it, and it gave us a profound sense of appreciation for one another, our family, and friends.

Because of life's unexpected turns, we didn't really get much time to soak in and celebrate our engagement. Now, before you start feeling sorry for us, we've settled back into some normalcy and are enjoying this new(ish) stage, plus diving into wedding planning again. One of the first things I set out to do after Jonas popped the question was book a photographer. I immediately knew who I wanted to capture our big day - a friend and classmate since elementary school, Nick Fay. Check out his website - I could never, ever do his work justice in words.

Jonas and I were both on the fence about having engagement portraits done. Would they be awkward? If we aren't really doing Save The Dates, then what is the point? The questioning spun me in circles, until I finally decided SCREW IT. We are doing them, and if they end up just being mementos for us, then perfect.

Leading up to the shoot, I was super nervous. To start, I had done ZERO prep. I didn't have outfits picked out, no poses in mind, nothing. The only thing I had set was a meeting time outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. My lack of planning, although highly uncharacteristic of me, ended up being fine. We threw together some outfits and ended up having a ton of fun (a testament to Nick for sure).

If you are engaged or expect to be soon, here are some tips for your portraits:

1. PLAN YOUR OUTFITS

Our day turned out great, but I would have been infinitely less stressed the night before had I been a little more organized (ever had the classic I-HAVE-NOTHING-TO-WEAR panic attack? Yeah. Not fun). As you pick winning duds though, make sure they feel genuinely "you." Forcing your fiancé into a stuffy suit can make the whole thing feel contrived. Jonas spiffed up, but only into outfits that he really likes and wears normally.

2. GET IN YOUR ELEMENT

Since I was worried about feeling awkward during the session, I decided to get a bunch of picnic items and cava the night before in case we just wanted to spread out and feast. Jonas and I LOVE food, so what better way to capture us as our true selves than when we are enjoying some nosh in the great outdoors? We kind of hit a groove though, and didn't end up doing the picnic idea, but it was nice to have a backup. I've seen really cool shoots where the couple went kayaking, walked their dog, made pasta from scratch (impressive), and they all turned out beautifully. Whatever makes you feel in your element - go with it!

3. EMBRACE THE MOMENT

Even if you feel odd, try to enjoy it. Act like no one is watching, let alone photographing, and just embrace getting to take some time to be lovey-dovey with one another. There were a few moments when I looked in Jonas' eyes and truly could not stop smiling because I was looking at the man that I get to spend my life adventure with, and I was so dang happy. You are only engaged for so long, so take a deep breath, count your blessings, and bottle up that excitement you feel to marry him/her for when they leave a wet towel on the carpet or eat the last of the Halloween candy.

Without further ado, here are some shots from our engagements!

Image Credit: the unfathomably talented, Nick Fay Weddings ||

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