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You thought asking the love of your life to marry you would be the most nerve-racking moment of your life. But now, here you stand oh-so-awkwardly posing for engagement photos, asking yourself, “Where do I put my hands? Do I look straight at the camera? How much PDA is too much…or not enough?!”

But why is this simple photo session so damn awkward? They’re the first in a string of events (showers, bachelor/ettes, wedding) that feature you and your partner in the spotlight. So yeah, this new experience can feel strange and forced. “Just stand in front of that random graffiti wall and look like you’re in love!” directs your photographer. Ugh. Easier said than done. 

But lately, we’ve been eyeing some of our favorite wedding photographers bringing out the big guns: Cars. And you know what? We love the idea of using a prop like this. It gives you a physical purpose and, most importantly, something that can help translate the connection you have with your partner to the camera.

wedding car
Kenzie Rae Photography

When it comes to weddings, there’s nothing exactly new about including cars—our favorite movies have been decorating the just married couples’ vintage VW bug or super-fancy convertible with tin cans for decades now. But it is a trend that’s recently resurfaced on some of the best wedding photog accounts out there. So, we had to wonder…why?

For one, cars create an instant environment with which everyone’s familiar—now we’re not just standing in front of something graphic, we’re inside it (or on top of it). It also answers that “what do I do with my hands” question a million different ways—you can turn up the radio, cuddle in the driver’s seat, wave out the window. Instead of looking like a deer in headlights, you’re just yourself, playing around in a car. And, because you’re not focused on “acting natural” you are acting natural, which takes your engagement photos from “American Gothic” to “Drunk in Love.”

Does this mean your engagement shoot will look 1,000 times better if taken in a 2004 PT Cruiser? Probably not. (No offense to our PTC heads out there.) Again, think of the car as a prop. You want something that help tells your visual love story—whether that aesthetic is a baby blue Buick convertible or a vintage Ford pickup truck.

The point is, if you have access to a photogenic car, go for it. If not, you can always try something with two wheels...

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