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What’s behind those ‘gag-worthy’ engagement photos? The thrill of ‘the share’ – Global News

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We’ve all had our social media feeds littered with cliché and cringe-inducing engagement pictures. It seems like everyone’s doing them.
“Over the last five or 10 years this has become a kind of a phenomenon,” Toronto-based relationship expert Kimberly Moffit said.
Engagement photos originated when couples began to announce their plans to marry in their local paper. While some still do it that old-fashioned way, Moffit feels it’s now become more about one-upping each other online.
“Generally when people are taking engagement photos, the thought behind them is never usually, ‘Oh, I want something to look at when we’re 70 years old.’
“People are doing it for the share,” Moffit said. “They want people to look at them with adoring eyes … and see them as this ideal couple that everyone strives to be like.”
In some cases, she adds, it may even tap into women’s adolescent fantasies when they imagined what their partner and romantic life would look like. The engagement photo can end up representing that ideal.
Unfortunately, that ideal doesn’t always equate to reality.
“They can come across as overly staged and inauthentic,” Moffit said. “Most people don’t walk on train tracks or do all the weird things you do in engagement photos.”
“I feel like it can kind of be a bit gag-worthy — at least to the people who are looking at it.”
It’s that fakeness that turned off Catherine Lash during her 10 years as a Toronto photographer.
“I didn’t like doing them,” the 49-year-old admitted.
“I like to photograph moments between people and I always found I had to create those moments for couples in the engagement shoots.”
Lash, who now runs The Wedding Co. (a hub of hand-picked Ontario wedding vendors), sees how popular engagement photos have become since she stopped shooting eight years ago.
And she also recognizes the value to them.
Those in the wedding industry explain that engagement photos allow a wedding photographer to get to know the couple.
The shoot can also give the bride- and groom-to-be a chance to get comfortable being photographed. Some couples find that helpful since they may spend eight hours in front of the lens on their wedding day.
If you don’t mesh with your photographer or don’t like the engagement photos, chances are you won’t be happy with your wedding photos.
READ MORE: 4 steps to picking the perfect wedding photographer
Some photographers include the engagement session as part of their wedding package.
Edmonton wedding photographer Nicole Ashley charges just under $1,000 for an average engagement session. She does about 30 of them a year.
Experts agree the best engagement photos are the ones that represent your relationship. That’s why Ashley tries to tailor each of her engagement shoots to the individual couple.
“I would never want someone to look at a photo of my couple and say, ‘That’s so not Chris, he would never do that’ or think they were posing in a cliché, cheesy way,” Ashley said.
Lash loves to see couples genuinely having fun in their photos. She encourages couples to do something that’s meaningful to them — like even just hanging out in their favourite coffee shop.
“And you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to.”
“Do what’s best for you and your relationship and try not to focus too much on the shares,” Moffit added.
If your sole motivation is to put the photos up on Facebook, Moffit said you may want to rethink whether you really need them.
Don’t let the photos blow your wedding budget, Chin stressed.
And if at all possible (at least for the sake of your Facebook friends), don’t do what everyone else does.
Because, for a lot of couples, there’s apparently nothing like hanging your fiancé by his boots from a tractor to announce you’re tying the knot.

#thehuntisover #engagement photos
A post shared by Ashley Lewis (@ashjend123) on

“The Hunt is Over” engagement photo trend generally has men posing as “prey” that’s been successfully hunted.
It seems to be especially popular with gun and hunting aficionados. Moffit feels it doesn’t do much for the self-worth women are portraying.

#thehuntisover #tammysowderphotography #photography #farmlife #engagement
A post shared by Tammy Sowder photography (@tink_atude) on

Another way some people choose to show they’re bound for life: binding their partner’s feet and taping up his mouth.
READ MORE: Photographer’s holiday photo of bound, gagged women provokes vitriol
The scream and shot gun are optional.

The hunt is over! #engagementphotos #lovemyjob #nikonphotographer #nikond600 #phillippepark #safetyharbor #florida #engaged #countrylove #thehuntisover #woodsy #rusticlove #gettingmarried #floridaphotographer #capturedmomentsbyjessica #bride #groom
A post shared by Captured Moments Photography (@capturedmomentsphoto) on

It’s a trend that doesn’t align with Ashley’s personal “shooting style,” she said with a laugh.
But to each their own.

#lindsayt #engaged #engagement #thehuntisover #camo #camoengagement #mobilealphotographer
A post shared by Lindsay T Photography (@lindsaytphotography) on

SOUND OFF: What are your thoughts on engagement photos?
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