How to get the perfect engagement photos

If there’s anything I know for sure about Mason and I, it’s that our relationship is a little unorthodox and always has been. (You know the story of how we met and how we started dating) We do things different. We just are different.

Home engagement session

Photo by Kailee Elizabeth Photography

So, when it was time to think about engagement photos I couldn’t help but feel turned off by the inspiration I saw on Pinterest. Don’t get me wrong — I think a bride-to-be standing in field in flowy dress looking longingly into the sunset while clasping hands strategically (to show off the bling) with their betrothed at her side is totally beautiful and good. And the cradling of each others faces and gazing into each others eyes? Precious. But not us.  You want to make us feel awkward? Ask us to strike a polished pose and see us turn into a couple of jokesters or two deer-in-headlights.

Home engagement session 2

Photo by Kailee Elizabeth Photography

I met Kailee Powers through an awesome group of Seattle women who are passionate about creating beautiful content, sharing stories, building each other up, and collaborating over competing always. She expressed interest in doing a couple photoshoot that wasn’t the standard — something in their home, showing more candid moments and the things that make the relationship special. You better believe I DM’d her right away! We set a date and from the minute she walked through the door I knew we were going to have an absolute blast. She just got it. She got us.

Home engagement session 3

Photo by Kailee Elizabeth Photography

She caught the little things: How I laugh with my mouth wide open and he envelopes me with an arm around my shoulders. The peach crate of records and the bottles of craft whiskey. The “Love You More” pillow and the mugs that have stories behind them. We recounted how we met, how we started dating, how he proposed, how he loves my quirks and I can’t get enough of his laugh.

Home engagement session 4

Photo by Kailee Elizabeth Photography

It was so natural. One of my favorite things about my relationship with Mason is how thoughtful yet natural and effortless it is. We both put a lot of thought into if we should date, if we should move in together, if we should get engaged, not to mention the day-to-day thoughts required to nurture a relationship. It doesn’t feel like a chore, though. It just flows. When we chose our wedding venue, Westland Distillery, it was serendipitous to see the motto: Thoughtfully Made. That is us.

Home engagement session 5

Photo by Kailee Elizabeth Photography

Kailee took so many amazing pictures and it never felt forced or awkward or disingenuous. We’re endlessly grateful to her for capturing our engagement in a way that also captured who we are as a couple.

Home engagement session 6

Photo by Kailee Elizabeth Photography

To the soon-to-be-wed, here are the tips I have to share so you can also get engagement photos you love:

  1. Look at the photographer’s style and see if it matches your own. Then, talk to them about how they like to shoot and what inspires them.
  2. Make sure your partner shares your vision and work together to find little details that show the intimate side of your relationship. Ritual Sunday morning pancakes? A shared love of vintage vinyl?
  3. Don’t be too matchy-matchy but keep it comfy and simple. We went with basics in fairly neutral tones and it worked perfectly without us even comparing outfits beforehand.
  4. Shoot in a location you’re familiar with so you don’t feel uncomfortable or out-of-place. Maybe your favorite happy hour spot or go-to neighborhood park.
  5. Relax into each other and let your energies flow. Make each other laugh. Have normal conversation. Do that thing he can’t stand. Do the thing that makes her crack up. Be yourselves and don’t worry about what it might look like on camera.
Home engagement session 7

Photo by Kailee Elizabeth Photography

Home engagement session 8

Photo by Kailee Elizabeth Photography

Home engagement session 9

Photo by Kailee Elizabeth Photography

Honestly, I can’t pick a favorite and I think that’s pretty great. Do you have tips on engagement photos? Drop them below and let’s pass it on.

Happy #WeddingWednesday,

-Winters

The Seattle blogger event you must attend

Face it: There is no shortage of bloggers or social media influencers and brands are catching on. With a saturated market, ever-changing algorithms, and fickle followers, it’s hard to know how to stand out and grow your personal brand.

There are dozens of blogger workshops, seminars, and conferences promising to help you get to the next level and be a social media success. But in my experience, you usually walk away with a nice bag of swag but no idea what tactics to implement to reach your goal. Enter Style Summit.

GameOver-StyleSummitGraphic

In its third year, Style Summit is the passion project of Gossip and Glamour founder Sydney Mintle, and it’s where bloggers go to grow. Though I didn’t attend the last two years, I paid attention to who did and I saw how they elevated their content, strategy, and branding with great results. This year, as Style Summit partners with W Bellevue and the “What She Said” series, I’m thrilled to attend — not just as a blogger but as a panelist representing the brand where I work as a PR/Influencer Manager.

My panel will discuss style blogging in relation to digital assets, affiliate marketing, social media strategy, and how to establish solid, ongoing brand collaborations. Other panels include tips from top bloggers on how they made it to the 50k+ Club and insights into the rapidly-changing landscape of retail. On top of all this goodness there is also a keynote, break-out sessions, brand activations, and an after party.

style summit

The day kicks off at 10 a.m. on Sunday, March 11, at W Bellevue, and wraps up with a 4 p.m. after party at Civility and Unrest. There are still tickets left, but I’m sure the event will sell out in the next two weeks so get on it! You can get tickets here and use code BLUENILE to save $50.

See you at Style Summit!

-Winters

 

2017: The Year of Doing Something

If we’re being honest, this year didn’t start off on the best note. Mason and I were on our annual New Year’s Eve getaway, this time in Friday Harbor, when after a five-course dinner our bodies betrayed us in the most embarrassing ways on the walk back to our Air BnB. It was a bonding experience we could have done without, but later re-told through tears of laughter and humiliation to our families. What a way to ring in the new year. Let’s hope tonight’s New Year’s Eve dinner settles better.

2017 was the year of doing something. It was the year of taking action, of pushing back, and holding myself and those around me to higher standards. I guess you could say it was the year I’d had enough.

King Street Walk

* Outfit Details Below * Photo by Madeleine Wilson *

There were a lot of uncomfortable, but necessary, conversations. There were protests on the streets of Seattle, financial donations to advocacy groups, and phone calls and letters to my government representatives. There was almost a fight at a music festival when a man called me a name after cutting me off from my friends. I don’t think he expected me to whirl around and confront him, cranking my neck to look up into his eyes, with such immediacy and fire. “What did you call me?” I demanded. He left quickly at the ushering of his friend.

King Street Walk

Photo by Madeleine Wilson

Not that I am one to get into fights, but it really did wear on me how badly some people treated others. From the top down, it seemed to be everywhere and all the time. And when it came to how some people treated me, and it was badly, I just wasn’t having it. There were several occasions where I had to think through how to take the high road without letting people walk all over me. In one instance I had to cut ties. I don’t need cruel people in my life and what you allow is what will continue, right?

King Street Walk

Photo by Madeleine Wilson

There was one instance where, after much hesitation, I got involved in someone else’s experience of being treated badly. It was at a social function where people were drinking and having fun, except for one couple who seemed to be having a difficult time getting along. I didn’t know them well, but I could see that he was laying into her awfully hard while she was trying to calmly reason with him. Little excerpts of their conversation floated toward me across the room and it continued to escalate until finally I couldn’t sit down any longer. “Shut your fucking mouth,” he said to her. “You’re such an over-dramatic piece of shit.”

That was it. I had to do something. I was up. Off the couch. Across the room. My hand on his shoulder. I leaned over to him, “Can I call you an Uber? ‘Cause I can’t listen to you talk to her like that for one more minute.”

Was it any of my business? Probably not. Did it cause drama? Maybe. Will it make any difference? I hope so. If nothing else, I hope she knows I have her back. And I’d have anyone’s back in a situation like that.

After a year of “doing something,” I still wonder how we can hold each other to higher standards in regard to how we treat each other. How can we speak up against abuse, cruelty, and disrespect without playing into “drama?” Is there a way to gracefully establish boundaries and enforce consequences that won’t cause irreparable rifts in important relationships? I don’t know yet but something’s gotta give.

If nothing else, my hope for 2018 is that if we cannot be kind, we be quiet.

Happy New Years, loves.

-Winters

Outfit details below:

Steve Madden Pointur Pointed Toe Suede Heels. • Steve Madden • 

Saint Laurent Women’s Plaid Wool-Blend Scarf • Saint Laurent • (similar)

Hudson Barbara High Waisted Skinny Jeans • Hudson • 

Club Monaco Julie Turtleneck Sweater • Club Monaco • 

Michael Kors Jet Set Travel Large Crossbody Clutch Bag • MICHAEL Michael Kors • 

An evening at the symphony

You know you’re an adult when your idea of a fun double date is going to see the symphony. When my friend and her husband invited us to join them at Ensign Symphony’s “Hosannah” at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle, we loved the idea. Getting dressed up to listen to an orchestra play the Christmas classics I grew up singing in church? Yes. Also, I’ve only ever heard how lovely Benaroya Hall is and I was eager to check it out.

A night at the symphony

No, the guys didn’t coordinate their outfits — they just tend to show up wearing the same thing.

The performance was enjoyable albeit slow. Sitting in the auditorium listening to the symphony play and the chorus sing, I realized it was a very strange feeling to not be “doing” anything. No computer, no cell phone, nothing to look at but a bunch of people on stage singing and playing instruments. I felt fidgety for a while but settled into the calm. It’s so needed this time of year.

A night at the symphony

The Ensign Symphony and Chorus

There were a few funny moments: When the chorus sang a rousing rendition of “Betelehemu” one of the women in the front got off beat with her side to side movements and ended up getting jostled around between two others for a moment. I admit I giggled.

During the intermission, or “half-time” as my friend’s husband called it, we went out to the lobby to enjoy the decorations and take pictures. My favorite part about this time of year is all the pretty decorations.

A night at the symphony

The twinkling lights were beautiful — though a little dominating in this photo.

A night at the symphony

Our symphony uniform: Dress, tights, heels.

Thank you, Jo and Robbie, for a great date night!

Like our symphony outfits? Shop our looks below.

-Winters

My outfit (similar):

Jo’s outfit (similar):

My favorite seasonal goodies from FabFitFun

Here’s what I’m loving from the Winter 2017 FabFitFun box and how you can save $10 on one for you — or for someone on your gift list.

A year ago, after watching my friend Allison open box after box of amazing seasonal goodies from FabFitFun on her Snapchat, I decided to cancel my other subscriptions and use her discount code to sign up. SO glad I did!

The Winter 2017 Box

Unlike some subscription boxes I tried, the products in FabFitFun boxes are full size, relevant, and always useful and fun. Because they ship four times a year, I look forward to getting exactly what I want and need for the coming season. Example: Fuzzy socks for winter, knit beanie for fall, facial sunscreen for summer, etc. Also, the value is incredible ($225+ in retail value at a cost of $49.99 per box) and it always contains a great mix of fitness, fashion, beauty and wellness products.

In this box, I’m especially excited for the energizing eye masks, moisturizing hand cream, and the gorgeous eyeshadow palette. The total retail value of my Winter 2017 box is a whopping $388 and contains:

  • A warm, gray phoncho by BB Dakota
  • AHAVA mineral hand cream (I always need SO much hand cream in the winter)
  • A cute mug created by Homemade by Ayesha Curry
  • Cozy socks that are infused with aloe by Pointe Studio
  • ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment by Kate Somerville (this alone is worth $75!)
  • Deep Sleep pillow spray by This Works (smells surprisingly earthy in a good way)
  • DOUCCE Freematic Eyeshadow Pro Palette
  • The “Nine Lives” choker by 8 Other Reasons
  • An 8-pack of Grace & Stella anti-wrinkle + energizing eye masks

If you’re thinking this would be a great gift for someone — or yourself — I agree. Even better, I can save you money when you sign up! Click here and use code SOCOLD for $10 off.

-Winters

 

*Note: Because I am a FabFitFun Partner, this post contains affiliate links which allow me to earn a small commission if you click through and decide you want in on this goodness.