Skip to main content

Erin & Kent // Durham Engagement Session

Durham is Erin’s hometown, a place that holds so much meaning to her and that she’s been sharing with Kent in pieces over the course of their relationship. So we specifically hit some of their favorite spots plus some of the most “Durham-esuqe” spots as well!

Relaxed Durham Engagement Session

We started out with an awesome cup of coffee, then headed over to some amazing mural art and a shot from a mini bottle, both of which are always a big hit for me. From there, we wandered to Alley Twenty Six, a restaurant that serves tables in the alleyway! I think that’s such a cool concept, and it was tons of fun to shoot there. We travels through some nearby sculptures and more murals before hitting the Department of Corrections. Now, I know that sounds weird, but when Erin and Kent had got their marriage license, due to COVID it had to be done at the nearby Department of Corrections building! So we had to stop in for a couple of shots. Next to last we explored the American Tobacco Campus, a multi-use space with lots of awesome old architecture and structures, then closed things out by capturing the Old Bull signage that Burham is famous for from an incredible rooftop.

We definitely only got to explore a fraction during their Durham engagement session, and this is such a charming town, I can’t wait to go back and explore more!

Engaged couple poses by sun mural in Durham NC Raven Shutley Studios engagement photographyWhat were you most anxious or nervous about regarding your session and how did it turn out?

Neither of us had done a professional shoot before and we’re both pretty camera-shy. We had so many questions leading up to the shoot: where do I put my hands? How do I avoid a fake smile that’s practically a grimace at the camera? Will I be squinting if it’s bright out? What if others are stopping to watch us during the shoot? Is it even possible for *any* photos of me to turn out well??? But all of our fears and anxieties were allayed before and during our session. Raven met us for coffee beforehand and we got to know her before getting in front of the camera. Instantly we felt comfortable and more confident with her.
Engaged couple by a rainbow mural in downtown Durham NC Raven Shutley StudiosEngaged couple walks by a colorful mural in Durham NC Raven Shutley Studios ATL photographerEngaged woman in a green jacket drinks from tiny bottle in Durham NC Raven Shutley StudiosCouple laughs after drinking a shot in Durham NC Raven Shutley Studios engagement photographyCouple dances in alleyway in downtown Durham NC Raven Shutley Studios engagement session Engaged couple dances under flags in downtown Durham NC Raven Shutley Studios engagement photographyFuture spouses dance in a pretty brick alley in downtown Durham NC Raven Shutley StudiosFuture spouse twirls fiancé in a brick alley in Durham NC Raven Shutley Studios engagement photos

What was your favorite moment during the shoot?

It’s hard to pick just one moment; Raven was very easygoing, made us laugh throughout, and also told us what to do/gave us extremely helpful direction so we weren’t just standing there awkwardly. We also stopped at a few places on a whim because they looked cool, and we loved the easygoing, free-flowing nature of our shoot.
Engaged couple embrace by sculpture in downtown Durham NC Raven Shutley StudiosEngaged spouses embrace in downtown Durham NC Raven Shutley Studios engagement photographyEngaged couple sit looking up at the sky in Durham NC Raven Shutley engagement photographerEngaged couple mimic musical inspired mural in Downtown Durham NC Raven Shutley StudiosEngaged couple enjoys time together in downtown Durham NC Raven Shutley Studios Engagement Photos

What advice would you give to others planning a session?

Pick out a few places beforehand so you’re not showing up unprepared and hoping the places you end up in will be good for photos. Raven was extremely open to our ideas, and since Durham was new to her, she even scoped out the places we’d come up with the day before our shoot so she wasn’t seeing them for the first time either! Also keep an open mind about where you should go and how your shoot should go; as much as we sometimes love planning out everything to the smallest detail, having a general idea of where you’ll hit up during the session but being open to changes makes everything less stressful!
Engaged couple hugs and laughs in downtown Durham NC Raven Shutley StudiosFuture Spouses walk on colorful crosswalk in Durham NC Raven Shutley Studios engagement photographyFuture spouses laughing together in  Durham NC Raven Shutley Studios Engagement photographerEngaged couple leans into kiss under iron steps in Durham North Carolina Raven Shutley StudiosFuture spouses hold hands by a train station in Durham NC Raven Shutley Studios Engagement PhotosEngaged couple embrace under a historic train car in Downtown Durham NC Raven Shutley Studios

Much like thinking about the perfect comeback to someone days or months (or years!) after a disagreement, I’ve been thinking “oh, I should’ve tried out this position or done something else with my hands!” But other than that, our entire experience was great! Raven was extremely, very generously flexible, working around our schedule and allowing us at the last minute to to slot our session into an already-packed weekend for her. We absolutely loved working with Raven and are so thankful we got the opportunity to do a session with her!

Future spouses kiss outside a building in downtown Durham North Carolina Raven Shutley StudiosEngaged couple holding hands in a doorway of a tobacco building in Durham NC Raven Shutley StudiosEngaged couple sits on a stoop of a building in Durham NC Raven Shutley Studios photographyFuture spouse helps fiancé down from stoop in Durham NC Raven Shutley Studios photographyFuture spouse kisses fiancé's cheek on rooftop in Durham NC Raven Shutley Studios photographyFuture spouses happily embrace on a rooftop overlooking downtown Durham NC Raven Shutley StudiosGet In Touch to Plan Your Engagement Session

Raven is an Atlanta Wedding and portrait Photographer who captures real people. Her speciality is working with people who feel awkward in front of the camera. She travels throughout Georgia, including Athens, North Georgia, and beyond.

Get in touch!

Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions