You may recall that Mr. Whale and I are having a semi-destination wedding in the Blue Ridge Mountains, about 9 hours from where we currently live.  That’s made vendor hunting a bit more challenging.  One of the most important vendors to meet (so I hear) is the photographer.   After all, one usually spends quite a few hours with this person on your wedding day.  They’d better be someone you’re willing to hang out with for a while.  We finally chose a photographer after much disaster, and we’re so pumped to have her.  But unfortunately, we still haven’t met her.  We’re also not doing a first look, so if we don’t meet until the wedding, she literally wouldn’t see both of us together until I walk down the aisle.  Whoa.  That’s probably not ideal.

For this reason, we are definitely finding a way to do engagement photos.  Mr. Whale and I end up in the Atlanta area (where our photographer is) a couple of times each year, because that’s a good place to stop when we’re driving from Maryland to the Mississippi Gulf Coast (where Mr. Whale’s family lives).  And so we decided that we could have our engagement photos done during one of these stops.  But… unfortunately, the only time we’re going to be in Atlanta between now and the wedding is… January. Brrrrrr!

Thus begins the debate: should we try to have pictures taken outside, even though we’ll be freezing our bums off? Or should we find a great indoor location?  From a photographer’s perspective, outside is always better.  Indoor lighting is just a bit yucky for photographs.  However, an outdoor photoshoot in January isn’t going to have bright blue skies and lush green grass and trees with lots of leaves.  We’ll probably have grayish skies, dead grass, and brown leafless trees…

So I started looking for indoor ideas.  There are a lot of couples who have taken AMAZING engagement photos inside museums.


Image by DC Photographer, Amber Wilkie


Image by Amber Wilkie

I love the idea of using a cool museum!  But could I find a really awesome one in the Atlanta area? Well… that’s a bit of a challenge.  Yet again, we don’t live in Atlanta.  I don’t know where the cool museums are.  I don’t even know what museums they have!   But I didn’t let this stop me.  The High Museum of Art seems to be a very popular location for photos.  And they have a cool wall of mirrored hemispheres.

I think this is nice, but Mr. Whale and I aren’t super excited about art.  I mean, we love certain types of art.  But, having our engagement photos at an art museum doesn’t really feel like “us”.  Another popular location is the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, because they have an indoor section.

It’s beautiful at the Botanical Gardens, and it would almost be like being outside.  But… it costs $150 to have a photo shoot.  In fact, most of the indoor locations in Atlanta charge between $100 and $250 to have a photo shoot. Le sigh.

But then… I saw something that really caught my eye.  I’ve always loved pictures of couples walking on train tracks.

I’m not really into metaphors (not that I don’t like them, but I suck at coming up with them or recognizing their existence in literature or artistic things), but I feel like the train tracks represent transition.  So they seem really appropriate for an engagement, as we transition from our separate lives to a lifetime together.  And it turns out… Atlanta has a train museum – the Southeastern Railway Museum!  I was able to find a handful of couples’ engagement photos taken there, and they’re stunning!

They’ve got the best of both worlds.  There seem to be tons of great locations inside the museum, and then we can run outside and take some cool outdoor ones (on the train tracks! I’m such a sucker for those pics).

What does the hive think?  I love this idea, but we’ve still got a little time.  Did I miss a great Atlanta area location?


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