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Raleigh Engagement Photos – Virginia and Jim are Engaged!

Doing engagement photos in downtown Raleigh is something I’m enjoying more and more. Pair it with how much fun it was to hang out and get to know these two, and it was about the best way I could spend an evening. Super excited for their wedding in the fall!

Chavis Park Walkway, Trophy, and downtown Raleigh

Jim and I live two blocks from Chavis Park walkway, so we walk along there frequently and love the view of downtown Raleigh from the corner of E Davie and Chavis Way.  It’s also a lovely tree-lined walkway if you turn away from the view of downtown, making it a real win-win situation if you want a little city and a little nature.  

Getting some pictures in downtown Raleigh was also a must for us, because we just love everything about its artsy, easy going energy. 

I feel like we got it all in our pictures- some trees, awesome murals, a broader view of downtown- what’s not to love about a good variety?  

5 1/2 years

Jim and I are first and foremost best friends.  We were friends before we started dating, and that remains at the forefront of our relationship, and the most important aspect of it.  We play fantasy football together, Magic the Gathering (neeeerrrrrdddss), we talk about new apps we could build together (we both work in and love tech), and enjoy discussing/debating politics, sociology, religion, etc.   

I don’t know if there’s anything that makes us super unique.  I hope and assume that any couple that’s been together as long as we have feel like they’re best friends with their life partner.  I guess if I had to name something that we appreciate in each other is that I feel like we’re both a really healthy mix of dreamer and doer.  Sometimes Jim comes up with an idea and I’m the one that executes it, other times it’s the other way around.  It’s great having found someone that’s as practical, yet action-oriented as I am.  We make an awesome team, and that’s something I love about our relationship. 

It was January 18 (a Thursday), and Raleigh was still recovering from a snowstorm that had hit the day before.  I was supposed to be taking some classes in the evening, but everything ended up being cancelled.  My 30th birthday was coming up on January 22nd, and Jim had alluded that the upcoming weekend was going to be crazy and asked if we could have a quiet night in, making dinner together and playing a game of Magic.  I thought this sounded like a great idea and also wanted to relax ahead of whatever craziness Jim was planning.  We made dinner and sat down for a classic game of MTG (Magic the Gathering). 

We’re a few rounds into the game and I’m attacking him, when he says, ‘Well, I play this,’ and throws down a custom made Magic card with a picture of us, and the text, ‘Will You Marry Me?’  It hit me all at once what was happening, and I immediately started crying.  Jim then presses a button on his phone, and the lights in the living room changed, the tv pops a picture of us on the tv, and our song started playing.  Yes- Jim used the Google chromecast API to set a custom mood for the proposal.  Did I mention we were tech nerds? Jim said a few sweet words, I said yes, and we spent the rest of the night calling family and friends and reminiscing the last 5 years since we met. 

What’s more is that remember how my 30th birthday was coming up and Jim had other surprises planned for that?  Well, the next day my two sisters surprised me (one lives in Texas and the other in Missouri) by flying in, and two good friends that also live out of town. No one had any idea that Jim was proposing, so it was great to celebrate that with them.  We also marched in the women’s march, and had a big party with our Raleigh friends on Saturday. It was a complete whirlwind and hands down the best and most unforgettable 4 days of my life.

Jim is from Maine, I’m from Kansas, we met in Boston, and then moved to Raleigh together.  Because of this, our family and friends are spread apart throughout the country.  I get goosebumps when I think of everyone special to us being in one room for the first, and probably only, time ever. 

Relaxed and fun! (After we figured out what outfits we were going to wear.  That part was a little stressful).

About the images

These Raleigh images were taken with combinations of a Nikon D4sNikon D750Nikkor 85mm 1.4GNikkor 45mm Tilt ShiftNikkor 24mm 1.4G, 5 off camera  Flashpoint R2 Speedlights, and 2 AD-200 strobes with an assortment of  MagMod modifiers. All of my images are color corrected with Adobe Lightroom only and not altered or photoshopped in any way.

I’d also like to extend a huge thank you to Elyssa for her help on this shoot.

In addition to these Raleigh Engagement Photos, Raleigh Wedding Photographer Dave Shay is available for wedding and couple’s portraiture along the entire East Coast and worldwide. To see more work from Raleigh Wedding Photographer Dave Shay, please head over to the portfolio page.

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