Here’s Why No One Shoots Engagement Photos in the Suburbs

Nathaniel Hood shot some gag engagement photos in a suburban environment to make a point. Photo:
Ah, the romance of the subdivision. Photo:

Nothing says unbridled passion like a treeless cul-de-sac, right? That’s what Nathaniel Hood, who writes for and Strong Towns, and his new bride-to-be were thinking when they shot these engagement photos as a gag.

Hood said on his website:

Engagement photos are either urban or rural. They are either a former factory or a leafy meadow, the brick wall of a forgotten factory or an empty beach. Never the subdivision. Never the cul-de-sac.

We wanted to capture the ambiance of the American subdivision.

Did they ever!


Aww, adorable:


Hood promises his real engagement photos are forthcoming. In the meantime, you have to congratulate him on marrying perhaps the world’s best sport.

65 thoughts on Here’s Why No One Shoots Engagement Photos in the Suburbs

  1. Oh man, THAT’s funny stuff! I kinda want to mug those two myself. And I don’t think their cute Bandana Dog would stop me.

  2. I am not one of the “pourers” who wants to live in the burbs. In this town, the burbs are way overpriced.

  3. “Everyone?” This is either pure delusion or another attempt at satire. It’s fair to criticize urbanists who sometimes seem to ignore the realities that make some people prefer the suburbs to big cities or wide open spaces. Unfortunately, you’re doing the exact same thing–assuming that where YOU want to live is where “EVERYONE” (your word) wants to live.

  4. Isn’t everything that isn’t a road a “place”? This whole place making thingy just leaves me scratching my head. There’s lots of places I want to go, but you may not want to go to. Same there may be places you want to go, that I don’t care to go.

    Some places none of us can go, because it’s private property. Maybe if we are lucky we can see over the fence.

    Some places are open to the public, like shopping centers, museums and parks.

    Place making is made with either private investment, donations of funds or taxpayers dollars.

    To say that every office building is a “place” however does not necessarily mean anything to me except I can look at it. If I don’t have business at the building, chances are the front desk security isn’t going to let me beyond the lobby. So a fallow field is a place in the same respect as an office building. I can see it, but I can necessarily violate private property rules and trespass.

    So you show a picture of possibly a not to interesting place to take an engagement picture. Pfffft. There’s a million interesting places. I just thought it was a photo of people who were so thoroughly in love with each other that they really didn’t care where their photo is taken or without too much of a bright imagination. But I will say the wedding photo with the lady in the background in the swim suit in a public fountain certainly adds distinction.

    When someone feels there isn’t enough places for people, I wonder what in the world are you talking about.

  5. So what makes a psuedo colonial-ish manufactured shopping center set amongst acres of parkingr a better place. I dont rank it any better than a field. If thats what people want hey, give it to them. But there is a certain social conceit playing out in this narrative that this is a better place or that is an unworthy place based upon definitions defined by few. Yes this was meant to be satire. But its humorless satire based upon an objective view that there is little to be had in a suburban field and said field is not a place. At least not a place said author deams would be worthy of being called a place defined in her lexicon.

  6. Some people pour to live in them, but the costs to build and maintain the infrastructure fall on other people. With tax values only assessed the next year after new places are built, who paid for the new roads, widening existing roads, new signal lights, intersection repair, the sewer system, power lines…. it certainly isn’t the residents of the neighborhood when it was built.
    Suburbs wouldn’t do so well if the price of gasoline wasn’t pushed so low by us gov’t. Imagine $8 gallon gasoline–that “drive until you qualify” bit doesn’t look so nice anymore.

  7. Uh… everyone is NOT pouring to live there. You could give me a suburban mansion for FREE. I wouldn’t touch it.

  8. Pre 1920 suburbs? I guess it depends on how you define suburbs, but I think most of us are using the “Levitt-as-the-father-of-the suburb” theory.

  9. Not all suburbs are created equal. In the United States, in most parts, when we refer to “suburbs”, it typically means housing built post-World War 2. Streetcar suburbs are typically referred to not as suburbs, but “streetcar suburbs”

  10. I can’t believe how controversial this post has been. Clearly the post is intended to highlight poor design that tends to dominate in conventional automobile-oriented development. That’s it. Everyone who thinks that there’s more implied (such as a blanket moral judgment on all types of suburbs, or some kind of single-minded celebration of gritty inner city life) is just confused by their own frustrations on the subject.

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