With less than a year until their 2021 nuptials, newly engaged Uche Nwosu and Clinton Moxam decided they were ready to kick off the planning process—with engagement photos! The couple, who lives in Los Angeles and met on season 6 of MTV's Are You the One?, flew to Chicago and let Abby Jiu do the honors.
"Clinton and I both do shoots individually but getting to shoot together is always so much fun and the whole thing flew by," Uche says. "Abby and her team were amazing and so easy to work with. I really think they captured the essence of our relationship so beautifully."
Meet the Expert
While the couple technically wasn't a "match" on screen when they met three years ago, their chemistry is clear on camera. Below, the model couple, along with their photographer, share tips for taking fall engagement photos—plus how they put said tricks into practice on a picture-perfect fall day in Uche's beloved Chicago.
Secrets to Effortless Styling and Posing
As a model, Uche knows a thing or five (!!) about looking great in photos.
This can be anything from wearing what you feel confident in to choosing a location that makes you feel empowered.
Match the Season
If it's fall, wear moodier tones. If it's summer, try bright colors, florals, et cetera.
"I definitely love a 'smize' moment," says Uche. "But you can never go wrong with a smile for a few shots as well."
Go Natural With Makeup
"While there are people that opt for a super-glam look (love a good glam moment!), I opted to go more for a natural makeup look that still made me feel confident and beautiful in my own skin," says Nwosu. "Find a makeup look that makes you feel your best but also still you."
When All Else Fails, Find a Pocket
"As silly as it sounds, whenever I feel like I don't know what else to do, put a hand in the pocket," says Uche. "Front pocket, side pocket, back pocket—literally, any pocket is always a safe, chic bet."
Photography Dos and Don'ts
"Honestly, I think it’s the photographer’s job to make the couples look and feel comfortable," she says. "As a photographer, we are doing this regularly while our clients are not. So it’s really up to us to get them in a comfortable state and photograph them in a way that is generally them." That said, Jiu does have rules to share.
- Do make it a date night! You’re already dressed up and have your makeup done. Make plans for a dinner out—just the two of you. So often wedding planning can be stressful, and this can be a great opportunity to set aside quality time.
- Do create a timeline and work backward from sunset. Wear your favorite outfit last because you’ll be a pro by the end of the session. That way the best pictures are at the end and have optimal light.
- Don't try your own makeup. Most people don’t know how much makeup to apply when it comes to looking good on camera. You often need more makeup than you think—so hire a professional! It’s also great to hire a makeup artist that will also be there on your wedding day.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help! You don’t have to do this by yourself. We have group chats with the bride and planner to help come up with the best outfits for the shoot.
The Chicago Photo Shoot
Uche grew up in Michigan, but her family has since moved to Chicago, a city that she now calls "home base."
"Chicago is a city so close to my heart," she says. "I knew I not only wanted to have my wedding here in the city, but also shooting here for our engagement photos (Art Institute, Wrigley Building, downtown Chicago) was so special to me. Still convincing Clinton to live here long term and raise our family here—so far, so good!"
Chicago is a city so close to my heart. I knew I not only wanted to have my wedding here in the city, but also shooting here for our engagement photos was so special to me.
As a fashion influencer, Uche admits that her outfits for the shoot were a priority. "I wanted my outfits to show off my own individual style—so I had three!" she says. First up: a beautiful white Third Form dress with a slit that she's "been saving for the perfect occasion."
The couple's wedding planner Beth Helmstetter of Beth Helmstetter Events introduced them to photographer Abby Jiu. They are based on opposite coasts—with Uche and Clinton in Los Angeles, and Jiu in Washington, D.C.—so they thought Why not meet in Chicago?!
"We are starting to send out our save-the-dates, design our wedding website, et cetera, so we thought it only fitting to have our shoot here in Chicago with Abby and also be able to use the images for wedding assets—in addition to having them as mementos for a lifetime!" Uche explains.
An engagement photo shoot is a great opportunity to get comfortable with your wedding photographer—and practice acting natural on camera!
And while engagement photos are great for all of those reasons, Jiu adds another one: "There are so many new things happening on the wedding day. Let’s take one off your plate so our couples can be comfortable," she says. "We look for gestures of how they show affection to make sure we can also capture this on the wedding day and truly tell their story."
Uche paired her first two looks with her favorite boots from Schutz—and Jiu even lent her a coat for a few shots. But it was not as seamless as it looks! "Moments before the session, one of the outfits we had selected together had a wardrobe malfunction, and Uche's pants split!" Jiu says. "Luckily, she has a great sense of style and had many great options."
Uche's second outfit was a two-piece set from Reformation. Clinton looked equally as chic in a black turtleneck sweater, black slacks, and loafers with a statement buckle.
"You can easily tell how much they love and care about each other," recalls Jiu of their time together. "From the way, Clinton draped his coat over Uche’s shoulders in between locations to the way they would hype each other up when we were taking individual pictures, there was always that genuine affection."
We cannot wait to share these images not only with our wedding guests but also with our future children. Truly a memory to last a lifetime!
"I am so entirely glad that we did this shoot! We have been so excited to start the wedding process and things are really starting to feel real," Uche says. "We cannot wait to share these images not only with our wedding guests but also with our future children. Truly a memory to last a lifetime!"