These Olive Garden engagement photos are going viral

Engagement photos in the Italian countryside? Weathered stone, cypress? And the light? Don’t run us with the light. What photographer could resist? While a nice idea, it was a bit far for a photographer from Tennessee, but luckily she had another local spot in mind: Olive Garden.

Photographer Shea Cravens is no stranger to shooting locations that are a bit off the beaten path. If there’s potential, she won’t hit it for being unconventional. “I’ve never taken photos at any other restaurant but did a photoshoot outside of Big Lots as it was a really neat place that caught my eye to take photos.” she said BuzzFeed.

Related: How to protect a photograph and save your work

Although hesitant at first, the couple, Carlsey Bibb and her fiancé Caden Mills, loved the results. Hunter LaShea Photography/Shea Cravens

How Olive Garden’s Engagement Photos Came to Be

Cravens was inspired one day after having dinner at Olive Garden with her family, remarking to her mother that the exterior of the building would be a good place for photos. It’s easy to see why. The neutral stone reflects light beautifully and with careful harvesting, none are wiser. Is it a 13th century Italian castle turned winery or a restaurant chain? From the dreamy images, whose warm tones were captured by Cravens at sunrise, it’s hard to guess.

Carlsey Bibb and her fiancé Caden Mills are friends of Cravens. “I asked Shea… if there was a place she wanted to shoot but hadn’t yet. That’s when she mentioned Olive Garden! Bibb told BuzzFeed. “They were much better than we could have imagined.”

Related: Botched wedding Photoshop has the internet in tears

olive garden engagement photos
The trio took the image at 6 a.m. to catch a golden hour glow. Hunter LaShea Photography/Shea Cravens

These Olive Garden engagement photos are going viral

With over 260,000 views and 24,000 comments on TikTokCravens’ Olive Garden engagement photos are gaining momentum with photographers and the media, even Jimmy Fallon had to talk about it. On Instagram, the same video has been viewed 387,000 times. Cravens’ TikTok profile now reads “this Olive Garden photographer.”

The restaurant itself also weighed in. “Endless love calls for endless refills”, the pasta chain wrote.

olive garden engagement photos
The media fought over the story, some aggressively. Hunter LaShea Photography/Shea Cravens

A word of warning

While it’s every creative’s dream to go viral, there’s a caveat to the story. An interested media publication commented on the TikTok videoasking “Will you irrevocably grant NBCU permission for unlimited use of the video and on all NBCU platforms and media, worldwide, in perpetuity?”

Another user replied, “Don’t do anything without asking for payment! These vultures will get your videos and enrich themselves without giving you a penny. Which happened to me.”

While showing up in front of millions of people who might like your work sounds like a dream, there’s also a cost. So, photographers, when your moment in the spotlight arrives, know how to protect yourself.

Stewart C. Hartline