Why These Viral Engagement Photos Started a Controversy

Ah, viral controversies. It sure is bizarre to live in a day and age where practically anyone can be thrust into the spotlight for simply having a social media account!

Take the story of Texas fiancés Stephanie and Arryn, for example. These two lovebirds were living quiet lives…until their engagement photos spread like wildfire.

Back in September, photographer Bria Terry of Wolf & Rose Photography shot a gorgeous boudoir-themed shoot for Stephanie and Arryn. The black and white pictures were steamy, yet tasteful. They featured a topless—but fully covered—Stephanie in intimate poses alongside her fiancé.

In an interview with BuzzFeed, the talented photog explains that she aimed to capture this couple’s special brand of affection in the shots. “I’ve honestly never seen two people more in love,” Terry gushes. “The way he looks at her in those photos, that’s an all-the-time thing with him. He treats her like she hung the moon and stars.”

OK, how sweet is that?! The photographer goes on to say that she chose the pair after posting an open call for boudoir models; it then became a bit of an unofficial engagement shoot. Terry was so happy with the images, she posted several to her Facebook—and that’s when things started to get complicated…

First things first: the couple ended up getting tens of thousands of supportive responses to the photos. The general consensus was that the images truly represented body positivity in its purest form, something that Stephanie has been touched to hear.

While most comments were encouraging, Stephanie’s employer, Austin Bank Texas N.A., was quite miffed by her choice to shoot in various stages of undress. Once her bosses got their first glimpses of the steamy photos, she received a heartbreaking phone call.

“[Austin Bank Texas N.A.] said I was topless and it was inappropriate and we’re a family-oriented company,” Stephanie told BuzzFeed. She was later terminated for sharing the photos on social media.

The firing stings because Stephanie was doing very well at the company, but what’s worse is that she is also pregnant, which means she is now left without maternity leave or health insurance. Yikes!

Although she has lost her job, the Texan still says that both she and Arryn have no regrets in regards to taking and sharing their engagement photos. “[Arryn] knows it puts out a good message and helps me in my self-confidence, and how I feel about myself,” she says. “He’s all about it.”

Wow, Stephanie’s company took some pretty drastic measures, if you ask us! To see the full set of boudoir engagement photos for yourself, be sure to watch the video below. Sure, the pictures are steamy, but are they inappropriate enough to let go of a dedicated employee?

We can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this Internet controversy! Are you a fan of this engagement shoot? Do you think Stephanie’s employer was right to terminate her? Have you ever gotten in trouble for posting similar photos to social media?