Taking your own engagement photos – Daily Thoughts 7.14.13

After waiting for a year and three months, I was finally able to talk Jacob into taking some engagement photos yesterday. I think it worked because I guilt tripped him into it by saying, “Well we were supposed to get married three days ago, but that kind of fell through, so can we please, please, PLEASE at least take some engagement pictures?!”   🙂

We also want to try to keep our wedding budget low and since I have the equipment to take our own pictures and the willingness to learn how to edit them, I thought it would be a fun experience to take a stab at taking our own photos. My eventual goal is to also take some at the North Shore — my second most favorite place in Minnesota — and at Itasca State Park –My first favorite place in Minnesota.


We went to Maplewood State Park in hopes of finding a nice green grassy field. I was willing to put up with the potential of wood ticks if it meant that we could get some nice pictures in some prairie grass. But when we arrived, all of the nice prairie grass fields look like they have been mowed over and sprayed with gallons of weed killer.

The thistles were somehow able to survive though…

Needless to say, we had a pretty good time.  I made us a little picnic lunch we spent the morning with Jacob posing like I was next to him while I ran back and forth between the camera. This is the first time I have tried to take pictures in this fashion, so it got a little frustrating at times, but we got a couple good photos out of the experience. July132013h

Some things I took away from our experience taking my own engagement photos:

1.) Make sure you tell your Fiance that you intend to take the photos AS WELL AS going to the park to have a picnic and enjoy some lake time  🙂 I woke up at 5 a.m. and started thinking about all the fun pictures we could take while Jacob was still asleep, and, well, he was a little disappointed that he had to spend part of the day standing in front of a camera. (Overall, he enjoyed it, I just don’t think he wants me to know that)  ❤

2.) If you own a remote for your camera, learn how to use it before you go out to take photos of yourself.  — I bought a wireless remote a while back but I never bothered setting it up. It wasn’t hard, but with the imminent rain, I just decided that running back and forth between the camera and using a 10-photo burst with the timer was a little easier. (I have learned!)

3.) Even though Jacob seemed like he wanted to be anywhere else in the world when we started, with enough joking around and wandering off of the marked trails, we were able to have fun, which I think was the best part of our day.

4.) When taking your own photos, make sure that the other person doesn’t make faces like this when you are taking specific pictures that you want to use on your save-the-date cards!


 We took four different pictures for our Save-the-dates like this and he made a crazy face in each one. Luckily that just means that I get more time to experiment with taking pictures and he has to put up with me taking a bunch more photos of us together…he acted like I was performing Chinese water torture on him the whole time, but eventually I got that lovely smile to come out, even if he had to throw in some crazy faces too.

5.) I mentioned this a little, but I should have done some more investigating into the environment at Maplewood State Park. I frequent Itasca State Park, and I have never seen acres upon acres of fields just mowed down and dead-looking. The only green “fields” we could find were swamps, and since we didn’t pack our hip waiters for our engagement photos (What were we thinking, forgetting those?!)  Any areas with natural prairie grasses were mowed down and a nice dead-brown color. It was rather disappointing.

5.) Plan ahaead. For us, this was a spontaneous idea that I cooked up at 5 a.m. But before we take a trip to do any more photos I will be making detailed calls with the state parks that we will be visiting prior to heading out.

Overall, we had a great time and, as usual, we were able to make light of the less-than-optimal situations.

I have a few more photos on Facebook if you are interested in seeing more photos from this trip!