Our Story (Part 5): How I orchestrated our own engagement pictures

Catch up on our story here:
Part 1: CollegePlus and first meetings
Stephen’s Story: Part 1 – Noticing a Proverbs 31 woman
Part 2: Second meetings and big decisions
Stephen’s Story: Part 2 – A deepening friendship & surprising messages
Part 3: When 1,935 miles apart gets cut down to 15
Stephen’s story: Part 3 – Becoming an Arkansan
Part 4: A boy, a girl, and a ring
Stephen’s story: Part 4 – Proposal and a Resounding “Yes!”
Part 5: Our Wedding
Part 6: Our Honeymoon

You know you have a keeper when he agrees to get up at 5:30 am to have a sunrise engagement photo session. You may question my sanity from that fact alone, but when you find out that I was planning on wearing a light, short sleeve dress and the temperature outside was a warm 32 degrees, well, yeah. I may be a little crazy. But that’s the photographer in me. 😉

I also happen to have one of the best sisters and mom in the world, because they also agreed to get up early on a Saturday morning to brave the cold to be our photographers.

Scouting locations a few weeks before, I found the perfect location for our photos. Even more special was the fact that I had never photographed anyone here before, so this spot would be completely unique to us. Beaverfork Lake has a gorgeous tree that has sunlight streaming through it right at sunrise. That was our first stop, and we were completely in awe when we saw the sunrise combined with the fog coming off the water. Completely indescribable. I don’t know how many times I said “I’m so excited!!!” on this day. So instead, we started off at the bridge to capture that misty morning beauty.

I got my camera and set it up with all the right settings and handed it off to Josie. Mom was our spotter and was on the lookout for stray hairs, wardrobe adjustments, and any needed changes in our pose.

After just a few minutes of explaining how to use my camera (plus a couple years of taking my headshots) Josie totally rocked our engagement pictures. She got lots of great pictures of me mid-sentence as well. They’re great. Just great. But they make us laugh. So I love them. Those won’t be showing up here, but if you want to see them, just ask. You might get special access. 😉

This right here is proof of how cold it was. There was FROST on the plants.

I knew that since I would be going back and forth between being the subject and then coming to check camera settings and framing, and then re-doing some to correct the framing, it would be best if we split our engagement sessions into two days. That way we could get good light for all our pictures. (Also another reason why I have the best guy ever. He was willing to take pictures TWO days in a row, both of which lasted about an hour. Sorry, he’s taken. 😉 )

Sunday afternoon it was time to dress down and incorporate some wonderful Fall color!

I’d be lying if I said this picture wasn’t one of my favorites. Smiling pictures are great and all that, but you will ALWAYS need one silly picture. #lifewithcaitlin

All in all, taking engagement photos on our own was challenging, a little bit cold, and kind of a long process, but wonderfully amazing. There were so many laughs and crazy photos in addition to the good ones, that I know we’ll never forget this special time.  If you’re anything like us, picking just one photo for the invitations is going to be tough. If you have a favorite, let us know in the comments below and help us make that decision!! We’d love to have your input in this decision. 🙂


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