Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How to Take Engagement Pictures - the cheap way (and directions for how to make a wedding date banner)

Photo taken at Wilson's Apple Orchard, Iowa City, IA.
Once you get engaged, everyone wants pictures and you'll likely need pictures for your invitation or save the dates.  After looking into a few photographers around our area, I learned that having pictures professionally taken is really expensive, especially if you add the words "wedding" or "engagement" into the sentence.  Now, don't get me wrong, photographers have to do a LOT when it comes to traveling to the site of your pictures, supplying props, editing the photos, so they definitely earn their money.  Frankly, another aspect that scared me was whether or not I would get the pictures I wanted.  I was worried that working with a photographer would mean that I wouldn't be comfortable asking for the poses and I had a fear that we would end up with something worthy of the Awkward Family Photos website.  So we opted to take our photos a different way.  After spending hours on Pinterest with Patrick looking through engagement photos that we liked, we met with a few of our friends who agreed to take snap some pictures for us.  Luckily, Patrick had started dabbling in photography and had gotten a decent Cannon DSLR camera for graduation.  We showed our friends Katy, and S.J. what we were looking for and off we were to take some shots. 

I'm pretty in love with the way they turned out, plus they didn't cost us a thing. 

Below are just a few of the photos we ended up using.  ( I won't bore you by posting all of them.)  

Photo taken at Mormon Trek Park, Iowa City, IA.
We used the picture featured above for almost everything.  I love how simple it turned out and how vibrant the colors printed. 

For editing, we used a website called Piknik, which unfortunately no longer exists.  Piknik allowed us to alter the appearance of our photos (to an extent), without having to pay for expensive software like Photoshop.  Now, Piknik and Photoshop are miles apart from each other when it comes to editing capabilities, but for the few bits we wanted to alter, Piknik worked well.  If you're looking for a similar option, Google + supposedly has similar editing options that Piknik once did.  If you choose to try Google + for some of your photos, leave a comment to let us know how it worked! 

Photo taken at  Wilson's Apple Orchard, Iowa City, IA. 
One suggestion I have, if you wish to take your own engagement pictures, is to make sure you have props.  Patrick and I used a small chalkboard with a chalkboard marker (I found that the chalkboard marker was a great investment because the writing showed up more vibrantly on the chalkboard.  Just make sure you bring a wet paper towel to wipe off the writing), and the wedding date banner pictured above.  If you're interested in making a banner with your wedding date, follow the simple instructions at the end of this post.  Also, make sure you look at poses online so you have some ideas for pictures.  Ask your photographer to leave some space around the sides of some of your pictures so you can better size your photo to fit into templates if you choose to use it for your wedding invites or save the date cards.  Also, don't forget to take a LOT of pictures.  You won't use very many, but it's better to have more than not enough.  

Photo taken at Wilson's Apple Orchard, Iowa City, IA. 


Ahhh... the joys of back blogging.  Since I made this project almost a year ago, I unfortunately do not have any pictures to post of the process, however, the project is so simple, I doubt you will need them.  


-High temp. hot glue gun 
-Hot glue sticks 
-Wooden numbers corresponding to the scheduled date of your wedding (I found mine at Michael's) 
-Picture hanging hardware (The kind with the triangular loop at the top) 
-Yarn, string, or twine 
-Paint (optional) 

Optional first step: If you would like to paint your wooden numbers, do this first.  I would suggest painting the front and the back to make sure you don't see any unfinished edges in your photos.  I chose not to paint mine because I was comfortable with the natural color.  

1. Plug in your hot glue gun and let the glue warm to a usable temperature.  
2. While you are letting your glue gun warm, lay out your wooden numbers on a large, flat surface (I used my kitchen floor.)  From right to left, lay your numbers backwards.  (Imagine someone is facing you looking at the numbers.)  Space the numbers out on the floor how you would like them to be spaced on your banner.  Make sure you leave more space between numbers that need to be separated (where a comma would appear if you were writing the date.)  
3. Use the hot glue gun to glue one picture hanger to the back of each of your numbers.  Make sure you glue the hanger near the top so your numbers don't droop once you tie them onto your string.  
4.  Once you have glued a hanger to each of the numbers cut a piece of string long enough to hold all of your numbers and still give you space at the end to hold the banner.  
5. When the glue attaching the hangers to the wooden numbers has dried, string your string through each of the picture hangers, tying a knot with the string around each hanger to keep the number in place.  
6. Repeat typing a knot around each hanger until all of your numbers are tied to your string.  
7. Take beautiful pictures with your new wedding date banner!  Enjoy!  

1 comment:

  1. This was very helpful and those were really cute pictures.