Adventures In Engagement Photos

Chimes Opinion Article
Zachary Newcott

Although I thought Jennifer Lopez prepared me well with her instructional film The Wedding Planner, it turns out I thought wrong. J Lo knows nothing of my life. So when my fiance told me that we needed to take engagement photos I was at a disadvantage even before I suggested using her imac photobooth to do the job.

Now, I can't claim to be a doctor. Lord knows I've tried, but I can't. What I can claim to be is a college student intern. This places my price-range for wedding photographers a tier below insta-matics and a tier above talking about how great our wedding photos would have been had I a budget that didn't require me to save 7-Eleven cups for cheaper refills. This is bad news if you want to hire a professional (or a "pro" as the professionals call them), as they like to be paid in valid currency and not the unspecified favors I usually offer.

What's frustrating is that my fiance is a rather great photographer. I know this because she doesn't have to use the same amount of lense-flare and blur that I usually do, or insist on using MS Paint to edit in embarrassing photos of celebrities. She's a real classy lady, unlike me, who is a semi-trashy not-lady.

Sadly, first-person wedding photos would make for a terrifying prospect considering that they would mostly involve me coming towards the camera with my mouth opened incredibly wide and drooling (as is the way I expect our wedding kiss to be). If we were going to do engagement photos soon we would need another option. After thinking about all I had learned, I proposed we could make money snake hunting, but was once again convinced that was a bad idea after learning that I had mistakenly watched Anaconda instead of the Wedding Planner, which also starred Jennifer Lopez. Beth had a better solution.

The answer came in the way of the automatic timer on her camera, who works for practically nothing provided that it has enough battery power. Harnessing this resource we found an excellent location atop a pleasant mound of dirt. Problem was, in order to photograph a mound of dirt the camera itself needed to be several yards away. This resulted in me, a Chimes opinions-writer/part-time-videogame-player, setting an eight second timer and then running as fast as I could. This made the modest pile of dirt, to my physique, virtually Everest.

Having no knowledge as to how legs should function apart from sitting, I took whatever lessons I could gather from Discovery channel videos and hunkered down, assuming that if I stayed low I could practically pounce my way to the top of the hill in one swift movement. Somehow, I managed to make it literally at the last second, and although that means many of our photos feature me sweating and plastered with an expression of fear and confusion, that might just be exactly who I am deep down inside.

In this way we have captured a truly authentic moment in our relationship with a minimal budget of nothing. Even still, we fear that a similar, somewhat-complicated system of various cameras set to timers might have to be implemented in the actual wedding to come. We're dedicated to finding a better option. I think Jennifer Lopez said it best in the film Gigli when she noted, "Life, will find a way..." And although I never saw Gigli and actually stole that quote from Jurassic Park, I think we all learned something very special. Although saving money is important, if it takes making an investment to capture a memory, then it's worth the cost.

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