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This week, Shayne and I had a hard lesson in learning to smile and to be as close to adorable as we could manage in front of a near stranger holding some very expensive photography equipment.

More simply put, we had our engagement photo shoot.

“What?!” you may ask, “Aren’t you getting married in almost exactly two months? Putting you well over halfway through your “engagement” period? I sure hope you don’t do all of your wedding planning on this kind of timeline…”

Thank goodness the answer to that last thought is “no” or I’d be watching my hair fall out of my head in huge, stress-laden chunks. And then I would have to wear a wig for my wedding (which might not be all bad…because then I wouldn’t have to worry about it all falling down halfway through our first dance…oh, the things that keep me up at night these days).

What really happened is that we kind of tiptoed around the idea of engagement photos for a while before finally deciding that it would be a great opportunity to get to know our photographer a little bit better before the big day and to (hopefully) walk away with some frame-worthy and fun pictures of ourselves to hang on what is soon to be our wall.

(By the way, the above photo isn’t from anything photography-shoot related. We’ll be seeing those images in about another week, and this is my favorite pre-wedding-planning photo of the two of us. It’s seriously everywhere in my life: my phone, my room, our wedding website…)

And, after an hour or so of climbing on rocks and smiling next to trees and cool old stone structures and practicing our best “I’m not posing!” kisses, we both decided that we’d made the right choice.

First of all, we figured out that we really, really, like our photographer. She’s young, she’s fun, she helped us figure out what to do and not feel awkward doing it (she’s from Elevate Photography in Denver, for any photographer-hunting Coloradans out there!) and she did a great job of easing us into the idea of having a camera pointed at us.

We (and by we, I really mean Shayne) also learned that taking pictures can be a positive experience. I mean, we got to climb on rocks! And play around on really cool old buildings! And show another person how much we care about each other and how much fun we have together! Which means, of course, that we were having fun doing it.

And finally, we learned—although I’m sure all of this careful training will fly right out of the window when football season rolls around and Coach Shayne needs to look every bit as tough as all the other guys are looking—that it is, after all, okay to smile for the camera.