Honeymoon Photos Are All Terrible


I was a little nervous about our honeymoon, because Collin and I have very different vacationing styles.  I was raised with the vacation ethic of “go somewhere beautiful and just sit there relaxing,” whereas Collin is a Jam-Packed Itinerary of Adventure and Discovery-type vacationer.

But Collin managed to plan a vacation that struck a nice balance.  We toured the Southwest United States, starting in Sedona, Arizona, heading to the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, the Four Corners, and finally driving through Southern Utah to Las Vegas for a couple of days of distinctly less nature-loving fun.

The pre-Vegas portion of our trip followed a predictable pattern:  Wake up, take a hike or do something similarly outdoorsy and active, be exhausted by 1PM, so spend the rest of the day in bed, in both the honeymoon bow chicka wow wow sense and in the vacation snooze chicka zzzzzz zzzzzz sense.

Heading to Vegas was an abrupt change of pace, but after a week of natural wonder a totally welcome one.  I had never been to Vegas and I liked it more than I thought I would.  The pure excess of everything in Vegas is perfect for a honeymoon, where you’re probably the most blasé about money and extravagance as you’ve ever been in your life, because you just dropped so much more on your wedding.  Like, marble entryway to a standard hotel room in the Bellagio?  Well, of course.  $30 chili cheese fries where the chili has kobe beef chunks and the cheese is truffle-infused? Bring it!  I also liked gambling way more than I expected to, especially when we were winning money on the slots.  [Fortunately I didn't have good luck last weekend in Vegas, and quickly lost interest in playing slots, which will hopefully nip in the bud what could be a burgeoning gambling addiction (and not even the cool kind of gambling addiction where you allegedly have the skills to justify your risk or at least can look like the Mack Daddy at a table instead of a chump in an aisle of bleep blopping slot machines)]

So, big picture, our honeymoon was great.  I won’t get into more detail, because it’s either boring or not fit for print.  So to be save this post from being a total waste of everyone’s time, I offer an observation that I started planning a post around 18 hours into our honeymoon:

All honeymoon photos are terrible.

I suppose there are super rich people out there who hire a photographer to document their honeymoon, but for the most part, it’s just you, your partner, and a point and shoot.  Coming on the heels of an excessively photodocumented wedding, this set up feels hopelessly inadequate.  You end up with a lot of photos that all look the same (kind of terrible) and fit into one of a few distinct types:

Mediocre attempts at capturing natural beauty.

The back of your partner while he does something interesting.

A sneak attack snap of your partner making a goofy face.

Misguided use of the notorious MySpace Angle.

And, of course, pictures taken by kind strangers who have apparently never operated a camera before.

[To exacerbate the problem, I somehow forget everything I know about posing for the camera when it is wielded by  a Kind Stranger]

You know I’m right. You know you have these same photos from your honeymoon (or your last two-person vacation of any kind). You know they are terrible.  We take them anyway, because we somehow worry we won’t remember the fun we had without photos to prove it.  Which is fine, because photos can function as proof of fun even when they are spectacularly lame to look at.  Just don’t waste too much time on your honeymoon trying to take Actually Good pictures, because you can’t, and it might impede your ability to enjoy your time while you have it.


  1. Fact. The only good picture of me from my honeymoon is of me smoking a Cuban cigar and nursing a glass of bourbon on our tiny deck. Otherwise, not even my amateur photographer husband got any good shots the whole time. You’re doing a great public service sharing this knowledge!

    • My favorite non-professional photograph of me ever is me smoking a cigar and holding up a shot of tequila in a glass that used to say “I <3 NY” but the <3 was worn off so it just said “I [ ] NY.”

  2. Ah, see I am crazy obsessive about getting good vacation shots when it’s just the two of us. (Just put some up on the blog, actually!) And I succeed, but it definitely takes a toll on the trip/relationship with my husband. He is walking in a straight line, carrying on a conversation, reading things and receiving memorable information – and I’m wandering around, ducking in corners, running into walls and strangers, not listening to him, and not remembering anything about what we see. But dammit, I have pretty pictures!

    If you come away with bad pics, at least it means you were probably very “present.” And your husband probably never threatened to leave you in a train station.

  3. Holy balls, that one above the photo of you two kissing? Your eyes look INCREDIBLE!

    • Thank you! I very clearly remember when I came out of the restroom with that makeup on Collin was all, “Why did you do that to your face?” Boys are stupid!

  4. There are no good pictures of either of us from our honeymoon. Tony purposefully takes pictures when I am caught off guard, and then makes faces. I did manage to get an awesome back-of-the-head iPhone shot of Tony standing in front of the Seurat like Ferris Buehler’s Day Off, though. So that was worth it.

  5. God I love…. Really love your pictures!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Wait, what? I know we all have really high standards for photos these days, but dude, I think your photos are great.

  7. We actually took very few photos on our honeymoon. I took a few shots when we visited Galena, IL of the town, and some at the New Glarus brewery, and then a few of our cabin. Mostly to show people where we’d been, not us actually doing anything. So I think our photos are worse than most people’s honeymoon pictures because we aren’t actually in them!

  8. Some of these aren’t so bad! You just need to fidget with the saturation & cropping a bit :)

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