Jessica and Lauren are each others soul mates. We were introduced when they were interviewing wedding photographers for their summer, 2018 wedding. They have a quiet confidence about them and are avid travelers and fellow adventurers. We immediately clicked over talks of our favorite corners of the earth and travel wishlist, and food--wonderful food. We also had a deep conversation that I'll never forget about love, and what it means to each of us to find it.
Many of you who know me well, know that I don't like to settle on ordinary shooting locations. When we talked, Jessica and Lauren mentioned that they take an annual winter vacation in Leavenworth. Leavenworth is a Bavarian-themed town nestled in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. They love snowshoeing and cross-country skiing and all things outdoors. And so I asked them if they would consider doing their engagement session there because it's a place near and dear to their heart. They loved the idea and we began planning for a weekend getaway.
All things were running smoothly for our Leavenworth snow-filled adventure when my husband was struck by the flu. We had plans to visit Leavenworth and Suncadia Resort but they all had to be canceled. I have never had to cancel a shoot, and wanted my track record to not be tarnished but I was in a really tough spot trying to figure out how to make it come together last minute. Luckily our dear friend, Marina (who is coincidentally my daughter's Spanish teacher) who is a fellow adventurer herself agreed to hop in the car and make a day trip out of Leavenworth with me and my daughter. My sweet husband was left at home with a fridge full of food, and the remote (just what he needs and wants when sicker than sick).
When I arrived we were all in a bit of a frenzy. Jessica and Lauren's hotel suite was not ready when they checked in, and they had to rush to get ready. They also realized they were a bit nervous about the shoot. This is where I just have to mention the importance of engagement sessions. Most people don't realize how nervous they are being photographed until they see a camera. You know the feeling when someone whips out their cell phone and says let's take a photo? You scramble to fidget with your hair and straighten your blouse. I realize that most of us are not pros having our photographs taken and that's why engagement sessions are wonderful. They give you a chance to experience a wonderful photography session and see the dreamy results and it makes you even more excited (not to mention) prepared for your wedding day photographs! We ended up having so much fun during our session and I got to know Jessica and Lauren even more. It was lovely spending time together and moving at a leisurely pace.
We decided to go to the first spot they wanted to shoot at and upon arriving we realized that it was a smooth groomed cross-country trail, and we would be slipping and sliding if we attempted the shoot there-- not so good when you're looking pretty & not so good for my camera gear.
We were advised to head up to the mountain to Leavenworth Ski Hill and I am so happy we did!! We arrived at the top and were greeted by tons of clean white fluffy snow and gorgeous overlooks. Here are some of the shots from the Ski Hill. We were even lucky enough to have plump little snowflakes falling at the time. The result is dreamy!
After the Leavenworth Ski Hill we decided to drive back to town and try to get some shots in the villiage. Along the way we passed a picturesque barn and home that was just stunning. Jessica and Lauren are pretty shy by nature, as am I....except when I have a camera in my hands and I want THE SHOT. I will do pretty much anything to get it. So we pulled in to the farms driveway and I went up to the house to ask their permission to shoot. The nicest lady answered and said she would love for them to come on the grounds and have photos taken!! We tromped through the snow and found this magic.
Not thinking I could get any luckier with locations, we went back to downtown Leavenworth and Jessica and Lauren showed me their favorite little gem ~ The Gingerbread Factory. It's a charming gingerbread house that is cranking out the most delicious and mouthwatering gingerbread cookies, lattes and gluten free food you've ever had. It's cozy and charming and has spectacular views of the Cascade Mountains.
We rallied together and had a truly special and memorable shoot together. LIfe is about making memories, and we have them. I am honored to share these images a beautiful couple that is meant spend a lifetime together. I cannot wait for their June wedding and to share more of their love story! Congratulations Jessica and Lauren! xo