Haley & Fernando | Saint Marys Glacier Dream Wedding Session

Covid has tried to destroy everything. 

I haven’t opened this blog since February, and it’s not because I don’t have beautiful couples to write about. I do. 
But when the world went haywire in March, and all weddings were completely uprooted from their original visions, I was left without my craft.

Hopefully you guys know by now exactly how much this work fuels me. It’s more than a paycheck, (which yes, if you’re wondering I have missed those since February too!) and so much more than a “good photo” (those can be taken by iPhones any day).

I miss getting to hold my beast of a camera up in the air as I’m dancing my way through guests, trying to politely get to the other side of the dance floor while simultaneously doing (and singing, I know you’ve heard me) the cupid shuffle.

I miss seeing the bride take a deep breath before someone zips up her dress because let’s face it, no matter what size and shape your body is in, there is some slight fear that on your big day, and only on your big day since you’ve tried it on ten times already, it’s just not going to fit.

I even miss the Aunts, sisters, and friend of Uncle Bob’s coming to tell me what I should be taking a picture of next… or coming to nudge me to take a photo of Great Aunt So and So dancing with the little kids (of which I assure them I have already got the shot).

Okay, that last one I might not miss as much... but you get the idea.

This entire situation brought creative life back in me. 

Now let me introduce Haley and Fernando.

This was a taste of how their engagement session looked:

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Yep, they ended up in the water at the end of their session! Side note, I am always going to say yes to bringing your dog into the photos, that should be a given by now.

Fast forward to 2020, the year that won’t quit.

These two were supposed to have their wedding this past Spring, as were a lot of hopeful couples, I know. We found out all flights were canceled, and thus began everyone figuring out what new dates could work, and how far away of a date would hopefully be safe enough for travel and gathering up all of their loved ones.

Some of you know that since June of 2019 my family has been on the road. Dave has been working as a Travel Nurse in the Operating Room, and I have (until Covid) continued my work as a traveling/destination wedding photographer.

We were living in our RV in Santa Cruz, California, during the start and height of quarantine, and then only recently (June 2020) we moved to Colorado for another travel assignment for Dave.

Imagine my excitement when Haley was mentioning her thoughts on how to go about rescheduling the wedding, and one of those thoughts included eloping to Colorado.

Giddy doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Knowing how much fun I had during their engagement, I let them know I was down for anything. Thankfully there was an entire day before they got here that Dave could watch Connor and I could go explore mountains in search of a perfect location for this photo session. 

After hiking around some amazing Colorado spots (including Sapphire Point Overlook and Blue Lakes, both of which I highly recommend) I was blown away by Saint Mary’s Glacier.

I knew it was worth it, but I had to check with them first to see if hiking over a mile up on rocks (not one bit of it is a smooth path) right before photos was something they would want to do!

Not only were they completely down for whatever adventure I had planned, they met up even though we knew it was going to most likely storm.

It gets better.

Her response to the weather was that we could just have our very own scenes like the Notebook if it rained!

Sign me up over and over for couples who want an experience out of this, not just a couple of posed photos.

(Don’t get me wrong, I’ll help everyone pose during any sessions. There’s nothing natural about someone staring at you through a lens for an hour.)

Right off the bat, we get about a half mile up the mountain, and I realize I need one more attachment for a light stand. Fernando offers right away to go grab it out of my trunk. I have a hard time saying yes to help, but this past year I have been training myself to simply say yes when it’s offered. He literally ran down and back before I could’ve gotten halfway down the rocks. Good thing I said yes.

As soon as we got to the top and they got changed into their clothes, the sky opened up.

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(okay, okay… you can see they weren’t all the way changed yet!)

We were already almost alone on the mountain, and as soon as the rain started we could see the few small groups start leaving. More room for us.

Harnessing all of our survival instincts, we ducked down under some branches and found a covering thick enough to cover us from the rain.

Now, once you hear how loud the thunder can sound while you’re on top of a mountain…

…you start rethinking a few things.

Thankfully it didn’t seem like lightning was around us at all, so after it let up a little, we head right out to get to it.

You can’t even tell how crazy it felt out there by looking at these. And that’s usually my thought during a photo session. However hot, or cold, or rainy… you won’t be feeling that forever.

You can, however, look at your photos forever.

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So why not dance on the edge of a mountain for wedding photos? 

And if you’re wondering just how I get all my gear around while it’s raining? This picture sums it up.

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I bring covers for each camera and lens for bad weather, but when you’re hiking around, trying not to miss a spectacular golden hour, it’s kind of hard to keep that plastic from sliding onto and over your lens.

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Golden Hour on Saint Mary’s Glacier is a must see in Colorado.

 

Sometimes I can’t choose between leaving an image in color, or turning in to black and white. I feel like so much power can be shown in a black and white image, even though it’s rare that I end up posting them.

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Now sometimes I see so much joy in someone’s face, I stop caring about the background and want to zoom all the way in so you can see it too.

Can you blame me?

At this point… guys. She was a little frozen icicle just standing in the rain by actual ice water. And look at that joy!

It was contagious.

Still is every time I look at these. I’m sure I’ll go through and find even more to share with you guys from this one… I just thought you shouldn’t have to wait any longer to read about the magic!

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Yep. It was all magical. I’ll never be convinced otherwise!

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Don’t know how we’ll top this at their wedding celebration this coming Spring, but somehow… with these two… I bet we can.

Congrats you guys! I can’t wait to keep celebrating with you!

Location: Saint Mary’s Glacier (Idaho Springs, ColoradoColorado)

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