Every once in a while I decide to do a photo session for me AKA a styled session where I’m not being hired by the couple or family but I am the one planning it and coordinating all the details. This past summer I have to admit I have been in a bit of a funk not that it’s affecting my actual photos I have been delivering but my actual creativity and coming up with some new ideas for shoots or how to promote myself. I really wanted to do a shoot at Mount Rainier anniversary type shoot and since I had a couple of wedding on the mountain this month I figured doing a styled session for myself would be a great way to get the creative juices flowing.
So I first looked at my schedule and found a few dates that would work then I put it out on social media that I was looking for a real couple in love for Mount Rainier Anniversary shoot. So when Amanda reached out that she and her husband JB were available on one of the dates I had been looking at I jumped at the chance to have them in front of the camera. A funny back story I actually knew the couple because they use to be my parents next door neighbors and Amanda and I knew of some mutual people since we both grew up in the same town and went to the same high school. And their 5 year anniversary is next month so BAM Mount Rainier Anniversary shoot was born!
Next was planning what they were going to wear since it was going to be an elopement/wedding style shoot I wanted them to be in “wedding attire”. I ask Amanda if she had her wedding dress and she did but it didn’t quite fit the look I was going for. So then I remembered that my friends at Brides for a Cause had told me they would be happy to lend out dresses for styled shoots so I decided to head over to see if I could find the dress I was looking for. And sure enough literally as I walked in and said hi I saw my dress that I wanted Amanda to wear in her size it was like a light was shining down with music playing going “ahhhhh”. Haha, seriously it was beyond perfect. The only thing I had to worry about was if the dress would still be there once I went to pick it up a week later. But it all worked out and it was there and it fit Amanda like a glove!
Next were flowers, even though we would be up at Mount Rainier during the wildflower season I still wanted it to feel like it was a real day and a bouquet of flowers would make it feel more real. So then I reached out to one of my favorite floral designers Julia’s Floral who actually was my floral designer for my own wedding. She agreed and also made a flower crown for Amanda to wear, everything was falling into place and I was so excited.
Flash forward to the day before the shoot when I noticed that it was starting to get a little hazy outside, not thinking much of it everything was staying on course. What I didn’t realize was that everything was about to change the dynamics of this shoot. So the day before the winds and weather changes bringing in smoke from the horrible wildfires north of us in the BC area. Hoping that we would be above the smoke I just pushed forward and kept my fingers crossed we could see the Mountain within the park. The day of I drove up early to scout and with the smoke being so bad you couldn’t even see the mountain from sea level I had to come to the realization that maybe I won’t be able to have Mount Rainier in some of these photos. Thankfully at Paradise the mountain even though it was hazy you still could see it but my other location Tipsoo Lake was another story. I had seen many photographers use Tipsoo because you had these great views with wildflowers & Mount Rainier in the background. But that darn smoke was too thick in our atmosphere and we couldn’t see the mountain.
So I met JB & Amanda at Tipsoo Lake and we started using all the flowers including the flower crown. Well while planning this Mount Rainier Anniversary shoot I didn’t stop to think about the bugs that these flowers would attract. Sure enough, poor Amanda pretty much got swarmed when she was wearing the crown so after 10 minutes I decided the crown and even the flowers would have to be put away so that we didn’t attract more bugs than necessary sucked but I also didn’t want them covered in bug or bug bites while we did our shoot. So FYI to anyone planning a shoot at Mount Rainier avoid flower crowns unless you know there won’t be bugs around.
After Tipsoo Lake we head to my secret spot I found while scouting at Paradise. It was away from the crowds and had a perfect view of a hazy Mount Rainier in the background along with some wildflowers too. I even caught the last of the sun before we lost it in the hills and got some amazing golden hour photos in my secret spot! Then we headed over to Murtle Falls because I really wanted to get another chance to shoot there not mid day. It was perfect and with only a few people around we had the area to ourselves.
I just wanted to shout out to my amazing couple Amanda & JB these photos turned out better than I could have hoped for even with the smoke. And it was great test run I have for my few elopements I have coming up at Mount Rainier. And also thank you to Julia’s Floral for making the beautiful bouquet and flower crown. And thank you to Brides for A Cause for lending me the perfect dress I could have imaged for this Mount Rainier Anniversary shoot.
So if you are intersted in doing a session or getting married at Mount Rainier and would like me to document please contact me directly Here!