You see that photo above? It’s been one that I dreamed of for months and months prior to this shoot, and one that I spent a lot of time + energy + blood/sweat/tears on. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back a few months and talk about how that photo came about.
Earlier this spring, my sweet photographer friend Alicia and I started talking about the possibility of re-creating her and her husband’s wedding photos. I was in the process of working to add more adventurous sessions to my portfolio, and Alicia was yearning for beautiful photos of her and husband all dressed up in wedding finery, to make up for the not-quite-as-beautiful photos of their wedding 7 years ago. We tossed the idea around of me driving over the mountains to Bend, and us meeting up at a lake or mountain somewhere for a shoot that would fulfill both of our desires. I sat down and started imagining the session, and the one thing that just kept coming back to me was how incredible it would be if we found a boat and I could get a shot of Micah + Alicia sitting in said boat on a calm, reflective lake. I pulled up google maps, dragged myself over to the Bend area, and then just started zooming in on random bodies of water. As soon as I saw Spark’s Lake, I knew I had a winner. Alicia had requested that we hold at least part of the session at Dillon Falls about 30 minutes away, and so a plan began to form: we would meet up at Dillon Falls for the “first look” and the first part of our session, and then caravan over to Sparks Lake for the reminder of our time.
I contacted The Bridal Suite Bend to ask about the possibility of collaborating and using one of their dresses + veils, and Paige was immediately on board with the idea when she heard that Alicia would be modeling. Through the entire process, Paige was absolutely amazing to work with, and I would highly recommend them for all your bridal needs!
From there on out, Alicia took the reins for creating the style board, picking the dress, scheduling her hair + makeup artists, and planning a lot of the nitty-gritty details for the shoot. She had a vision in mind of what she wished for her do-over wedding photos, and I was more than happy to let her run with the many wonderful ideas that she had! The woman is so creative, and being able to capture her creativity was an honor. I focused my energy on making sure I understood exactly what Alicia wanted, as well as putting together lists of my own ideas and vision for the shoot. And you better believe that boat shot was at the very tippy top of my “must have” list!! Of course, finding a boat that would work and that aligned with my vision was a whole different story. I followed up on several ideas, including my uncle’s light blue canoe (*swoon*) but sadly, it didn’t fit on the vehicle very well, and driving 6+ hours with a not-properly-situated canoe just didn’t seem like a good idea. The day before the shoot, I made the decision to take my boyfriend’s scanoe (boat/canoe) over because I figured it was better to get my long-time-dreamed-of shot in my less-than-ideal-vessel than to skip it all together.
The day of our shoot finally arrived, and I was pretty much just a bundle of excited nerves all day. Nathan (my boyfriend) and I loaded up and headed out right after church + lunch, and allowed enough time to make a pit stop at Trader Joe’s in Bend where I created a second bouquet while sitting on the ground in an empty parking space (see the time-lapse video if it here). Alicia had her own bouquet that Micah had made (go Micah! Look at dem skills!), but I wanted another bouquet I could use for a few shots of my own.
We met Alicia, Micah, and Alicia’s brother Eric at Alicia + Micah’s house, and gathered the last few things before caravanning over the Dillon Falls. The mosquitos must have known something was going on, because they aaaallll turned up for the shoot. But despite the constant swatting at the ‘squiters and the smell of bug spray, Micah + Alicia were on FIRE. I mean seriously, those two did not act like they have 7 years of marriage and 2 kids under their belts. They worked together so seamlessly, and were as into each other as any Bride + Groom on their wedding day. We moved around the falls, practically shouting at each other over the rushing water. The sun was slowly sinking in the sky, and it was finally time to head to Sparks Lake. The drive took a little longer than I was expecting, and the sun sunk a little faster than I was hoping, so our shooting time was pretty limited at the lake. But (silver lining) we didn’t have to worry about dealing with any crazy bright reflections off the lake! And I mean really, that twilight was incredible. We walked down onto a little beach area to start off, but then I noticed an opening in the trees that looked like it led to something magical. And boy howdy, was I right!! On the other side of those trees, the lake stretched out and gave us an incredible view of the mountains. I’m pretty sure I was jumping up and down from excitement at this point, and thankfully everybody put up with me and my craziness. The rest of our time went by quickly, especially since we had to work fast to get the shots we wanted before the darkness completely took over. I ended up getting sick sometime in there (probably from the excitement + stress + not eating in like 8 hours) and just about passed out numerous times. But hey! You gotta do what you gotta do sometimes, and there was no way I was going to let even a horrendously sick/nauseated stomach stop me from shooting at such a dreamy location with such an incredible couple. We shot until the last bit of light left the sky, and then loaded up for the long drive home.
Even with the various foibles of the day, it was still an incredible time of letting my creative juices flow and seeing visions come to life. I am so thankful for the opportunity to provide these do-over wedding photos for Micah + Alicia, and so incredibly grateful for all the various vendors who collaborated with us!
Huge thanks go out to:
Makeup: Kate Hana Artistry
Hair: Brynessa Taylor
Dress: Justin Alexander
Boutique: The Bridal Suite
Macarons: Too Sweet Cakes
Models: Micah & Alicia Wood
Photographer: Rebekah Leona Photography