I interviewed David and Camille for an engagement session and knew immediately they were my kind of folks. Silly and sweet. Adventurous and down to earth. They are embarking on a formidable adventure in Alaska starting out their dental careers in Bethel. A fast track to loving or hating Alaska - it’s clear that they fell entirely into the love category.
They filled me in on the glory of David’s mullet immediately; a fashion statement he’d been working on manicuring for a while. Also something that had grown on Camille over time - sort of like a fine scotch
The first thing that struck me was their genuine love for one another and the desire to learn as much as possible about the lifestyle here. It was clear David and Camille had already been on more adventures exploring remote areas than most life-long Alaskans. No doubt their journey is going to take them to a lot of really cool places.
They asked to do an engagement shoot in Fairbanks to try and capture a little bit of the state to share with friends and family before they get married this summer in Arizona.
The timing was going to be challenging in AK spring, but they stuck it out with my ideas. Things panned out with a bit of rustic cabin vibes, old barns and sunset at Creamer’s field with only moderate hypothermia for the parties involved.
I especially love the barn photos which show off Camille’s excellent dress choice and the awesomeness of David’s mullet blowing in the wind. They are perfect together!
All the best to David and Camille on their journey to loving and living in Alaska. This session was such a joy to be a part of!
This leads me to the engagement session inspiration part of this blog.
Here’s some tips I put together that can help you absolutely nail any engagement session, any time of year, no matter what.
1.) Be yourself. Let your humor show, your seriousness, your silliness, your shyness, your giddiness. Let your hair (or mullet) down and roll with the weather and the way you feel.
2.) Wear things you feel comfortable in. If it’s a flowy dress, rock it. If its a casual look, enjoy the freedom! If you’re done up to the nines do it with confidence.
3.) Backup plans. Bring a backup outfit just in case you get out to the session and your vibe just isn’t working for you. Sometimes you just don’t know until you sport the duds how it will feel.
4.) Be prepared. Bring footwear that you can walk around in without fear of falling on ice, snow, mud and puddles (at least to get you to the scene of the shoot). Bring snacks, water, a blanket, extra layers - anything that will help your comfort levels for an outdoor shoot in AK.
5.) Coordinate your look. When in doubt opt for simple patterns, neutral tones or colors on a spectrum in a similar palate. For example: blue, grey black. Beige, white, brown. Autumn tones. Cool tones. Vibrant summer tones. Denim and white. Denim and black. Canadian tuxedo (kidding… but not kidding).
Bold patterns and outfit choices are wonderful, but avoid clashing patterns and colors between you and your partner. No need to be twinsies but it’s good to look like you thought about what you wanted to wear that day.
6.) Hair. For sessions outside there will likely be some natural elements at play such as wind, rain and humidity. You know your hair best, but I always recommend rolling with a more natural look. Stiff hairstyles do not fare well in nature. Let your hair blow in your face a little. It’s fun. If you can’t stand dealing with your hair you can always accessorize with a hat you love.
7.) Makeup. If you wear makeup avoid stuff with SPF which can make you look ghostly in pictures. Avoid extreme glitter and sparkly stuff. It can make editing super challenging.
8.) Roll with the awkwardness. Most people feel awkward in photos. I am going to ask you to do some stuff that will probably seem silly. It helps to know that the best photos will be of you two moving between the silly things I ask you to do. If you feel dumb in the pose, no worries, because it’s often when you think I’m not taking the picture that the magic happens
9.) Inspiration. If you’re theme people and want to do something more styled just let me know. Depending on the location we can add your favorite lifestyle elements to the session. Here’s just a few ideas:
Camp fire cozy: Roasting hot dogs, marshmallows, coffee by the fire, camp cooking together
Music and reading: Serenading your love. Listening to old records and being homebodies. House-shows. Reading to each other.
Outdoorsy Activities: Slack lines, van-life and climbing. A day cross country skiing. Vintage ski day. Après-ski shoot. Fishing together. Mountain bike adventures.
Agrarian vibes: Walking in the garden, old barns and fields, pumpkin patches, fields of Peony flowers, harvest time, hanging with chickens, goats, riding horses.
Cabins and rustic vibes: Show off your piece of heaven with a cabin shoot doing all the cool stuff you love to do out there.
Alpine fun times: blazing trail through the mountains. Swimming in alpine lakes. Playing in the tundra. Picnic in the mountains. Laying in the grass. Hanging out in the tent with a sweet view. Camp life.
Dates: Coffee date at a funky coffee shop. A night at the fair. Music festival. Picnic in a scenic spot like the top of Alyeska or bird point. Airstream adventure.
Unusual locations: Remote locations in national parks or local trails and huts (I can hike anywhere). Your super neat house or backyard fort. Scrap yards. That neighbor’s place with 50 weird junk cars in the back yard. Ghost towns, abandoned lots, charming little hamlets like Hope, Alaska or McCarthy.
Green Houses, arboretums and epic gardens: These are SO popular right now, plus super nice to walk around in a green space in AK transitional seasons. Any greenhouse that will let us do a shoot is great. There are several in Anchorage and Palmer.
Good luck planning! If you have a cool idea for your engagement or couples session, let me know. We can make authentic photos from just about any inspiration you have.