Before moving back to Michigan to be with Joel, Alison had lived in Seattle for almost a decade, climbing every mountain she could find. Joel has climbed all the 14ers in Colorado. So, it was natural that we would do Northwest backpacking engagement photos for these two mountain goats before they get hitched this fall in The Great Lakes State. So, we headed up to Winchester Mountain Lookout for the night. It was going to be glorious.
I should note that I’m a good hiker and am in pretty good shape. I struggled to get in front of these two so I could photograph their faces on the way up. They just systematically and relentlessly flew up the hillside.
When we arrived at the summit, we found it deserted and the lookout to ourselves.
After dinner, we began the engagement shoot, just enthralled by the clouds that continued to sweep up and around us, shrouding the peaks and only slightly revealing what lay beneath.
After the previous photo, the fog rolled in and completely surrounded the mountain. We went in for a cup of coffee and a wardrobe change, but also had the thoughts of “well, if that was all we are going to get tonight, it was pretty awesome.” But in a matter of seconds, the cloud rolled off the mountain, revealing the most colorful, brilliant, contrasted and fascinating sunset view I had ever seen. We had to rush out the door to go make more photos.
How is this real life?
They asked me “can we take a photo where we’re amazed by the scenery?” Yes, yes you can and yes you should.
As the light wained, we slowed down and just watched the clouds ebb and flow around the valleys below us like waves. I also got up in the middle of the night for a few Milky Way photos too.
Though the summer sun starts to creep over mountains before 5 in the morning, we grabbed some coffee and headed out to watch the changing morning light warm the world around us. I know it’s a silly thought, but when you watch both the sunset and sunrise in a day, you realize that just about everyone in the world has seen the sun since you last did. It’s a way that connects me to the world around.
I also was really excited to make a video that goes in partnership with the shoot. I just wanted to share a little more from this magical overnight.
Thank you again to Alison and Joel for the opportunity to photograph this evening. I wish you both the best and know that your wedding this fall in Michigan is going to be just as awesome!