before we even started

A little backstory- I had booked Leah and Joe for a September 2023 wedding at the beginning of January. We needed to get some engagement photos ASAP and what better timing than the middle of winter in North Dakota (if you live here, you understand that the weather is SO COLD and SO unpredictable- really at any time of year but especially during winter). Well, we had just got a pretty good snowstorm a couple weeks before and because of the recent storm, the park we were using as our meeting location was buried in snow. It was sort of plowed, sort of not, and you could get around but there was a thin layer of packed snow on all the roads. The entire week leading up to their session, the trees were packed with frost, and it was soooo beautiful I didn't even care that it would be cold outside...then the day before, all the frost disappeared, and my location became tougher to work with (dead, bare trees are not necessarily the prettiest in photos)!

Due to my recent change of scenery, I decided to get to the park a half hour early to scout for the best spots. Luckily, the golf course next to the park has a small patch of evergreen trees near the road as well as some lining the golf cart path, so I knew I at least had some green to work with! I also knew that just those two spots couldn't keep me fully busy for an hour-long session so I decided to drive my handy-dandy 4-wheel-drive Yukon to the back of the park. The spot I wanted to check out only had a one-way path plowed through, but I proceeded anyway. I didn't find anything usable for the session in the way back so I started backing up, because there was nowhere to turn around. Well, upon attempting to back up around the first curve, I got stuck. And I mean, reeeeaally stuck. At this point, my session started in about 10 minutes. I hopped out, kicked as much snow away from the tires as I could, and tried rocking forward and backward to free myself. After a few tries, I finally freed the vehicle. Now comes the next curve, and you guessed it...stuck again. This time it wasn't as bad, and I was able to free myself witin a minute or two. Finally...the last curve. I thought I lined up correctly this time but NOPE stuck a THIRD TIME!!! This one was really in there good, and now I was only two minutes from my session. I shut my vehicle off, grabbed my gear, and started walking toward the park entrance to meet my couple. When they arrived, they drove right past me because I'm sure I just looked like a cold, lost person hitchhiking through the wilderness. I had to turn around on foot and follow after them until they parked. Needless to say, we had a decent icebreaker.

The photos below were taken at the first curve where I got my vehicle stuck, and hey, they turned out pretty great! I did have to edit out some black gravel that flew up from my tires and made a mess all over the snow, but you can't even tell your friendly neighborhood photog got herself reeeeal stuck in that exact spot:) And Atlas, sweet pup, it was so nice to meet you!

The rest is history

After we finished up in that first spot, Leah and Joe very kindly helped push my vehicle out where it got stuck the final time. Have you ever had to help your photographer push her vehicle out of a snowbank during your session? I don't think so. I offer the most memorable experiences to all my clients. You're welcome.

All jokes aside, I really appreciate their help, and I was able to drive and meet them to the next spot (those evergreens I talked about earlier). They trusted in me and I'm so glad they did! The snow was up to our knees in some places, and it was very difficult to walk around and get to the spots I wanted them in, but not a single complaint-more laughs than anything! The photos turned out beautifully, and it looks like we went for a nice hike near the mountains! You can't even tell these were taken on a local golf course. I had to change into some nice dry sweatpants and socks after I got home and I'm sure they did the same! We had some fun, and now comes the big wait. Leah + Joe, I can't wait for your wedding day!