I finally got the chance to photograph an engagement session at the sand dunes in Colorado!
My friends Stephanie & Shane are getting married in Colorado next year, so they came through a couple months ago to take care of some wedding tasks and see family!!!
I’m lucky to have known them since the first couple years of college. Seeing them go through lots of big life changes together—moving to LA, working at SpaceX, getting a Master’s, moving to Florida, starting med school to heal people and save lives, starting new jobs, getting a dog… yeah they did all that in just a couple of years—has been inspiring.
The last time I went to the sand dunes, I went with Austin and Charley and had just gotten my appendix out, so walking up the sand hills was a TREK. This time we only went up part of the way (plus it was cold) but I was probably just as weak #wfhquarantine! So one day maybe I’ll go up to the very top. One day.
Tip to stay warm: bring hand warmers to cold sessions! Or extra sweaters! I always mean to bring hand warmers to my colder sessions but this time I actually remembered them, yay! Sorry to everyone else. I’ll do better. Also tip for sand dunes: wear close-toed shoes!
Side note: I have an awesome facetime screenshot of Stephanie jumping to get herself in the frame of the phone camera while showing her new overalls to me last year when she got them. Need to dig that up again.
This session was so fun that as soon as I got home from the dunes that night, I stayed up way past my bedtime to cull the photos. I knew there would be some hilarious ones, and there’s nothing like the cold wind beating sand in your face to keep you awake, alert, and active. The wind added an extra wild element to the photos.
Ummm the cutest.
I love a couple that can be sweet and also ridiculously goofy within a second!! My favorites. I literally giggled while editing all these photos.
If you look closely to the photo below, you can see Steph kicking up sand. It’s so pretty!!! And also I bet she still has sand in those shoes.
A stranger offered us their sled & wax. I was like oh fun, I’ll keep this for the next time I come, UNTIL THE CRAZY WIND MADE IT A SAIL, and Shane passed it on to a child so we wouldn’t have to carry it back to the car. I wish my motivation to pass it on had been more altruistic but that’s the truth.
True friends say “how far?” when I ask them to roll in a dress in the sand. I’m sure we’re finding sand in shoes and clothes and ears 2 months later.
So, so thankful for friends who are up for anything.
Sand dunes at sunset when there are some clouds in the sky—highly recommend.
The landscape photo (is it still landscape if it’s portrait? Probably right idk wow) below on the right begins a series of my favorite film photos from the day, shot on Kodak Portra 400 with a Canon K2 and scanned by The Find Lab. I had my 85mm lens on my film camera, and I was too scared to switch lenses because of the windy sand so I kept my 35mm on my digital. I love how everything turned out!!
I’m biased, but I think film makes movement look magical.
I try to bring people’s personalities out in photos and I think we did just that!! Steph & Shane are so full of life & joy, and I love being around them. This was definitely one of the highlights of 2020 for me. While I absolutely love every photo session, getting to see my close friends in Colorado rejuvenated me, especially since I haven’t gotten to see coworkers or other people that much. Thanks Steph & Shane <3 you are both super beautiful inside and out and I can’t wait to stand by your side at your wedding next year!!!!!