As Cameron and I loaded up and headed towards Flagstaff, we could see the clouds building. We knew the weather forecast. But we hoped that the little pocket between storms that they predicted would actually pan out. However, as the day progressed, the weather deteriorated more and more until we couldn’t even see the mountain from right in Flagstaff.
I began making back up plans in my head, but I knew the look the couple wanted (which was exactly what I wanted)…fall leaves and mountain goodness. So we decided to run up the mountain and check it out. It rained hard up to the base and we almost didn’t go up, but we decided to see if we could find a spot with thick enough trees that we could still make the mountain work. The higher we climbed, the thinner the rain got, until finally right before reaching the Snowbowl the rain stopped all together. It was breathtaking! The crisp fall air, the fresh earth, the clouds clearing from the valley below to open up a spectacular view, and the gorgeous filtered light. I got out my phone and reassured Stephanie and Nathan that it was well worth coming up. I am so glad they trusted me, as it was still pouring further down in town. I’m sure they thought I was crazy, but they jumped in their car and made their way to the top of the mountain. And it was so totally worth it!
A little over 10 years ago, Cameron I were just newlyweds in our first little apartment. We found our church and quickly came to like the Norton family. He was the Bishop of our ward and they all welcomed us and made us feel loved and appreciated. It wasn’t long though when people started asking me how I was related to them, because their oldest daughter Stephanie and I looked like we should be cousins. No one really believed us when we told them we’d never met before and weren’t related at all! We were only there for two years, but we sure loved the Norton family and gratefully Facebook allowed us to stay in contact easily.
Fast forward now to not too long ago when I was out grocery shopping and suddenly there down the aisle was this tall, gorgeous, fun grown up Stephanie! She and her then boyfriend were shopping before heading out to see his family. It was fun to run into them and have memories of our time in Thatcher come flooding back in. I didn’t know it then, but now that I’ve heard the stories and stitched the timeline together, I ran into them just hours before he proposed! I’d almost asked if they were friends, dating, engaged, or married when I saw them in the grocery store and I’m so glad I didn’t!!
I’m so glad I got to run into them and reconnect with the family! It made it even more sweet and exciting when they messaged me and asked me about a fall engagement session. I could hardly type yes fast enough!
One beautiful thing about crisp cool weather for an engagement session is that it gives couples extra incentive to be snuggly and cute! These two rocked the cool weather and melted into each other’s arms so comfortably. I loved seeing them relax as they laughed, joked, and were just themselves together!
And, really…it was chilly. Not horribly so…but enough to dust the mountains behind us with a snow! Ah! I loved the weather that day!!!
These two rolled with my ideas, brought ideas of their own, and together we meshed it all into one super fun evening!
Could they look any more content and happy?!
Let me tell you a fun story about Nathan. This was his first professional shoot ever, and he wanted to make sure that it was everything Stephanie dreamed of. So what did he do? He studied photos on their wedding Pinterest board to know what he needed to do and to have an idea of what to expect! How cute is that?! As we’d be going along I’d get ready to direct them into the next situation or pose and before I could get the sound out of my open mouth he would shift them slightly or whisper something to Stephanie and they’d move into exactly what I was going to have them do. That happened so many times!
At this point we ran into a wedding party out taking photos, so we tried to stay as tucked into the rocks as we could to be able to keep getting a good variety of shots, but to stay out of their way. It gave some great time to snuggle and get some adorable interaction shots!
This next picture is a moment where they were walking and just as I was going to have them look back and me, Nathan said “We should stop and look back at her, that’d be good.” This guy is gold!
They were both so good to let me be creative and to trust me. We’d gotten TONS of great shots and could have wrapped it up then, but the way the clouds were hanging I knew we’d have about 3ish minutes when the sun was below the clouds but before it set. It was so fun playing with that light and seeing the incredible glow it cast on everything as the sunlight reflected off the clouds and bathed everything in gold.
It was the perfect spot to watch the sunset that night. Arizona knows how to put on an evening show!