A snowy day in the woods & a campfire with a Secret Service officer and his sweet bride to be…
Kristen and Shane appreciate photography and it’s ability to capture moments and emotion. They reached out to me looking for high-quality, creative, authentic wedding & engagement photography. Kristen shared, “My hope is for you to capture candid, emotion-filed, unique photos.” She also really liked how I personalized my coverage to fit each couple ;).
Kristen and Shane love camping and country music, they liked the idea of being out in nature for the first part of the session and then cozying up by a fire and enjoying warm drinks and marshmallows at the end. They wanted to be sure there would be snow, so Kristen, having worked at Whitetail Resort for several years, made arrangements to meet on their property. She liked that it was a nod to her love of skiing while also having the mountain feel that she and Shane like so much.
As we were walking in the woods, a couple of pine cones caught Shane’s eye, he picked them up and I was able to use one in the photo of Kristen’s engagement ring:
When I asked them what they love most about each other, Shane said, “Kristen is nurturing and loving, she is a beautiful person. Her smile can turn a bad day into a good day and we compliment each other well.”
Kristen shared, “I love that Shane is so patient, loving & devoted… I trust him with my whole heart!”
Shane’s devotion to Kristen & Kristen’s trust for Shane is almost palatable in this photograph… I think this is just the sort of candid, emotion-filled photo that Kristen was hoping for :).
While I enjoy getting creative and capturing silhouettes like the opening photo, and natural, emotional moments like the photo above, I also make sure to give my couples a good mix of images, including more traditional portraits like this one.
I wanted to incorporate the forest I like how truly happy and comfortable they look here and check out their matching boots!!! Kristen shared that every year she and Shane travel to Tennessee, and that her favorite purchase is always a new pair of boots!
Kristen is a real firecracker– full of life, fun, and up for anything. I like this energetic, candid image so much! It says a great deal about their relationship together and how much fun they have working as a team doing everyday, silly things!
A few seconds later…
I like the sweet, natural vibe of this next photograph. Kristen is drawing a heart in the snow as she is wrapped up in a fleece blanket.
She is fun and spontaneous so this image this fits her so well. Shane was totally amused, you can see his steady stance and boots in the frame:
Kristen shared, “Prior to the session I was worried that I’d look silly or wouldn’t know how to pose, but you made it so easy and I was not nervous at all. I spent time on Pinterest concerned that I could never look like this or replicate that, worrying about buying the right props, truth is we had too many props!!! After our shoot I feel like we could be those people you see on Pinterest! Not because we were the best at replicating, but because you made us comfortable and allowed us to be ourselves.”
They brought an “&” sign along (one of Kristen’s Pinterest finds). I liked the shape of it and thought it would add an interesting element to a silhouette, especially with a sky like this:
Shane is a member of the Secret Service and has spent the past several years working at the White House.
Kristen shared, “I am so proud of Shane for his commitment to serving our country. His position gives us a life where we can enjoy our hobbies and travel together, but it often takes him away for extended periods of time. I worry about him, but have faith that he will be safe. The time we do get to spend together is cherished by both of us.”
Shane agreed, “Working for the secret service has been an adventure, I have met many wonderful people, several famous, too, but with those benefits there are many sacrifices.” Shane had his vest in the car and popped it on for this photo:
We moved from the chilly woods to a fire at Whitetail Lodge. They brought mugs and coffee and roasted marshmallows by the fire.
Kristen shared, “I was working night shift in Harrisburg Hospital ICU, while he worked dayshift at the White House. We worked opposite shifts and traveled hours in different directions, but he would meet me at Cebco gas station in Marion at 5:30am just for a few minutes to drink coffee with me before I left for work or got home from work.”
Coffee has always been a real connector for them & so have campfires, and so we incorporated both. Kristen shared, “Many of our first dates were spent together at my parent’s house by the fire.” Shane also proposed in front of the fire at their housewarming party!
Kristen reminisced about their first date, “We met on Match, which worked well because of our busy careers. We planned to meet at a movie theater… When I saw him standing at the ticket booth I could feel it in my soul, ‘I will marry that man!’ I have always been attracted to a man in uniform, so when I saw a Marines sticker on his truck I thought, ‘I have finally found my Marine!'”
Shane shared, “We are both happiest simply being outdoors with wide open spaces. That could be walking up in the mountains or cuddling beside a fire.” He was so right, they were in their element and sparks were definitely flying, haha!
I wanted to emphasize the fire and make it really stand out in the photo. I “shot through” the mesh housing and caught the warm firelight dancing on their faces. I love their expressions here, they just look so cozy and cute!
Shane shared, “The engagement session was fun and relaxing for us. There were no other distractions, it was just Kristen and I enjoying each other’s presence. In a way, I felt like a kid, there were no pressures or responsibilities– there are not many opportunities like this one, so we really appreciated having it.”
Kristen added, “This session felt like a date really. We are both career focused, hard-working individuals, so time like this that is spent relaxing and focusing on one another is so special, and you helped us to achieve that. I’d suggest to everyone to get the 3 hour session, time flies and it is a lot of fun, a great experience!”
Cheers to you, Kristen & Shane! Thanks for inviting me to spend the evening with you at Whitetail and I cannot wait for your Caboose Farms wedding outside of DC this summer!
I’m excited to hear what you think now that you have seen a few of your photos! Please make sure to like, comment below and re-post this link on your social media :).