The first thing EJ said as we were driving back towards his alma mater (University of Nevada) was that he wishes we lived somewhere it snows. I have yet to ask him if he still believes that same statement, considering our engagement photo shoot may have changed his opinion!
Most of the photos we have together are outside. We’re those people – the ones that only take photos when we’re doing something adventurous together. BUT – in our defense, that’s how we like to spend the majority of our time (hiking, at the lake, visiting vineyards).
So naturally, we decided that we wanted to head to the snow to take engagement photos – a little change of scenery from our norm.
Our wise – bums didn’t think that there would be a ton of snow, so we didn’t bring thick snow gear. Little did we know, it snowed almost 12 inches the day before our shoot and the temperature the day of was 14 degrees F! In some of our photos, my hands were so cold they were tomato red.
The biggest challenge to taking winter wonderland photos? style vs. comfort
Option A – you can layer up and be warm, but then you are bundled up and most likely not able to wear the colors and clothes you’d want in your photos.
Option B – you suck it up! “Do it for the gram,” isn’t that what they say?
We opted for option B – not because we exactly wanted to, but because we didn’t have any other option. HA!
Poor EJ – he only brought one pair of boots (low top, Steve Madden, and leather), and to make matters even more fun, he only brought jeans, long sleeve shirts and vests. Oops – I forgot to pack him a jacket! Me on the other hand, didn’t pack thick leggings or under layers. I have them at home, but it didn’t even cross my mind to bring them.
Nevertheless, Donner Lake was beautiful. Fake it, til you make it! It was go time.
SPOT 1 – LAKE SIDE
We brought Harlowe to the snow with us – this was just her second time, and she LOVED IT! It was hard to take photos with her because she didn’t want to sit still (she just wanted to play), but we snapped our Holiday Card Photo just in time before letting her go.
Sitting on the snow to start our shoot, brought our body temperature down real quick. EJ got snow up his jeans and my rear end was in direct contact with snow. BUT – the holiday photos turned out amazing!
Nothing’s better than being bundled up close with your honey cause it’s cold.
As soon as we were done on the ground, Sierra (our amazing photographer – you should hire her for your next shoot), wanted to get us walking. I wasn’t exaggerating when I said that it snowed about 12 inches. Both EJ and my boots were submerged in snow, so when we attempted to walk in a romantic way, it turned out to pretty much like doing high-knees.
Once we finished down by the water, we headed to the next spot to shoot.
SPOT 2 – DOCK
Isn’t a dock suppose to have water right up under it? What do I know. We drove along the lake and picked a dock to shoot at. A wardrobe change was in order. EJ got out of his wet beige jeans and put on a pair of dry dark jeans. Luckily this time around he had more than a shirt. I on the other hand, was freezing! My sweater had a big knit, which meant a lot of air seeped through the holes. I wore the same thinly thin leggings.
The snow was so thick on the dock there was no way to get to the end without leaving tracks.
Part of the reason I love EJ is he gets me out of my comfort zone. He finds ways to challenge me, while still making me laugh; and knows when to push me vs. protect me. His only priority during the shoot was to keep me warm, and I love him for that.
There were multiple times I questioned if we were insane to take photos that day, especially when we started a snowball fight.
Naturally, I brought my A Game. EJ hit me with the first blow, but I made sure to throw a couple of good shots in there before things got too far out of hand!
After the snowball fight, we called it a truce before heading to our last stop.
SPOT 3 – INTO THE WILD
At this point, I think my fingers were ready to fall off. I decided it was time. Yup – I sacrificed style for comfort, bundling up in layers and gloves. We drove around the lake and found a wide open field to have some snow fun before wrapping the day.
We have some fun running through the field of fresh powder. I had the bright idea of playing with the trees, which turned into a lot of laughs and frosted brows/hair tops.
We took a couple more photos and called it a day. As we were leaving the area, Sierra pulled a last-minute idea out of her pocket – snow angels. EJ threw in the towel, but I figured I was already frozen, what the heck.
We found a fresh, never touched area of snow. I crouched into a little ball and rolled back onto the snow – nothing’s worse than having foot or hand prints ruin your snow angel! The photo doesn’t do this moment justice. I laughed so hard.
TIP: Hard snow makes snow angels hard!
The snow was so heavily packed that it was hard to move my legs and arms. Note to self, next time find a spot that’s soft and fluffy – HA.
Sierra did an amazing job with the photos. She showed our love for one another, our personalities, and our laughter.
The shoot had me reflecting a lot about my past. I think it’s so easy to want to change someone, and even more so, think they will change. When you find your other half, you two should fit like a glove.
That’s not to say you won’t endure challenges and conquer hurdles, but that with every challenge, you grow stronger, and with every hurdle, you hold on tighter. It should be easy – the communication, the commitment, the affection. Finding the one means growing, while growing together.
Photos by Sierra Shay Photography – She’s amazing! I’d love to connect you with her if you are looking for a photographer.