We had our engagement shoot on a hot, sticky day in the dells of Wisconsin a month or so ago. I had found the incredibly talented Christian Gideon through the blogosphere a couple years ago and kept up with his work while Ben and I were still in Russia. After we got engaged, I waited about 15 minutes before I sent Christian an email, knowing he was really the only person I thought could take the kind of pictures I wanted to have.
Everyone's individual wedding style is something they need to figure out on their own, but for us it has always been clear. We want to look like ourselves, sound like ourselves, be ourselves. I really turn away from the sterilized, starched wedding look. It was difficult to even find engagement inspiration photos because all of them were stretched and photoshopped. Before Ben and I went to go meet Christian, we had drinks with some friends and we all exchanged photo shoot horror stories we'd seen on Facebook (a couple in a field wrapped in a fur blanket was the winner).
We decided to go camping in Wisconsin because 1. We met in Wisconsin and 2. Being outdoors is very natural and therapeutic for us. When we lived in New Hampshire, we used to walk trails and swim in the clear rivers. Some of our happiest times have been drinking beers by the fire and talking deep into the night.
The night before our shoot, however, was a mess. I'm not sure why it didn't occur to me to like, stay in a hotel and just show up the next morning, but we just pitched a tent, threw our clothes into a backpack and that was that.
So naturally the worst storm of the summer happened that night.
We woke up around 2 a.m. to some of the worst lightning I had ever experienced. The whole campground was lit up in endless white light, though no rain had appeared yet. Ben and I sleepily left the tent and collected all the rest of our camping supplies and packed it up tight. The rest of the campground moved like frightened, quiet ghosts; we all knew this amount of lightning would lead to an interesting night.
When the rain eventually started, it came down fast and hard. I screamed and clutched Ben and he laughed and rubbed my back. A tree fell about twenty feet away. Our tent twisted and turned and water slipped into the sides to dampen our clothes. I probably slept about two hours the entire night.
The next morning Christian arrived (also shaken from his camping storm experience further up north) and the three of us began making pancakes and swapping lightning stories.
What followed was a day that really captured our spirits: we ate, we rowed, we parked illegally, we climbed a surprisingly challenging little trail, we drank New Glarus, we talked and laughed. I'm so in love with the pictures that came from this and I'm so grateful for having found a photographer who was able to give us images of us that are really us.
I will load the rest of the pictures in a couple of days.
Photography: Christian Gideon || Location: Devil's Lake, Baraboo WI
Campground: Fox Hill RV Park
Sunglasses: Madewell- Headliner Sunglasses
Christian's blog entry about the day: here