Shooting an adventurous couple at Dream Lake at sunrise is something I had been wanting to do for a while. I’ve seen SO MANY beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park wedding and elopement photos from this very location that I just knew I had to get out there. The tricky part? Finding couples who were game for meeting up super early in the morning, hiking in the dark, and posing in cold windy weather. Enter Katharine and Ashton!
I met Katharine and Ashton back in the spring when we met up to chat about their Estes Park wedding. We met at a brewery near their home in old town Arvada and I knew right away that it was meant to be! When we’re at a wedding consult and have to keep remembering to try and talk about the wedding, I know its a match made in photographer heaven! 🙂
Right before I left for Iceland we set a date for their engagement photos and started throwing around ideas. Because they’re having a foresty (that’s definitely a word!) wedding we knew we wanted to do something a little bit different for their engagement photos. After debating some options we decided to head up to Rocky Mountain National Park at sunrise for their session. To say that I was stoked would be an understatement! I had seen so many amazing Rocky Mountain National Park elopement photos taken in this very spot but for some reason I had never made it up there at sunrise myself – I KNEW it was going to be magic. And let’s just say that I was not disappointed!
We met in the trailhead parking lot just after 6 a.m. (which is the benefit of shooting at this time of year when the days are so much shorter – this would have been a WAY earlier start in June!) and started heading up the trail. We made quick work of the hike out to the lake and got there just as the sun was starting to peak over the horizon, lighting up Dream Lake and Hallet Peak. The lake wasn’t quite frozen all the way but we were able to walk on it a bit and there were hints of fresh snow on the mountain. To say that it was a stunning morning would be a DRAMATIC understatement!
Despite the cold weather, lack of sleep, and howling wind, these guys were total troopers and definitely up for an adventure! And the side benefit of the cold conditions? It made all those snuggles all the more real! Whenever I hear photographers complaining about shooting in the cold and wind I just shake my head – in my mind these harsh conditions are when the magic happens!
We shot for around an hour and then started making our way back down the trail chatting about life and weddings and mostly the warm cups of coffee we were all going to get as soon as we got back to town!
It was an absolutely PERFECT morning in the mountains with two gems of humans. I can’t wait for their wedding next summer!
Here are some photos from the morning. Enjoy!