As a photographer, I get to tell stories. Stories of families with worn out but happy parents. Stories of new love. Stories of college anticipation. Stories of those who have passed on. No two stories are ever the same. I coach clients on adding in memories and meaning to their sessions, because that will make them more special. I encourage people to dive deep into the shoot and get everything they can out of it.
And then it came my turn and I felt a little paralyzed! About a year ago we started talking about doing something special for our 10th Anniversary, and I knew as a part of that I wanted photos (just like we did for our 5th Anniversary). But then I got stuck. How do I plan that? Of the millions of ideas, how do I narrow it down? It was overwhelming at first and I had a Pinterest board full of gorgeous ideas. But then I realized I wasn't even taking my own advice. If the encouragement is there for my clients to add meaning in, then shouldn't I? And after that everything started falling together, and we ended up with such a magical and meaningful Anniversary Session with Trisha Shelley Photography!
When it came to the location, I wanted it to be beautiful but have meaning. Narrowing down a spot was hard! Do we do it where we live now? Do we do it back home in New Mexico? Down in Tucson in the Sonoran Desert we miss so much? We just weren't sure. And then as I was talking plans with my friend Trisha, we realized that we would be up in Idaho at the exact same time. Light bulb! That was it! Something new for us as far as scenery for photos goes, but something so completely embedded in meaning for Cameron. Cameron's Mother's family is from Idaho, and Cameron spent a few summers living in Idaho working for his Uncle. It was perfect. So Idaho was set (more on the specific location later), and we started getting all the plans put together after that.
I wanted there to be meaning with everything possible. Right now my wedding dress does not fit (2 kids and a ton of cookies will do that to a girl), so I spent HOURS online looking for just the right dress. I wanted something orange, and I wanted to feel completely elegant and classy. I wanted it to embody who I am! As most of you probably know already, orange is my all time favorite color. At first I had truly orange dresses picked out, but they wouldn't quite have the soft feel I was going for, so then I went with peach. And found this beauty! (links for all pieces given at the end of this post)
I was nervous. This was a dress I ordered from China. I've already had my China dress problems. I've seen so many others that order dresses from China that have problems. A few vendors offered this dress, but I made sure to find the one with the best reviews, the best grammar, and the best ratings, and then just hoped that it would work from there! I put in my expedited order, added in my measurements and just hoped. The dress wouldn't get here before we left on vacation, so I shipped it to Emilee and just hoped that it would get there in time. The dates on the shipping estimate ran from 2 days to before the scheduled shoot to 3 days after. There was a chance it wouldn't come in time. And then 3 days before the first estimated arrival date Emilee sent me a picture of a package sitting on her doorstep. It was the dress! And it was GORGEOUS! So it was here on time (fear #1), and it looked phenomenal (fear #2). But I wouldn't get to try it on until the night before the shoot (fear #3). When we did make it up there and I could slip it on, I was ecstatic. It fit perfectly. Seriously amazing!
After that, even though it wasn't a wedding, I decided to incorporate the "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue" poem as a way to get intentional with what I was bringing and wearing.
Something Old: Black Hills Gold necklace.
Something New: The Shoes
Alright, so these ones don't really have embedded meaning. My wedding shoes are pretty hashed by this point, so I wanted some new pretty shoes. I fell in love with them the moment I saw them online and they fit the look so well!
Something borrowed: Emilee's Lipstick
For me, the meaning was not in the lipstick itself, but that Emilee, one of my dearest friends, was there to help me get ready. She drove 3 hours (one way!) just to come do my hair and make up, and that meant so much to me. She's such a sweet friend and talented cosmetologist. So really, I borrowed Emilee and just used the lipstick as her proxy in the detail shots. :)
Something blue: My Tanzanite Wedding Ring
And now the flowers. Oh the flowers! I knew I wanted a bouquet, and thought about getting a real floral bouquet, but with the delivery of the dress being up in the air I didn't want to order a bouquet and then have the shoot not happen up in Idaho but still have this bouquet wilting without use. So I decided to make my bouquet, just like I did for our 5th Anniversary Shoot! This time instead of making all the flowers I ordered most of the supplies from afloral.com, got the orange ranuculus silks from Walmart, and then the giant Poppy and some white ranunculus from Hobby Lobby. My Mom also supplied some of the greenery and a few random white blossoms from her stash. I modeled it after a bouquet I'd seen on Katelyn James' blog (I'm just slightly obsessed with Katelyn James), and only pulled it apart and redid it twice. I love how it turned out! The pops of orange are so fun, and I love the giant poppy in the middle with the delicate french anemones mixed in. It's so me right now!
While Trish took all the above amazing details shots, Emilee worked her magic on me. Confession here: I'd never had my hair and makeup done professionally before! It was really fun! I felt so pampered.
I'm in love with this photo of Em and I! I miss her so much. It was so special to have her there after not seeing her for a year!
And then it was time to head out and go meet up with Cameron! We were slightly late, but Cameron took that chance to go fly fishing. When we drove up he was out there on the river with his rod and it just made me smile. That's exactly the man I married.
We chose this location carefully. Cameron's Grandfather was the Water Master in Rexburg for years and years, as was his father before him (I sound a little Star Warsish there). This spot on the Henry's Fork is where the water is diverted out and where his Grandpa spent a good amount of time. Cameron has great memories here with his Grandpa. This river means so much to him and his family. That is why we chose this spot. Not only is it beautiful, but this spot holds so many memories and feelings for Cameron.
One thing I loved while planning this was how "all in" Cameron was. He was excited (but wouldn't admit it to anyone else of course). He even asked, "Can we do a First Look?" You bet! Trisha was so good to work with us and to get this all documented for us. It was fun to have the whole experience!
Bahaha, in spinning around, the veil end floated off behind me and landed in the river. It was heavy and all stuck together, so Cameron fixed it. :) Centrifugal force for the win!
As we stood there in the river together, we could hear the fish jumping and watched an ibis fly away. It was pure magic.
We never had a first dance at our receptions. At the time we didn't even have "Our Song" picked out. But we do now, and we love dancing to it. So there on the river rock, in our bare feet, with Jay Ungar's "The Lover's Waltz" playing on the phone we danced. Or at least we tried to. The dress was a little to much and, as Cameron put it himself, he has Princess Feet. But we got in about 30 seconds of dancing! Baha.
Wrapping up Cameron's Herpetologists heart was made happy...a little snake swam right up to us. And he catches anything he can. So of course this little guest made his cameo in our anniversary photos.
This whole experience was amazing. These photos are treasures. Trisha did an absolutely beautiful job preserving this time in our marriage, and in capturing such great emotion. I loved getting to pour all the meaning I could into the shoot, it's made it all the more special to look at the images. Most of all though I loved the time with this man, and getting to celebrate 10 years together. 10 years! Parts have been easy. Parts have been tough. Parts have been sweet, and parts have been sad. Marriage is not easy, but it is worth every ounce of work, tears, joy, and heart that it takes to make one work. One decade, many disagreements, plenty of moves, a plethora of memories, a bucket of tears, and of gallery of smiles in the bag...now there's eternity to go. And I'm so grateful to go it with him!
Shoes: Trends SNJ
Hair and Makeup: Emilee Goutcher of @Vicarioushair
Suit Jacket: U.S. Polo Assoc.
Suit Pants: Kater Shop, Logan UT