One of the coolest parts about being a wedding photographer is when old friends reach out to me to document their love. When Morgan sent me a DM on Instagram telling me that she and her partner, Curtis, were engaged and wanted me to photograph their engagement session, happy tears formed in the corner of my eyes.
I went to high school with both Morgan + Curtis, and saw, from a distance, how their relationship grew into what it is today. The honor I felt - the gratitude - that old friends chose + trusted me to take their engagement photos really hit me in the feels :')
When strangers reach out to me to photograph their wedding, I squeal with joy. When friends ask me to document them, it amps up that joy to the max! It is such an amazing compliment to me, and makes my heart sing. It also makes me feel soooo creative and inspired, and I know that, with the built-in extra trust that comes from working with friends, it's always a stellar shoot.
Okay, enough about my emotions lol, let's talk about the beautiful couple that is Morgan + Curtis.
These two gorgeous people met in high school and just kind of clicked. They started dating after they had graduated and the rest is pretty much history. Morgan + Curtis are both incredibly clever, and extremely self-motivated. They're a power couple and could quite honestly rule the world if they wanted. Their love and support for one another is what strengthens that bond even further...even when their feet are freezing from hiking in the snow...but we'll get to that later.
When it came to planning their engagement session, Morgan + Curtis were amazing because they were super flexible and really allowed me to help them plan an epic session. I sent them multiple location options around New Hampshire for them to choose from, all with an adventurous experience in mind as they had asked for, which was totally up my street. I decided to share a pretty special, pretty secret spot with them because I trusted them to honor the sacredness of this space. When they saw the photos I had sent them, they immediately were interested in having their winter engagement session in that for that location.
This spot is spectacular, and truly does feel spiritual to me. The tall redwood pines, planted neatly in rows, tower over you, and creak as they sway. It's quiet, even when there isn't any snow, and is one of the most peaceful places on Earth, I swear. When we first walked in, I invited them to walk in quietly, and to look around them to soak up the experience for everything that it was. This helped ground Morgan + Curtis to the environment, which allowed me to tell them a little more about the history of the place, which they found fascinating. Having a connection to the place you're having your engagement session in - even if it's a new spot to you - really helps you to remain present and feel a deeper sense of respect and adoration for the environment you're in.
Morgan + Curtis' Winter engagement session in the woods of New Hampshire just happened to fall on the coldest day of the year, which definitely added an extra element to the Winter adventure. I had sent them a packing list essentially ahead of time for their session to ensure they'd be warm and prepared for a couple hours out in the freezing temperatures. They bundled up well, and did slightly underestimate the amount of snow that there would be in the woods of Windsor, NH. The snow was taller than the shoes they were both wearing, however, Morgan and Curtis were absolute CHAMPS through it all, even though they were freezing their butts...and toes...and fingers off...they remained cheery, smiley, and so kind and patient with each other. I packed hand warmers to give our fingers a break as often as we could during the session, and I also brought beers and champagne for them to try and warm them up from the inside. It was, however, SO COLD that the beer turned into a slushie, and the champagne cork froze inside the bottle! Little challenges that ultimately lead to great stories from their session that we all laughed about once we warmed up later :)
After Morgan + Curtis chugged their Bud Lights as much as they could in the forest (a nod to their first time hanging out together), we decided to hike back to the cars to warm us all back up, and distributed hand warmers to help. Since the champagne cork was still frozen (a first for me haha), I insulated the bottle while we walked to the cars, in hopes that I could still capture those sick champagne spraying photos I knew Morgan + Curtis wanted. Luckily, it all worked out in the end and the two of them had a blast popping the champagne and spraying it during golden hour in the snow. We all may have been cold, but our hearts were definitely warm from all the fun we had together during their session .
Their chilly, Winter engagement session was a good reminder that adventures - and life for that matter - don't always go as planned. They're rarely perfect and there's usually a hiccup or two, but those "quirks," shall I say, are what make an experience feel like an adventure. It's the stuff that leaves you with laughs and a good story after a photo session that really makes it memorable and feel like so much more than just a photoshoot. Those memories are (quite literally) frozen in time, and something you can reflect upon for the many years to come.
All in all, it was such a blast hanging out with Morgan + Curtis, and such an honor to document their sweet and caring love.
Thanks for reading, and speak soon!
The Francis Frames