I met Brandon and Katie back in November in a Starbucks on a Thursday night. I noticed Brandon's Elk and mountain/ evergreen tattoo on his arm and knew right away they were no strangers to Colorado. They made it clear early on that they weren't afraid of a little weather. In fact, what they were hoping for, was a snowy engagement session. As a Colorado native myself, I love when I find my people!
Of course scheduling the session with guaranteed snowfall really isn't possible...especially somewhere like Colorado when you can wake up with the heater on, and drive home with the AC on. We agreed to watch the weather and stay in touch. And that's exactly what we did. Watched and waited.
It wasn't long before the forecast was calling for flurries, and we were on our way. There really is nothing more beautiful in this state than the falling snow over the Rocky Mountains.
Knowing Trail Ridge Road is always closed this time of year, we decided to follow the road leading up to it as far as we were allowed. The shades of dark green in their shirts blended beautifully with the scenery and Katie's gorgeous red hair allowed for the perfect pop of color. We were off to a great start, and I was already in love with this session just by looking at the back of my camera.
One of my favorite spots in RMNP, is Moraine Park, and it was next on the list. By this time the snow was a little heavier and I knew pretty quick the beautiful views in Moraine would not be showing off today. So we decided to stick with the equally beautiful stream that flows in the middle of it. We drove as far back in the park as we could, and we did some close ups next to the stream. Of course you really can't go wrong anywhere when your in RMNP.
I had Sprague Lake in mind the whole time....and that was next on the list. As we were on our way, I saw sirens ahead and what looked like a detour. The road to Sprague was closed due to an accident, and I needed to come up with a plan B, and pretty fast. (Not that hard to do when your surrounded by mountains and evergreens) so we found ourselves drifting to the right and in the midst of a beautiful open space. It wasn't a lake, but it would work just fine.
By the way, I love accessories. Brandon and Katie were sure to grab a blanket and their save the date announcement! Check it out, they made it themselves with supplies from hobby lobby and its amazingly and perfectly rustic and SOOO them!
As we were finishing up, Katie mentioned The Stanley Hotel. She asked if we could swing by on our way back down to Estes and maybe snap a few pictures there. I really had nothing planned for the rest of the day and pretty sure my face lit up like a light bulb at the thought of it. Hell yes. LETS GO!
For those of you unfamiliar with the iconic Stanley Hotel, I thought I would give a quick run down. The 142 room Colonial revival hotel opened way back in 1909, on July 4th. It was intended to be a resort for upper class easterners and a health retreat for victims of tuberculosis.
It was the very first fully electrified hotel in the country.
Its most famously known for the filming of Stephen King's "The Shining" in 1977, and would again appear on the big screen in 1994 in the filming of "Dumb and Dumber."
Its believed to be the most haunted hotel in the country, particularly Rm 217, by many different investigators of the paranormal. You can see for yourself as regular ghost tours are available, and you can even spend the night in the notorious room 217 in addition to an entirely separate selection of haunted rooms available for rent for an extra price. Needless to say, the Stanley has made quite the name for itself here in Colorado.
Brandon and Katie's engagement session was the perfect display of Colorado beauty and history. It was a reminder of how lucky I feel to live 45 minutes away from it all, and it was an absolute joy to work with a couple who appreciates this state as much as I do.
I simply can't wait to spend the day with them both when they exchange their vows this coming September at Grand Lake, yet another one of Colorado's most beautiful locations.
Congrats to you both!