It’s not often we have the privilege of shooting both an engagement shoot within a few weeks of an elopement, but within the space of a few weeks we shot Sammie + Micah in the spring rain of Yosemite and the windy cliff-sides of San Francisco. They embraced the rain more than any couple we’ve ever photographed, and had a present stillness about them that is a rare and precious gift.
Together with them we slowed down, lingered, and paused with them in Yosemite’s rainfall, so much so that it’s easy to remember the way the rain tasted, the rushing thunder of the waterfalls against our eardrums, the scent of soaking pine needles and the sound of Sammie’s laughter rising up in the valley.
Sammie + Micah are unlike anyone you’ll ever meet. They dance through life, literally, embracing both the highs and lows as gifts, because in them they see God’s presence. The way they engage with the physical world is so expressive – Micah is always moving, running, jumping, and Sammie is always dancing, laughing, and running her fingers along nature as they rush by with the kind of speed that is rooted in stillness (impossible? I thought so too, until I met them).
We have so much to say about their wedding day, but I feel we’d do the day a disservice if we tried to use our feeble language to express it. I will share a story or two along the way, but I hope you get lost in this vibrant, windy, ephemeral moment in time at Point Reyes.
When Sammie walked along the trail with her family, she was a beautiful display of excitement. She said “I wish I could sprint down this trail right now, I want to marry Micah so much.” She had always dreamed of walking along the trail and adding dried flowers to her bouquet, so that’s exactly what she did. It was a sweet and tender moment to capture her doing that, and because her bouquet was already dried they looked amazing, and she can forever keep a piece of Point Reyes in her bouquet.
When we made it to the top of the trail her groom and guests were waiting for us and it was WINDY. That’s the biggest understatement ever. It was raging, buffeting, glorious wind from all sides, and there we all were, planted on the edge of that cliff. When Sammie walked up and Micah turned around, his whole face became his smile. It was pure joy.
They wrote their own vows to each other, and they were full of meaningful and true things they wanted to speak over their marriage, including their favorite word, ‘Adventure.’ Their entire dating relationship has been adventures, in some form. And they wanted their wedding day to hold that feel, as well as walk (well, dance) into their marriage with an attitude of the adventure ahead together. Though it was incredibly windy, honestly somehow the whole thing was covered in this peace and stillness because of the way Sammie and Micah looked at each other and spoke to each other.
After their ceremony we had half an hour to shoot them on these cliffs, and it was SUNNY. The cloud coverage during their ceremony had disappeared and we had full sun. It was so beautiful to feel the sun on our faces and to capture Sammie + Micah enjoying their cliff-side adventure. We shot with a Sigma 24mm f1.4 and a Sigma 35mm f1.4. Some of our favorites are actually from the Sigma 85mm f1.4, because it captured the up-close intimacy of their love amidst the epic landscape of the park.
On the way back to the car they wanted to stop at the location he asked her to be his girlfriend. Their sentimental natures weren’t lighthearted – they deeply valued revisiting old memories and remembering where they’ve been and where they’re going. As people who are also deeply sentimental, we couldn’t get over the beauty of shooting them on their wedding day in the exact spot their relationship began.
This was an unexpected moment. They were trailing their fingers through this long grass and I happened to see this moment and asked them to stop. The way the light hit her face, the movement of the grass, the intensity of the sky. It all lined up for a wild moment of beauty. While I love the wide I shot with the Sigma 35mm, one of my favorites from the entire day is the close up portrait Camron shot on the Sigma 85mm here. They legitimately look like Princess Jasmine and Aladdin here! 😉
Yes, this is them literally dancing and jumping back up the trail.
We drove about 15 minutes with them to Cypress Tree Tunnel. If you’ve never been, it really is more beautiful than you could dream up. This is where they had their first dance, their song playing from his phone in his pocket.
We couldn’t believe how quickly and beautifully their videographer Brian Diener Films put together their highlight video. It has their vows and all these beautiful moments in video form (we were so moved when we saw it, we hope you are too).