When you're brainstorming engagement shoot ideas with an avid and experienced backcountry-skiing couple, you best bet that you're strapping in for something a little wild. Fittingly, destination photographers Josh and Shelley Hartman of Hartman Outdoor Photography have adventure coursing through their veins. The North Carolina-based shooters drove their "tiny fiberglass egg camper" out to the Pacific Northwest's Cascade mountain range this past January to meet Kim and Kevin, who wanted their engagement session to incorporate one of their favorite shared pastimes.
"We were down for a rugged adventure and were absolutely thrilled with this idea," Shelley says. "Kim and Kevin closely monitored the avalanche conditions before determining the best spot to do their session," since that week would get deluged with one of the heaviest snowfalls in Washington state, Shelley adds. "Ultimately, they decided to head out toward Steven's Pass."
The husband-and-wife team strapped on their snowshoes and hustled to the Pass. The pines, hanging heavy with snow, drooped like Dr. Seuss trees. "We had honestly never seen anything so beautiful," Shelley says. "It was an awe-inspiring winter wonderland."
This moment was captured at the summit, after a few hours of snow-shoeing and skiing around, just as the golden sun began disappearing below the horizon. Then the couple took a customary swig of their "summit bourbon" before heading back down the mountain. "It took a lot of time to get up the mountain, so we had to hurry a bit on the way down to make it back before dark," Shelley says. "This was most definitely one of our most memorable sessions and we are so incredibly grateful for adventurous couples like Kim and Kevin."
As you might imagine, Josh and Shelley kept their gear kit light: both shooting with Canon 5D Mark IIIs, Josh had a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens and Shelley toted the 70-200mm f/2.8.
(And if you're wondering, the Hartmans did in fact shoot Kim and Kevin's wedding, earlier this July, back in the Cascade mountains—but this time with much less snow.)