Michael & Molly | Turnagain Arm Engagement Session | Beluga Point, Alaska

Just thirty-five days from now, these two will commit their lives to each other in Snohomash, Washington. We (and by we, I mean my handsome husband/second photographer man, Austin and I) are so looking forward to their wedding and thought it would be appropriate to preemptively begin the celebration by sharing their engagement session from last summer.

We have known Michael since those awkward high school years (he and Austin may or may not have been in a band together), so when we made the trip to Seattle last summer we couldn't pass up the chance to meet this lady. Fast forward a couple of months and they were back in Alaska, in front of my camera. 

An engagement session, one meal, a campfire, and a beer or two later, I felt I knew Molly just as well. It was absolutely undeniable that they compliment and complete each other in the most perfect ways. 

The rest, as they say, is history.

 

Thom & Michaela | Day After Portrait Session in Juneau, Alaska

Last November, Thom and Michaela were wed on a rare day of sun in Juneau, Alaska. Their wedding was beautiful, intimate, and witnessed by only their closest family and friends. (Check out their wedding day here.) When it is winter in this corner of the world, daylight hours are fleeting and dusk happens around 3:30pm. Because our time on their wedding day was quite limited, we met up with Thom and Michaela the following afternoon for a little outdoor adventure and second round of portraits. 

Boy Scout Beach has long been one of Michaela's favorite places, so it seemed only natural that we venture out there to capture images of their first day as husband and wife. It was well below freezing out, but you would never know it (aside from some goosebumps!) because of the way they danced and smiled together the entire time.

 

“It was rather beautiful: the way he put her insecurities to sleep. The way he dove into her eyes and starved all the fears and tasted all the dreams she kept coiled beneath her bones.”

- Christopher Poindexter

Thom & Michaela | An Intimate Winter Wedding in Juneau, Alaska

 

Back in November, I boarded a plane to Juneau without fully knowing what to expect. In the past, I have lived in Juneau off and on and am quite familiar with the city, however the couple was one I had not yet gotten to meet in person.  

Fortunately Thom and Michaela ended up being the most genuine and downright awesome couple you could imagine. 

He is a veteran, pilot, hunter and timber framer. She is a runner, yoga enthusiast, free spirit and tough as nails. Together they are healthcare providers, outdoor adventurers, world travelers, and a couple of the kindest people you will ever meet.
(They are even building their own home together. How romantic is that?) 

The day of their wedding came sun-kissed and shining. (A rarity for Juneau this time of year.) Michaela got ready at her brother's home and then drove out to Auke Rec to meet her groom. They had a small ceremony on the beach, officiated by her brother and closely surrounded by their friends and family. An Alaskan style cocktail hour followed, (think campfires and personalized mugs with spiked coffee and cocoa) and the day eventually came to a close with an intimate family dinner at the historical Jorgenson House

Each of the day's events flowed together seamlessly. It was beautifully simple, relaxed, and refreshing in so many ways. Every piece of it was purposeful, nothing felt rushed, and the amount of love poured out by this couple and their families will always be something I am thankful to have witnessed. 
 

 

My excellent second photographer and companion for this trip was Ashlee McSwain. For us, photographing Thom and Michaela's wedding weekend involved a surprising amount of sunshine, waffles for practically every meal (If you visit Juneau, seriously go to GonZo and order one. Sweet or savory. You won't want to eat anywhere else.), slightly numb fingers, a whole lot of laughter, and incredibly scenic views. 

We returned home with full hearts and a renewed sense of creativity and vision.
Having the opportunity to meet and photograph people like Thom and Michaela...that is why I love this job so doggone much. 

-G

 

Vendors
Bridal gown | Flora Bridal
Floral design | Martha's Flowers
Reception Venue | The Jorgenson House

 

Beau & Sarah | Intimate Crow Creek Mine Wedding | Girdwood, Alaska

For their wedding day, Beau & Sarah opted outdoors to celebrate with just their closest friends and family in Girdwood, Alaska. With incredible scenery, a rich history, and purely Alaskan feel, Crow Creek Mine has quickly become one of my favorite locations for weddings and happened to be the perfect setting for their intimate family gathering. 

The couple crafted most of the decor themselves, each detail had meaning, and you could just feel the heart and soul poured into every part of the day. Their ceremony was followed by a simple and relaxed reception complete with dinner caught by his family (oysters, salmon, & halibut) and grown (an endless bounty of vegetables) by hers. Even their wedding favors were made by the bees kept by her parents.

The whole celebration was one rich in genuine love and emotion. (Beau and his mother's dance had everyone in tears, including yours truly!) Zero drama, low stress, laid back, and straight up FUN to photograph! The love there, not just between the newlyweds, but their families as well, was almost tangible and I count myself as blessed to have been there to document it. 

A day like that truly is a rare and beautiful thing to witness.

 


Venue | Crow Creek Mine
Sarah's lace top | Bateau Bridal Boutique
Bridal skirt | BHLDN
Cake | Midnight Sun Cakery 
Caterer | food provided by families, prepared by Masters Catering
Florals | Hummel's Flowers
Bartender | Ruth MacDonald
Favors | Hughes Honey (636) 448-6376
 

Glacial Elopement Inspiration | Matanuska Glacier, Alaska

Just about a year ago, my friend Benjamin Holtrop visited from Portland, bringing with him a suitcase full of treasures for a glacial elopement session we had been dreaming up. The very talented Sarah (of Selva Floral Design) also happened to be visiting at the same time and kindly put together a bouquet and centerpiece for the occasion. We met up with Bex and Andrea Moss for hair and makeup, then picked up Mikey and headed out to Matanuska Glacier to shoot. It is quite the drive from Anchorage, but well worth the view.  

When the sun doesn't think of going to bed before 11:30pm, it's tough to predict exactly what you are going to get, and when we woke up to blue skies I was imagining our glacier elopement would end up more on the "sunny and golden" side of things. As much as I love the Land of the Midnight Sun, darkening skies and moody lighting will always have my heart, so when the storm clouds rolled in I couldn't help but get a little excited. Ending our session with a sudden downpour was really just icing on the cake. Mikey and Bex held it together magnificently and we continued to shoot until our camera gear fogged up too much to see through. 

Sessions like these push us creatively, and keep us inspired. I am so thankful for this talented and adventurous team of people, and am thrilled to finally share these images. 

Endless thanks so all those involved in bringing this vision to life! 
 

It was rather beautiful: the way he put her insecurities to sleep. The way he dove into her eyes and starved all the fears and tasted all the dreams she kept coiled beneath her bones.
— Christopher Poindexter

styling: Benjamin Holtrop // hair & MUA: Andrea Moss Hair Design // models: Mikey HuffBex Farleigh // florals: Selva Floral Design  // invitation Suite: Rachel Jacobson // gown: Lena Medoyeff // menswear: J.Crew // bracelet: Bateau Bridal Boutique  // rings: Madewell // cake: Jade Leon // table settings: vintage + Schoolhouse Electric