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Lake Crescent Elopement Inspiration – James + Stephanie

I shot James + Stephanie’s wedding last year (you can view that here) and I’ve known them for a couple years now. They are both avid mountain climbers and they enjoy the outdoors. When I came up with a plan for a Lake Crescent elopement inspiration shoot these two were the first to pop into my mind. Namely because I knew they could handle the grueling yet short hike to the top of Mt. Storm King that towers above the shores of Lake Crescent near Port Angeles, WA in the lush and gorgeous Olympic National Park (a great place for a wedding BTW).

We arrived at Lake Crescent in the late afternoon and got our packs ready for the hike. We beat James and Stephanie to the lake so Alicia and I went for a stroll through the woods along the lake. I’ve driven around Lake Crescent a number of times (and also I’ve done the crowd pleasing Marymere Falls hike) but have never really had the opportunity to explore the lake much so it was nice to finally scope it out. It’s one of the biggest lakes in Washington with a max depth of over 600 ft and it’s filled with super clear mountain water, the lake has a trademark blue/aqua color which is thanks to the fact that there are no algae in the lake which keeps it clean and clear.

Once James and Steph were prepped we got on the trail and started the 2 mile trek up the mountain. The trail climbs nearly 1,800 ft in that short 2 miles which means it’s a real thigh burner. Once you near the top there are a couple rope sections to help you reach the upper peak area that we wanted to shoot at. A little more treacherous than I’m used to, especially with all of camera gear on my back. But we made it up and down safely, if you’re careful and go slow it’s very safe.

We relaxed at the top briefly and ate our trail dinner and washed it down with a crisp and refreshing can of Rainier, the trail beer of choice for us (make sure you pack out your cans!)

My models got dressed at the peak and gave me some great chemistry and poses to work with. A lot of people feel awkward in front of the camera and I think most of that is due to them feeling like they are out of their element and they aren’t sure how to act. A good photographer should be able to make you feel comfortable and also assist you in your posing so that you look as natural as possible, I don’t profess to be the best posing guide out there but I always aim to create a pose that doesn’t look forced and feels natural for the couple. Once the couple feels comfortable and relaxed they are much more willing to let their guard down and give you the look you need.

We stayed on the top for almost 2 hours and watched the clouds slowly start rolling over the mountains in the distance before we decided to head back down before it got too dark to see our way down.

Dress – Forever 21

Hair by Alicia Maddox at Fi’ne Hair Sculpture in Bremerton, WA

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    Taylor Jones Photo

    Serving Seattle/Tacoma and the PNW

    Taylor Jones Photo

    Serving Tacoma, Seattle and the Northwest