I recently kicked off the busy fall engagement season with a memorable moody Silver Lake, Michigan engagement with Lauren and Jeremy. Lauren and Jeremy had plans to do some camping with friends and I was so excited when they wanted to take us along for the ride and bump up their engagement session to their trip. Lauren had never been to the Silver Lake Sand Dunes, one of my favorite West Michigan engagement session locations, and was dreaming of a sunset engagement session there.
(Un)fortunately, mother nature had other plans and it ended up being a cloudy, rainy weekend. When we arrived for our evening session, it started to rain and only got worse with no signs of letting up, so we rescheduled for the following morning when there appeared to be a break in the rain. The next morning, the rain had stopped so we climbed our way up on the Silver Lake Sand Dunes where it was wildly windy! We spent about 15 minutes shooting on the dunes, embracing the wind, and making the best of it before the sand flying in our faces was no longer tolerable for any of us (or my cameras).
But in those 15 minutes, there were about 60 seconds where the sun came through the dark clouds for an amazing, cinematic view. Once I had that, I said to them, “Okay, we can go! That was still really epic!”
As a Michigan wedding photographer, I typically walk into my sessions with somewhat of a plan for what I want to do based on the location and the couple. But in this case, that plan went out the window the minute we got to the top of the dunes. Instead, I leaned into what was happening, stuck to wider shots or close-up details, knowing hair, dresses, shirts and everything would be flying, and worked fast. Lauren and Jeremy took the elements in stride and I loved the result!
Pretty quickly though, the sand and wind became a bit overwhelming so we decided to shift gears. We made our way to the nearby Little Sable Lighthouse Beach. The beach itself was incredibly windy, however, we found some refuge in a sheltered sand dune that shielded us from the wind. And there was no sand flying! It may not have been the Silver Lake Sand Dunes, but it was still sand dunes and in the end, they gave us a sweet little oasis for the rest of the session.
Feeling warmer, calmer and more at ease with no elements to battle, Lauren and Jeremy’s vibrant personalities and the undeniable love they shared came through. Their fun-loving and confident demeanor radiated, creating captivating moments that were both intimate and playful.
I loved the couple’s choice of neutral outfits that, though somewhat unplanned, were a perfect compliment to the environment of the dunes. After about 45 minutes, and 2 minutes on the windy beach, we called it a day.
Of course, though at different times, we both grabbed coffee from the same spot in Hart and also stopped at the same brunch spot in Muskegon on our way back to Detroit. Dream clients to say the least!
Lauren and Jeremy’s West Michigan engagement session, though full of unexpected twists, turned out to be quite the memorable adventure and truly one-of-a-kind. And as a photographer, it was a reminder of what amazing things can happen when you roll with the punches, think a little less and just be and feel a little more. I can’t wait to capture Lauren and Jeremy’s indoor wedding (lol) at the Collins at the Clocktower in Chelsea, Michigan next year! I know it will be another memorable adventure.