SAM + KEEGAN :: Lake Como Engagement Session

We tried ALL spring to schedule Sam + Keegan’s engagement session, but as luck would have it, between spring flu and Montana weather, we had to reschedule something like 4,539 times. In the end, it all ended up working out for the best, because we finally had some gorgeous spring color and the temperature was warm enough not to have to wear six layers - WIN!

Anyway, these two (and Sam’s son) are some of my absolute favorite people and I am just so damn glad to have the opportunity to keep photographing them. We opted for a morning session at Lake Como (yes - Montana has its own Lake Como and it’s beautiful!) and Sam did a phenomenal job coordinating their outfits! We chose the beautiful mountain lake as the setting because one of their favorite things to do together is to spend their weekends camping, and their more formal outfit choices were a nod to their killer style (little H’s in particular ;))

After a brief intermission for a wardrobe change, we were back at it. I always suggest couples bring a change of clothes, whether to alter the level of formality or just to give them a little more variety in their photos, and Sam put together two great sets for the whole family!

As a side note, people often ask whether they should include their kids in their engagement photos - sort of like an engagement session with a mini side of family session - and I always leave it up to the couple. While I believe that the primary function of the session should be to focus on celebrating the couple and this next chapter in their story, that may look different for each couple. Some like to use it as an excuse to get dressed up, sip on drinks, and treat it as a date, while others relish the opportunity to include the whole family - this is after all their adventure too!

In Sam + Keegan’s case, they wanted to include H in some of their photos and he was so excited about their photos that day! When he wasn’t the focus, he helped me direct (and even picked up the ancient Mamiya 645 hanging at my hip to “shoot” a few of his own!). All in all, it was an amazing morning and I couldn’t be happier for this threesome!

Why I Think You Should Write Your Own Vows

Hey hi hello friends! Quick question for you: are you writing your own wedding vows? Want to know why I think you should? I'm going to tell you anyway - feel free to disregard!

Most of you probably know this (I usually reference this when people ask how I started shooting weddings), but I'll say it again: I spent my first year of law practice divorcing people. That was also the year I shot my first wedding. Spending a year ending marriages really made me think about the magnitude of the commitment you make when you say "I do," in large part because of the difficulty of ending it when you need to. Marriages can be really hard to end from a legal perspective (I won't go into detail about that here), but it makes sense: in theory (also yes: there are times when it needs to end), marriages are supposed to be forever, so it should come as no surprise that they're not a walk in the park to end. This is why I encourage couples to write their own vows.

Wait what? You may be wondering what writing your own vows has to do with marriage, forever, and divorce. Hear me out: if you're simply reciting the traditional vows, you don't have much pressure to really think about the words. You're repeating after the officiant, likely in front of an audience, and probably looking forward to cake and champagne (or is that just me?). If you decide to write your own vows, you actually have to sit down and think about what you want to say to your S/O. It gives you a chance to clearly articulate what that commitment means to you, why you picked each other, what you intend to be to and for each other forever, and also a chance to think about the tough stuff you'll likely face together (and how you'll get through it together). I believe this exercise can help you think critically about the commitment you're making and what it means after the party is over (not that you won't think about this stuff if you're not writing your own vows). 

I believe that, while your wedding day should be a celebration, there should be room for contemplation leading up to that day, and writing your own vows is a great way to truly think about what your partner means to you and what you want to be for him/her throughout your lives together. So: who's writing their own vows?

Want more tips, tricks, and my two cents? Check out my thoughts on selecting the right makeup artist here: and my advice on preparing for your session here: