“If a photographer cares about the people before the lens and is compassionate, much is given. It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument.”—Eve Arnold

For me, what Eve Arnold said makes me ask a question and continues to keep my wheels spinning with my photography. How can I take inspiration from a piece of “you” and bring that to life? Is it found in the people you love? The places you like to go? The things you like to see, feel, or experience?

That being said, I love a good engagement photo. Chasing after some good light in golden hour or seeing what can be made with an overcast sky. Finding perspective shots and encouraging public displays of affection while barely out of earshot is all a part of the process. A beautifully crafted photo with all the elements are always tried and true practice, but if given the opportunity to go above and beyond—would you take a chance? With all of this in mind for this month, I set out to explore what that means with a lucky couple.

An old friend from college, Amanda, reached out to connect about some engagement photos because her new fiancé recently proposed. When we got in touch to schedule up her engagement session, we talked for about 30-minutes and she told me the two have a passion for Dairy Queen.

I set out to see what was possible and find a local neighborhood DQ that was in the Highland Park area next to Hidden Falls. I found this on Ford Parkway in Saint Paul:

I talked with the amazing DQ staff (a huge shout out to Tim, Brad, and EJ) at this location and we collaborated to put this special message up for Amanda and Nick on Saturday, Nov. 9.

As you can tell, with the changing of the seasons—we didn’t get a clear blue sky or perfect sun. It was rainy for the majority of the afternoon. Some couples might be worried about getting perfect conditions, but it isn’t about that. It’s about not being afraid to let imperfection in the weather help tell your story. When it comes to climate, it’s always the luck of the draw. Whether rain, snow, overcast, or hot and sunny, being prepared with a mindset to adapt and trust each other will help make any weather condition possible for great photos.

Receiving texts like this every once and awhile are gems. The trust we had proved to make some great chemistry and some beautiful frames. And who doesn’t like a blizzard to wrap up their day? Check out the rest of our session below:

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