Hendrixson Vow Renewal

Mark & Jan planned a trip to Alaska to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary.  Mark decided to make the trip extra special and arranged a vow renewal on their anniversary while they were here – without telling Jan.  He did loop her in on his scheme a few weeks before their departure date so she could plan an outfit and not be caught too off guard.

The day of the ceremony was bright and clear, perfect for the afternoon glacier cruise they booked.  When we met in Girdwood at Moose Meadow for their ceremony, they told me the only thing that could make their day any more perfect was to have a dog at their ceremony because they missed their 34 – that’s right I said 34! – rescue dogs back home. If I’d known ahead of time I would have arranged for my 3 crazy K9’s to join the festivities but it was too late and we were too far from my house.

During the ceremony Mark surprised Jan again with a special sand ceremony, he had arranged in advance with Reverend Dorothy.  They each poured sand from both Hawaii, where they’d had their original wedding and Alaska to represent their renewal of vows.  It brought Jan to tears – and me too!

After the ceremony, just as we were about to start taking portraits, a local family arrived in the meadow with a puppy. I called out to the family, explaining that they were there for a vow renewal on their anniversary and wished they could include a dog in the event because they are animal lovers. I asked if we could borrow the puppy for a few minutes and his owner quickly agreed.  She then told us that he was a rescue which made the moment even sweeter. Mark and Jan were quickly greeted with a wagging tail and slobbery kisses. It was indeed the perfect detail for their anniversary celebration!

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Class of 2018: Chelsea

This lovely young lady is proof that it’s never too late to get senior portraits done.  When things fell through with another photographer just weeks before graduation, Chelsea’s mom called me hoping I’d be able to fit them in and get them images to use for the screen display during her upcoming graduation ceremony.

We quickly scheduled a session at Reflections Lake and lucked out with decent weather the day after a spring snow storm!  Most people would think the muted tones of the season aren’t ideal for photos, but it works for her.

Despite the chilly spring temps, this gal ROCKED her entire session and was up for anything I suggested.  Her outfits showcased the different aspects of her personality, from casual and ready for adventure on Alaska’s trails to stylish and modern in a dress and heels.  We used several spots around the lake to give her a variety of backgrounds, but each paled in comparison to her bubbly charm and contagious smile.

Her session was a family affair, with both her siblings and mom along for the trek around the lake.  I think they enjoyed the experience as much as Chelsea did and they were always ready to help adjust little details or make a silly face to keep things real.

I was able to quickly get her several images to choose from in the week after her session, so she had options for the graduation ceremony display.  Then I delivered the rest of her gallery a few days after graduation.  Now that all of her images are done she’s got plenty to remember this special moment as she prepares for what comes next on her journey.  I wish her the best of luck as she heads out into the next chapter of her life, but something tells me she’s one that creates her own luck!

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Class of 2019: Tarryn

Although she lives in Fairbanks, Tarryn decided to schedule her senior portraits with me while she was in the Anchorage area over the summer for soccer tournaments because she wanted something different from the handful of locations all of her classmates were using for their senior pictures back home.  That thought process reminded me of myself at her age – choosing paths different from my peers because I knew what I wanted and was determined to achieve it.

She craved something with a rustic feel so I recommended the experimental farm run by the University of Alaska Fairbanks in Wasilla.  I knew that the old barn, big hay bales and cows at the farm would fit the rustic style she was hoping for.  I sent her some examples of other sessions I’d done at that location and she loved the barn so we decided to go with the farm as the backdrop for her portraits.

Although it was cloudy and chilly the day of her session, we didn’t let that stop us from using as many of those rustic elements as possible!  There was certainly plenty to choose from.  The cows made a cameo appearance, rusty fences played supporting roles and the wildflowers were the perfect accessory to her candid personality.

Although her uniform was still a little dirty from the game the day prior and not suitable for photos, we made sure to incorporate her love of soccer into a couple of shots using her cleats and a ball she borrowed from her coach at the tournament the day before since hers was at home back in Fairbanks.

I wish her success as she continues to hone her athletic skills and works toward a career after high school.  I hope she has a fantastic senior year and continues to forge her own path as she decides what her future holds.

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