A Windy Empire Bluffs Engagement

November 17, 2017

I’m always amazed by the resilience of my couples. Their willingness to endure through wind, rain, crazy temps, and really anything the world can throw at them so that we can capture some one-of-a-kind moments together. I’ve had couples push through freezing temps, crazy winds, rain and snow, insane humidity, violent waves, just to name a few. However, nowhere has the adventurous spirit shone through with more vibrancy than this insanely windy Empire Bluffs engagement session with Sarah & John.

Our day didn’t begin that way, though – we started our session under a sun-filled sky and in very pleasurable temps at Ludington State Park. We spent just over an hour hiking sand dunes, roaming through the gorgeous pines, and watching tubers float down the river that flows through the park. Speaking of, there’s nothing quite as interesting as trying to creatively crop out a sunburnt tuber from the background of romantic engagement images…my job is the best y’all, ha. Anyway, once we wrapped up at the park we headed north. It was a 2-hour drive to get to the cliffs and as we drove, I checked the weather radar to see an immense storm rolling in across Lake Michigan. No worries though, I thought, we’ll be completely fine – it’s still in Wisconsin!

Once we arrived at the trailhead for Empire Bluffs, Sarah changed into a gorgeous boho dress and we began the short hike out to the cliffs. When we crested the last dune and stepped out onto the bluffs, we were immediately greeted by an amazing sight. Calm, serene water glistened below us and the sky overhead was completely clear. Off on the horizon, though, intense storm clouds were racing toward us and the low rumble of thunder slapped up against the cliffs.

Have you ever seen those movies where some attack is happening and you can physically see the line of attack approaching? The torpedo moving underwater, the army running through a field, the wave of firepower racing towards you? That’s exactly what happened here – we could see the line of wind moving across the waves and once it reached us…all hell broke loose.

Winds went from a calm 5mph to about 40-50mph instantly, tossing sand and loose leaves up in our faces. Then the rain hit and we went from dry to dripping in mere seconds. But we had made the drive and Sarah & John were determined to make the most of it – so we pressed on. And ugh, the images we captured during our time in the chaos were absolutely stunning. Sarah’s hair and gorgeous dress were put on full showcase by the driving winds while the whirling sand made for a natural gritty fog that added an amazing mood to the entire mix.

When we finally made it back to the cars, we literally had to wring water out of our clothes (and off my cameras) but the moments we captured together were absolutely priceless. I’m so thankful for Sarah & John and their relentless willingness to push through amidst unforeseen storms to make the moments we captured something I’ll forever remember.

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