Brenden + Danielle: An Ice Storm in July

Where do I even begin with this one? I met Danielle and Brenden for coffee awhile back and knew they were a super laid back and fun couple. We had engagements scheduled for early July, but as it turned out I had my dates a bit mixed up and had scheduled them for the day we were to be leaving for a family vacation and to take our kiddos to Disneyland. The hubs and I talked about it and decided we would ask them if they could move the date, and if they couldn't we would leave the following day. Thankfully (for SO MANY REASONS) they were super cool about it and we rescheduled for July 21st.

Fast forward to July 21st. I had got to shoot cutest and most lovely baby shower in the morning but it was HOT. Like crazy hot. I was glad my shoot with Brenden and Danielle was in the afternoon where it would hopefully be cooler.

A few hours before the shoot I got an emergency alert on my phone warning of extreme flooding. I honestly more or less shrugged it off. If you live in Reno then you know: the weather is as unpredictable as it comes. Still, I called Danielle to see if they wanted to reschedule or if they were comfortable shooting in a bit of rain. She said they were up for an adventure and I said "as long as it's not a torrential downpour we can make it work."

The 20 minute drive to Galena started off with sunshine and then a little bit of a sprinkle -- but by the time I was 5 minutes away rain was dropping in literal sheets. Cars were turning off the road left and right as visibility was pretty poor. I made it to where we were going to meet and said out-loud alone in the car, "this is not good."

The sheets of rain gave way to hail. MARBLE SIZED HAIL. IN JULY. It was so deafening loud in the car. I was brainstorming ideas but knew there was no way I could take my camera out with the rain/ice whipping in all sorts of directions. I was hoping that the hail would pass by the time they arrived, but had already resigned myself to the fact that we were not going to be a be able to make it work. I felt terrible as I had already moved their shoot once, and now we were going to have to move it again.

When Brenden and Danielle arrived I grabbed my one umbrella I had in the car and ran over to their car and climbed in. The hail was super painful and my head was actually still sore later that night just from the small run from one car to another. The hail was so loud we had a hard time hearing each other. We pulled up the emergency alert and found a map that showed we were literally in the eye of the ice storm. So after brainstorming a bunch of ideas that amounted to nothing, we decided to wait it out about 15 minutes and if it didn't stop hailing we would call it a day and drive home before we were stuck in a flooded area.

Eventually the hail gave way to heavy rain and we decided if they piled in my van I could shoot them with my van door open (we still had a missing seat from our Disneyland trip, thankfully!) and we would see what we could get for fun.

You guys. It was magical. The rain, the skies, the fog, the beauty of the forest, their adventurous spirits. I can't believe how it all came together. I can't believe I got to shoot an engagement shoot in July in an ice storm, and I've also never shot from inside my van before!

We drove around and laughed and jumped in puddles and were asked if we were stuck and needed help. We even found a rainbow and some CRAZY sunshine towards the end!

I have the BEST JOB EVER.

Brenden and Danielle, you guys are so incredibly wonderful. Thank you for the most fun shoot ever. For not being afraid of being wet, for dancing in the rain, and for not being afraid to pile in my minivan. You know the old saying that its good luck to have rain on your wedding? Well, I think it must be great luck to have your engagements in ice.



Ashleigh Harvey