la crosse photographer great river state trail onalaska wisconsinWisconsin Engagement Session At The Great River State Trail

THE LOCATION

Kat and Dakota’s downtown and state trail engagement session in Onalaska was a beautiful night outdoors! I live very near to the Great River State Trail and love going there on long walks or photoshoots. When the couple and I discussed locations for their engagement photos, they were totally open to my suggestions. Kat and Dakota are from Rochester, MN and aren’t super familiar with the La Crosse area.

The trail and downtown Onalaska are within walking distance of each other. I selected these two spots for some variety. I knew there would be lots great backgrounds for their engagement shoot. Within just a short distance there is water, wildflowers, forestry, trails, and even some downtown buildings. We used a little bit of everything for this session. The weather was absolutely perfect, late summer and just cool enough. 🙂 The sunset was gold and super dreamy. We walked around with ease and had a great time just getting to know each other better.

WHO THEY ARE

I love hanging out with Kat and Dakota. #1 they are both super funny. Both have big personalities and are super chatty like me! #2 they are extremely easy going and trusting. They listened to all my suggestions and as a result, had a great time! We strolled downton and walked along the trail, laughing and chit-chatting the whole time. It’s amazing how comfortable they are with each other. The minute I put them together in their first pose, they were at total ease! They work so well together!

🙂 Capturing their love for each other on camera was almost too easy. When they’re snuggled up together their faces light up and they are all giggles! It was super fun to watch them relax and really enjoy their time together. They both did a fantastic job!

WHAT THEY WORE

I send out a style guide to all my clients before their engagement sessions. Kat and Dakota read it thoroughly and took all my suggestions for what to wear! Seriously!  Kat brought a shorter cocktail dress and a long maxi dress. The burgundy and burnt orange colors looked AMAZING against her skin and hair. She brought heels that gave her extra long legs and amazing posture. Her accessories were the perfect touch! Ah, I loved it all!

Photography always looks best with professional hair and makeup. My sister is my top recommendation when it comes to engagement and wedding makeup. She has been my go-to-girl for years. Kat’s session was no exception. Her skin was smooth and flawless; her eyes and lips popped! Her hair was curled with just the right amount of bounce adding another level of femininity to the look.

Dakota is also extremely fashionable and put together some great complementary looks. We bonded over our great love of Stitch Fix clothing. (Click here for $25 off!)  In my style guide I  talk about how layers bring extra dimension and visual interest to photos. His blazer and sweater layered over collared shirts were perfect. Collared shirts add a touch of sophistication, even in a natural outdoor setting. I loved his belts and shoes as well. Those details brought his outfit to the next level! He felt totally confident, and it shows in all the images.

WHAT THEY ORDERED

When we met up for the photo reveal session, Kat and Dakota were quietly smiling as they watched their slideshow. Quickly following the last image Dakota looked at me. “You did a phenomenal job!” He said. I was so thrilled they loved them all. They jumped right into selecting what they wanted.

The picked their absolute favorite image for a 16×20 canvas to hang in their home. They also picked a 25 image digital collection to use in lots of other ways. Digital files can be used for save the dates, wedding websites, social media posts, printing in your home, Christmas cards, and more. This was the perfect solution so that Kat and Dakota can use their photos over and over.

THE WEDDING

Their wedding is at one of my favorite La Crosse venues,  Celebrations On The River!  In fact, they learned about me while touring the venue. The coordinator showed them my work and encouraged them to contact me. I love working at Celebrations quite often and always have fantastic experiences with their staff.

Their wedding is going to be in late October. The leaves, the river, and the twinkling lights…I can picture it all now! , I just know it. That venue is absolutely perfect for them because everything is on site. We won’t need to travel anywhere. This means more time for photos and lots more time for them to spend with their guests! I know the wedding is going to be so super joyful and full of laughter! FINAL THOUGHTS

Kat and Dakota, thank you so much for traveling to me for your engagement session. I am so grateful you booked me for your engagement and wedding photos. Getting to know you has been an absolute joy! I cannot wait to see your canvas up in your home and all your photos printed. Talk to you soon!

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