It was late May. We had scheduled the shoot for our engagement photos at Cascade Springs, the place I had completely failed to propose to Mandie. There had already been some hangups, and I wanted to make sure things were going to go well, so we began a trip to the springs via Provo -> Sundance -> Alpine-loop Rd. After driving a few hours to get into the mountains, I was looking forward to stretching my legs, so I thought that maybe we would just pull over once we paid the fee to access the canyon, and then continue on.
As we pulled up to the tollbooth, a very polite ranger inquired as to where we were going. I told her that we were just headed up to the springs, and I began to pass her my card (for the canyon access fee.) She looked somewhat surprised, and informed us that the canyon was still closed for the winter. The very late snows this year had delayed the start of a few road repair projects. The canyon would be open around mid June, two weeks after the photo shoot.
Fortunately, this is why we do things like this, because I expect things to go wrong, I just never know when. This time, we (I) had not really thought out a backup plan, so I was working more off of a set of objectives, potentials, and abilities. That and luck. It was time for plan B, and so as soon as we got home, I made a note to make some calls. It was late and I was ready for bed. (I did stay up late enough to email our photographer and let him know that shooting at the springs was not going to work.) With our venue rental, we were allowed to do engagement photos there without paying an additional fee. So I called up and got permission to do a photo shoot up there.
The day of the shoot, our photographer called. Rain was in the forecast, and he wanted to know if we wanted to reschedule, relocate, or both. Given that he lived out of town, the rescheduling proposed was just shooting earlier in the day, which would have meant less good lighting and leaving a family function early. I like my family, and it was only a 30% chance of showers, and I couldn't see a single cloud on the horizon... "We should be fine," I said, "it isn't supposed to even start until 10:00." I said.
"But," I also said, "just in case, do you want to start at around 5:00 instead of 6:00." He thought about it, "We should be fine," he said...
He arrived at the gardens around 5:30, sun still bright, clouds way off in the distance. We wandered the gardens, locating scenery we liked. At 6:00, just a tiny bit before the golden hour, his intern showed up with the rest of his equipment, and we were ready to begin. We went to meet her, just as she came to meet us, and we all missed each other in the middle (seriously, it is easy to get lost at Red Butte). In the intervening half hour, miscommunication and lack of sight lines made sure we all got our steps in for the day, and ushered in a wall continuously darkening and ominous clouds. But eventually, we all met back up at the Orangerie.
We set off, heading first to the Oak Tunnel (because that was one feature Mandie really wanted in our photos, and we weren't sure how long the weather would hold.) Unfortunately, the Oak Tunnel is just about as far away from the main building as any place in the garden, and the clouds were moving slightly faster than we were walking. It was raining as we began.
In fact, it was raining off and on throughout the entire shoot, and the light was fighting us the whole way. But, that is why you pay good money for a good photographer. He used every trick in the book, and got some great photos. And at the end of the day, in spite of it all, we had a great time, and felt good about the whole event.
A couple weeks later, our photographer let us know that the memory card had been corrupted, and all but 26 of our photos were lost.
We rescheduled again, this time the lighting was fantastic.