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A classic Bend Oregon engagement session begins near Mt. Bachelor and ends at Shevlin Park! 

When I first met Morgan at Thump Coffee in downtown Bend, I knew that she was my kind of bride. Genuine, kind, and down-to-earth. We hit it off right away and she hired me for her August wedding at her parent’s home here in Bend. When it came time to schedule her and her fiancé, Erik’s, engagement session, they wanted something that was quintessential Bend. I helped them plan their classic Bend Oregon engagement session, which had us starting out up at Dutchman Flat Sno Park and making our way down to Bend, stopping at various Sno Parks along the way. The early May afternoon was sunny and hot, but the snowy backdrop of Mt. Bachelor and Broken Top kept us cool. They both love the outdoors and the snow, and wanted to capture all that makes Bend such a great place.

A gorgeous classic Bend Oregon engagement session at Dutchman Flat Sno Park near Mt. Bachelor.

Dutchman Flat Sno Park seriously has epic views!

A snowy engagement session at Dutchman Flat Sno Park at this classic Bend Oregon engagement session by Erica Swantek Photography.

Snowy engagement sessions are so much fun!

A gorgeous classic Bend Oregon engagement session at Dutchman Flat Snow Park near Mt. Bachelor Ski Area.

Lead the way and I will follow you anywhere….

A stunning view of Broken Top and South Sister from the Dutchman Flat Sno Park at this classic Bend Oregon engagement session.

This view of Broken Top and South Sister is one of my favorites in all of Central Oregon!

Timeless black and white images from a classic Bend Oregon engagement session at Dutchman Flat Sno Park.

Something about black and white gets me every single time.

An adorable couple at this classic Bend Oregon engagement session near Mt. Bachelor ski area.

These two are so adorable!

A beautiful ring shot in the snow at this classic Bend Oregon engagement session.

Morgan’s gorgeous engagement ring!

We made our way down the mountain, towards town and found another epic view of Mt. Bachelor! 

Morgan and Erik’s first date involved pickles and beer, watching the sunset from his truck on a back road in the mountains with no cell phone reception. Morgan says they both fell in love on that first date! A perfect date night for these two is to order take out, get in comfy clothes and snuggle in tight watching movies together. I just love how much fun these two have together and that Erik was willing to be a goofball in front of the camera. They love to laugh together and I have a feeling Erik makes Morgan laugh a lot!

A goofy groom struts his stuff at his classic Bend Oregon engagement session near Mt. Bachelor.

Oh yeah, my kind of groom! He likes to get silly and that’s a-okay by me!

A killer view of Mt. Bachelor along the Cascade Lakes highway in this classic Bend Oregon engagement session.

Such a killer view of Mt. Bachelor!

Beautiful black and white photo from a classic Bend Oregon engagement session along the Cascade Lakes Highway.

I love how much these two like to hug and kiss!

An empty sno park parking lot makes a beautiful dance floor at this classic Bend Oregon engagement session.

When you find a completely empty sno park parking lot, you have your clients dance in it!

Our next stop was Shevlin Park, another classic Bend Oregon engagement session spot. 

Morgan and Erik have been dating two years and Erik decided to pop the question in February! He planned a hike to Silver Falls State Park, but didn’t let Morgan know where they were going, except to say dress warmly because it was probably going to be rainy. When they got to Silver Falls State Park it was actually snowing! They walked down to a bridge, and while Morgan was busy taking photos of the falls, she realized Erik had dropped down to one knee! She told me that the bridge was sentimental, as that was the spot Erik had first ask her to be his girlfriend a few years prior. I just love that!

A gorgeous Shelvin Park location for this classic Bend Oregon engagement session.

The aspen trees in Shevlin Park were just starting to leaf out.

A gorgeous red headed bride really pops among the aspens at Shevlin park at this classic Bend Oregon engagement session.

I love the white bark of aspens in Shevlin, especially with Morgan’s gorgeous red hair!

Black and white engagement photography is so timeless and no matter the location, it brings you in. Captured by Bend Oregon wedding photographer Erica Swantek Photography.

The old whisper something in the ear trick is one of my favorite cues. I get the best emotions every time!

A stunning couple at beautiful Shevlin Park for their classic Bend Oregon engagement photography session.

It wasn’t the bridge at Silver Falls, but this bridge at Shevlin Park is gorgeous and brought on the romantic feelings these two have for each other.

As the evening golden light was taking shape, we headed up to Shevlin Ridge for some epic sunset engagement photos! 

One of my favorite places to view the volcanic peaks of the Central Oregon Cascade Mountains is from Shevlin Ridge. The hot May day ushered in thunderstorms, which luckily held out until after our classic Bend Oregon engagement session. However, the clouds made for one of the more stunning sunsets I’ve witnessed in Bend. We couldn’t help but hang around and take it all in! I even managed to get a blue hour silhouette in addition to the epic sunset!

A piggy back ride at this classic Bend Oregon engagement session is always fun!

As we waited for sunset, Morgan and Erik had a little fun!

Such an adorable couple at this Shevlin Park engagement session. Photo by Bend Oregon wedding photographer Erica Swantek.

Seriously, these two wear their love on their sleeves and I adore them!

Waiting for the sunset at Shevlin Ridge at this classic Bend Oregon engagement session.

Waiting for the sunset at Shevlin Ridge at this classic Bend Oregon engagement session.

A bride's connection with the camera is apparent at this gorgeous classic Bend Oregon engagement session at Shevlin Park.

Because I love black and white and Morgan’s connection with my lens….

The cutest country couple in their cowboy boots for their classic Bend Oregon engagement session at Shevlin Park.

Shevlin Park is definitely a classic Bend Oregon engagement session location!

As we waited for the sun to set, the sky behind us was dark and moody with storm clouds rolling in. I immediately thought of my favorite spot to capture a blue hour silhouette and knew we had time before the sky lit up with the gorgeous sunset. Erik was also excited to see the deep blue sky and the golden orange because he’s a huge Denver Broncos fan (another plus for me, growing up in Denver you can’t help but love the Broncos)!

A beautiful silhouette in Shevlin park by Bend Oregon wedding photographer Erica Swantek Photography.

The blue hour is actually one of my favorite times to capture a silhouette.

A gorgeous sunset at this classic Bend Oregon engagement session at Shevlin Park.

The wait was worth it, don’t you agree?

A gorgeous epic sunset culminates this classic Bend Oregon engagement session from Shevlin park.

Look at that sky! The sunset views from Shevlin are some of the best that Bend has to offer.

Morgan & Erik are a remarkable couple! They are best friends, love to laugh and play together. I had a blast getting to know them a little more and I’m so excited for their wedding in August at her family’s home. It’s going to be a day full of joy!

If you liked the snowy mountain views, take a peek at Courtney and Matt’s engagement session from Dutchman Flat Sno Park a few years ago.

And, if you loved the Shevlin Park location, have a looksie at Brittany & Michael’s engagement session from last fall.

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Hey, I’m Erica and I am a Bend Oregon wedding photographer for sentimental, laid back and natural couples that love celebrating outside. If you are getting married soon, let’s chat! I have just a few spots left for this year and I’m now booking for 2018. Let’s grab a coffee or beer and get to know each other more.

 

 

 

 

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Emily & Jacob are such a sweet couple and I was really happy they chose Benham Falls for their Deschutes River spring engagement session. I love the woodsy feel of this portion of the river trail, and with the light rain falling on the first of April, it was the perfect spot. The session started at the falls and then we headed down river, along the trail. I just love the connection these two have and their never ending snuggles and giggles.

A gorgeous couple stands in front of Benham Falls for their Deschutes River spring engagement session in Bend, OR.

A little rain couldn’t stop these two from smiling!

A sweet couple sits on a blanket along the banks of the mighty Deschutes River for their spring Bend, OR engagement session.

The mighty Deschutes River is the perfect place to set up a blanket and have some snuggle time with your love!

Emily & Jacob both enjoy the great outdoors and all that Central Oregon has to offer. They love to kayak the many lakes in the region and generally just enjoy exploring new places and being together. Watching them walk hand in hand, stopping every few minutes to kiss and hug makes my heart happy. I truly love working with people who are so in love!

A cute couple walks hand in hand during their Deschutes River spring engagement session by Bend, OR wedding photographer Erica Swantek.

Take my hand and always hold me close.

A sweet guy gives his bride-to-be a neck snuggle at their deschutes river spring engagement session in Bend, OR.

Neck nuzzles are the best!

A sweet couple snuggles in under a blanket in the woods of their Deschutes River spring engagement session in Bend, OR.

Such a cute couple for this Deschutes River spring engagement session!

An engagement session along the Deschutes River near Benham Falls by Bend Oregon wedding photographer Erica Swantek Photography.

The tall pines along the Deschutes River are so beautiful!

Emily & Jacob both love to travel and consider themselves foodies. On their one year anniversary trip to Puerto Rico, after a celebratory dinner on the beach and a glass of champagne, Jacob got down on one knee and proposed to Emily! And look at her gorgeous ring!

A gorgeous diamond engagement ring sitting atop a pine cone for this woodsy Deschutes river spring engagement session in Bend, OR by photographer Erica Swantek.

What a beautiful engagement ring!

As the woods were dark, we decided to head into town for the second half of this Deschutes River spring engagement session, to try and catch some sunlight! 

Emily was really hoping for some sunlight, but the session started out pretty drizzly and overcast. However, the clouds were letting up and I had a feeling they were going to lift a bit and give us a great Central Oregon sunset. We decided to head to Riverbend Park, close to the Old Mill District, along the river. Emily & Jacob live near the park and often take walks in the evening there. They changed outfits, Emily put on her gorgeous spring floral dress, and the sun decided to make an appearance! We headed across the newly renovated bridge spanning the river, to the large rock cliffs.

A happy couple walks hand in hand across the bridge spanning the river for this Deschutes River Spring engagement session near the Old Mill District in Bend, OR.

The clouds were beginning to clear out as we walked across the river towards the red cliffs near the Old Mill District in Bend, OR.

A beautiful engagement session featuring a spring floral dress and a stroll along the Deschutes River in Bend, OR.

The sun is working hard to burn off those clouds for an evening sunset!

A gorgeous engagement photo session along the Deschutes River by Bend, OR wedding photographer Erica Swantek Photography.

I love these rocks cliffs along the Deschutes River!

A black and white engagement photo of a deschutes river spring engagement session in Bend, OR.

Walking back across the river chasing beautiful light.

And just like that, the sun decided to make an appearance, just in time for sunset, that magic hour of light I am always seeking!

A gorgeous golden hour sunset for Bend Oregon wedding photographer Erica Swantek at this Deschutes River spring engagement session.

So, so happy Emily & Jacob got some beautiful golden hour light!

A gorgeous Old Mill District engagement session by Bend Oregon wedding photographer Erica Swantek.

Views of the Old Mill Smoke Stacks and the Deschutes River running through town are quintessential Bend Oregon.

A stunning Deschutes River spring engagement session near the Old Mill District in Bend, OR by Bend Oregon wedding photographer Erica Swantek Photography.

Love, sweet love.

I had so much fun getting to know Emily & Jacob a bit more through their Deschutes River spring engagement session and I can’t wait for their Aspen Hall wedding in late July!

________________

Hey, I’m Erica, a Bend Oregon wedding photographer for sentimental, free-spirited and natural couples that love celebrating outdoors! If you are getting married, I would love to chat with you. I have a few openings left for 2017 and I’m now booking 2018 weddings. Drop me a note and let’s set up a coffee or beer date!

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Brittany and Michael’s Sisters Oregon winter wedding was one of the prettiest weddings I’ve had a chance to photograph (or been to for that matter). Perhaps it’s because I absolutely love the snow, but I also think it has a lot to do with the fact that these two are some of the most genuine, kind, and sweet people I know. I really got to know them more at their engagement session in Shevlin Park last fall, which you can read all about here, and I knew we had a great connection! Brittany loves the snow too, and she and Michael were so excited to ring in the New Year with their friends and family at Five Pine Lodge in Sisters. I was really crossing my fingers that good ole’ Mother Nature would deliver, as sometimes it can be dry around here that time of year. But man, did we ever have a winter to remember! And, for me, that memory includes these cuties’ Sisters Oregon winter wedding!

The snow started coming down heavy in early December and just kept coming, leaving a beautiful blanket of white! 

I was a little worried that it was going to be downright blustery for Brittany & Michael’s wedding day, given that it snowed almost every single day that month. However, that New Year’s Eve weekend, the sun decided to make an appearance, making for the most gorgeous winter scene! Driving into Sisters that morning from Bend, I knew it was going to be a beautiful blue sky, Central Oregon day. I showed up to Brittany’s cabin where her best friend, Terry, was doing her hair. Terry isan  amazing stylist from her hometown in WA, and it was really special he was doing her hair for her wedding. When her hair was done, Brittany had Christine from Makeup Mafia weddings create a beautiful smoky eye.

Gorgeous rustic cabins situated in the tall pines, blanketed with fresh snow, for this Sisters Oregon winter wedding at Five Pine Lodge.

Beautiful cabins at Five Pine Lodge in Sisters, OR.

The bride's best friend, a stylist, does her hair in the cabin at Five Pine Lodge for this Sisters, OR winter wedding.

The bride’s best friend, a stylist, does her hair.

Makeup Mafia Weddings in Bend, OR creates a gorgeous smoky eye for this Indian bride at her Sisters Oregon winter wedding.

Makeup Mafia Weddings does Brittany’s gorgeous eye makeup.

As Brittany was getting ready, I worked on photographing the details of this gorgeous Sisters Oregon winter wedding!

The Elda Teresa Lodge at Five Pine is a beautiful wedding venue, especially surrounded by tall pines and tons of snow!

Five Pine Lodge is a perfect location for a Sisters Oregon winter wedding!

Five Pine Lodge is a perfect location for a Sisters Oregon winter wedding!

The beautiful natural light in Brittany’s cabin, as well as the amazing blanket of snow outside, was the perfect setting to capture all of the details that go into the day. Brittany’s handmade gown was stunning and her flowers, with white anemone as the focal point of her bouquet, were to die for!

A gorgeous handmade gown hanging on the wardrobe of this Fine Pine Lodge bridal cabin at this Sisters Oregon winter wedding.

Brittany’s gorgeous Lena Medoyeff dress, handmade in Portland, OR.

Gorgeous white bouquet and boutonniere at a winter wedding in Sisters by Bend Oregon wedding photographer Erica Swantek.

Gorgeous blooms and rings!

A Sisters Oregon winter wedding invitation suite, in gray and plum.

The invitation suite.

Brittany & Michael wrote handwritten notes to each other to read as they were getting ready, or so Brittany thought. There was a bit of a mix up, and Michael thought they would be reading them together, which they actually did a bit later after their first look. But, with a moment like this, I just couldn’t not share this photo of Brittany’s beautiful reaction to Michael’s words.

This gorgeous bride receives a handwritten note from her groom that she reads as she readies for her wedding day in Bend, OR.

A handwritten note from her groom, brings tears to Brittany’s eyes.

As Brittany was getting ready, Michael and his friends were hanging out in his cabin, playing chess and watching a football game.

The groom and his best man play a game of chess in his cabin at Five Pine Lodge in Sisters, OR while he waits for the first look outside in the snow.

The groom and his best man play a game of chess while he waits for the first look.

A handsome groom gets ready for his first look at this Sisters, OR wedding.

Michael ties his tie and folds his pocket square.

The groom and his groomsmen hang out in their cabin at Five Pine Lodge before an evening Sisters, OR winter wedding.

Football and hanging with the guys!

Brittany is ready to slip into her gorgeous gown! Her sister and girlfriend help her into her dress, while her mom ties the gray sash around her waist. And, before she steps out for her first look with Michael, she pops a bottle of bubbly for a toast with her besties!

The bride slips on her handmade Lena Medoyeff gown for her winter wedding in Sisters, OR.

Slipping on her dress!

This gorgeous bride pops the cork on a bottle of champagne as she gets ready for her first look outside in the snow at Five Pine Lodge in Sisters, OR.

Time for some champagne!

The moment has come for Brittany & Michael’s first look, outside, in the snow, just as she dreamed! 

The grounds surrounding Five Pine Lodge were blanketed with almost a foot of snow in most spots, creating that perfect snowy scene Brittany so wanted for her wedding to Michael on New Year’s Eve. Michael waited just around the corner from Brittany’s cabin and the venue, excited to see his bride for the first time in her gorgeous gown. My second shooter hung out with Michael as I walked Brittany out to meet him. First looks are one of my favorite parts of the day to photograph, and this is why. Just look at Michael’s smile, grinning ear to ear!

A groom waits in reflective contemplation for the first look with his bride at his Central Oregon lodge wedding.

Anticipating the first look!

A couples first look, in the snow, at this Sisters Oregon winter wedding at Five Pine Lodge.

A first look, in the snow, at this Sisters, Oregon winter wedding.

A bride and groom's reaction to seeing each other at their first look by Bend Oregon wedding photographer Erica Swantek.

Love seeing both the bride & groom’s perspective at a first look!

And remember how Brittany read her letter from Michael. It doesn’t even matter, because together, they read them again under the perfect light. My second shooter captured this amazing wide angle shot with the sun flare between the tall pines!

This sweet couple reads their handwritten notes to each other just after their first look at their Five Pine Lodge wedding captured by Erica Swantek Photography in Bend, OR.

Reading their handwritten notes to each other in the snow.

Formal photos don’t always have to be a drag and I’m so happy Brittany & Michael’s friends and family like to have fun! 

When it’s below freezing outside and you’re wearing formal attire, it can be difficult to try not to look and feel stiff. But thankfully, the warm building was just feet away. Plus, someone had the foresight to bring those little hand warmer pouches, so no one would freeze to death! The light was gorgeous through the pines. Such a beautiful setting for this Sisters Oregon winter wedding!

This gorgeous bridal party wearing plum and gray includes a man of honor for their Sisters Oregon winter wedding!

Brittany bridesmaids and her man of honor. Love it!

A handsome groom and his groomsmen in gray and plum, colors that look fabulous for this Sisters Oregon winter wedding!

Michael and his guys!

A stunning bridal party wearing plum and gray outside in the snow at Five Pine Lodge in Sisters, OR.

To the cue of Cindy Lauper, “Bridal parties just want to have fun! (yeah, I just did it)

Gorgeous outdoor family formals in the snow at this Sisters Oregon winter wedding at Five Pine Lodge, by Bend Oregon wedding photographer Erica Swantek photography.

Such a beautiful Sisters Oregon winter wedding!

I love natural couples that want portraits, outside, in the snow, with dreamy light! 

A stunning bride at this Sisters Oregon winter wedding at Five Pine Lodge holding a beautiful bouquet by Summer Robbins Flowers.

A stunning bride and her gorgeous bouquet!

A stunning bride and groom portrait at Five Pine Lodge at this Sisters Oregon winter wedding.

Just look at that light!

A stunning winter wedding by Bend Oregon wedding photographer Erica Swantek Photography.

Winter weddings are fast becoming one of my favorites!

As the evening light began to fade, Michael and Brittany went into hiding before their guests arrived.

These cuties headed back to their cabin to warm up and drink some champagne while their guests began to arrive. The ceremony was held inside the Elda Teresa lodge at Five Pine, in front of a roaring fire. It was a heartfelt ceremony, and Brittany’s dad made sure to make everyone laugh. He even had his vintage Rolleiflex camera, which he made sure to use and snap a photo of these two standing up there (he got my seal of approval first).

A roaring fire provides a cozy backdrop for an intimate Sisters Oregon winter wedding ceremony on New Year's Eve!

Such a cozy place to marry your sweetheart on New Year’s Eve!

A laughter filled wedding ceremony at Five Pine Lodge in Sisters, Oregon.

Love ceremonies that are filled with laughter!

A couple exchanges vows and rings in front of a warm fire at their Sisters Oregon winter wedding ceremony photographed by Erica Swantek Photography in Bend, Oregon.

Exchanging vows and rings.

A couple kisses and seals the deal for their Sisters Oregon winter wedding.

The kiss!!!

Such a lovely winter wedding ceremony at the lodge at Five Pine in Sisters, OR.

Mr. & Mrs. Turner, officially!

The guests enjoy a cocktail hour and the room is prepared for their New Year’s Eve reception. 

Beautiful floral arrangements decorate the tables and a cake, featuring a topper that includes their love of cats, along with fun party favors for the New Year’s Eve celebration decorate the room. Guests dine on delicious food prepared by the lodge and listen to toasts given by their family and friends. It’s clear how much these two are loved!

Gorgeous floral centerpieces decorate the tables at this Sisters Oregon winter wedding at Five Pine Lodge.

Gorgeous floral centerpieces decorate the tables.

New Year's Eve party favors add a fun touch to this Sisters Oregon winter wedding.

Party favors!

A beautiful 3 tiered cake complete with a cat topper for this fun New Year's Eve wedding at Five Pine Lodge in Sisters, OR.

Love this cake and the topper!

Heartfelt toasts to the lovely couple.

Heartfelt toasts to the lovely couple.

After dinner and toasts, it was time for Brittany & Michael to cut their delicious cake and then get out on the dance floor!

A couple cuts into their beautiful 3 tiered wedding cake created by The Cake Lady out of Bend, OR.

Cutting their beautiful 3 tiered wedding cake.

A couples first dance at their Sisters Oregon winter wedding at Five Pine Lodge.

Brittany & Michael’s first dance.

The traditional father/daughter and mother/son dances at the Eldo Teresa Lodge in Sisters, Oregon.

Father and Daughter & Mother and Son dances.

It was time to get the party started!

DJ Kurlz kicks it up a notch, bringing guests out of to shake and groove to the tunes. Fun lights spin around the floor as people boogie! Guests also enjoy a photo booth filled with fun props.

Dance floor packed with tunes spun by DJ Kurlz with Flip Flop Sounds for this Sisters Oregon Winter wedding at Five Pine Lodge, captured by Erica Swantek Photography.

I love the dance floor and get right in there with the guests!

Guests enjoy a fun photo booth provided by Flip Flop Sounds at this Sisters Oregon winter wedding photographed by Erica Swantek in Bend, OR.

Photo booth fun!

As the night was coming to a close, it was time to ring in the New Year with a glow stick tunnel! 

A fun glow stick exit for this Sisters Oregon winter wedding at Five Pine Lodge.

A fun glow stick exit!

I truly had an amazing time photographing Brittany & Michael’s Sisters Oregon winter wedding. They are both amazing people, with wonderful families and I am so happy for them. Truly, you guys rock! Wishing you a lifetime of love and friendship.

It’s also a big honor for me that Brittany & Michael’s wedding was just featured in the Spring/Summer 2017 edition of Wedventure Magazine! So, grab a copy today, sit down with a cup of coffee and enjoy.

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Thanks to these amazing vendors who helped pull off such a gorgeous New Year’s Eve celebration.

Bride’s hair: Terry Tisdale Salon 

Bride’s makeup and bridesmaids hair & makeup: Makeup Mafia Weddings

Flowers: Summer Robbins Flowers

Venue: Five Pine Lodge

Lighting: O’Brien Events

Entertainment: Flip Flop Sounds

Photo Booth: Flip Flop Sounds

Cake: The Cake Lady

Dress: Lena Medoyeff Studio

Photographer: Erica Swantek Photography

Second Photographer: Gary Calicott Photography

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Hello! I’m Erica, a sentimental wedding photographer for free-spirited and natural couples that love celebrating outdoors! I’m based in beautiful Bend, OR but always willing to travel for love. If you are planning a wedding, I’d love to talk to you. I still have a few dates left in 2017 and I’m currently booking for 2018. Contact me today and let’s grab a beer or coffee and get to know each other!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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