Humboldt County Engagement Portraits - Arcata Marsh - Tanishia + Kendall - Arcata, California
Jan 31, 2020 | By: Carrie Mayfield Photography
This Fall engagement portrait session at the Arcata Marsh was what Humboldt wedding photographer dreams are made of.
The first time I photographed bride to be Tanishia was as the maid of honor at her sister's wedding at the Fortuna River Lodge in 2010. Over the years, she graced my lens for a few family portrait sessions and has contributed her amazing HMUA talent to sessions I've taken. Knowing her all this time, I was so overjoyed when she found her perfect match in Kendall.
Before they were ever engaged to be married, I could see it in her eyes and in her smile. There is a peace that comes over you when you have your other. The longer that wait, the greater that feeling is. She was beyond happy, in a state of bliss. She was in love.
When I thought my heart was about to burst already, it exploded. Twice.
Tanishia chose me to photograph for their engagement portraits and then in the midst of planning that session, booked her wedding photography with me. She had her date finalized as she had just reserved her wedding venue... The River Lodge in Fortuna.
Ten years, three months, and seven days after photographing Tanishia as a maid of honor, I will be photographing her as a bride at the same location. There is something truly magical to me about that. Her wedding feels like everything coming full circle in such a beautiful way.
For these pictures, Tanishia and Kendall wanted a fall feeling. This can be a challenge given the evergreen beauty of the north coast area but I was up for it. Northern Mendocino and Southern Humboldt were my first thoughts. The maple trees were turning and all along the 101 you could see really pretty patches of fall color from Laytonville to Garberville.
Tanishia and Kendall were game for a photo adventure but they had a very special companion who wouldn't enjoy a long car ride so we chose Arcata. Their special companion being their dog, Kaytem. If you are one of my blog readers first of all, you're the best. Secondly you might remember that directly prior to this session the last furry companion I had photographed at a wedding in Trinidad, Marty, did not like me or my camera one bit.
When Kaytem greeted me and my assistant in the South G street parking lot snorting and wiggling in a barely contained by the leash happy dance, I knew I had found my pet photographer redemption in this sweet pittie. I instantly grinned and reached down to give her some good pets.
We set out along the trail by the Arcata marsh interpretive center and after a nice little walk, my eye spotted a singular tree with deep color of foliage unlike anything around it. Even though it was a really tight spot, I knew we could make it work. The golden light of the late afternoon was hitting it just so, creating a beautiful warm halo and glowing lens flares.
Tanishia and Kendall are such an awesome couple, they didn't even flinch when I pulled out a container of dental floss (it was brand new) and asked them if they were willing to let me try a few more creative shots. Tanishia handed me her gorgeous vintage style rose gold engagement ring and we made it defy gravity for a few photographs.
Sweet Kaytem wasn't exactly sure why I wanted to put the ring and a runner of dental floss on her cute face but she showed me the patience these babysitter dogs are known for. I didn't bring any cookies but I made sure she, and her parents, knew what a very good girl she was.
When our perfect patch of light began to fade, we hopped in our cars and chased the sun over to the other side of the marsh that looks out on Humboldt bay. This gave us a little break and Tanishia time to swap out her cuddly sweater for the perfect little black dress.
We photographed through the end of light I wished would never end.
I am so excited to see what we will create in the twinkling ambiance of their December wedding... the seconds are going tick, tick, tick.