My priority to be more and do more and create an experience they will never forget Capturing their memories in a fun and memorable way is just as important as their beautiful images

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A Rainy Lake Session | Hannah Barlow Photography | WV Wedding Photography

Hello, everyone!


I hope you’re all enjoying this nice, dry, slightly sunny day because I’m about to “rain” on your parade BUT in the most beautiful way!  You see…it wasn’t supposed to rain this day last weekend.  We definitely didn’t want it to rain…who would?!  I even offered to reschedule but these two went for it!  The results weren’t what they had originally pictured but these pictures will never be able to be recreated!  What’s better than a one of a kind engagement session?!  So, here we go!! Are you ready to see one of the most unique engagement sessions I’ve ever done?!  It’s a good one!

Meet Julie and Tanner!

They’re getting married next August!  What gave it away?!

So, when we decided to go for it, I texted Julie back and told her I’d bring all my rain gear and umbrellas for them…just in case.  You know…I usually can jinx the weather.  Any time I come prepared…it doesn’t rain.  Wellllllll…that wasn’t the case this day.  I looked like a drowned rat after this was all done BUT you just wait until you see how these two hammered through it!

I know, for a fact, they both thought I had lost my darn mind.  Julie kept saying “I’m trying to keep an open mind…I’m trying.” HA!  Tanner was curious how I could be so upbeat on just a gloomy day (I tell people…I’m seriously always like this…for the most part).  I’m so glad they trusted me though because some of these are Pinterest worthy for a “rainy day engagement session”.  If anyone knows how one posts original photos to be searched and pinned…let me know and I’ll report back the stats at the end of the year!

The rain let up EVER SO SLIGHTLY (check out the rain on the lake), so I told her to go for it and ditch the umbrella.  She’s got natural poses, this girl!  Even in the rain she managed to look so well put together and I was just LOVING the color scheme going on here!  I NEVER thought I’d say this but I’m actually going to miss all the green this year (green can be a photographer’s worst nightmare).  I made a vow this year that I was going to make locations and light (and apparently weather) work to my advantage…so far I’m winning!  Mother nature isn’t getting me! Nope!

I mean really…how cute are they?!  These two have a story that is literally “meant to be”.  They met when Julie had an extra concert ticket a few years ago (*cough* it may have been for an ex-boyfriend *cough*) and she needed someone to fill the spot.  Enter Tanner.  With some help of some friends, Tanner took up the offer to use the concert ticket and then bought her dinner afterwards.  Now look at them!  They’re getting married in a year!  Isn’t it fun to think…”what could have been if…”?  It is just so crazy.  My husband’s family moved across the road from me when I was in 3rd grade and I always wonder…”What would have happened to my life if he hadn’t moved there?”  So, what would have happened if Julie hadn’t offered up that extra ticket?!  It would be real sad because I wouldn’t have gotten to take these photos and these two wouldn’t be  tying the knot next year and I wouldn’t be photographing their wedding!!  

It’s “funny” how things happen, right?!

There were people swimming behind them at this spot but I didn’t care.  I wanted that fog!  I mean…it was already raining…I needed to make the best of the location and I can tell you 100%…no other HBP couple has had photos with fog!  Nope!  Just Julie and Tanner! 🙂  Don’t they look cozy?  We joked it probably would be more fun to swim since you’d already be wet! HA!  I ALMOST dared them to jump in the water at the end but I figured that may have been pushing it!

My goodness…they do an amazing snuggle!  THIS is going to happen again when I’m photographing their wedding! Yep! FOR SURE!  Again with the colors!! It’s so soothing!

I mean…not very many people can say they literally danced in the rain for their engagement session!  They’ve got good form too! BONUS! 

So, we headed back up the hill to take a breather and change outfits.  Julie and I were hiding under the hatch of my SUV when she suggested we do the ring shots!  GREAT thinking!

By the way, did I mention these two enjoy the outdoors and enjoy hiking?  That’s right!  Maybe the rain was meant to be too (even though they were both probably NOT thinking that at the time).  Tanner proposed after a long (and hot) hike up the mountain with many of their friends.  Apparently, Julie had always joked he’d propose up there and how much she would love it!  It also just happened to be the same place he told her he loved her for the first time years ago. *cue the swooning*  Can you just imagine?!  Why wasn’t I invited?! The photos….GAH!  So, that’s right…they hiked to the top of a mountain and he got down on one knee and popped the question.  She said “YES” and champagne was popped.  I’m not even kidding.  They had champagne…on a mountain…after he proposed!  How does this stuff really happen?!  My 2019 couples are really raising the bar for proposals…good grief!

So, we did the walking and snuggling…under the umbrellas!

They’re very natural together even in stressful situations.  I can only imagine their wedding being a breeze (and hot and dry and sunny…cross all those crossables as my friend Kat always says). 🙂

So, now I need you to get ready…it’s going to get hot in here.  I mean really…how does one make a rainy engagement session look so steamy?!  I was squealing with delight!  Julie said Tanner doesn’t really love having his photo taken and even mentioned the word “awkward”.  GET OUT OF TOWN!  Tanner…I got you…there was nothing awkward about this session.  John Barlow…now that I know you read these (I found out my hubby reads every one of them and positively cringes at the typos and grammatical errors.)…I challenge you to give me some steamy photos like this this fall when we do anniversary pics (it’s happening…it is). 🙂  Stay tuned!

I know Julie never, in her wildest dreams, thought she would have rain and umbrellas in her photos (she told me so) but I think (and hope) these are so unique that she feels this same joy you see in this photo below.  I think at this point, we were all just going with it.  Can you just hear her laugh looking at this photo?  The love just spews out of this photo!

They’re just so great together and I hardly directed them!  They were naturally falling into position and moving and it was so wonderful!  It’s not every day you get a couple that will move and flow with the session.  It gives me LOTS of options when I come home and sort through the photos!

Then, we really decided to just go for it…Notebook style!  We ditched those umbrellas once and for all!  I’m always afraid to ask my guys to pick up their gals when I do this pose!  It can be hard no matter their heights and strengths.  It can also look forced and awkward.  Tanner didn’t even skip a beat, however, and he held her there FOREVER!  Like…a really really long time!! I just kept snap snap snap snapping and while I usually let the guys put their girls down quickly…he wasn’t even struggling and they didn’t look awkward at all!  As a result, we got these amazing images! *high five*

That’s not steam back there…it’s fog!  My wedding photography instructor (Hey, Bre!) always said to not do “kissy” pictures but to catch the moments right before and after.  She showed lots of photos like this one below as examples but I can never ever get them!! BUTTTTTTT I did this time!! HOLY MOLY!  I’d say I nailed it but who am I kidding?!

Then, they started dancing and swaying and throwing each other around and laughing.  The best thing a photographer can ask for is a bride who just goes with it…because the wedding day will be phenominal!

Then, we decided to add the umbrellas again after all!! Of course…when the weather isn’t cooperating…you make magic with it, right?!!  I told them we’d pretend it was dark and we did!  I did have a bag over my flash abut it still got wet (I hope it’ll be alright…) but it wasn’t wanting to go off…so I forced it!  And I’m so glad I did because LOOK! WEEEEEEE!  I may need a new flash before the next wedding….Oy.

One more close up…because WHY NOT?! 

…and because I’m never done and Julie knows this…she asked for just a few more and I was happy to oblige!  Congrats to these two!!!  Thanks for being troopers!

Julie and Tanner are tying the knot next August so you’ll have to wait a bit to seem them again in couple photos.  They WILL be together again though in front of my camera as guests and/or bridal party members at some weddings coming soon!  I’ll be photographing their wedding, in particular, at The Barn on Enchanted Acres next summer.  I can’t wait!

Enjoy your weekend!! Thanks for reading!

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My priority to be more and do more and create an experience they will never forget Capturing their memories in a fun and memorable way is just as important as their beautiful images





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