Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sandy and Steve, Aug. 31, 2011















Serendipity is defined as discovering something favorable by complete accident. That is how I ended up photographing Sandy and Steve’s wedding 40 nautical miles outside of Seward, Alaska. My plan was to visit some friends who manage a lodge in the remote ocean coast of Aialik Bay. A week prior I was informed that Sandy, the marketing director at Alyeska Ski Resort, was going to be getting married on the same day I was to arrive. Sandy has been a big supporter of my photography and has been using my photographs on Alyeska’s website for the last year. Considering the coincidence I couldn’t think of anything I’d love more than to share my services on their special day especially in such a beautiful place.


I’m always amazed by the variety of strategies couples choose for their wedding day. Some focus on the smallest of details, invite everyone they know, and throw an extravagant party. Steve and Sandy are definitely on the other side of this spectrum. I would call them wedding minimalists with an ambition for adventure. They deemed their day “the un-ceremony,” invited only their immediate family, and found one of coolest places on earth to exchange their vows. Standing on the bow of boat with seals sleeping on ice burgs in front of a mile wide calving glacier is pretty darn cool - even in the rain.


The following day the clouds parted and we woke up to sunny clear skies. Steve, a Safari guide for Alaska Wildland Adventures, guided us on an incredible hike from the door steps of the Kenai Fjords Backcountry Lodge. We climbed a 1000 feet through moss covered spruce onto a broad ridge above Pederson Glacier on the edge of the Harding Ice Field. The view was a perfect backdrop for another photo shoot of the bride and groom in paradise.


Thanks Steve and Sandy for letting me be your wedding crasher photographer. What a unique experience!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Ben and Stacie











As a ski patroller in Alaska you learn quickly that the weather controls everything - including your wedding day. Ben and Stacie, two long time Alyeska patrollers, were hardly even phased when at noon on Aug. 3 - a few hours before their wedding ceremony -the Tram was forced to close down due to severe winds. Ben, Alyeska’s Ski Patrol Director, immediately started doing what he does best, improvising a new plan. Soon he had friends, family and colleagues transitioning the entire event to the base of the mountain. When I spoke with Ben at 1pm - I couldn’t help but laugh. If this had happened to just about anyone else it could have been a disaster, but for Ben it was just another day at work.


I just love the picture in front of the aid room - I think its my favorite. I’m probably bias as I remember when they both started dating years ago. When you work closely with a crew of people you can't help but become close friends and notice when their individual happiness just shines. I knew back then that they had found something truly special. Both Ben and Stacie have been such amazing friends over the years that I was really stoked to be able to photograph their wedding day. Despite the weather and logistics its pretty cool when two really great people discover each other and are willing to share that experience with their friends. Thanks Ben and Stacie.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Andy and Beatrice


















Have you ever met one of those couples that you can’t help but feel a twinge of envy because their personalities are so insanely contagious they radiate pure fun where ever they go? That would be Andy and Beatrice.


I met Andy four years ago after he had transferred from Eagle Crest in Juneau to work for Alyeska’s ski patrol. I had returned late January after a little S. American sabbatical to find our record December snowfall had turned into a solid month of below zero temps. Needless to say morale was low. Andy’s enthusiasm was unique and over the next few months he had inspired our rather gloomy team to plan a giant end of the season party called Patrol Olympics. I don’t think any of us really knew what he was talking about, but as each of us stuffed beers into our pockets, jumped onto the chair lift, and followed him through the most ridiculous race course you’ve ever seen, Andy had somehow become everyone’s favorite patroller.


Bea was a bonus! I met her this same winter and was immediately impressed with her ease and wit. Any girl who can snap off a few jokes and then jump onto the Sitzmark dance floor to let Andy swing her around like a little rag doll is pretty special in my book. It’s been fun to get to know these two over the years, and just love the energy they share with everyone.


I was honored to have the opportunity to photograph their wedding this last weekend in their home town of Juneau. This would mark my first visit to Alaska’s capital and my first visit to Southeast. Wow!!! I can’t believe I have never made the journey. What a perfect place... a fun hip city with giant mountains coming straight out of the water, and abundant sealife and nightlife everywhere. And of course Andy and Bea’s friends and family are just like them; generous, stoked on life, and love to party!


Congratulations Andy and Bea!

There's so much more adventure yet to come.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Alaska's Wildest Women


Babes on Tour

Flight Lessons

Dress up

Lady in Red

Hey Bear


About a month ago my mother asked if I would put together a series of Alaskan Adventure photos to display in my father's art Gallery in Spokane for a summer showing. WA. http://www.johnthammstudios.blogspot.com/
After much thought, I felt it was important to tell a story about all of the things I love most about this amazing state; the incredible mountains, the obscure adventures, the wildlife, and most of all the creative women who love to play outside. Thanks Girls - I can't wait for the next adventure.