This is one of the prettiest and most adventurous photos I took in 2018. The bride, Holly, is a wedding photographer in Georgia and was looking for a similar style for her elopement photographer. What made this the most adventurous elopement ever for me was leaving the parking lot at Beehive Basin at about 5am in hopes of reaching the top by sunrise. It’s a 1.5 hour hike to the top so we had to leave in the dark. Unfortunately I failed to remember to have Holly and Brian bring along their headlamps so mine was the only one we had (and a cell phone). So this is sounding adventurous, sure, but the unreal part of the story is that the day before Holly and Brian ran a 50k ultra marathon up Lone Peak. It nearly killed them, which made the 5am wake up call that much harder. But they were the ultimate troopers, on board for fantastic wedding photos and willing to do whatever it took. Beehive Basin boasts some of the most breathtaking views Big Sky has to offer. The trail is about 7 miles roundtrip and includes a 1500 elevation gain from the trailhead to the lake at the top, where there are excellent views of Lone Peak and all of upper Big Sky.
Once we reached the top it was getting light but we fortunately beat the sun. I had to help Holly into her dress while Brian walked to the other side of the pond to prepare for the first look. For about an hour we wandered around, playing with the reflections in the pond and the shards of light that filtered across as the sun rose above the neighboring ridge. It was one of the most successful hours of portraits I have ever taken and I’m so glad all three of us committed to hiking a great distance on no sleep.
Once the sun was high in the sky we made our way back down to the bottom, Holly remaining in her dress. She was such a good sport, but being that she is a wedding photographer I figured she might be.
Location: Beehive Basin Rd, Gallatin Gateway, MT 59730.