Joyful, fine art wedding photography for real couples. Serving Chicago, Washington DC and beyond.
Based in South Bend, Indiana. Available for travel.

Winter Engagement – Sophie & Joe – Notre Dame Wedding Photographer

Last Sunday, Sophie, Joe and myself, braved the cold for their winter engagement session. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. A fresh blanket of snow covered the ground and light flurries fell all around us. The background looked like something out of movie! ❄️

Sophie and Joe are saying “I do!” this June at the Holy Spirit Chapel on Saint Mary’s campus, followed by a beautiful reception at Tippecanoe Place. I was thrilled that they wanted to do a winter engagement session. Michiana weather can be very unpredictable so it’s not too often that couples want to shoot in winter. But I’m so glad they did because it was gorgeous!

Our day started at the studio with hair and makeup by Nidia of Blushing Beauty. I always enjoy this hour because I get to learn more about my couples and they get to relax. Being professionally photographed can give anyone butterflies so this hour of pampering (and wine 😉) really helps.

Once hair and makeup was done, we drove to our first location; Battell Park. The mix of the white snow against the dark stone gave the photographs such a fairytale feel. Not to mention the fact that Sophia and Joe couldn’t be squishier if they tried. They knocked it out of the park from the very first light test.

We carefully climbed down the stone stairs for photos by the water. The snow had pretty much covered the steps so we took things nice and slow. No boo-boos please. 😆

Next we walked back up the stairs and over to the pavilion.  It’s hard enough to walk and look cute in a photo, let along in almost a foot of snow.

We found shelter under the pavilion for a little thing I like to call the “Locker guy lean”. Every guy knows exactly what I mean when I say that. It’s that lean a guy does against his locker, in high school, while trying to look cool in front of his gal. I think it’s in their DNA. 🙃

A truck through a very large snow bank later, I had Sophie and Joe sit on the stone ledge. These two are naturals when it comes to being in the moment with one another.

A few feet away was the gazebo that turned out to be such a picturesque spot. It looked like a Christmas movie! ☃️

Next up was Notre Dame. We parked near the Joyce Center to start the second half of the session in front of the Purcell Pavilion. Sophie and Joe wrapped themselves in a Notre Dame scarf which I loved because not only did it add color to the photos but also personality!

The wind started to pick up as we walked to the football stadium. Sophie and Joe wanted to get photos in front of the Knute Rockne Gate where all the championship banners are hung. Such a fun spot and we were blocked from the wind… bonus!

It may have been cold and slippery but that didn’t stop Sophie and Joe from enjoying their dance photos.

From there we walked straight ahead to Touch Down Jesus. The close up photos are my favorite because it looks like each snow flake is perfectly placed around them. And because they’re attempt to stay warm made for some very cute moments. 😍

Joe was wearing this grandfather’s tie clip during the session. His grandfather had been on the football team that won the national championship back in 1949. It was such a personal touch that I knew I had to use it in the ring shot. 💍

We walked over the Joe’s old dorm Keough for a few quick pictures. The temperature was starting to go down so we made this last few locations short and sweet.

When we got to the opening by the lake where you can see both the Basilica and Golden Dome, we were met by a very handsome snowman that had a cookie for a hat. We had seen several snowmen all over campus but this one was special that I thought he deserved his own photo. ☃️

Sophie and Joe curled up in a scarf as they overlooked the lake. A true winter wonderland. ❄️

We were about to call it a day when I saw some twinkle lights in the distance. I drove us back up by South Dinning Hall and ran into South Quad to see what was going on. I was hoping to use the twinkle lights in a night shot, however, when I walked over, I noticed that it was just one strand of lights; that wouldn’t do. As I was about to walk back to the car, I noticed the golden hue coming from the archways of South Dining Hall. I thought this would make for a beautiful night shot and be super fast to pull off so Sophie and Joe wouldn’t have to endure the cold for very long.

I ran back to the car to get them and we set up in front of the far west door. It was dinner time so people were going in and out of the middle door constantly so I did all of my light checks and measurements with Sophie and Joe tucked away from the crowds and the cold. Once I had everything perfect and no one was walking up, we jumped to the middle arch and knocked out this gorgeous and intimate moment in less than 30 seconds. Love it!

To Sophie and Joe – Thank you for baring the cold with me and trusting to capture these amazing memories! I had a blast and I hope you did too! I can’t wait for your wedding this June and for all the wonderful moments ahead! All my love – S

To see their full session, click here.


Photography: Sarah Sage Photography LLC

HMU: Blushing Beauty & Co

Location 1: Battell Park

Location 2: University of Notre Dame

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