Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Zalal & Hniangtha: Engaged! (West Michigan Wedding Photographer)

June 23, 2020

Both Hniangtha and Zalal live in different states, and while they traveled to Michigan to visit family and do their engagement session, we were having worries about the weather. And having just followed a particularly nice set of days in the area, the uncertainty was particularly frustrating. But thank goodness we held off on our original plan because, though it was a little windy and definitely chilly, the evening we did the session at Sand Dunes State Park in Mears was absolutely beautiful.

Hniangtha and I have been chatting back and forth since February, and just like everyone else this year, they've been dealing with lots of changes and adjustments due to the pandemic. But they've rolled with it and we had an amazing shoot to make up for a planned session she had out West. The sand dunes are inherently part of the Michigan lake shore, but they also give a bit of a desert feel to the landscape, so hopefully it was a good alternative.

First, Hniangtha wore a skirt called a Thi hni (which means "be-jeweled skirt") which was formerly a highly valuable part of a bride's dowry for her marriage for aristocrats in the Lai culture. But, Hniangtha says, "Nowadays, we wear it on special occasions not to show our wealth but because it's very pretty." Definitely gorgeous.

We then walked up the dunes and caught the breeze, which was perfect for Hniangtha's two dresses. She toughed it out with the high winds (which were wreaking havoc with both her and Zalal's hair at times!) and I absolutely cannot get enough of these shots. What a perfect session... worth the wait!

These two are tying the knot in less than three weeks, and am so excited to be a part of it. You'll see the two of them again very soon!


^To the dunes!

^So good!

^Here's where the wind wasn't cooperating.

^Last outfit. Stunning.

^Do you two model? :D

^Favorite? MAYBE!

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