Linden and Eric booked their engagement session with me a little over a month ago. They knew they’d be traveling from California back here to Tucson and wanted to make sure they got their engagement photos taken while they were in town. I’m not quite sure they anticipated such unstable weather, but they stayed optimistic despite the gloomy forecast. Their stormy engagement session on Mt. Lemmon certainly paid off by giving us dramatic skies and lots of variety in both lighting and feel.
Linden and Eric met each other back in 2014 while in college at a mutual friend’s party. Coincidentally enough, the party actually took place on Valentine’s Day night! Six weeks later they went on their first date. Over the years, Eric and Linden spent a lot of their free time together exploring the Santa Catalina Mountains and grew particularly fond of Mount Lemmon.
With the big decision to move to California arising, Eric knew it was time to propose. In October of 2021, the two of them took a morning hike on Mt. Lemmon. Eventually, they veered off the trail and had a picnic lunch together– enjoying the beautiful views from their quiet, secluded spot. Eric popped the question and then they celebrated with one of their favorite craft beers. Once again, their timing was impeccable. Why? Oktoberfest activities were underway on Mt. Lemmon! So these beer enthusiasts spent the rest of the day enjoying Oktoberfest and then met up with Linden’s family to share the happy news.
Although they currently live in San Diego, Tucson still holds a special place in Eric and Linden’s hearts. Tucson is where Linden grew up, met Eric, and spent 8 years of their relationship together. During this quick visit, they plan to spend as much time with friends and family as possible while also knocking out a catering tasting at their wedding venue.
When we planned out their engagement session on and around Mt. Lemmon, I knew that hanging out in the woods among the pine trees and greenery was a big priority for them. They spent a lot of their free time together exploring the trails. So, just in case the weather didn’t cooperate for us, we went hiking first.
As we started walking down the trail, I was paying attention to the direction of light, the density of the trees, and how much space we would have to work with. I love the spot we chose to start the day with!
As we drove back down the mountain, I could see lighting flashing off in the distance. I kept my eye on the clouds and hoped that as we descended they would lighten up a bit. Glowy sunset photos at the lookout was what made them choose Windy Point as their second location. But was Mother Nature going to give us a break? That bright sunlight we had earlier in the day had vanished.
When we arrived, Eric and Linden went to change into their second outfits. I could see the faint orange glow of sunset desperately trying to break through the thick cloud cover.
And it finally happened! The sun broke free and I immediately started freaking out at the romantic glow behind them!
As I mentioned before, Linden and Eric are big fans of craft beer. So what better way to end their session than to climb onto a rock, snuggle up, drink a beer, and watch the sunset.
Linden and Eric told me prior to their session that neither of them enjoy being the center of attention. I can totally relate to that feeling. Their biggest concern about photos is that they want to feel comfortable. In the end, our time together on Mt. Lemmon felt more like exploring and taking photos along the way– not a stiff and awkward photo session. Seriously, I don’t know if I have more than a few images where these two aren’t smiling ear-to-ear and laughing! And that’s only because I told them not to smile haha.
Before I packed up my gear, I took one last photo. If you look closely, you can see big pockets of rain illuminated with a pink hue scattered around the city. What a view!
I’m so happy that the weather held out for Eric and Linden’s engagement session while they were here in Tucson! The next time I’ll see them is when they travel back in March to celebrate their wedding at the Stillwell House downtown!
Do you love the variety that Mount Lemmon has to offer? Check out how this gorgeous and vast location continues to show off for me by checking out these other Mt. Lemmon images and stories!
Christy Hunter is a wedding and portrait photographer based in Seattle, Washington.
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