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Alaska Adventure Winter Wedding Photo Shoot.

Ice cave adventure wedding photos alaska glacier by photographer Charleton Churchill


This all started with an idea. I needed to get out of my studio where I was stuck working non-stop. I needed to leave and shoot a personal project for me, to grow and stretch myself. I decided to fly to Alaska. I called my good friend Kevin who lives there and who was a climbing partner on our Denali expedition. I asked him to scout a location for me, which he kindly did. I had other ideas, but wasn’t quite sure what was possible. So, within three weeks, I put the word out on Facebook seeking a couple and makeup artist/hair stylist to travel to Alaska with me on their dime.

I honesty didn’t know what kind of images we would get, how our team would perform in cold weather (in the 20’s), or even if we could get anything worth our time. I did have a fear of failure, that I might return only with few nice photos in the snow. I even hesitated announcing it on Facebook, but I knew better than to let fear have a voice. Plus, no matter what, it was going to be an adventure. I had also never worked with my engaged couple before, Kyle and Caitland, as I didn’t want any professional models for this shoot, but rather a real couple. All these variables kept me guessing.

When we arrived in Alaska, a chilly snow storm dumped on us. My own breath came out like smoke. Arriving to my hotel made me want to sink in a hot tub and make excuses why we can’t shoot. But we came for a purpose, regardless of whether it would rain or snow, and we were packed.  We had a small window of light to travel and shoot.  We hiked into the mountain seven miles round trip while it was snowing off and on, quickly setup for our ice cave shoot, and then headed back. The remainder of the shoot was photographed at another location where we saw quite a few bald eagles while it snowed. I even photographed under my gortex jacket for some of it.

I’m excited to have worked with such a great team on this adventure and I will continue to shoot more. I’m also thankful to BHLDN who sponsored us with an amazing dress and accessories. The dress is the Calla Gown, the sash Pearly Primrose, the headpiece Honeysuckle Halo , and the Monterey Shawl wrap.

Also, I brought along my powerful Profoto B2 Light, which is portable when you’re hiking, as I did on our Everest Base Camp wedding. I bring the B2 light almost everywhere I go.

Couple: Caitland Brooks + Kyle Wolf
Makeup/Hair: Amy-lynn Hair Design
Dress and Accessories: BHLDN
Lighting: Profoto USA
Friend and Assistant: Kevin Sellers
Photographer and Project Leader: Charleton Churchill

(The first six images were taken with my Apple iPhone 6plus. The rest were taken by my Nikon D750.)


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Ice cave adventure wedding photos alaska glacier by photographer Charleton Churchill

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Here are some behind the scenes images…


Above: My friend Kevin and climbing Partner on Denali, Alaska, assisting us for our shoot!

amy lynn hiking out

Above: Amy-Lynn, who joined the team for Makeup/Hair, worked hard and hiked hard.

amy lynn makeup artist

Above: Amy-Lynn staying warm while assisting with makeup and hair.

checking out the glacier and testing strength

Above: Testing the edge of the lake to make sure we have solid ground.

Assistant Kevin testing glacier

Above: Burnt orange stands out

Alaska photography assistant Kevin with bride and groom

Above: Kevin, Caitland and Kyle at the end of the shoot.

charleton and Kevin in the Ice Cave

Above: Me and Kevin hanging out

  • Clarissa Stadnick - These are so cool! If only I were recently engaged, I would have loved to do it 🙂 Such an adventure, and what a beautiful couple!December 3, 2015 – 7:31 amReplyCancel

    • Charleton Churchill - Oh Clarissa, I know you both would definitely be up for something like that, miss you both.December 3, 2015 – 4:15 pm

  • Harry Who - These are just amazing. What a fantastic work. I don’t think anyone can pull this off like you did, Charleton.December 3, 2015 – 7:59 amReplyCancel

  • Billie Wilson - As an aspiring photographer, I commend you for pushing outside of your comfort zone! These are fabulous shots. Amy, you’re the best! I can’t wait to hear about it when I see you next!December 3, 2015 – 8:46 amReplyCancel

  • Devin Robinson - Wow bro! You killed this! Great job! What a cool couple and what a great shoot! SOOO GOOD!December 3, 2015 – 3:19 pmReplyCancel

    • Charleton Churchill - Thanks man, much appreciated, hard work pays off.December 3, 2015 – 4:18 pm

  • Charleton Churchill - Thank you Dana, the Lord bless you too!December 3, 2015 – 4:17 pmReplyCancel

  • Mary Kraft - Absolutely breathtaking and awesome – well worth your trip. God has certainly blessed you with this adventuresome talent.December 4, 2015 – 11:25 amReplyCancel

  • Proud to Partner with BHLDN on their advertising - […] wedding project as well as for our Mt. Everest base camp wedding this year. Check out more of the Alaska wedding photography on the […]December 17, 2015 – 2:44 pmReplyCancel

Part II – Mt. Everest Nepal Wedding Story, Beauty in the Brokenness

Please consider donating to help rebuild the lives and homes of the sherpas and villagers of Nepal:

This is the second part of the Nepal Earthquake story I shared on last week’s blog. You can read that HERE.

As many of you know, I traveled to Nepal to photograph a Mt. Everest wedding at base camp with a wonderful engaged couple, Erik Tappenbeck and Jen Dudley. Unfortunately, an epic earthquake halted those plans while making our way up the mountain.  As described in the last story, many tragic events happened as a result, which forced Everest climbers and trekkers including those of our group to return off the mountain.  And while we didn’t get to Everest Base Camp to photograph the wedding, Erik and Jen decided to continue on with their plans to tie the knot lower on the mountain before heading back. This brought our spirits up and redemption to the story amidst the rubble. We are grateful and celebrate with Erik and Jen in their new journey together, in the good times yes, but also in the difficult times.  There can be smiles and tears of joy even in the midst of turmoil.  Here are some of the images from their wedding.

Thank you to our sponsors who supported this trip:
NIKON  (Cameras and Lenses)
BHLDN.COM  (Wedding Dress)

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  • Ally - These are beautiful!”Let light shine out of darkness.” You definitely let the light shine!June 2, 2015 – 9:13 amReplyCancel

    • Charleton Churchill - Thank you Ally, I take no credit for any light shining, credit honestly goes to God for what He’s done in my life.June 2, 2015 – 4:20 pm

  • Paula Watson - Those are the most beautiful and exotic wedding pictures ever. I’m so happy that my niece Jen and Erik had this adventure and that everything made for the most exciting adventure of their life. Great photography.June 2, 2015 – 9:48 amReplyCancel

    • Charleton Churchill - Thank you Paula, glad to have worked with Jen and Erik!June 2, 2015 – 4:21 pm

  • Kim Collins - All I can say is “WOW”. What a truly remarkable and inspirational story.June 2, 2015 – 10:19 amReplyCancel

  • Cloverfield - Charleton! These made my heart STOP. There are no words….June 2, 2015 – 10:38 amReplyCancel

  • Lora Ward - Your posts of the wedding excited my 90 year old mother… she was captivated and “blown away.” You super excited me as I was dying to see the ceremony (love) and the clothing (fabulous), but you really got my husband interested when he looked at the architecture of the temple. He was entranced. Thanks for posting.June 2, 2015 – 9:05 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana Hodgkinson - As a fellow wedding photographer myself, your work inspires me to even reach farther. You are such a blessing to this couple and how everything orchestrated out…was extraordinary. You all turned caios into such beauty and the Lord is truly smiling. To be a better photographer…be a better person! You have proved yourself Charleton and I am blessed to know you. Blessings, DanaJune 3, 2015 – 7:18 amReplyCancel

  • Jenn - What a beautiful wedding! The photos are stunning. Thank you for your haring your amazing talent and to Jen and Erik for allowing us to be a part of their special day.June 3, 2015 – 7:38 amReplyCancel

  • christine - The photo of them on the overlook, his happy yellow backpack and her wedding dress billowing out from under her gear, is spectacular! It’s one of the most refreshing, beautiful, unique wedding photos I’ve seen since — sheesh, since I can remember!June 3, 2015 – 7:43 amReplyCancel

  • Barbara Hladky - Your wedding images brought chills and tears. How beautiful and thank you for sharing such a special event with us. Best wishes for a joyful life together!June 3, 2015 – 3:52 pmReplyCancel

  • Conchita - Absolutely beautiful!! The portraits on the mountain were all breath taking! Incredible story too…June 3, 2015 – 10:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Junebug Best of the Best Destination 2015 Awards - […] You can view the whole Mt. Everest Wedding Story on the blog Here: Mt. Everest Wedding Photography Story […]August 24, 2015 – 9:56 pmReplyCancel

  • World’s Best Photographers Use Profoto - […] world. I love and use their Profoto B1 and Profoto B2 lights for my wedding travel and my recent destination wedding on Mt. Everest. Their quality is unmatched, and traveling around the world to many of my favorite mountain […]November 3, 2015 – 10:40 pmReplyCancel

  • Proud to Partner with BHLDN on their advertising - […] and couture style, which is why we used them for our wedding project as well as for our Mt. Everest base camp wedding this year. Check out more of the Alaska wedding photography on the […]December 17, 2015 – 2:43 pmReplyCancel