Ben + Laurel | Minnehaha Falls | First Avenue | Minneapolis Couples Photography

For those of you who might not know: Minnesota is COLD in the winter. The other thing that is surprisingly less known is the fact that it is absolutely gorgeous, no matter what the season. I spent 5 years in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and I have to say, the Twin Cities is one of my favorite places I have had the opportunity to live. That's why, when I was commissioned for a wedding in Eau Claire, Wisconsin this weekend, I knew I needed to head over to the Cities and shoot if the opportunity presented itself.

And thankfully, it did! Laurel is one of my good friends from college, and her and her boyfriend, Ben, were more than willing to brave the bracing cold in the name of photography. It was actually Ben's idea to go to Minnehaha Falls, which I'm sure he immediately regretted when I began to Google just how gorgeous BEHIND the falls could be. While apprehensive at first, Ben and Laurel both scaled the incredibly icy side of the falls, thanks to a ridiculously old rope that someone before us had tied to a tree near the top of the falls. I kid you not, it was truly an adventure to the mid-point of these falls, which was approximately 25 feet up. But even so, they were amazing sports, slipped and slid their way into the little alcove tucked away behind thick sheets of ice, and immediately we were rewarded by the stunning colors.

As the sun hit the frozen water, it reflected blues, greens, and aquas onto the stone behind us, giving almost a geode feel to the majestic space. Light filtered through where the water had not frozen, giving slivers of beautiful opportunity to create a breathtaking scene. It was truly one of my favorite places I've photographed yet!

After braving the cold, and having more trouble getting down than getting up (imagine me sliding down 25 feet, clutching my cameras and praying nothing broke, all the while Laurel and Ben were cracking up hysterically above), we headed to downtown Minneapolis to shoot more of the hustle and bustle. Laurel is a marketing major and hoping to fuse that love with her passion for music, so naturally we had to incorporate First Avenue, the iconic hotspot for bands of all kinds that stop in Minneapolis. It was an absolute blast, and fun was had by all, even when the temperatures dipped to below 10 degrees.

Thank you, Ben + Laurel, for braving the cold with me and allowing me to capture your amazing personalities! I hope you love the images, and I hope you've thawed out by now. :)