Shayna + Billy’s Brainard Lake Winter Engagement

April 8, 2019

Shayna and Billy came out from Chicago for their Brainard Lake winter engagement session with me! I’m photographing their wedding at Piney River Ranch in Vail in 2020. Since they were already planning a trip to Keystone to go skiing this winter, we decided to do their engagement photos at the same time!

I normally spend a lot of time preparing couples for how cold it is in the Colorado mountains in winter. But Shayna and Billy were leaving -30 degree weather in Chicago behind, so I knew they could handle it! They even came straight from the airport to go hiking with me for their winter engagement at Brainard Lake – that’s the Colorado spirit 😉

I love getting to photograph couples in a more casual setting before their wedding. It’s the perfect low-pressure way to get to know each other! Since we had almost 2.5 miles to hike before getting to Brainard Lake, we had plenty time to chat before I started pointing a camera at their faces. I really think it makes a huge difference, versus just meeting in a parking lot somewhere and immediately starting photos!

This hike is one of my favorites to do in winter, because while it’s a 5 mile roundtrip, it’s also pretty easy. Or as easy as any hike can be at 10,000ft in the snow. I love how the wind blows snow around the mountains in Indian Peaks Wilderness! Although the same wind usually makes Brainard Lake winter engagement sessions really cold too. We were lucky to get a nice blue sky day though, and stayed plenty warm when the sun was out.

If you want to see what this area looks like in bad weather, check out the photos from Kimberly and Kevin’s engagement session last year. With 19 degrees and 40mph wind gusts and snow, it felt like being in the middle of a very intense snow globe!

And if you’re interested in hiking to Brainard Lake, check out the trail info from the National Forest service. It’s a bit busy on weekends, but absolutely worth the hike!

Brainard Lake winter engagement session, Colorado engagement photographer, couple walking on frozen alpine lake

Brainard Lake winter engagement session, Colorado engagement photographer, snowy mountain engagement photography

Brainard Lake winter engagement session, Colorado engagement photographer, snowy mountain engagement photography

Brainard Lake winter engagement session, Colorado engagement photographer, snowy mountain engagement photography

Brainard Lake winter engagement session, Colorado engagement photographer, snowy mountain engagement photography

Colorado winter engagement session, couple on frozen alpine lake, Indian Peaks Wilderness engagement

Colorado winter engagement session, couple on frozen alpine lake, Indian Peaks Wilderness engagement

Colorado winter engagement session, couple on frozen alpine lake, Indian Peaks Wilderness engagement

Colorado winter engagement session, couple on frozen alpine lake, Indian Peaks Wilderness engagement

Colorado winter engagement session, couple on frozen alpine lake, Indian Peaks Wilderness engagement

Colorado winter engagement session, couple on frozen alpine lake, Indian Peaks Wilderness engagement

Brainard Lake winter engagement session, couple hugging on frozen alpine lake, Colorado engagement photographer

Brainard Lake winter engagement session

Brainard Lake winter engagement session, Colorado engagement photographer, couple walking on frozen alpine lake

Brainard Lake winter engagement session, Colorado engagement photographer, couple walking on frozen alpine lake

Brainard Lake winter engagement session

Brainard Lake winter engagement session

Brainard Lake winter engagement session

Brainard Lake winter engagement session, Colorado engagement photographer, couple walking on frozen alpine lake

Brainard Lake winter engagement session, Colorado engagement photographer, couple walking on frozen alpine lake

Brainard Lake winter engagement session, Colorado engagement photographer, couple walking on frozen alpine lake

Brainard Lake winter engagement session

Brainard Lake winter engagement session

Brainard Lake engagement session in winter, Nederland Colorado engagement photography, Indian Peaks Wilderness engagement

Brainard Lake engagement session in winter, Nederland Colorado engagement photography, Indian Peaks Wilderness engagement

Brainard Lake engagement session in winter, Nederland Colorado engagement photography, Indian Peaks Wilderness engagement

Brainard Lake engagement session in winter, Nederland Colorado engagement photography, Indian Peaks Wilderness engagement

Brainard Lake engagement session in winter, Nederland Colorado engagement photography, Indian Peaks Wilderness engagement

Couple having snowball fight on frozen alpine lake, Colorado winter engagement session

Couple having snowball fight on frozen alpine lake, Colorado winter engagement session

Couple having snowball fight on frozen alpine lake, Colorado winter engagement session

Couple hiking in Indian Peaks Wilderness, Boulder engagement photographer

Couple hiking in Indian Peaks Wilderness, Boulder engagement photographer

Couple hiking in Indian Peaks Wilderness, Boulder engagement photographer

Indian Peaks Wilderness engagement session at Brainard Lake, Boulder engagement photographer, Colorado winter engagement

Indian Peaks Wilderness engagement session at Brainard Lake, Boulder engagement photographer, Colorado winter engagement

Indian Peaks Wilderness engagement session at Brainard Lake, Boulder engagement photographer, Colorado winter engagement

Brainard Lake winter engagement session, Colorado engagement photographer, couple walking on frozen alpine lake

Brainard Lake winter engagement session, Colorado engagement photographer, couple walking on frozen alpine lake

Couple hiking in snow covered mountains, Colorado winter engagement session in Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado engagement photographer

Couple hiking in snow covered mountains, Colorado winter engagement session in Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado engagement photographer

Couple hiking in snow covered mountains, Colorado winter engagement session in Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado engagement photographer

Couple hiking in snow covered mountains, Colorado winter engagement session in Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado engagement photographer

Couple hiking in snow covered mountains, Colorado winter engagement session in Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado engagement photographer Couple hiking in snow covered mountains, Colorado winter engagement session in Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado engagement photographer
Brainard Lake winter engagement session, Colorado engagement photographer, couple walking on frozen alpine lake

Couple snuggled up on blanket in snow, Colorado winter engagement session, Boulder engagement photographer

Couple snuggled up on blanket in snow, Colorado winter engagement session, Boulder engagement photographer

Couple snuggled up on blanket in snow, Colorado winter engagement session, Boulder engagement photographer

Couple snuggled up on blanket in snow, Colorado winter engagement session, Boulder engagement photographer

Couple snuggled up on blanket in snow, Colorado winter engagement session, Boulder engagement photographer

Couple snuggled up on blanket in snow, Colorado winter engagement session, Boulder engagement photographer

Couple snuggled up on blanket in snow, Colorado winter engagement session, Boulder engagement photographer

Couple snuggled up on blanket in snow, Colorado winter engagement session, Boulder engagement photographer

Couple dancing on frozen alpine lake in Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado winter engagement session, Boulder area engagement photos

Couple dancing on frozen alpine lake in Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado winter engagement session, Boulder area engagement photos

Couple dancing on frozen alpine lake in Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado winter engagement session, Boulder area engagement photos

Couple walking on frozen alpine lake in Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado winter engagement session, Boulder area engagement photos

Couple walking on frozen alpine lake in Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado winter engagement session, Boulder area engagement photos

Couple hiking in winter for Brainard Lake engagement session outside of Boulder, Colorado