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Kristen and Carter’s Engagement Session at Crystal Bridges

A December Night at the Museum

A week before the session there was rain in the forecast. A very typical December in the Ozark's. Kristen would be traveling in from Colorado and Alex and I would be traveling in from Springfield, MO. Because the wedding is taking place in the Northwest Arkansas area, we decided Crystal Bridges would be a great place for engagement photos! Alex and I had never been there before and I was excited to see it in person. The property blew me away when I arrived! The museum was built by Walmart and is completely free to the public. You don’t even need a photo pass to take photos outside the museum! I could not believe it! I was in a bit of photographer's shock. So many beautiful places to take photos but I knew we would never get to them all. A good problem to have though ❤️. The forecast looked like it was going to hold out for us, I even told Kristen later in the session that I confidently DID NOT pack the clear umbrellas. 😂 I was not going to even attempt to bring in the rain. Spoiler alert. There was no rain and it was the PERFECT amount of overcast for photos. We even had some sun sneak in a little throughout our time.

Kristen, Carter, and I met at a Stonegate Open House and instantly connected. They both have such kind hearts. I have the best clients!!! 😍 Carter went to school for ministry and Kristen is about to graduate with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy! I feel like I’ve known these two forever, even though we’ve just met! I am so proud of their accomplishments and all the good things to come in their lives and marriage. As Kirsten told me their story, I felt like she was telling me the story of Alex and I. There were too many similarities to be a coincidence. When they arrived, we all met at the circle drive entrance near the big silver tree at the museum. They were dressed to perfection. I literally have the same outfits for a shoot Alex and I did two years ago 😁. Kristen and Carter, you two nailed it! I decided to start our shoot in a section of the park that has a variety of architectural features. A walkway that houses frameworks of different types of housing designs. There was one rather large dome feature that we decided looked like either a golf ball or the inside of a Tardis from Doctor Who. 😂 It was a good place to start and to experiment. I think some of the pictures turned out pretty neat though!!!

The next plan was to sneak through the museum to the opposite trail. This would give Kristen a break from the cold. 😉 The next trail we were headed was home to the museum's sculptures. When Alex and I asked the staff where a popular spot for photos was, the staff member said people love to get photos in front of the “love” sculpture. And that’s just what we did! Kristen told me that her and Carter had even taken a selfie at this spot before 🙌 We took a few photos quickly and started heading throughout the park. We walked across bridges, climbed rocks, and trekked up hills! We were having such a good time getting to know each other, time was flying by! I knew Kristen had a second outfit in mind so we started heading back to the museum. Our last mission was to find a hallway where Kristen had found an inspiration picture. We tried our best but had to enlist the help of some staff. For future couples, there is a hidden hallway that has the best light and is absolutely stunning for photos!!! It’s hidden behind the parking garage so you have to know exactly where to look or you’ll miss it completely. I’m so glad Kristen knew this place existed!!! These turned out to be some of my favorite photos of the night.

While Kristen and Carter changed, I took some photos of her engagement ring and we met back up for the remainder of the light. Inspired by the composition of the lights from the museum and creek, I tried to climb down the rocks for the best angle…unfortunately I might have gotten in trouble from a staff member. They have a rule to stay on the grass. Apparently people have fallen into the water so I understand why the rule exists 😂 We did our best to get the shot, but I still wish we could have climbed down a bit 😉. My last photo I wanted to try to get was the large silver tree near the front. Since it was blue hour, there were twinkling lights shining through the trees in the background. We lost light fast and took our last couple of photos. Alex ended up chatting with Carter and I got to chat with Kristen a bit more. We were so engaged in conversation that we didn't even realize that it was completely dark. We had the best time but had to say our goodbyes!!! I can’t wait for their wedding this Spring!!!

Kristen + Carter


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