“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more.”
—Lord Byron, “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage”
“I grew up in the small town of Kamloops, while occasionally we would be taken on a field trip to Vancouver via the Coquihalla Highway. Escaping our semi-dessert city of yellow fields into the depths of the forests and sky-scrapper mountains. Every corner of the highway immersed in either a scathing mountain cliff or valley, of luscious greens.
There is one rest stop at the Summit of this mountain highway called Zopkios within the Cascade Mountain range. It is a distinctive ridge line that appears as if mother earth sliced through the rock, revealing the granite slab leading up to the top.
I’ve romanticized about shooting at the peak for years. Upon moving back to the Lower Mainland from the flatlands of Canada, I round up a small to execute the vision. Researching the hike and location from various hiking sources online to determine the trail head entry point.
The gown is designed by myself, effortlessly completed by my amazing mother who has always supported my creativity and projects. The make-up artist it talented and I’ve worked with Heidi for years. Lianne agreed excitedly at the opportunity to hike such an amazing peak.
Upon completion of hair & make-up, we we left for the 2hr drive to the summit.
We parked at the rest stop and walked up the highway to the resources indication of the trail head entry point. Gown in bag, bouquet in hand, camera bag around my body. Standing, over looking the valley, where a wall of tree’s appeared impenetrable. Gazing down I noticed something large, light brown, accompanied by a smaller version of it.
Eyes widened and heart pumping, we realized we were staring at a grizzly bear and baby bear; mama bear scratching at some broken wood (we could see the claws) and baby bear jumping around excitedly. Realizing this was not somewhere we should be, we turned slowly walked back to the rest area; thankful that large semi-trucks were passing by to hopefully mask our motion from the bears. With some reflection, we knew the hike would not be possible. We evaluated the greenery and decided to shoot in an area where the peak was still visible.
This experience was impacting in many ways; we witnessed two incredible beasts in their natural environment; calm and content with the mountains that are so adored. We experienced the unfathomable beauty of the mountain from afar and gazed upon it’s granite markings that have crossed timed. I believe we captured the romanticism of the mountain .” – Marie-Louise Collins of Avec Amour Weddings