Ryan and Elyse met me in Georgetown to take their fall Guanella Pass engagement pictures. I hopped into their backseat and became best friends with their dog, Remy, as we made out way up the mountain. The fall aspen leaves, mountain views and sunset made for one epic adventure engagement session.
Ryan is from Iowa. Elyse is from Florida. They both moved out to Colorado to live the mountain life. While exploring Colorado solo, these two both decided to make profiles on Bumble. Chance had it that Elyse saw a picture of Ryan pop up on her Bumble app and she decided to swipe right. Their life has never been the same since meeting each other.
On a typical February weekend, Ryan and Elyse are typically driving to their favorite resort to go skiing. But, their anniversary weekend was coming up and Ryan asked Elyse to do something a little different. Ryan took Elyse to Red Rocks and convinced her to get up early to catch the sunrise. They hopped in the car with their dog, Remy, and headed to the mountains. The weather was snowing and cold, but Ryan was determined to get Elyse to Red Rocks. After climbing to the top of in the snow, Ryan got down on one knee and asked Elyse to be his wife. Elyse said yes and even remembers that when Ryan got down on one knee, their dog, Remy, sat so sweetly next to Ryan. Remy put his paw on Ryan as he proposed to Elyse to show his support.
Elyse + Ryan are adventurers at heart. Since moving from their home-states to Colorado they head to the mountains any chance they get. Remy, their shepherd-mix dog they brought home together, is always in tow. They love to ski during the winter. But, Camping and hiking are usually on their summer weekend agenda. Along with heading to a concert at Red Rocks (hence why Ryan proposed there!).
Elyse’s love language is quality time. Just being with Ryan and enjoying his company is the most important thing. Ryan joked that his love language is Netflix and chill, which I would say perfectly compliments Elyse’s. They love to hang out together at home and if they are not out at a concert on a Friday night, these two are likely bingeing their current Netflix series.
Ryan has a dry sense of humor so is basically always cracking jokes with Elyse. Out of nowhere, Ryan will give Elyse a random funny face. Or, they crack themselves up by talking to each other in funny accents. Nothing makes Ryan laugh more than seeing Elyse attempt the floss dance. But, don’t even attempt to tickle Elyse because household items have indeed been broken during tickle wars between these two.
When Elyse and I started planning their engagement session in May, the one requirement was fall leaves. Elyse immediately thought of Kenosha Pass, which is probably one of the best locations to view changing aspen leaves. Colorado saw a very early changing of aspen leaves and there were few left at Kenosha by the time their engagement session rolled around. So we changed up plans and headed up Guanella Pass.
Guanella Pass is located right outside of Georgetown, CO. It’s a 22-mile scenic mountain by-way connecting Georgetown to Grant. Driving up the pass you go through a dense forest of pine and aspen trees, cross by gorgeous mountain lakes and end up above timberline in fields of tundra and willow bushes that look over the Rocky Mountains. The highest point you can drive to is 11,670 feet above sea level. Guanella Pass houses the trailhead of one of Colorado’s more famous 14er, Mt. Bierdstadt.
We started Elyse and Ryan’s Guanella Pass engagement session off at the Silverdale Trailhead. It is a spot filled with groves of aspen trees that were in prime season for turning a golden color. My favorite moment was when I pointed to a spot across the creek that I knew would be beautiful for some pictures! Elyse and Ryan didn’t blink an eye before balancing their way across the creek. Elyse even ended up barefooting it in the cold mountain stream – 100% worth it!
We ended the evening at Clear Lake on Guanella Pass surrounded by more aspen trees, a crystal clear lake, and the setting sun. Ryan and Elyse celebrated the end of their engagement session on Guanella Pass with a bottle of champagne and pictures next to Ryan’s jeep, which they take on their adventures everywhere.
Thank you, Ryan and Elyse, for letting me hop in your car with you! Thanks for sharing your real selves. Thank you for being up for creek crossings and finding the best aspen trees in the mountain. I cannot wait for your wedding this spring!
Meet Larissa. Larissa is an adventure couple and wedding photographer based out of Colorado. She’d take an adventure in the mountains over shopping any day. And, prefers a date night snuggling on the couch over dinner and a movie. Larissa’s obsessed with: morning snuggles with her rescue pup, Hazel, hot chocolate, a good book and yoga pants. She believes in making you forget a camera’s even there, that your story is the actual thing she wants to capture on camera and that real, raw moments are more important than perfectly curated poses. Book your Colorado adventure engagement photographer.