The venue? A forest. The aisle? A trail. The wedding photos -- on a whole other level.
A wedding photography session with Kim Butler can be anything from a mountain climb...to a walk in the woods. She tells her photo subjects the same thing:
"I basically say you should probably have some kind of hiking boots, and you should expect to get either wet, cold or dirty,” said Butler.
She used to shoot in traditional locations. “Typical churches and all that stuff, and realized you know - why should we always put love in that one little box? Church is wonderful and everything but there's so much beauty out in this world that I want to get people out into."
Now she does wedding photos anywhere her intrepid subjects lead her -- a Pacific beach, a peak in Yosemite, a snowfield in the Olympic Mountains.
She depicts marriage as the epic adventure it is.
“Plus, natural light is the most gorgeous on anybody,” adds the photographer.
Since Butler’s home is on the Olympic Peninsula, she does a lot of sessions there. When we caught up to Butler she was shooting a couple along the Marymere Falls trail in Olympic National Park. The trio – one of them wearing a wedding dress – hiked three-quarters of a mile down a muddy trail, to the 90-foot waterfall.
"When it comes to photography, I'm just like fearless. I'll do anything for the good photo. I love that exhilaration I feel after afterward.” Butler said.
The couple posed for their photo at the base of the falls – getting there involved wading through a creek, and everyone was soaked by the end of the session.
"I would say get ready for an adventure. She's fearless, she has an awesome eye. She goes beyond everything to get the perfect photo,” said Issac Gautschi.
"Trust her,” added Brittany Brenske – showing off the dirty hem of the wedding dress.
To Kim Butler, that’s a surefire sign the photo session was a good one:
"I've said it for years to all my brides -- if your dress is not dirty at the end of the day, you didn't have enough fun. I've always said that. I totally believe that."