One of my favorite things to do is to photograph the weddings of friends. I met Karen over ten years ago when I was in graduate school at Northern Illinois University. At the time, I was the graduate assistant for the Outing Centre, the university’s outdoor adventure program. I hired Karen to work as a backpacking and climbing guide back in 2000. Since then we have shared many adventures together mostly revolving around rock climbing.
I love the story of how I met her future husband, Cliff, back in 2009. I was sitting in a small internet cafe in Kathmandu, Nepal, and decided to check my Facebook page. Which I can assure you, is no easy task in a city that only gets electricity for 8 hours per day, and it takes a little luck for the internet and electricity to be on at the same time. I just happened to notice a post on Karen’s page that said she was sitting in a different internet cafe also in Kathmandu. I had no idea she was even in that part of the world, let alone on the other side of town. I sent her a message suggesting we should meet the next day before I left to return home. The next day, we met up for lunch, and that is how I met Cliff for the first time.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had too many opportunities to spend time with Karen and Cliff in the last few years because of busy schedules all of us being on the road a lot. The one time I did get to see them was on our 2010 attempt to climb Mount Rainier. Unfortunately due to an injury on our team, we turned around a few thousand feet from the summit, but spending several days tied to each other on a rope team is a great way to get to know someone. Either you end up hating each other or become fast friends. Fortunately my experience was the latter, and I was thrilled when Karen told me that her and Cliff were engaged, and that they wanted me to photograph their wedding in Leavenworth, Washington.
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