Torsten and Sarah Ernst met in Juneau, Alaska in 2008 and decided to take their wedding pictures in a way that spoke to their shared love of adventure. The results were spectacular.
Photographer Chris Beck shot a series of hauntingly gorgeous photos of the newlyweds in their wedding dress and tux against the vivid backdrop of the Mendenhall Glacier ice cave.
Mendenhall Glacier is a massive ice formation in Juneau, 150 feet deep, 12 miles long and protected as part of the Tongass National Forest. The cave network inside forms from the melting of the glacier, and visitors are warned to watch out for falling ice.
The beautiful, bright blue formations, colored so vividly by light shining through the melting ice, create a striking and otherworldly setting for the wedding shoot. The couple’s beauty looks effortless, but the trip to the Glacier was anything but. The couple had to hike, kayak to the glacier and then climb it in an excursion that took six hours.
They changed into their wedding outfits when they got to the cave, and it’s impossible to tell from the photos that the bride and groom just took an extreme trip through the Alaskan wilderness. In one picture, Torsten dips Sarah, letting her white gown trail over the glacial rocks, and in another, Sarah is alone with a flashlight illuminating the vivid cave walls.
It was Beck’s idea to take the couple to the cave as a way to memorialize their time in Juneau, since Sarah Ernst’s job on the coast guard will soon relocate the couple to Guam.
Since Beck’s main goal was to create something special for the couple, he’s astounded by the online response to the photos, which have since gone viral.
Beck joins Josh Newton and Colleen Niska in the ranks of enterprising photographers whose unique wedding albums blew up on the internet. Newton photographed his couple in front of a wildfire and Colleen Niska snapped pictures as a tornado touched down behind hers.
The success of all three photographers is driving newlyweds to be even more creative in their online albums to create the most memorable experience possible.