You know that moment when you’re scrolling through Instagram and suddenly a photo stops you in your tracks? That happened to us when we first saw the photos from Vannessa Kralovic Photography. We had a chance to sit down with Vannessa and Coleman to learn more about their work at Mount Rainier National Park.
What first brought you to Mount Rainier?
Coleman and I are both from the PNW originally, he grew up near Federal Way and I grew up near Auburn. I started my photography business in 2010 as a way to spend more time with my daughter while still providing for her. I did most of my early work in the lowlands and areas surrounding Auburn. This wasn’t for a lack of wanting to shoot up at Mt. Rainier, but more so due to the intimidation of not knowing where and when to shoot up there as well as not knowing what the regulations and requirements were.
In 2014 I had a couple approach me who knew of a location up at Mt. Rainier. They wanted to go on an adventure and have their pictures taken at that specific spot. After that experience I fell in love with shooting up at the mountains and transitioned my entire business to focus on capturing adventures in the Cascades, with a heavy emphasis on Mt. Rainier. Since then I have documented numerous elopements, weddings, engagements, and happy family moments within the boundaries of our wonderful National Park, National Forests, and wilderness areas.
Coleman moved away for a few years while he was in the military but came back after his enlistment to work with me as we made a new jump to focusing on adventure elopements and capturing one of the most special moments a couple can have while in the gorgeous mountains we have in the state. We love to work with couples who want to elope after an exciting adventure, whether that’s rock climbing, snowshoeing, hiking, mountaineering, skiing or snowboarding, or almost any other kind of adventure, capturing those moments is a special kind of joy!
How long have you been visiting Mount Rainier to photograph people?
Do you have a favorite season at the mountain?
It’s so hard to pinpoint a favorite season! Summer is amazing because we have so much access to the park and all of the trails are open with gorgeous wildflowers making an appearance for a few weeks. We do a majority of our work within the park in the summer and fall due to the beauty of the tones and colors in the park at that time. However, winter at Mt. Rainier is amazing because of the opportunity for solitude, winter climbing, and such a soft, gentle landscape.
Is there anything you wish people knew about photo sessions at Mount Rainier?
We want to emphasize how important it is to get the proper permits for photographing elopements and weddings within the National Park. Not only does the happy couple need a permit to get married within the park, but the photographers also require a permit to document the event. We have spent an extensive amount of time talking with the NPS about which permits are necessary and would advise fellow photographers and couples to do the same! The other thing that’s important is how critical it is to stay on the trail during photo sessions.With the right angles we can capture photos that look magical and may appear to be off trail but rest assured all of our sessions respect Leave No Trace principals. To protect this special park and the natural resources everyone needs to adhere to the “Leave No Trace” principles in protecting the outdoor areas we have so they maintain their pristine nature and aren’t further damaged going forward. It’s really important for photographers, couples and families to be aware of those principles.
For more information visit vannessakralovic.com.