I pulled into the address Grace had given me. It was a small brown house along a dirt road. Completely surrounded by crop fields. There was no one there. I checked my phone. I had driven five hours from my home in Wisconsin, leaving with over two hours of wiggle room and arriving with exactly 15 minutes to spare, thanks to some car trouble. After a few minutes, an old farm truck pulled up beside me and I met Grace's dad. The man who had stewarded this land for longer than I'd been alive. He was a man of few words, but was ready to help make his daughter's engagement session dreams come true. Moments later, Grace and Hans pulled up in their first outfit. Grace had planned our locations down to a T. These were her stomping grounds. So I grabbed my gear, and they lead the way.
This is where Grace grew up. The golden wheat fields. The rolling hills. The little white church on a gravel road that becomes a late night hangout on the weekends. The fact that Grace had her dad drive over there before their session and move the bright blue painting tarps out of the way was exactly the kind of foresight we needed (he put them back, no harm done).
For our second stop, I was graciously invited to abandon my compact Chevy and hop in the back of Mr. German's farm truck, complete with quilted picnic blanket seat covers and miscellaneous seeds rolling around on the floor - his daughter in a floor length gown, me with all my gear, we made our way along a winding gravel road before turning off the beaten path and into the wheat.
Here's the thing about wheat fields. I can't drive past them without commenting. My husband will attest this fact. They start out a stunning dusty green and mature into oceans of gold, swaying in the wind. It's breathtaking. Luckily Grace and I have this sentiment in common. And she has wheat fields. And a dad to get us into the middle of them during a cloudless July sunset. I'd say this was a pretty good set up.
As the sun slipped towards the horizon and the sky turned from blues to dusty purples, Grace asked if we had time for one more outfit. "Hell yes." So they threw their jeans and cowboy boots on and we had a few more minutes to run around before dusk overtook us, the full moon grew brighter, and we called it a night.