Sunrise Elopement - Blue Ridge Mountains Western North Carolina (828)

Sunrise Elopement - Blue Ridge Parkway

I woke up at 4:30 a.m. and hiked out here for sunrise. There is something magical about wandering these trails with headlamps guiding your way. Hannah changed into her dress behind some fir trees and they shared their first look on the windy edge of the mountain landscape. We spent the rest of the morning taking in the wild and beautiful views. Two of their closest friends performed their ceremony surrounded by fog and wildflowers - the best kind of guests ⛰️💞💐 .

We hiked a few more miles, climbed over some rocks, skipped over muddy trails, said hi to wild animals, and explored our blue mountains all before noon!!

Blue Ridge Parkway Smoky Mountain Elopement Adventure

Blue Ridge Parkway near Black Balsam Knob in West Canton North Carolina

The fact I am able to take pictures that bring a smile to someones face, is the whole world to me.

Everyone has something they NEED. What I NEED is to work with my hands. There's something about this primal instinct that we can always depend on them. They bare scares but are soft. They are delicate but strong. They have picked us up, wiped tears off our face yet have helped others in some many ways.

Photography for me has it all for me. The Action the Adventure the Adrenaline. Most photo shoots are very dot dot dot. We only have so much time and only a few locations to visit. and sometimes that's what people want. That's not what I want. I moved here from Florida after being born and raised in Sarasota for 30 years. Bryson City has always been a second home since I was a child. We'd take months long summer vacations to go tubing, camping, hiking, you name it! Those are some of my most fondest memories. Yeah I was sore and might have some scratches and bruises, but honestly I loved those reminders.

You see when you hike together you stay together. When you’re ready to shed blood, sweat, and tears together you know you’re in it for the long haul.

The kind of photography sessions I do are not normal. I don’t keep track of time. I don’t keep track of locations. I certainly don’t keep track of outfits. When we meet, I am with you in every aspect. I’m a sound board for any ideas, which outfits look good, fix you hair, hold your dress, make sure you don’t have lipstick on your teeth, hide any tags, you name it. I’m a friend first, photographer second. I got your back. Always.

Last minute Blue Ridge Parkway Elopement - Western North Carolina

An extremely last minute adventure elopement session deep the Blue Ridge Mountain Forests near Black Balsam Knob and Devil's Courthouse. Last minute surprises are the best, because it's all new and exciting and happening quickly. Get's your adrenaline going for sure! I am so happy with how these came out and I made Melissa ugly cry, which ya know, for us girls is a big deal. So I cried and laughed with her when I delivered the USB. If you live close by I always try to hand USB so we can cry together. When I do deliver USBs I bring: Tissues, chocolate, and a surprise custom to each bride. 

Portraits of Ashley

So yesterday 2/7 was 67 degrees out. A warm front was blessed to us for only 24 hours though. So my BF and I went on an adventure to a spot we had scoped out a couple weeks back while looking for land to buy near Cashiers North Carolina.

Any trail and park right now is not busy at all! Middle of winter man. Today it’s back to normal, so 45 degrees. Glad we did this. Good Model, Good Location, Good Camera, Good Clothes, etc. It was the perfect day, a little glimpse of spring and summer to come. We can do it guys!!! Winter is almost over.

Hanging Rock State Park - western North CAROLINA elopement

Hanging Rock State Park in Danbury just north of Winston-Salem North Carolina. 

It was my first time visiting this park, you can normally spot the wild Ashley in the Great Smokies or Blue Ridge Parkway Mountains. North Carolina is my home state and the fact that I'll still be exploring our beautiful state a decade from now, makes me smile so big it hurts my cheeks.

While it is winter, we had the perfect day for elopement pictures. This on a day where it was ONLY 48 degrees, that’s warm right? BUT combine that with hardly any wind and sunshine - makes for a very happy wedding couple and photographer. Radiant heat is the best.

Candice and Mark had the perfect spot already planned and we meet at coffee shop near Asheville and I followed THEM to Hanging Rock State Park as they mountain climb together there. Well well well, the tides have turned eh? The couples show the photographer the best spots that they’d found while going on their own adventure. But seriously, they showed me a WHOLE new area for adventure elopements and adventure portraits in North Carolina. Folks our state is a GOLD MINE when it comes to stunning locations. Like just drive 30 mins anywhere in western North Carolina and BAM epic landscapes. 

So yeah enjoy these winter pics minus the snow.

I mentioned in an Instagram post couple weeks back, that in order to get this hazy look, you just add a TINY tiny bit of oil to top of lens corner aka less is more folks. TMI but I normally rub my finger tips on my forehead and dot lens and MAKE SURE you a microfiber wipe to clean lens. ALWAYS.

Blue Ridge Parkway Adventure Elopement

Today I wanted to share a bit about WHY I love elopements and am so incredibly stoked to be apart of them.

I am drawn to the bravery and the genuineness of elopements. As a photographer, elopements have allowed me the privilege to witness people - as raw and real as possible - standing in front of each other, declaring and promising their love in a unique, passionate, and epic way that means everything to them. There's no fancy front to put on - just two people wholly and entirely in love with each other, promising to spend their lives together in a way that's true to who they are. The couples I have photographed - and the couples like you, who I hope to photograph - continue to cement my belief in the elopement experience. Elopements capture the unique, authentic, and honest love between two people as they take each others hands and dive into or hike, climb, or jump into, the greatest adventure of their lives.