We took Irene + Boyang out to Hawksbill Mountain for their Linville Gorge engagement session. Hawksbill is one of our favorite places in the Linville Gorge Wilderness. Actually, it’s just one of our favorite places period. I mean, just look at it. It’s so incredibly beautiful and honestly breathtaking. But during Irene + Boyang’s session, it was exceptionally beautiful. The sunlight was just perfect. Their faces when we finally got to the top of the mountain were of just pure awe.
We got up there a little early, so we all just sat atop the mountain and took it all in while we waited for the sun to set a little more. There is a special peace that comes over you while you are just sitting there looking at how incredible it all is that places like this even exist. As the sun began to set a little more, we adventured around and simply had so much fun. Dancing on top of a mountain, cuddling up to keep warm from the gusty winds, reading their reasons why they can’t wait to marry each other and just seeing one of the most beautiful sunsets we’ve experienced up there made this session one for the books.
Every year is pretty incredible, so it’s always hard to imagine topping the previous year, but it’s safe to say that we have done so each year. This past year was so impactful because of all that we learned. Even though we’ve been doing this together full time for the last six years, there is always so much to learn and improve on. 2017 was a year that learned a lot, mostly due to the fact that our son, Forrest, was mobile most of the year and he began to get more independent, the harder it got to work from home. So, this year, we joined the folks over at Assembly, a shared studio space here in Raleigh and also learned how to balance our work life and our home life. And that has been incredible.
2017 was also packed full of incredible weddings, elopements, engagement sessions and family/lifestyle sessions. This year, we were blessed enough to travel all around the country photographing so many incredible couples. Of course, we spent a good amount of our time photographing weddings and elopements in Asheville and the surrounding mountain areas, but this year, our second most photographed location was actually New York City. We also got to meet so many amazing people, both couples we worked with fellow photographers and other creative peers. Shout out to all of you!
This year, with all that we learned and with how much we grew, we are looking forward to all that lies ahead. We have plans in motion to release some wedding and couples photography education, potentially our presets (stay tuned) and to really grab this year by the horns and see where we can take this thing.
2017, we loved you. But, we are ready 2018 to do this.
Jenn + Chaz’s story and love is one that might be best described visually. It’s actually very fitting for these two filmmakers. Jenn + Chaz are both incredible filmmakers, so in the same way that Jessica and I express a lot of ourselves through visual means, they do too, but only this time, they were the subject. None of that might not make any sense, but that just goes to prove that often times we are truly better at expressing ourselves visually.
Not only was their Asheville elopement a visual dream, it was so raw, passionate and downright beautiful. Everything fell into place so perfectly. In fact, they had originally wanted do their elopement two and half months later that when we did, but somethings came up and they needed to move it up to this incredible day in Sept. The light was perfect, the family and friends they wanted to witness their promise to one another were all able to make it and it was really just the perfect day.
Their vows were some of the most heart gripping, humbling and beautifully spoken words we’ve heard between two humans. Then, there is their impeccable style. So, yeah. Even it was a wildly cold day (like freezing temps), it was still one of the most warming and fulfilling elopements/weddings we shot this year.
Zoe + Alex are two great friends who recently celebrated five years of marriage! To document what their love looks like after five years in, we did a super fun home session at a friends old converted school bus. They brought along their banjo and we just hung out, played some songs and had a blast laughing at how I (Brett) couldn’t fully stand up inside the bus, which in hindsight, is actually sort of humorous. Haha. Both are incredible musicians and Zoe even had a stint as a recording artist before moving to North Carolina from Oregon to plant a church with Alex, where they are worship leaders. Basically, they totally amazing humans and we are thankful to be able to call them friends.
Beech Mountain is a super special place for Jessica and I. It’s one of the places we used to visit a lot during our first years of dating and I worked up on Beech Mountain at a ski shop. We used to go to couples night at the ski resort and every time we are up near Banner Elk, we always make a point to go up on Beech, grab lunch at Fred’s and reminisce about those days together.
It’s no wonder why we loved shooting Caitlen + Matthews mountain destination wedding at Overlook Barn up on Beech Mountain this year. Aside from the fact these two are some of the sweetest, funnest and genuine people you could ever meet, they are also incredible in front of the camera. You might remember their engagement session we shared a little while back we did up on Hawksbill Mountain.
Despite some random rain showers throughout the day, Caitlen + Matthew’s wedding was beautiful. Their emotions were not afraid to be put on display whatsoever. Their attention to detail was spot one and the way they handled the random rain showers was with this calm and peaceful demeanor. It was all around an amazing time. Here is the evidence to prove it.
Leah and Joe are like some sort of fairytale love story. She’s from the states, here in North Carolina and he’s from England and met at a concert while he was in the states. The rest is history. The magnetic connection they share is something that is just amazing to witness and fortunately for us, we had the opportunity to capture it during our time with them up at a foggy Black Balsam Knob. Maybe the frigid temps up there gave more reason to cuddle up, but I believe they would of been glued to one another had it been 90 degrees. There really isn’t much better than hitting up some amazing places in the Blue Ridge Mountains with a couple who is mad for one another. And then on top of that, getting lucky enough to have that beautiful fog!? I mean, that’s like a dream right there.
A couple weeks ago I (Brett) went up to NYC for a couple shoots. Jess and I love traveling up there to shoot and play, but if I am being honest, it’s kind of weird not going with her, so I try to make myself super busy. That’s exactly what I did. It was sort of insane. Doing just one New York City couples session can be overwhelming in itself, so I should of known doing three would of been a real test. Thankfully, I passed. I think.
It’s rare that we ever actually shoot in the city. We usually shoot over in Brooklyn, but recently we’ve been really enjoying staying over in the LES at The Ludlow Hotel. We just love that area in general. So, for Hannah + Winston’s shoot, we shot in the city and just sorta wandered and explored around. These two cool kids made it even more fun. From shooting in the most unsuspected places in Chinatown to having an entire street/alley to ourselves in Tribeca and then to finding the most amazing and most pink Italian place in Nolita called Pietro Nolita and finally ending it all back at my hotel after grabbing a bite to egg at one of my favorite spots, Egg Shop, it was a great time.
You might recall the session we shared from this past fall of Rebekah + Stephen we did during that 9 month transition period of not being and a parent and about to be a parent. Haha. Well, Rebekah + Stephen recently welcomed their beautiful daughter Penelope into their lives and into the world. And let us tell you first hand, she is ADORABLE. Once again, it was such an honor to be able to photograph this sweet family. We ventured out to their home to do their Durham family home session and it was perfect. So relaxed and fun. And of course, it’s always so much fun chatting about babies and baby things, so we did a good bit of that too. But holding little Penelope was my favorite part. It took me back to when Forrest was that tiny and needed us for everything. It’s a wonderfully odd feeling to be honest, but more than anything, it’s a feeling that really makes you realize your purpose and sorta starts to bring everything in life full circle. It’s magical.
It’s not everyday that couples are willing to make a hike like this one, but Caitlen + Matthew were all for it. To make their Hawksbill Mountain engagement session happen, we met up with them in Wilkesboro and carpooled out to the beautiful Linville Gorge out past Boone, NC. It’s a beautiful landscape that Jessica and I used love visiting while we were in college. The hike isn’t all that hard, but when you add in the weight of photo gear, change of clothes for the couple and of course, you also don’t want anyone to work up too much of a sweat, it’s definitely one of those a lot might pass on. To us, it’s always totally worth it. Making memories and having time to really connect with our couples is a big part of our process, which is why we often try to make our engagement sessions based on something exciting, adventurous and beautiful. So thankful that Caitlen + Matthew made this trek and as you can see, it was all totally worth it.
Can’t hardly wait for Caitlen + Matthew’s wedding at Overlook Barn next month!