Max Patch Engagement Session | Dreamy North Carolina Sunset Engagement

November 25, 2020

UPDATE 8/26/21: I should have posted this update long ago, but I just want to come back to this blog and add that I will no longer be offering any sessions or elopements at Max Patch, and even if you don’t hire me as your photographer, I strongly recommend you consider looking elsewhere for a mountain location. The Forest Service, who maintains Max Patch and the surrounding area, has requested that photographers and those seekings photos at Max Patch to avoid the area. Due to the increasing popularity of the area by both hikers and photographers alike, the impact has been too damaging for Max Patch to sustain long term, and as a Leave No Trace-aware photographer, I cannot in good conscience contribute to the problem, and neither should you. As stewards of these beautiful public lands, we must recognize when our activities have a negative impact and recognize when it’s time to step back and let the land heal. Luckily, there is no shortage of locations with mountain views in this region and, even more lucky if you hire me, I know a handful of other great alternative spots to consider instead.


Max Patch, Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina. The perfect day. The kind where the weather is superb, the views are hard to beat, and everything just seems to come together. These two lovebirds were rewarded with some beautiful mountain weather for their engagement session that night outside Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Sam and Simon had recently become engaged and were looking to take a trip up from Atlanta to the mountains to go on an adventure for their engagement session, and after chatting with them about what they were dreaming up and getting to know them more, we settled on spending an afternoon up at Max Patch in the Pisgah National Forest.

The day couldn’t have been better. We met at the trailhead and packed everything we were going to take in into our packs, then headed off to the top of the bald. Once there, we picked a nice little spot on the west-facing side of the mountain to set up our “base camp” and prepare for the main attraction: that epic sunset over the Great Smoky Mountains.

Sam and Simon actually had most of their stuff already packed when we arrived, so it wasn’t until we were at the top of Max Patch that they surprised me with the news that their picnic which they packed was, in fact, Taco Bell. They said that if there was one meal that was true to them to bring for their picnic, it was Taco Bell. To top it off, it was Taco Bell AND champagne. I mean, think about it: You typically already get a fizzy beverage with your TB meal of choice, so why not take it up just that tiny notch for your engagement, am I right?!

Max Patch is an absolutely amazing spot for many reasons, most notably its panoramic mountain views and ease of accessibility which makes it both a killer sunrise and sunset spot. The bald is also part of the Appalachian Trail. Because of this, the location has become insanely popular over the years. The Forest Service has discussed plans to add more infrastructure to the area to accommodate the growth in popularity, but actual efforts have been merely dreams thus far. 

We are insanely lucky to be able to access these beautiful lands, so let’s do our best to keep it that way. Please read all signs and avoid restoration areas when asked, even if you see a trail that provides a quicker route to the top (and possibly even seen others taking the trail as well). The popularity of this area has had an enormous impact on the land already, which is why the Forest Service asks you to avoid posted restoration areas for the land to recover. Last time I was out there, a new sign had been posted at the trailhead about an elk family that had been sighted in the area, so please be aware of surrounding wildlife too. And keep wildlife wild; Do not approach, feed, or attempt to touch any wildlife. Rule of thumb: If you stick your thumb out all the way in front of you and the animal is not covered entirely by your thumb, you’re probably too close 😉

Always remember to pack out all that you packed in. Doing your best to be a good steward of these beautiful and awe-inspiring places will make such a positive impact for years to come. No sauce packets were left behind in the making of these memories.

A trail of the hike at Max Patch.
A couple playfully setting up a blanket to have their engagement picnic at a mountain top at Max Patch.
A man and a woman laying upside down beside each other, staring lovingly into each others eyes while holding hands at Max Patch mountain top.
A man caressing his fiancés face lovingly while laying down opposite each other.
An engaged couple sitting across from each other while sharing a kiss at Max Patch.
A woman laying with her head on her fiance’s belly while gazing back at him with a smile.
A woman laying with her head on her fiance’s belly gazing at him while blowing a kiss.
An engaged couple sitting down on a blanket cuddling on Max Patch.
A boho couple relaxing on a blanket while being playful on Max Patch mountain top.
A boho couple relaxing on a blanket on Max Patch mountain top.
A Taco Bell meal being displayed on a blanket with two packets of hot sauce.
A boho couple enjoying their meal on their engagement session in Max Patch.
A woman showing her fiancé a packet of hot sauce playfully.
A boho engaged couple preparing their picnic with a bottle of champagne on a mountain top at Max Patch.
A boho couple enjoying their meal on their engagement session in Max Patch.
A woman playfully feeding her fiancé a taco.
A man playfully feeding his fiancé a taco while giggling.
A man playfully feeding his fiancé a taco while giggling in a field at Max Patch.
A engaged boho couple sharing a kiss on Max patch mountain top.
A man playfully proposing to his girlfriend with a packet of hot sauce.
A man playfully proposing to his girlfriend with a packet of hot sauce.
A man playfully proposing to his girlfriend with a packet of hot sauce.
A man playfully proposing to his girlfriend with a packet of hot sauce while she looks surprised.
A packet of hot sauce laying on grass that says “Marry Me”.
An engaged boho couple sharing an embrace while the girlfriend is being picked up.
An engaged boho couple sharing an embrace while looking at other lovingly.
A couple takes a hike along the mountain top during sunset at Max Patch. They stop for a kiss when the man scoops his woman up.
A boho couple casually taking a walk through a field while holding hands at Max Patch.
A boho couple casually taking a walk through a field during sunset with the man walking in front of his girlfriend at Max Patch.
A boho engaged couple casually taking a walk through a field during sunset while holding hands at Max Patch.
A boho engaged couple casually taking a jog playfully through a field during sunset while holding hands at Max Patch.
A boho engaged couple casually taking a jog playfully through a field during sunset while holding hands at Max Patch.
A boho couple casually taking a walk through a field during sunset with the man walking in front of his girlfriend at Max Patch.
A boho engaged couple having fun walking down a trail during sunset, while his woman is being carried on his back playfully.
A boho engaged couple having fun walking down a trail during sunset, while his woman is being carried on his back playfully.
A close up at a delicate engagement ring on a flower during sunset on Max Patch.
A boho engaged couple sharing an embrace while lovingly staring at each others eyes and smiling at each other.
A couple standing in the middle of a field while holding hands at Max Patch mountain top.
A boho engaged couple sharing an embrace while the man holds his woman tightly while kissing her forehead.
A boho engaged couple sharing an embrace while the man lovingly holds his woman tightly.
A boho engaged couple having fun performing the floss dance routine while laughing.
A boho engaged couple having fun performing the floss dance routine while laughing.
A boho engaged couple having fun while the man is performing the floss dance routine while laughing.
A woman sitting on her man’s lap as they embrace each other tightly at Max Patch.
A woman sitting on her man’s lap as they embrace each other while sharing a kiss at Max Patch.
A woman sitting on her man’s lap as they embrace each other tightly while he kisses her cheek at Max Patch.
A woman sitting on her man’s lap as they embrace each other with their eyes closed at Max Patch.
A woman sitting on her man’s lap as they embrace each other with their eyes closed at Max Patch.
A woman sitting on her man’s lap as they embrace each other while sharing a light kiss at Max Patch.
A boho engaged couple taking a stroll through a Max Patch trail while the woman is walking ahead smiling.
A boho couple walking together with a bottle of champagne and glasses, ready to celebrate their engagement at Max Patch.
A couple playfully running through the Max Patch field.
Boho engaged couple standing facing each other in the Max Patch field.
A woman holding her fiance’s face lovingly in her hands as they share a sweet glance.
A woman holding her fiance’s face lovingly in her hands as they share a sweet glance as she smiles.
A man and woman sharing an embrace and they touch noses sweetly at a field at Max Patch mountain top.
A woman holding her fiance’s face lovingly in her hands while they share a sweet glance as she smiles.
A woman holding her fiance’s face lovingly in her hands while they share a sweet glance as she smiles.
a boho couple playfully celebrating their engagement while opening a bottle of champagne.
a boho couple playfully celebrating their engagement while the woman takes a drink directly from the champagne bottle.
a boho couple playfully celebrating their engagement while the woman takes a drink directly from the champagne bottle.
a boho couple playfully celebrating their engagement while the man takes a drink directly from the champagne bottle.
a boho couple playfully celebrating their engagement as the man pours some champagne into flute glasses.
a boho couple celebrating their engagement as they make a toast at Max Patch mountain top.
A couple taking a walk down a path at Max patch while holding their celebratory champagne glasses during sunset.
A boho engaged couple share a tight embrace as they touch noses and smiling during a sunset at Max Patch.
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I’m a firm believer that you deserve the best, most unforgettable elopement that focuses on your love and this amazing commitment that you two are about to make to one another.

I’m not only your photographer, but I’m also your guide to your wildly different photography experience that’s adventurous, intimate, and completely yours.

You deserve unique and beautiful memories to carry with you forever. And I’d love to help bring your dreams to reality.

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