North Carolina. What I love most about this crazy life is the adventure of it. Ashley reached out to me wanting some photos of her and her boyfriend Mitch while they headed into the area for vacation and I’m so glad they did. We had such a fun time venturing around, despite our plans being diverted from our original itinerary.
The mountains had seen some decent snow in the week leading up to our time together, which had me checking updates even more so than I typically do in the days leading up to any session. Out plans were to take some photographs at the top of Grandfather Mountain, but being the highest peak on the eastern escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s accessibility is very much dependent on the weather. Although the majority of the lower elevations in the mountains had thawed out, Grandfather was experiencing record-high winds leaving it covered in ice still. I knew we needed to change our plan.
I know adventure sessions and having that epic shot could be a lot of fun. But the thing is, I almost never have to tell couples no because I don’t say yes to things while planning which could carry real danger. My couples often want to shoot on an edge, and I’ll help them find a safe spot to do so and pursue on their own, at their own individual level of comfort. But when it comes to things like hurricane-force winds and sheets of ice that can break free and knock you down at any moment, it’s my job to know and prepare for the risks which didn’t exist and weren’t part of the picture when a plan was first made. Some things just aren’t worth the risk. Flat out, I prioritize safety over any epic shot.
So seeing as we were in the northwest corner of the state, we went to the one easy area that first comes to mind: The Roan Highlands. Seeing as we also had some time to spare thinking we were going to do this big hike today, we first made a stop at Beacon Heights and took the short trail to the summit. Makes for spectacular Parkway views even when the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed. After frolicking around the outcrops in the midday sun for a bit, we hiked back to our cars and drove over to Carvers Cap and the pinnacle of the Roan Highlands for one epic sunset.
Making memories and having time to really connect with my couples is a big part of my process, which is why I often try to make even the simplest of couples sessions based on something exciting, adventurous and beautiful. So thankful that Ashley + Mitch made this trek and as you can see, it was all totally worth it.