Max Patch or Narnia?
I know I know... I have blogged this session before.
& shared it before but I'll probably never get THIS lucky with weather, snow, AND clear skies with a view again so it's worth sharing again especially since it's involved in a free session giveaway (keep reading for more info).
I'll start this version of the blog by saying that I grew up in Florida and didn't move here or see my first snow until I was 14 years old. I missed the big blizzard everyone talks about and I honestly didn't go to Max Patch for the first time until I was almost 30. I've avoided the parkway sessions when it's cold because 1. Florida blood and 2. I'm a horrible driver even on perfect roads. So when this session rolled around and the weather dropped like crazy (if memory serves it was 28 or 29 BEFORE the wind chill) it was a first for me. I showed up with gloves, snow pants, and a fierce determination to only whine a little if it was cold and wishing the weather app was wrong.
My couple showed up wishing for snow.
Guess who got their wish?
Believe it or not about a mile before that first picture of Narnia - I mean Max Patch - there was nothing. No snow. No frost. Just greenery. We literally rounded a corner and all of us were like, "GASP!?! HOW?!? WHaaTTahh?!?" It was shockingly pretty. I don't think I've ever seen something so pretty to be honest (until sunset a few hours later but you'll see those in a minute).
These two were SUCH good sports about ditching the jackets for a few minutes at a time. Literally minutes - because it was around 12 degrees with that wind chill and honestly "painfully" cold isn't an exaggeration.
This ring shot is one of my favorites.
As are these with the snow flurries. I shall share them every winter.
& every summer when it is too hot.
The best part about this shoot is they spent it talking about how they went to see The Grinch the night he proposed and we all kept laughing and quoting, "THIS IS THE LOUDEST SNOW EVER," because it totally was.
The side of a road in a ditch or Narnia? Hard to tell, hard to tell.
Also, I had JUST gotten my 24mm lens and a full frame camera and was SO happy I could fit these tall trees into a shot without backing up fifty miles. The sun hitting the ice was literal magic.
I mean, no wonder he's known since they were little that she's the one. PS; their love story would make you cry. It's the stuff of every country love song.
Around this time (the base of the mountain) we had a tough choice to make. Do we hike up to the top with one pair of gloves and take turns ? Or do we just stay down there and work with these pretty trees? Because I'm telling you guys, it was so cold. Uncomfortably, painfully cold and all of our hands hurt and our smiles were frozen in permanent "LOOK HOW PRETTY IT IS BUT I AM NUMB" position... so...
...naturally we decided it was worth it to hike up the mountain.
& my gosh. It was worth it. SO, so worth it.
Real life ^^ and they still weren't warm but this shot may actually be one of my favorites, ever. I told them to ignore me for a minute (but not two because it was so cold I took my phone out to check the temperature and it died immediately) and just soak up that view. Then a minute later I yelled (literally YELLED because it was so windy) TAKE THE COATS OFF.
& all of these shots happened.
It's never been more clear why they are called the "Blue Ridge" mountains.
& yay for that full frame camera coming in clutch for just the right session.
Honestly it was so cold that trying to make them smile for close ups would have been laughable - so I asked them to dance instead. 1. for the cute photo op and 2. to make sure they didn't get frost bite from standing still.
I mean seriously.
Also - marry a man who puts your shoes on because you can't feel your hands even though he can't feel HIS hands either. At this point in the shoot I promised we were done. We weren't going to top that view, I couldn't feel my hands or face, and she was shaking... then we rounded a corner on the way down and the whole view was pink. The sky. The ground. The mountains in the distance. We shared a look... and off the jackets came again.
Pictures don't do it justice.
If I was a more dramatic photographer the colors would have blown your mind - but I really do love the bright and soft look so I chose to tone down the sky in exchange for really seeing these two and them being the focus of the shots.
But I mean... I had to take some of just the sky also.
Also - ending with a snack is always the way to end a session. Especially if the snack is snow.
PS; Blue Ridge Moments and I are doing a Giveaway - Click on the link below to enter before December 15th! The owner of the page loved this session as much as I did and thought it would be perfect for the page and anticipated his followers would love it as well - so far almost 4,000 people have shown it some love, which is amazing.
The sunset photo at the end is also the picture that got me in touch with Visit NC Smokies - who have continued to support me and share my work ever since and they shared the original post from this session which you can find here, but honestly it needed a second one since Blue Ridge Moments is showing it off again.