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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Grace

On The 1st Day of Christmas...

Lake Junaluska sent to me...

A scary swan and a cotton candy sunset.

So, for those of you who haven't noticed 2021 kicked my behind, and as Christmas is FAST approaching, I'm realizing that 2022 is, also. Something that I truly dropped the ball on was blogging in 2021 - which is particularly disappointing since 2021 also included some of my best family sessions, maternity shoots, newborn sessions, weddings, and engagements (to name a few).

I am going to try (try, y'all) to do 12 blog posts leading up to Christmas in between editing (while images upload and export) - and since the traditional First Day of Christmas involves a Partridge in a Pear Tree, I thought a Scary Swan by a Fishing Dock was the right start to this little catch up project.

The last time I had these two in front of my camera there was a downpour and the house she was building was basically like an island in the middle of a sea of mud. & They were troopers. The next time I see them from behind my lens after this shoot will be IN GERMANY- at THEIR ENGAGEMENT SESSION. IN LESS THAN FOUR MONTHS AHHHHHH.

It's so wild that we shot their Save The Dates already because it feels like a moment ago when she and I were having conversations like, "So do you think he'll propose soon?" & Now we are knee deep in wedding planning (she has SPREADSHEETS y'all, a girl after my own heart). What's even more wild than that? The swan.

The swan that made me almost wet myself because I was nervous laughing so hard the moment that I realized it was swimming up to us (at a speed that indicated an imminent attack) and it hung out too close to us while hissing the whole time. Thankfully, Kate wasn't scared of said evil swan and lectured it for me. Even more thankfully, it made for some amazing sunset photos. Which is why you'll be seeing this session from finish to start - so that I can start with the swan.


Shots like this one, though? Worth being terrified.

I mean. You can't tell me that swan doesn't look like it wants to kill me.

I talked about the swan a good bit but did you notice how amazing the sunset was? We almost gave up waiting for it and were actually leaving the lake when I called them to pull over. Right before we stopped at the dock we had stopped along The Rose Walk because it was the prettiest pale pink skies - and we really thought THAT was going to be peak sunset. We were so wrong.

The Rose Walk is one of my favorite things about Lake Junaluska and one of the things I remembered about it from middle school. I actually didn't grow up here and didn't know my dad was living near here when we came to visit randomly with a youth group. It was only two years later we made the move and I realized it was the same lake we'd stayed at pretty quickly. It was one of the places Nick and I came to first when we started dating a decade ago and it was one of the places we would bring the twins when he first started coming around them.

So it's the kind of place I never get tired of shooting at, ever. & I love to enjoy it with couples who are also friends (like these two) most of all. I cannot wait to see all of their favorite places in Germany and to meet his family and see the church where they'll be getting married. Truly, it's one of the things I'm most looking forward to in 2022.

So much mischief.

Unless she tricks me into eating something gross.

I am not looking forward to that. Ha.

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