Fun fact, I’m a Virginia native born and raised, and living with a constant view of the mountains has me pretty spoiled! This year, I’ve had more couples than ever choose high altitude locations for their engagement session! But seriously can you blame them! Virginia is filled with endless scenery from city life to rural farms but there is something about these secluded mountain views that make the perfect romantic evening of photos.
Below I’m sharing 5 quick tips to master your next mountain session, plus my top 10 favorite Virginia Engagement locations! Keep scrolling for a peek inside some of this years most incredible views!
365 Days of views:
There is truly no “off-season” for a mountain photoshoot. With the constantly changing foliage, the variety and natural landscape make the perfect backdrop any time of year. The rocky terrain looks stunning with a mix of warm fall colors or lush greens in the summer. I’ve even shot in the mountains in January and despite the less than ideal temperature there was not a bad angle!
Rise & Shine:
Did you know that golden hour isn’t just meant for sunset! Some of the best glowing light I have seen is from the first few hours in the morning. With hiking becoming such a popular activities, especially during this pandemic, everyone is looking for an excuse to get outside and capture a cute sunset. Often times that means the best photoshoot locations are scattered by families picnicing and eliminate any possibility for the clean mountain view you were envisioning! Since we can’t rent spots on the mountain… the best way to insure a private session free from distractions is to plan for a sunrise photoshoot!
Casual & Cute!
There is truly no wrong outfits for the mountains! I absolutely love when my couples embrace their personalities with casual jeans and hiking boots. This always makes for the most fun posing when they are free to climb and cuddle without the fear of getting a little dirty! I always recommend bringing two outfits so that my couples can capture a few glamorous portraits with the stunning backdrop! Always, always, always bring comfy shoes but feel free to slip on heels when you make your way to level ground!
Embrace the elements:
One of my favorite aspects of photographing in the secluded Blue Ridge Mountains is the constant change! I can photograph at the same location two days in a row but the cloud cover, foliage, and elements are never the same twice! The changing wind and rain and sun peeking through the clouds make for the most exciting challenging! One of my biggest tips for couples planning a mountain photoshoot is to fully embrace the elements. Its always best to add a little extra travel time and flexability to allow for a passing rain shower. It’s always best to work with the mountain and let your hair blow in the wind for a little extra volume!
One of the best parts about photographing in the mountains is the uneven terrain which turns traditionally stiff poses into an instant adventure! Simple actions, like walking, become more epic simply because of the landscape! Have you ever heard the saying about seeing a scary movie on the first date… No matter what the experience and thrill will instantly bring you closer. That is the same with adventurous engagement locations. Of course, I will never have my clients do any poses that put them in danger but getting a little outside your comfort zone often leads couples to get extra cuddly and full of laughter!
I hope these quick tips helped you feel confident and excited for your next mountain gettaway! As with every engagement session, I always encourage my couples to make it a date night and find a nearby spot to grab dinner afterwards or a picnic with a view! As promised, I am letting you in on a few of my favorite Virginia Mountain views below!
- Humpback Rock parking area (30 min from Charlottesville)
- 2. Ravens Roost Overlook (40 min from Charlottesville)
- Franklin Cliffs Overlook (1 hr/15min from Charlottesville)
- Dark Hallow Falls (1 hr/15min from Charlottesville)
- Stony Man (1.5hrs from Charlottesville)
- Big Meadows (1 hr/15min from Charlottesville)
- Sharp Top (1hr from Lynchburg)
- Cascade Falls (30 min from Blacksburg)
- Great Falls (30 min from Nova)
- Bears Den Overlook (1hr from Nova)
As always remember that these beautiful landscapes are a privilage to photograph and we should do everything in our power to maintain their natural state! I hope you enjoyed these quick tips and if you haven’t gotten your mountain fix, check out one of my favorite winter sessions HERE!
How to Master your Mountain Photoshoot | Virginia Wedding Photographer
Dec 10, 2020