Summer Engagement Session in Staunton, Virginia and the Blue Ridge Parkway | Charlottesville Wedding Photographer

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Sunrise or sunset is usually the best time of day for your engagement photo session. At these times of day, the light is less harsh and more flattering, often suffused with golden, dreamy colors.


When shooting in Shenandoah National Park or at the more popular hikes in Central Virginia, I generally recommend my couples consider sunrise for their session. Sunrise hikes are almost always less crowded than sunset hikes, and getting up that early often means you will have a space to yourself that might be packed later in the day.

If sunset is preferred, there are west-facing overlooks off the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive that are excellent options, as well as some lovely west-oriented ridges accessible by hiking. So if a couple is particularly keen on one overlook that works better for later in the day, we make it work! It just sometimes means shooting around other photographers/couples or sidestepping families watching the sun descend over the mountains.

When you book your engagement session, we’ll talk about what time of day works better for the two of you, what kind of vibe you’d like, and how much of a hike you’re interested in doing.

I’ll then send over some location ideas for you to consider. I’ve hiked almost all of the major paths in Shenandoah National Park and many of the “popular” hikes in Central Virginia. Some are shorter, like Stony Man, and are accessible for almost any fitness level, other spots require more time/commitment, like McAfee’s Knob or Old Rag. And some you can just pull off and reach a beautiful place a few steps from the car, like Big Meadows or Raven’s Rock.

For other couples, in-home sessions are more their speed or they’re looking for more of an urban vibe.

For this engagement session, Samantha and William wanted both urban and mountain vibes. So we started in downtown Staunton, hit up the local ice cream place Klines on the way out of town, and then got to Raven’s Rock for sunset.

Interested in booking your own engagement session? Get in touch -- I’m now booking November/December 2019 and Spring 2020.