Our hike up McAfee Knob with Andrew & Sophie
An Adventure Shoot

The best places to shoot are off the beaten path, is literally a fact!

So what possessed us to hike a mountain for an engagement shoot? A friend I went to college with, who is currently hiking the appalachian trail (go Thomas and other warriors!), posted a picture of himself, on a peak, with the most amazing scenery. My mind was blown. So, I asked him where it was and told him that I wanted to find a couple who would be adventurous enough to hike that mountain with us to do their engagement shoot.

I threw it out on our facebook page asking if any future bride and grooms would be interested. The first one to bite was our Aruba couple Andrew and Sophie. Was I surprised they were 100% ready to pack their bags that day, no, not really. They decided to have their wedding in Aruba and are pretty random people (which we love), so I wasn’t surprised at all. But we were beyond excited that they did reach out to us!

So, a few weeks ago, we drove down to Salem, Virginia for 3 days. Spent a day at the most adorable and amazing bed and breakfast, spent that night drinking $2 drinks and getting to know each other. Honestly, to skip town and not have a $2 drink was just a no no. We are from Philadelphia, they are from North Jersey, we NEVER EVER see $2 drinks guys. Like ever! When opportunities like this present itself….is it really polite to walk away?

The second day, we went site seeing at the Natural bridge, did a little shooting, but we mostly just hiked and talked. By this point, it felt as if Sophie and Andrew were college friends of ours. Our personalities just clicked.

The third day was the day we’d hike 3.9 miles up to McAffee’s Knob. That doesn’t actually sound too bad, 3.9 miles, but doing it at 3:30 am to make it up there for sunrise was, well, a little scary. Maybe it wouldn’t have been so scary if everyone we spoke to didn’t mention the words bear or mountain lion. Honestly, I never really stopped to think of those little things. Well thanks to everyone that did mention those 2 animals, both Sophie and I didn’t get much sleep before the hike and were both googling how to survive a bear attack and what to do if you run into a bear at night. { walk backwards really slowly, talk continuously during your hike, drop all your gear and run, if it charges lay on your belly…you know all comforting stuff}. But we had zero bear encounters, none that I’m aware of anyway. I decided I was going to keep my eyes on the trail and on the trail only. No shining the flashlight off the trail. {You never know what may be next to you.. ;0)}

So, we got up there and it was the most breath taking thing I’ve ever seen. This has actually encouraged us to want to hike more mountains 🙂

Check them out!

Virginia-creative-engagement-photo

Day two: If you ever find yourself near Roanoke, Virginia, you should stay at The Inn at Burwell Place. Seriously, we had the best time there!

Virginia-creative-engagement-photo

And this dog. Oh my gosh, I loved this dog. She was 3lbs of pure fluffy love. I nicknamed her Tina Turner.

Virginia-creative-engagement-photo

Virginia-creative-engagement-photo

Virginia-creative-engagement-photo

Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo

Day Three: McAffee’s Knob

Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo

Andrew does this insanely good Robert De Niro impression. I’m pretty sure this wasn’t the first time Sophie saw Robert come out of Andrew.

Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo

Virginia-creative-engagement-photo

Virginia-creative-engagement-photo

Virginia-creative-engagement-photo

Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo

You’ll also notice that we shot film and digital on this shoot. I’m extremely happy with how they turned out 🙂

Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo Virginia-creative-engagement-photo

After shooting we were so pumped and so ready for the hike back, I realized I wasn’t afraid of bears during the daylight. As if they are nocturnal and only come out angry at night, lol.

 

Virginia-creative-engagement-photo

Another bear surviving tip for you…You shouldn’t stop to take pictures of the bear or do anything that may cause more attention to yourself. I realized, after seeing the first sign of wildlife on our way back, I was the one to stop and take pictures of it. I soon realized that I would BE THE PERSON that would get us all killed because I can’t help but take a picture of an animal. I see deer all the time in our backyard, but I still had to stop, sneak into the woods a little farther and take a picture. Could you imagine if I saw a baby cub, I never see baby cubs in my backyard. The fact that momma is not far behind would probably not even cross my mind at that moment, ha! Luckily we didn’t see any baby cubs either and we all walked out of there alive!

 

Virginia-creative-engagement-photo

Future couples, if you have a crazy fun idea, speak up! Let’s create an awesome adventure together!

Happy Thursday!

Melissa.

Care to Leave a Comment?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked: *