From Childhood Friends to Fabulous Fiancees
Shelby + Danyell have known each other for years. They attended school together and were long-time friends before falling for each other in high school. Only a few years later, they now own a home and are looking forward to building a future.
Seeing as this was their first professional photoshoot with a photographer and they've never really made their relationship "Facebook official," I felt it was important that I capture their "weird, chill, & adventurous" relationship in a way that felt authentic to them.
And honestly, as soon as the word 'adventurous' gets used by a couple who's booked with me, I immediately get excited and hop on to google maps, ready to share with them my various lists of saved places to have an adventurous day-date... but these two already had a gorgeous location in mind (and it just so happened to be on my shoot-it bucket list too, so that's a double win!!)
Dolly Sods Wilderness Provides a Gorgeous Panoramic View
Sunrise or Sunset? The choice is all yours!
Thankfully, golden hour comes twice a day, so you can have gorgeous warm skin tones and skies, regardless of whether you claim the early bird status or are more of a late riser.
These two lovebirds are early risers and love to explore the Sods whenever they're given the chance, so it only made sense to capture their engagement during a sunrise session there.
Making The Experience Their Own
Shelby + Danyell aren't really the lovey-dovey romantic types, so it wouldn't make sense for all of their photos to be centered around them kissing and cuddling, so I wanted to give a variety of poses that they could enjoy.
One of the most special quirks of their relationship involves making a half heart with their hands and allowing the other to complete it...
and if I'm being honest, I had no knowledge of this when I asked them to do exactly that during our session - it just felt right for them.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I am, in fact, a mind-reading, time-freezing miracle worker. 😉
Perfectly Imperfect Conditions
These ladies were such troopers.
Can you tell that they were freezing?
Having one of the highest elevations in the state, the wind up at Bear Rocks Overlook is nothing short of fierce, and it was no different during their session. On top of that, the sun wasn't up when we arrived and it was about 25 degrees colder than back home, leaving us with a chilly 42 degrees.
You also can't tell from the photos, but the overlook was absolutely PACKED with other adventurers and photographers there to witness the stunning sunrise of the Sods. It was super lucky that I managed to find the very last parking spot available for cars and that we managed to claim a spot along the rocks before another wave of people began to flood the area.
(Just an FYI, there are plenty of places for SUVs and trucks to park, but the Sods is not the most car-friendly location)
Check out the images from their gallery below!