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When I first moved to North Carolina I was told I had to visit Asheville and when I did a must see was The Biltmore Estates. It took me 4 years of living in North Carolina to get to visit the gorgeous grounds and almost 7 before Erin & John contacted us for their elegant Biltmore Estate engagement session! A dream come true!

 The Biltmore Challenge

However, shooting at the Biltmore is not without its challenges. It’s absolutely breathtaking and everyone else thinks so too, so on the day of their session, it was mobbed with people. Challenge accepted! We managed to find the right angles, quiet little nooks and waited patiently as lines of people moved past us. Sometimes even hanging out to watch Erin & John rock the camera. Thankfully, the main house was the busiest so the rest of the grounds offered a lot of great places to photograph. I’m sure we’ve only scratched the surface of what these beautiful grounds have to offer.

Erin & John

Erin & John made our job super easy too. Between John’s dry sense of humor and Erin’s bubbly personality, we felt like friends immediately. Then to watch their chemistry together, it’s clear to see why their getting married. A perfect match of wits and love! We had a blast getting to know them both during this short session and hope this is just the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Congrats to both of you! Y’all are awesome!


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Elegant Biltmore Estate Engagement | Erin & John


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True adventure is seeing the possibilities in any situation. There is always something interesting right around the corner. I’m pretty sure that’s how Shannon & Derek see life. They seize the moment and live in it to the fullest. We spent a spectacular afternoon seeking out the adventure Asheville has at any given moment. I’m a little obsessed with their dreamy mountain top engagement at craggy gardens and Biltmore village!

The Grand Bohemian

We met at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Biltmore Village. This hotel is full of eclectic furniture with a luxurious vibe. The ornate pillars and interesting textures made for a fantastic photographic backdrop. They’re also a dog friendly hotel! So it was the perfect spot to bring Shannon & Derek’s baby, Bonita Applebum. A fantastic name for the coolest frenchie pup ever! She was all smiles when Mom & Dad came back to the room just to snuggle her up!

Cloudy Craggy Gardens

After a quick costume change, we drove up winding mountain roads to reach the Craggy Garden trail. At first we thought we’d get the epic mountain views we were hoping for, but it didn’t take long for the clouds to sprint over the pinnacle. Soon our blue ridge mountain range was snatched away from view. But that didn’t stop Shannon  & Derek from their excitement and love. Who gets to shoot in a cloud after all? So we kept up the trail until we reached the tip top of Craggy. Not a mountain could be seen, but the dreamy foggy feel made for some extra cool photographs!

We are totally smitten with Shannon, Derek, & Bonita! Their Charleston wedding is going to be such an amazing celebration. We can’t wait to show you that story too!


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Dreamy Mountain Top Engagement at Craggy Gardens | Shannon & Derek


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How many photos can we take in sixty seconds? Apparently way more than I thought! I was so excited to finally get to visit Craggy Gardens in Asheville, NC. Due to the weather in NC, our photo shoot with Jenny & Bryan of had gotten rescheduled twice already! The weather report said there was a chance this time and we took it!
Jenny & Bryan are the amazing videographers behind HeartIsTree Studios! We made sure we had plenty of time to shoot and got to Asheville early, met for dinner, and started to drive up the mountin. As we drove things started to look sketch. Up until that point it had been sunny with short passing rain storms that lasted 5 minutes at most. I was confident that was all we would get at Craggy. However, the further we went up the mountain, the darker the clouds got, and my heart started to sink. We arrived at the Craggy Gardens visitor center minutes before the storm engulfed us. Even then, we risked the rain and started to shoot. As you can guess, it didn’t take long for the sprinkles to turn into a water fall of rain and we ran back to our cars.
A light rain we actually welcome. We love shooting in it and creating some epic photographs! But, when it down pours and lightening strikes, we know it’s not safe for us and our gear! So back down the mountain we drove, discouraged but not broken!
We’ve already made plans for another attempt in just a few weeks! I’m now more excited to make it to the pinnacle of Craggy Gardens. Jenny & Bryan’s range of emotion in sixty seconds is spectacular. I especially love the series where you can see Jenny & Bryan’s reaction to the pouring rain! Priceless!
I’m so happy we tried to get this session done. Not only did we get some serious quality time with two new friends, but we have a hilarious story to share with everyone! One day we will conquer Craggy! I promise!



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A Quick Craggy Gardens Rainy Photo Shoot – Jenny & Bryan

Pisgah National Forest engagement session with Mabyn Ludke Photography at Looking Glass Falls


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Looking Glass Falls & Black Balsam Knob

Double header weekends are tough. When Monday morning rolls around, my body aches and it takes extreme effort to focus my mind on the tasks at hand. On Saturday I second shot a wedding with a friend. Sunday Daniel & I prepared for Liz & Nathen’s Black Blasam Knob engagement! This time though we got to explore south of Asheville in the Pisgah National Forrest! I promise you, no matter how tired I am, if I pick up my camera I’m instantly awake and ready to go! And that’s exactly what happened when I saw Liz & Nathen in love. I’m like a freaking moth to the flame, I can’t help myself!

Cheers for being closer!

Liz is one of the first people I befriended when I moved down here to North Carolina. She and I both had photography businesses and we bonded quickly. I don’t get to see her nearly enough! BUT when I started to see inklings of a beau on her Facebook page, I started to get excited! She got engaged to this mysterious man from the Land Down Under, yes Australia, Nathen. These two blow me away. Their relationship has spanned 3 years, 2 countries, and really bad internet connections! Now they’re closer than ever & their wedding could literally happen at any moment! This session was important for two reasons. The first being their 3 year anniversary! Way to celebrate by climbing a mountain! And second this is one step closer to BEING CLOSER & their marriage becoming the real deal!
Thank you Liz & Nathen for an incredible session! You were up for every twist and turn and made some serious magic!



An epic view of Looking Glass Falls near Asheville, NC

We started the session at Looking Glass Falls just south of Asheville. When Daniel & I arrived it was crowded with tons of tourists enjoying a warm spring day. Not very long after Liz & Nathen arrived, the crowds dispersed and we had most of the waterfall to our selves! I can’t make this stuff up people! How amazing!

Couple snuggles at Looking Glass Falls near Asheville, NC Mabyn Ludke Photography

Every photo session starts off a little awkward, but with these two it didn’t last long. It was clear to see that they soaked up every spare moment they could with each other. That whole “absence makes the heart grow fonder” thing is very true.

Holding hands at Looking Glass Falls in Asheville, NC

I was obsessed with Liz’s engagement ring. It was a beautiful shade of rose gold.

Pisgah National Forest Engagement Session with Mabyn Ludke Photography

Remember that awkward thing that I talked about earlier? Yeah, the best part about Liz & Nathen is that they completely embrace it! They had us cracking up all day long!

A romantic kiss at Looking Glass Falls near Asheville, NC

But that sweetness tho…I can’t quite get over how the love just pours from these two!

Waterfall snuggles at the Looking Glass Falls in Asheville, NC

I’m also pretty smitten with the fact that they had no problem with me getting “all up in their grill.” It was like I didn’t exist & their I was a happy observer of their bubble of joy.

Mabyn Ludke Photography captured a sweet couple at their engagement session at Looking Glass Falls in Asheville, NC

Liz was quite the trooper, getting up that rock was not easy & she made it happen! Totally worth it!

Looking Glass Falls engagement session with Mabyn Ludke Photography in Asheville, NC

I happened to look down and saw bits of river debris clinging to their cold toes. I couldn’t help but snap a shot of this cuteness.

Couple snuggles in the river at Looking Glass Falls in Asheville, NC

Looking Glass Falls felt like we were in a travel magazine. It’s just gorgeous from any angle!

Pisgah National Forest engagement session with Mabyn Ludke Photography at Looking Glass Falls

Liz was sad that she didn’t get an opportunity to put on self tanner before the shoot. I was actually glad she didn’t! The gorgeous mix of pale skin & red locks is so incredibly beautiful and unique. It’s easy to see why Nathen is so enraptured by his Liz!

Cold water at a Looking Glass Falls engagement session with Maby Ludke Photography near Asheville, NC

Gotta give it to Nathen this time. Apparently the waters in Australia are much warmer than they are in the Appalachian Mountains! It took some pulling, but we finally got him in there!

Romantic Looking Glass Falls Engagement Session by Mabyn Ludke Photography in Asheville, NC

I couldn’t help by stop and take one more photo on the way back out from Looking Glass Falls. Look at that view!

A misty engagement session at Black Balsam Knob in Asheville, NC

Our second stop in this epic Asheville adventure was to Black Balsam Knob. Where it was sunny and warm at Looking Glass the opposite was true at Black Balsam. It’s amazing what a little elevation will do! We drove higher and higher into the clouds until we finally reached the trail head. What a contrast to Looking Glass. At first I was worried that Liz & Nathen would be disappointed, but to my delight these two wanted to embrace the foggy goodness that surrounded this mountain top!

A couple snuggles closs in the Pisgah National Forest near Asheville, NC

It’s been a long time since I got to shoot in foggy conditions and I was SO excited to play! Look at how Liz’s red hair just pops against the dark background!

A misty cloud surrounds an engaged couple at Black Balsam Knob in North Carolina

Ya’ll know how I am with crazy light and I knew that these foggy conditions would be perfect to create something magical. I never expected to capture bits of color within the light. The fog acted like a prism refracting a rainbow!

Mabyn Ludke Photography captured an epic photo of an engaged couple at Black Balsam Knob

Liz & Nathen may not of have gotten epic mountain top views, but the got something vastly more unique!

A Romantic Engagement Session at Black Balsam Knob in Asheville, NC by Mabyn Ludle Photography

Then I turned off the flash and found a beautiful moodiness that worked perfectly with these two. Aren’t these dark woods so romantic?

A moody Black Balsam Knob Engagement Session near Asheville, NC

The woods at Black Balsam Knob are something special…

A sweet kiss from the engaged couple at Black Balsam Knob in Asheville, NC

We cleared the woods and headed up towards the top and stopped along the way for a few snuggles too.

A windy Asheville, NC engagement session at Black Balsam Knob

The further we climbed the wind got stronger & the fog got thicker!

Couple walks hand in hand at Black Balsam Knob in Asheville, NC

Both locations Liz & Nathen chose were like out of a story book. We kept talking about how Black Balsam Knob reminded us of something out of Lord of the Rings!

A beautiful black and white of an engaged couple a top Black Balsam Knob in Asheville, NC photo by Mabyn Ludke

By the time we got near the top of Black Balsam we realized that we were losing light fast. So we found a super cool outcropping of rocks and chose to finish our session there.

A romantic cloudy engagement session in Asheville on Black Balsam Knob

I’m pretty sure we were in a movie or something!

A windy Black Balsam Knob engagement session on the Blue Ridge Parkway

It’s photos like this one that make me want my long hair back…just for a wind swept photo shoot!

Blue Ridge Parkway engagement session at Black Balsam Knob

As the last remaining bits of light were in the sky, I lit these two up as they lit up our world during this fantastic session. Gosh I love this job, there is nothing better in the entire world!








A Magical Black Balsam Knob Engagement with Liz & Nathen