Wedding

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Middle Fork Barn, Meadowview VA

I love that every story we get to tell is so unique! One weekend we’ll be at an upscale hotel shooting an elegant back tie affair. Then next we’ll be in a backyard for an intimate casual event.
For this wedding we traveled up to the Middle Fork Barn in Meadowview VA for a country wedding!
Middle Fork is an incredible wedding venue. It’s nestled in the Appalachian mountains with acres and acres of rolling hills to see.
It was my lucky day because thunderstorms were passing by and gave us some seriously epic clouds! We all know how much I love clouds and mountains and here they are in one gorgeous wedding day!

Keeping it authentic!

Hillary & Will are so authentic and down to earth as is their families. Will loves to keep everyone laughing with his jokes and Hillary’s warmth is incredibly inviting. They make a perfect pair! We were immediately welcomed into the fold as family which we just love! It was a DIY affair and all hands were on deck. Family and friends scurried around all afternoon setting everything up. I loved all the rustic details that Hillary & her family had made themselves. It added a beautiful personal touch to the entire day.
 
When Hillary & Will were ready we got them together for their first look and I was trying hard not to cry! All the anticipation that had been building up burst from both Hillary & Will in tears of joy! What an emotional and beautiful moment.
 
From then on family & friends started to flood in through the gates to get ready for their ceremony. While they said their vows, cows even moseyed over to watch their union! It was literally picture perfect with the clouds, mountains, and joyful moments. I couldn’t stop snapping away! As Hillary & Will exited their ceremony, they gave one last epic kiss before running away to the barn! A signal to start the party!
 
The rest of the evening was filled with home made BBQ, soda pop, and LOTS of laughter. It was truly a joy to witness! Thank you Hillary & Will for allowing us to capture your beautiful country wedding day! We loved every moment!
 
XOXOXO,
Mabyn

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Middle Fork Barn Wedding in Meadowview, VA

Engagement

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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!

 

XOXOXO,
Mabyn

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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

Engagement

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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!

 

XOXOXO,
Mabyn

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!

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A Magical Black Balsam Knob Engagement with Liz & Nathen

A Black and white image of a couple kissing at Doughton Park near Sparta, NC. Photo by Mabyn Ludke

Engagement

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Doughton Park

Selecting the right location for your session is way more important than one might think. It adds layers of depth and attachment that don’t happen with the pretty park down the road. We searched and searched for the perfect location for Casey & Andrew’s anniversary session. One night, Andrew told us a story of this amazing park his family visits every year. We knew immediately this was the perfect spot! Not only did it have epic views of the Blue Ridge Parkway, but it had immense personal value to these two. We even ran into Andrew’s father & grandmother while we were scoping out the best place to shoot! The love for this place is still strong with the whole family.
 
I got to meet Casey & Andrew for the very first time while visiting Wilksboro, NC this time last year. Daniel & Andrew have been friends & fellow musicians for years. After our encounter last year, I knew we needed to capture their relationship. These two are the perfect blend of silly & sweet and it’s easy to tell why they adore each other. Their photo shoot became a mini reunion where we caught up, told stories, and snag some awesome photos too! What a great way to spend a Sunday evening!

 

XOXOXO,
Mabyn

Couple walks hand in hand on top of a mountain at Doughton Park in the Blue Ridge Parkway, NC. Photo by Mabyn Ludke.

When we first arrived at Doughton Park, we hiked up the top of the hillside and were rewarded by this super cool tree. I couldn’t help but want to add his gnarled branches into the background. It’s such a great contrast to these two & their love.

A couple kisses a top the Blue Ridge Parkway near Sparta, NC. Mabyn Ludke Photography.

The day was so beautiful & clear, the perfect conditions to see mountains for days! Those Appalachian mountains get me every time!

A Black and white image of a couple kissing at Doughton Park near Sparta, NC. Photo by Mabyn Ludke

Wind always makes a beautiful photograph epic! Just a little ruffle of the hair and this moment just takes my breath away!

A couple hugs a top Doughton Park overlooking the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC. Mabyn Ludke Photography.

At first Casey & Andrew didn’t know how to pose or what to do with their hands. It took a little nudging, but once they realized that all they had to do was be themselves & love each other, well nothing else was needed!

Black and White photo of a couple looking over the Blue Ridge Parkway at Doughton Park in NC. Photography by Mabyn Ludke

Andrew & Daniel use to play in the band Hot Vegas together. I dubbed this shot Casey & Andrew’s album cover for whenever they choose to start up their own band. 😉

Married couple snuggles atop the breathtaking Blue Ridge Parkway near Sparta, NC. Photography by Mabyn Ludke.

Or they may choose just to snuggle each other for life in stead…I guess that’s okay too!

An excited couple celebrate their wedding anniversary at Doughton Park in the Appalachain Mountains of North Carolina. Mabyn Ludke Photography.

This is joy! Just beautiful, loving joy!

This married couple is jumping for joy in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Photography by Mabyn.

I saw this spot of negative space and I couldn’t help myself. I don’t have couples do the jump shot often, but if anywhere was a perfect spot THIS was it!

Mabyn Ludke Photography captured a sweet moment of a couple celebrating their anniversary at Doughton Park in the mountains of NC.

One of the funniest parts of this entire session was that Andrew directed the entire thing and not in the way you might think. He didn’t tell me what to do, but whenever we took our camera’s further away you’d hear him tell Casey things like “Okay now look into my eyes, now look over there and smile, now kiss me!” He did it over and over and the best part was IT WORKED!

A beautiful woman poses in an elegant red dress and floral crown in the woods of Doughton Park near Sparta, NC. Mabyn Ludke Photography.

Casey brought along this gorgeous red dress that she searched tirelessly for. It was a gorgeous pop of color against the sleeping brown of the woods at Doughton Park.

A beautiful couple embraces in the woods at Doughton Park near Sparta, NC. Photography by Mabyn.

Dark moody woods + gorgeous couple + the perfect light = Mabyn’s happy place! UGH!

An intimate close up of a sweet couple kissing during their anniversary session in the Blue Ridge Parkway of North Carolina. Mabyn Ludke Photography.

Casey has the florist hook up to make her an incredible floral crown! The attention to detail was fantastic and it was the perfect accent to shoot in the woods!

The woods in Doughton Park area beautiful backdrop for this gorgeous couple during their mountain anniversary session in NC. Mabyn Ludke Photography.

This shot is all Daniel! Isn’t he getting good? Dang! He makes his wifey proud!

Mabyn Ludke Photography stayed till sunset as this adorable couple celebrated their anniversary at Doughton Park in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Parkway.

And of course we had to stick around for that gorgeous sunset! This time it was a vibrant orange, the perfect contrast to those blue mountains in the background. Oi…I love my life!

A black and white of a sweet couple keeping warm on a cold evening in the Blue Ridge Parkway of NC. Mabyn Ludke Photography.

This time around the wind was a little quieter than our last mountain session. However, there was just enough of it to give us a beautiful wind blown tendril or two.

Couple kisses atop a mountain cliff in the Blue Ridge Parkway during their anniversary session by Mabyn Ludke Photography

The wind also obliged to give us a couple of epic dress shots! THANK YOU MOTHER NATURE!

An epic view of the Blue Ridge Parkway during this anniversary session at Doughton Park by Mabyn Ludke Photography

I love the contrast in this shot, the dark moody mountains & the sweet emotion in Casey’s “sleep face” as she likes to call it. I like to call it GORGEOUS!

A beautiful woman watches the sunset over the appalachain mountains at Doughton Park North Carolina. Photo by Mabyn Ludke.

I of course had to get Casey up on that mountain top by herself for an epic dress shot. I love you Andrew, but you’re just not as pretty as your wife. 😉

A sweet embrace atop the Blue Ridge Parkway at Doughton Park by a couple celebrating their anniversary session with photograph by Mabyn Ludke

But we’ll add you back in anyway. 😉

The Appalachian mountains create a stunning backdrop for this couple's anniversary session with Mabyn Ludke Photography

This time I wanted to stay a little longer after the sun was gone to capitalize on that rich vibrant sky. We broke out the flashes and created some super cool night shots!

One last embrace at Doughton Park overlooking the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina during a beautiful anniversary session by Mabyn Ludke Photography.

These two were tired after our epic adventure, looking this good takes a lot of energy! Thanks Casey & Andrew for being completely amazing!

 

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A Doughton Park Anniversary Session I Blue Ridge Parkway I Casey & Andrew