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JC Raulston Arboretum

When the majority of your relationship is cross state you treasure every moment together. Mary & Jeremy chose the JC Raulston Arboretum for their engagement session in part because Raleigh is “their city.” Mary has been living in Lenoir while Jeremy is all the way in Wilmington. Raleigh was the perfect distance for them to meet together and fall in love! Thankfully Jeremy recently found a job in Lenoir! Their long distance relationship will be ending only to start a new an exciting chapter together! We’re so excited for them!
JC Raulston Arboretum was new to all four of us, even tho Mary & Jeremy have explored Raleigh over and over again. We got to adventure through the garden with them, laughing and getting to know each other better. Mary & Jeremy are that couple that you instantly feel comfortable around. It was easy to become friends!
Mary & Jeremy definitely know what’s up! There’s nothing like an ice cream from Treat to re-energize you for the last leg of the photo shoot! We couldn’t help but snag some photos there.
We then made our way to the Boyland Bridge where there is a beautiful view of the Raleigh sky line. The sun had almost completely set as the lights flickered setting the mood for our last epic shots!

Thanks Mary & Jeremy for going on a fun filled adventure with us! We can’t wait for your Hickory wedding next spring!


Couple walks together while exploring the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, NCThe JC Raulston Arboretum is a gorgeous venue for your engagement sessionCouple snuggles in the palms at the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, NCRaleigh loves kisses in the park at the JC Raulston ArboretumThe Asian garden at the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, NC is lovely

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A JC Raulston Arboretum Engagement with Mary & Jeremy

A silly moment in the mountains of NC during Mallory & Peter's engagment session. Photography by Mabyn Ludke.


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Since moving to North Carolina and getting to experience the beautiful Appalachian mountains, I’ve dreamed of getting a couple to explore the Blue Ridge Parkway with. When Mallory & Peter came along, it quickly became clear that they were going to be the perfect couple to realize this dream with their engagement session. Daniel & I were not disappointed! I may still be on a mountain high, because we all know how I get, but this may be my favorite session to date! It was the perfect combination of a beautiful couple letting their guard down for our cameras + one of the most amazing settings in NC – the Blue Ridge Parkway! I think I’ll always swoon over this engagement session!

Getting to know Mallory & Peter, their love for each other, & their dedication to serve & protect this country has been more amazing than I can express. These two have found the real deal in each other and it shows in every single look, smile, and touch. It’s days like this that set my heart on fire for photography. Thank you both for trusting us to be your genuine loving selves!

Mallory & Peter snuggle at the Moses Cone Manor in Blowing Rock, NC

We started the day at Moses Cone Manor in case the weather proved to be nasty. Thankfully everything was sunshine & beautiful! Especially Mallory & Peter’s snuggles. There is nothing more sweet!

Wide shot of an engaged couple at the Moses Cone Manor of Blowing Rock North Carolina

There was an amazing row of giant and beautiful old tree’s lining the road at the Moses Cone Manor & I was drawn to them like a moth to a flame. The were the perfect frame for our sweet couple!

Mallory & Peter walk together while visiting the Moses Cone Manor in North Carolina

Sometimes during a photo shoot we’ll give our clients prompts to get them interacting together. Something and simple as walking down a hill hand in hand can create some gorgeous moments!

Julian Price Lake was a great backdrop for this sweet couple on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Snuggles are my favorite and these two do it so well it’s ridiculous! Add in that gorgeous afternoon sunlight and there is just pure magic going on!

The wind blows gently through Mallory's hair at Julian Price Lake

Our original plans for their engagement session got derailed due to the weather, so when we met up we looked at all of the fun places we could visit on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Mallory & Peter loved the idea of having some water in their shots so we ventured over to Julian Price Lake and found it to be most accommodating!

A sweet kiss on the nose at Julian Price Lake in North Carolina

Engagement sessions + nose kisses = melting hearts!

Mallory & Peter walk hand in hand on the Rough Ridge Trail in the mountains of NC

Our third location in our adventure with Mallory & Peter was to climb the Rough Ridge trail. There were so many perfect spots to stop along the way!

Engaged couple make silly faces on the rough ridge trail

I got to snag funny little moments like this one all day long! It’s so much fun being silly together!

Mabyn Ludke Photography captured an amazing engagement session at Rough Ridge in North Carolina

These two are already amazing, but Mallory definitely added bonus points when she blazed the trail in her adorable booties!

Bride smacks her groom's butt at their engagment session

Mallory & Peter had us laughing all day long…case in point.

bride looks lovingly at her groom on the blue ridge parkway

The way these two look at each other…there’s no one else in the entire world!

a sweet embrace during an engagement session on the blue ridge parkway

This engagement session was more than just a dream come true, it is an incredibly important time in the lives of Mallory & Peter. In just a few short weeks they’ll be deployed to serve & protect our country. I couldn’t be more honored to capture a couple and their love and I pray it will bring them comfort during their time apart.

black and white of a couple on the rough ridge trail in NC

Knowing this kind of love is such a gift and Mallory and Peter understand that like few people do. We truly loved every moment we got to spend with them that afternoon.

A silly moment in the mountains of NC during Mallory & Peter's engagment session. Photography by Mabyn Ludke.

After navigating the muddy trail at Rough Ridge we made it to the top where the winds practically howled they were so strong!

The wind blows bride's dress during their mountain engagement session on the blue ridge parkway photos by Mabyn Ludke Photography

See what I mean about rocking those booties? Mallory is something fierce!

an epic view of the appalachain mountains at Mallory & Peter's Rough Ridge engagment session

It was so clear on the Blue Ridge Parkway, you could see for miles!

the sunlight kisses this engaged couple during their photography session in the mountains of North Carolina. Photography by Mabyn Ludke.

Our last stop during their incredible engagement session was at the Beacon Heights trail where we discovered hundreds of amazing spots to shoot!

A sweet embrace on a mountain top in NC by Mabyn Ludke Photography

By that time the sun was on it’s way down and the light just got better and better.

Engaged couple poses for their session on the Beacon Heights Trail in NC. Mabyn Ludke Photography

Look at how the light just filters so beautifully through those trees? It was like butter!

A black and white sillohuette of an engaged couple at Beacon Heights in NC

Beacon Heights offers another spectacular view of the Appalachian mountains, we just can’t handle it!

A romantic kiss on the mountain top at Beacon Heights on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Photo by Mabyn Ludke Photography

There were mountains and kisses for days on top of Beacon Heights!

A gorgeous mountain view for this engaged couple during their photography session by Mabyn Ludke in the mountains of NC

I’ll never get sick of love & mountains!

The Appalachain Mountains in NC are the perfect backdrop for an engagement session by Mabyn Ludke

A funny story, as we prepared for Mallory & Peter’s engagement session, I got a little distracted by an ad for a beautiful dress. I was considering buying it…guess who wore it to their engagement session? Mallory’s got great taste!

A sunset mountain view during Mallory & Peter's engagment session at Beacon Heights. Photo by Mabyn Ludke.

When Daniel & I visited Beacon Heights a few weeks prior to this shoot, it was at least 15 degrees colder & there were tons of people there trying to capture the sunset. Somehow at Mallory & Peter’s session we got it all to ourselves!

Mabyn Ludke Photography captured this silly moment from Mallory & Peter's Beacon Heights engagement session

We had to push Peter to do this shot a little bit. It’s something they both do on a regular basis, but Peter didn’t want to get makeup on his tongue! These guys were SO funny!

This romantic moment was captured by Mabyn Ludke Photography during Mallory & Peter's Blue Ridge Parkway engagment session

When you’re in love & you let it show, there’s no need for poses. It’s raw & real and we love that!

A romantic sunset kiss during this engagement session on top of the Beacon Heights Trail

This shot looks like it was taken right out of an epic romantic movie doesn’t it? So much happiness!

Mallory & Peter hug as the sun goes down during their Blue Ridge Parkway engagement session by Mabyn Ludke Photography.

This, THIS is why I love engagement sessions people. When else do you get several hours to just breathe each other in? We get so busy in life, everyone needs to hit that pause button and remember why we love!

An epic view of the Appalachain mountains from the top of Beacon Heights during a Mabyn Ludke Photography engagement session

Blue mountains at the end of our Blue Ridge Parkway adventure. Just perfect!



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Blowing Rock Engagement Session – Mallory & Peter

Sneak Peeks

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It’s that time of year again! Spring has sprung here in North Carolina and it’s prime time for portraits! This past week I got to spend some quality time with Baby Ray, The Garvin Family, as well as Haleigh & Brent for their engagement session. So many good pictures to edit & share! Hooray for spring!


Baby Ray’s Mini Model Session

Kernersville, NC Baby & Family Portrait Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Garvin Family Session


Haleigh & Brent’s You + Me Session

Mebane, NC Engagement Portrait Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

Sweet Spring Sneak Peeks

engagement sessions can never have too many hugs and kisses in Mabyn Ludke's opinion


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When it comes to an engagement session, you don’t need much to make it fantastic! Some couples choose to come up with a theme, other’s bring props, sometimes pets are involved too. The one thing that I can’t recommend enough for your engagement session is LOVE! I mean, of course you love each other. DUH! That’s why you’re getting married, but a lot of couple’s don’t feel comfortable showing that love in public, aka the dreaded PDA! But here’s the thing, love doesn’t have to mean making out in public! Of course a smooch here and there is preferable, but sometimes just simply holding hands or giving each other a hug is enough to create a gorgeous moment you’ll have forever. Remember this is about YOUR love story. I could force you to kiss all session long, but if I did that, it wouldn’t be YOUR STORY. I’d much prefer to capture the little quirks and gestures you have together as a couple.

Katie & Corey are a perfect example of all the “little things” moments. The one rule I gave them during the session was to ALWAYS be holding onto each other. I didn’t tell them how to hold each other or pose them like paper dolls, I gave them the freedom to be a couple however they saw fit. Just look at all the different ways they love each other?! Isn’t it fantastic!

Their wedding was pretty incredible too…but that’s another blog post!



A cute couple walks hand in hand in a gorgeous summer field in North Carolina by Mabyn Ludke Photographysnuggles & hugs in sunny North Carolina are perfect way to say I love you in your photo shoot with Mabyn LudkeSummer skies and sweet looks are Mabyn's favorite things to shootMabyn Ludke loves capturing couples in fields at golden hourengagement sessions can never have too many hugs and kisses in Mabyn Ludke's opinion

The Triad in NC is the perfect spot for a sweet summer engagement session with Mabyn Ludke Photography!

Bringing in some props, like candles and lanterns add some character to your engagement shoot with Mabyn Ludke PhotographyA sweet summer picnic can provide the perfect backdrop for a Mabyn Ludke photo shootMabyn says all you need is a blanket and your love for the perfect engagement sessionA humid summer night can add magic to your photo shoot with MabynThose summer skies are a beautiful backdrop for a Mabyn Ludke engagement session

Katie & Corey’s You + Me Session – Baldwinsville, NY