Couple explores Hawksbill Trail in Linville, NC

Tips for Brides

view the story
I get asked the question almost every time we book a new couple. Where are the best NC locations for our engagement photos? The simple answer is anywhere you want! Daniel & I love making our engagement sessions personal to every couple. However, sometimes you just want a gorgeous location and your boo to snuggle up to! We totally get that! So we’ve compiled a list of our favorite NC locations for an engagement session!

Here is our list of Best NC Locations for Engagement Photos:

Moses Cone | Blowing Rock, NC

Blowing Rock is one of our favorite little towns in NC. It’s quaint with fun shops to explore and tons of great food! It’s also right of the Blue Ridge Parkway! Which is rich with gorgeous mountain overlooks and trails ready to explore!
During Mallory & Peter’s engagement session, we explored several locations. The first was Moses Cone Manor. A beautiful park complete with white Manor house. It’s rolling hills, historic buildings, & walking trails are full of beautiful photo spots!

Couple walking down a hill at Moses Cone Manor in Blowing Rock, NC

Rough Ridge Trail | Blowing Rock, NC

Beacon Heights Trail | Blowing Rock, NC

We drove just a little further down the parkway to the Beacon Heights Trail. This is a much easier hike, with a multitude of places for gorgeous photo opportunities. When you reach the pinnacle the view seems to last for days! If you’re in the right spot you can also expect a pretty epic sunset. Beacon Heights is the best hike vs payoff in the Blowing Rock area.
Couple hugs at Beacon heights trail in Blowing Rock, NC

Couple watches the sunset at the Beacon Heights trail near Blowing Rock, NC

Hawksbill Trail | Linville, NC

If you’re looking for the most epic mountain views then the Hawksbill trail is where to go! This trail is located near Linville, NC. They payoff is big here folks, but with a big payoff also comes a long hike! It’s not an easy hike either so come prepared with water & good shoes! In our opinion it’s totally worth the huffing and puffing it takes to get to the top. Thankfully we stop a lot along the way because the trail is beautiful! So plan a good amount of time if you want to visit Hawksbill.

Couple explores Hawksbill Trail in Linville, NC

Craggy Gardens | Asheville, NC

One of the most popular spots to visit when you’re in Asheville, NC is Craggy Gardens. This is another fairly easy hike with a beautiful payoff! The only downside is it can get busy depending on what time of day or year you’re there. We didn’t mind much tho since we’re use to shooting around people. Plus there were tons of spots around the pinnacle that were pretty empty. When you are at the pinnacle there’s a 360 view of mountains so you can get great shots from every angle!

Couple embraces at the Craggy Gardens pinnacle

Looking Glass Falls | Brevard, NC

Deep in the Pisgah National Forest nestled in a rich green valley is Looking Glass Falls. It’s another popular spot for engagement photos because it’s super easy to access. They have a long staircase that takes you right down to the base of the falls. We got to wade in the cold water and take some pretty epic shots with Liz & Nathen.

Couple enjoys Looking Glass Falls

Couple snuggles at Looking Glass Falls

Black Balsam Knob | East Fork, NC

This is a location I can’t wait to go back to. It’s pretty easy to access off the Blue Ridge Parkway and it apparently has gorgeous 360 views. A cloud engulfed the mountain when we visited with Liz & Nathen. We’re not complaining tho! It made for some completely breath taking photographs! One day we’ll see the views Black Balsam has to offer.

A romantic couple enjoys Black Balsam Knob

A nightime engagement session at Black Balsam Knob

Timberlake Earth Sanctuary | Whitsett, NC

We understand not everyone is as into mountains as we are, so here’s another great option! Timberlake Earth Sanctuary is located just outside of Greensboro, NC. Greensboro in itself has tons of great spots, but Timberlake holds a special place in our hearts. There are thousands of little nooks hidden away on this nature preserve. The ladies who run Timberlake are a joy to work with and we can’t wait to visit it again soon!

Couple frolics through a field at Timberlake Earth Sanctuary

couple hugs in the woods at Timberlake Earth Sanctuary

Downtown Greensboro

The city of Greenboro has the art & culture of a lot of big cities without all the crazy traffic! There are tons of coffee shops, books stores, and alley ways that make it perfect for taking some amazing photographs!

Uptown Charlotte, NC

If you’re looking for a city vibe, then Charlotte is the place to go! Uptown is easy to explore with tons of  architecture and beautiful light. We love when our couples visit their favorite spots like Amelie’s or Bird Song Brewery. Charlotte offers a lot and we can’t wait to explore it more!

NoDa in Charlotte, NC

NoDa (North Davidson St) is the artsy part of Charlotte. In recent years it’s been revitalized and is now rich with color and atmosphere! If you want vibrant and fun NoDa is the best place to go. There’s a beautiful mural at every turn, donut shops in the wall, and eclectic shops and people all over the streets!

Couple poses at the NoDa sign in Charlotte NC for their maternity sessionEngagement photos outside of Abari with Yoda mural in Charlotte, NC

South End | Charlotte, NC

Rain or shine Charlotte is a gorgeous location for engagement photos. It’s also HUGE so to add to our Charlotte list there’s also South End with it’s hipster vibe. Not as artsy as NODA and not as upscale as Uptown. It’s a happy middle for couples.

JC Raulston Arboretum | Raleigh, NC

You wont find a ton of parks on this list. Mainly because they require some sort of permit or fee. Tho we understand why, we’re not huge fans of that. So when we found that JC Raulston Arboretum was fee free we were absolutely delighted! It’s also HUGE with tons of “themed” areas to choose from. We had fun exploring the different gardens with Mary & Jeremy and can’t wait to go back again!

Couple kisses in sunflowers at JC Raulston Arboretum

Couple snuggles at the RC Raulston Arboretum

The city of Raleigh, NC

Another great city for wandering is Raleigh! There’s so much to do! Exploring little shops, eating great food, and taking in the beautiful architecture! They’ve also got some pretty amazing museums and monuments scattered around. When we explored with Mary & Jeremy we found the skyline was getting a facelift, so you may want to check before trying to get the skyline. We were almost interrupted by a building being constructed, but there was just enough left for a beautiful shot!

A couple lounges at the Haymaker in Raleigh, NCAn epic view of the Raleigh Skyline with Jacki & Kris

Mac Anderson Park | Statesville, NC

Okay so I’m a little biased on this one. This park is literally around the block from our house, but LOOK HOW PRETTY IT IS?! It’s unique in the fact that it’s a walking park rather than a recreational one. So it’s less manicured and a little more wild. I’m obsessed with the giant pine trees. When the sun is shining through them, it’s magic!

Couple kisses in the snow at Mac Anderson Park

Eskimo kisses at Mac Anderson Park

Your own backyard | NC

There are so many gorgeous spots in NC we have yet to discover. We’ve even found that your own home or backyard can be the perfect spot! I’m obsessed with Lauren & Adam’s beautiful home and yard. They both were immediately at ease in their own home.

Now that you’ve seen some of our favorite locations, what are some of your favorites? Is there a spot in NC that you’ve always longed to explore? Maybe a location that you visit frequently and feels like home. Maybe it is your home! Where do you dream of having your NC engagement session?

XOXOXO,
Mabyn

For more epic engagement sessions click here!

Best NC Locations for Engagement Photos

Engagement

view the story

It’s officially wedding week! What the heck people?! I’m GETTING MARRIED! I’m pretty sure I’m still living in a state of denial that this is actually happening. Not because I don’t want it to, but because it’s so surreal. It was just yesterday that I met Daniel for this first time in Charlotte talking about life over lunch, strolling through the book store trying to gauge if he thought I was crazy or not, and laughing when he won so triumphantly (and I lost so miserably) at Putt-Putt.

I had spent a long time waiting and looking for him. This past year proved to be especially frustrating when I dove head long into the online dating world. I met many nice gentlemen, but none of them quite “fit.” Then Daniel shows up right as I’m about to give up hope and throws everything on its head! Now here we are, 6 months later, and we’re committing ourselves to each other forever.

If you asked me even a year ago if that scenario was plausible I would have flat out said “HECK NO!”¬†The craziest part is that I don’t doubt for a second that this is the right choice for us. There are no nerves, just peace. A deep resounding peace that Daniel is the guy I’ve been so patiently waiting to find and he’s everything I prayed for and so much more!

About a month ago, my bestie, Emily of Emily Elizabeth Studios, invaded to help me shop for “the dress!” She also had a photo shoot lined up in Charlotte and offered to shoot us as one of her gifts. If you follow me on any of the social medias, Emily shoots my face a lot and I shoot hers a lot so I knew she’d do a great job with Daniel and I. We spent a Monday afternoon down in Mooresville, NC (Daniel’s home town) and had a ton of fun being cute, snuggly, and freaking Emily out because she’s never shot me with a boy before!

It was all going great….UNTIL….

I was a klutz and nearly blinded myself.

I was in a completely goofy mood. I had my two favorite people around me, had my makeup and hair done, and I got to spend an evening snuggling up to my guy. What could be better? So about half way through our photoshoot, when Daniel & Emily were scoping out a spot to take more pictures, I decided to be goofy and poke my head out of a tree to say something that was most likely going to get either a laugh or an epic eye roll. What I didn’t pay attention to was what kind of tree it was…and I’m still not completely sure. All I know is that it had incredibly thick and pointed leaves, similar to a holly bush. As I pressed my face through them you can guess what happened.

Eye + Pointy Leaf = Intense Pain

My eye immediately gushed tears and Daniel & Emily looked over to discover that I was trying hard not fall to pieces right there. It was very painful and my eye was blurred for the rest of the day. However, Emily was only there until the next day so I pushed through the shoot. You’d never know by the pictures that I was partially blind for part of it.

Thankfully my vision did heal and clear up. It turns out the real culprit to the vision was that a fake eyelash had gotten stuck under my eye lid. Once I washed my face that night, everything came back into focus! Thank you Jesus!

Guys…I don’t recommend blinding¬†yourself at your engagement session. Take it from me, it’s NOT FUN!

Regardless of my impairment though, Emily did a fantastic job capturing Daniel & myself in our natural state of being. Sweet, snuggly, silly, and mostly making fools of ourselves…okay ME making a fool out of myself.

I’m very excited to have Emily at my side on my wedding day not documenting, but enjoying. Both of us are thrilled that Megan of Morning Wild Photography will be capturing the day and we don’t have to worry about a thing!

In two days I will be Mrs. Henderson and I couldn’t be happier!

XOXOXO,
Mabyn

MabanielEngagement-2MabanielEngagement-5MabanielEngagement-6MabanielEngagement-7MabanielEngagement-10MabanielEngagement-11MabanielEngagement-15MabanielEngagement-18MabanielEngagement-20MabanielEngagement-26MabanielEngagement-27MabanielEngagement-36MabanielEngagement-42MabanielEngagement-47MabanielEngagement-48MabanielEngagement-57MabanielEngagement-59MabanielEngagement-61MabanielEngagement-63MabanielEngagement-64MabanielEngagement-68MabanielEngagement-83MabanielEngagement-88MabanielEngagement-89MabanielEngagement-90MabanielEngagement-93

Mabloggyn – The Other Side of the Lens