Wes + Jess | Shenandoah National Park Engagement Session


March 26, 2021

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Stony Man Mountain Engagement Session | National Park Wedding Photographer

This has got to be the most challenging shoot we’ve done weather wise in a long time. It wasn’t the hike up or down, it wasn’t the cloudy skies, it definitely wasn’t these two (they killed it actually!!!!) it was the WIND!! I always say you can’t mess up engagement photos to my couples but sometimes the weather can be just about impossible to work with! Wes & Jess did amazingly though working in these conditions! They wanted to incorporate their more adventurous side in their photos by hiking up the Stony Man Trail to catch those views of the Shenandoah mountains.

James and I had so many ideas for this location and unfortunately the wind prevented us from doing all of them at the best spot. But James found a side trail leading the other side of the mountain that shielded us from the high winds. So we managed to grab some of the view from a different angle and honestly I love how it turned out! There were even some wild succulents growing on the mountain side and we used that to add a little something extra to the ring shots!

Need some tips on how to navigate high winds?? Here are a few things that we did that helped with this shoot and some things to keep in mind of in the future:

  • Find a spot near by where the wind will be blocked

  • Wear clothes that won’t be a problem in the wind. Like a more casual look with pants or a long maxi dress to keep it fancy! In fact, much like Jess’ dress, maxi dresses in chiffon fabric blow nicely in the wind!!

  • Consider how to style your hair. If you love your hair down and the wind is overbearing, consider a half up half down style or put your hair up in a braid or bun! Otherwise your hair could look like a cartoon flying sideways!!

  • Switch locations or compromise on a similar spot that is near by! This might not be your first choice but if rescheduling isn’t an option, try to compromise on a location that won’t have as many issues with wind.

  • Lastly, reschedule the shoot! This is not always able to happen I know but if you have a specific vision for this shoot and the weather is preventing that vision from coming to life, reschedule! This investment is definitely worth the time to reschedule if you are able to.

But as wild as this session was to navigate the crazy weather, I am so excited to share these photos with you before these two tie the knot in Vinton, Virginia! Yes I am behind on sharing engagement sessions on the blog! But I am finally catching up and can’t wait for you to see these beautiful mountain top engagement photos at Stony Man Mountain!

Location: Stony Man Mountain

If you are a photographer and want help with these locations feel free to DM me on Instagram, I’d love to help!! 🙂

Until next time,


Learn more about our services here!

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Hey there, I’m Emily! James, and I are a husband and wife wedding photography team based in Lynchburg, Virginia. We specialize in weddings and engagements and serve Virginia, DC Area, South Carolina, and beyond!


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I’m Emily! James, and I are a husband and wife wedding photography team based in Lynchburg, Virginia. We specialize in weddings & engagements and serve our EH Couples in Virginia, South Carolina, and beyond!

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