December 23, 2013

This Fall I was blessed to take one of my best friend’s bridal portraits.  We drove up to Bonclarken in Flat Rock, North Carolina, because it is a very special place for my friend Becca and her fiancé Bobby.  We had planned this shoot months in advance, and we happened to time it perfectly for when the leaves were still in color and falling from the trees.  What I didn’t expect, but probably should have, was how cold it was!  After we took some photos around Bonclarken, we went up to Jump Off Rock to get some sunset shots with the mountaintops.  It was 39 degrees and extremely windy at the top of the mountain, but that didn’t stop Becca from throwing off her fiancé’s jacket and braving bare shoulders for the photos.  She also, to my amazement, took off her shoes since she planned on getting married barefoot.  I couldn’t feel my fingers as I used my camera, and I was wearing tons of layers, so I can’t even imagine how Becca did it.  And the last few photos you see here – I did not ask or expect her to do.  Jumping over the railing and climbing out to an overhanging rock in her wedding dress was completely Becca’s idea, although I didn’t complain.

I loved the challenge of carrying and using lighting equipment on the edge of mountains with only minutes to get our settings right and capture the shot before the sun would go down and we’d freeze.  Becca’s sister Kathy came along and was a humungous help; I had her climb over near Becca’s ledge with my flashes while I photographed from another rock surface in the distance.  A bridal session in the mountains like this had been a dream of mine for quite a while, and getting to experience it with my best friend was indescribably amazing.  Almost as amazing as witnessing her say her vows this Saturday, December 21 to a man who is ridiculously perfect for her.  

It’s always difficult for me to withhold from sharing bridal photos until the wedding day. :) I am SO excited to finally be sharing these with you, and I hope you love them.

People have told me that these next two photos look photoshopped, but they are actually right out of my camera. Yes, the scene was that breathtakingly unreal. And yes, Becca was a daredevil to climb out on that ledge. And yes, I was nervous about her sister climbing on these high rocks holding my flashes. :) All of this scene and lighting is real. 

Claire Diana