Spring generally starts showing its face in earnest by early April around here. At lower elevations like the cities of Charlottesville or Harrisonburg, by the middle of March some trees are starting to bud and early flowers bloom, but in the mountains it is still very much winter and bare.
Fortunately the Blue Ridge Mountains are beautiful no matter the season. They still look blue in the distance and lower temperatures mean fewer visitors to Shenandoah National Park – you are much more likely to get a summit to yourself in March than you are later in the year!
The downside of March is that it can still be pretty cold– especially when you factor in windchill.
I LOVE the wind – I always have. I love its movement, its ferocity – the way it whips clothing and hair. It’s both romantic and primal. But it can be pretty intense and there’s really no way to know how much wind there is until you get to where you are going!
I only live about 30 minutes from Shenandoah and the day of Jess and Sam’s engagement session it was warm enough that I was wearing a tank top at home.
But by time I met them at the trailhead about an hour and a half before sunset, temperatures had already dropped dramatically. At the summit of the hike we chose, the heavy wind probably brought the temperatures down 30 degrees from where they had been that afternoon in the valley!
Despite the chill, these two were total champs and embraced the weather with laughter, snuggles and a few breaks between shots to huddle in the woods in their down coats =).
I honestly cannot emphasize this enough – I will get beautiful photos of you no matter the weather as long as you decide to have a good time. Seriously – whatever the weather throws at you, if you have a good time, it will show!
One of the most frequently asked questions I get is – “what is the key to good engagement photos?” Quite simply? Attitude. Not clothing, not weight, not how great your hair is but how you decide to show up. You get out of them what you put in. If you are miserable, it will show. If you are happy, then you and your love story will photograph beautifully!
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