Ari & Isaac | engagement pictures at Cades Cove Smoky Mountains National Park

The cover image of this session was published by National Geographic Your Shot in the online edition of the magazine, as well as in their Instagram.

In June, we went on a family trip to the Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and stayed at Cades Cove Campground. During our time there, we drove the Cades Cove loop several times, and seeing it in different light and times of day—sunrise and sunset—sparked a desire to bring a couple here for a full length engagement session or elopement. So, when Arianna reached out to us about location suggestions for their pictures, we were quick to share our longing to go back.

To be frank, the weekend traffic is annoyingly heavy, but honestly, that's because the magic of the cove is alluring, drawing visitors from all the surrounding states and beyond. Encircled by the verdant Smoky Mountains, it’s a wildlife playground of flower clothed rolling hills and grass that looks like ocean waves in the wind. At both the sun's rising and its setting, mist fills the atmosphere and herds of deer come out to graze.

Although the air was drier than our last visit and we had to patiently abide the traffic, our short weekend with these two was still perfect. Seeing Ari again and meeting Isaac for the first time, witnessing how much they love each other and how deeply their individual stories overlap to bring them together now, is nothing short of divine providence, and it refreshed us.

On our sunset session, dramatic clouds were the backdrop to the mountains, and occasionally rays of light seeped through to paint the hillsides gold.

During sunrise, a thin layer of fog refracted the morning light, blurring a soft haze over our lenses.

Our hope is that these images show their love for each other and life, their joy and their strength in both the storm and the quiet.

In between breaths,
And steps,
And the space from me to you,
I find the quiet beauty of love,
A liminal space filled with Divine,
Connecting my past and future to this moment,
Here with you.
— @eastlyn_

July Saturday Night: Evening, Sunset & Blue hour

Sunday Sunrise