The only way to describe the moments within this engagement session is to call them all “perfectly imperfect,” as master photographer John Dolan would say. Nothing about this session went as planned. A lot of the session felt like things were going against us. But, that’s what makes it perfect, actually. The way the session unfolded revealed the unscripted beauty in a scene that went against all plans.
Kelly and Jonny wanted to have their engagement session at Hawksbill Mountain in North Carolina. It is often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Eastern USA.”
We hiked for about 45 minutes before we reached the summit, which has an elevation of over 4,00ft! Before reaching the top, however, we were met with doubt as serious, professional hikers were desperately running down the trail to avoid the storm that was inevitably approaching. We had to make the choice of either canceling or moving forward, in the middle of the hike. I learned just how adventurous and adaptable Jonny and Kelly were, as they chose to move forward and make the best of what we have… even if we only shot for 5 minutes. So often a change of plans causes frustration and disappointment that cripples us from pursuing beauty in the unexpected. I must admit, I was seriously questioning moving forward. Watching the hikers run made me feel like I should be doing what they’re doing. Of course, there are moments when that is necessary, but sometimes, moving forward looks like a step in faith where you choose to find the good.
Once we were at the top, Jonny and Kelly changed out of their athletic clothes and sneakers and into their more formal attire. We sat and tried to find some cover as we waited for the rain to stop, but eventually just went for it and ran up to the peak in the rain.
The peak was overwhelmingly beautiful, as it gives a stunning 360 view of Linville Gorge. Even more beautiful, though, was the peace that encompassed Jonny and Kelly as the thunder rolled. They found the good in the truthful, unscripted moments of changed plans. Below is the beautiful result of pursuing the good when things don’t always go our way. It is the result of bravely embracing the perfectly imperfect.
Film Processing: Photovision