Skyline Drive Engagement Session at Shenandoah National Park | Megan and Ryan (and Mina)
I am SUPER excited to share these photos for so many reasons! 1) There’s an adorable dog. 2) There’s hiking at Shenandoah National Park (my favorite place). And 3) this shoot almost didn’t happen due to thunderstorms, but we made it work and it totally paid off. We captured some of my favorite engagement pictures ever!
Megan and Ryan love hiking together (and so does their pup Mina), so meeting up at Shenandoah was the perfect plan. Know what was NOT part of our perfect plan? Those pesky summer evening thunderstorms. We watched the forecast in the week leading up to the session and even that morning, and storm chances all seemed to be going down! Woohoo! It looked like storms would pass through the area before we got there and we’d be in the clear.
But alas, Mother Nature had other plans for us. As I pulled into the first overlook on Skyline Drive, rain drops started to hit my windshield. I hoped the clouds would pass by before Megan and Ryan arrived, but no such luck. When they pulled up next to me, it was an absolute downpour! So instead of starting the 3-mile hike we had planned, we hung out in their car chatting about our dogs for 45 minutes as we waited for the storm to pass.
We decided to alter our hiking plans (we were worried about finishing while it was still daylight), but thankfully Shenandoah has TONS of spots for photos! So we drove down Skyline Drive a bit and found a new location that worked out perfectly. Just look at these views!
While it wasn’t the exact trek we had planned, we were able to hike a small portion of the Appalachian Trail! Mina absolutely LOVED smelling everything and eating all of the grass along the trail - something I am very familiar with when it comes to hiking with my dog haha.
As we hiked back towards the trailhead, we started to hear the rumble of thunder again. We definitely picked up the pace at that point! By the time we got to our cars, it had started to sprinkle. We checked the radar (thankfully we were getting service at this point!) and it said we had 10 minutes before it was going to pour on us again. So Megan and Ryan did a quick outfit change, and we squeezed in a few more pictures!
The sprinkles turned into steady rain, so it was time to break out the umbrella. I always have a bunch of these clear umbrellas in my trunk for just such an occasion!
And since we were finishing up, Megan and Ryan decided it didn't really matter at this point if they got drenched! So we ditched the umbrella and got a few more rainy photos before calling it a night.
Couldn't have asked for a better couple to hike around Shenandoah with! I cannot wait for their wedding next month (and Mina's going to be there too)!