North Carolina Museum of Art

When Jillian first inquired with me about photographing her wedding, I LOST my mind. Until she contacted me, I had only photographed weddings for people I knew in real life, so receiving an inquiry from someone I had never met and didn't have any mutual friends with was a BIG deal. Nevermind that when I snooped Jillian's Facebook and Instagram I saw how absolutely GORGEOUS she is. I hastily prepared my email response and was basically vibrating with anticipation until I saw her answer! After messaging back and forth for a bit, Jillian and Tyler decided they wanted to book ME for their wedding in May, only a few short months away!

Because Tyler and Jillian lived a few hours away from me, we decided to meet in the middle for their engagement session. We planned to meet in February at the North Carolina Museum of Art, but since it was the middle of winter we had to reschedule for weather TWICE! When we were finally able to meet in March the weather had warmed just enough for short sleeves, which allowed Jillian to wear the beautiful blue floral dress you'll see in the photos below. Seriously, WHAT a stunner!

The North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, North Carolina is one of my favorite places for an engagement session! The park has something for everyone... grassy knolls, whimsical sculptures, wooded areas, wildflower patches... so many amazing spots for portraits, whether you're an art aficionado or not!

I'm a big time overthinker, so it isn't unusual for me to arrive to a session location an hour early. Why? I sit. I walk around and scout photo spots. I listen to calming music and pray that my session is going to go well and that my clients really DO like me and will be happy with their experience.

This time, I walked around the Visitor's Center and enjoyed the bright sunshine while I waited for Tyler and Jillian to arrive. It's always a little awkward meeting someone you've only talked to online in person for the first time. No one ever looks exactly as I expect them to, and I imagine I look different to my clients too! But Jillian was a VISION in her flowy blue dress. And she was taller than I expected, ha!

The first twenty minutes of a session are usually a little awkward, which is totally expected and NORMAL. I always like to take my clients on a walk to our first stop to give us time to break the ice and get to know each other a little bit before they start trusting me to photograph them! While I walked with Tyler and Jillian, I asked how they met. Like so many couples since the 2020 Covid pandemic, Tyler and Jillian met online. Jillian was in France and found Tyler on Instagram. They began to watch each other's stories and eventually, connected through DMs. Fast forward two years and Jillian has moved from California to North Carolina and Tyler proposes at Chimney Rock! All because of Instagram (which is also where Jillian found me)!

Jillian and Tyler ROCKED their engagement session! They followed me around and trusted me while I guided them into a few traditional "money shot" poses, as well as some more dynamic shots! It was easy to see how in love they were, even if they were a little shy at first. We walked all over the Museum campus and ended up at the reflecting pool and amazing mirrored entrance, which gave me the opportunity to get a little creative with my composition.

Our next stop was a parking garage in downtown Raleigh. There was a bit of a mix-up getting there (I think I actually drove up three separate garages), but we couldn't have timed it more perfectly. The sunset from the top of the parking deck was PERFECT. No clouds, just blue and pink skies and golden light. JUST LOOK AT THAT MOON!

If you're looking for a location for an engagement session (or any type of session for that matter), definitely pay a visit to the North Carolina Museum of Art. And maybe only one parking garage downtown.