Rain jackets in hand, we made the drive up the mountain to Sewanee. The clouds were threatening, but Allison didn’t call off the engagement shoot. Instead, we hoped for the best and prepared for some fun umbrella shots just in case. When we arrived at Abbo’s Alley on campus, the wooded areas still looked dark in the early morning light.
“Look,” Allison shouted through a whisper, “a fox!” Just across the way, a bright red fox crept stealthily into the woods. Even though I only just caught a glimpse, it was a wonderful way to start the morning.
I’d never been to Abbo’s Alley before. It was like a page from a Brother’s Grimm tale— winding creeks, a tiny walking bridge, hanging hemlock branches, cottages in the distance. And it was all so green. The setting was perfect. When the Ben + Kacee arrived, they met us with happy faces and a relaxed, casual demeanor. Their eight-year-old son, Patrick, came along too. He did a great job of holding wallets and keys and jumping over the creek while he waited.
Allison has a great way of making people feel comfortable from the very start. She asked Ben + Kacee to hold hands and walk toward a beautifully flowering bush in the distance. The pink blossoms were the size of teacup saucers. When they turned and walked back, I noticed their matching tattoos. Inked on the inside of their forearms was a moon-shaped sliver filled with decorative designs. According to Ben + Kacee, they’d been through some hard times; the tattoo was sort of a commemoration of the strength of their relationship.
A small bridge over the creek lead to a beautiful gazebo at the edge of the property. In just a few weeks, right in that very spot, the couple will exchange vows before a small group of friends + family. They excitedly talked us through the day, telling us where the reception would be and where the bluegrass band would set up. They plan to celebrate into the evening.
Exploring the space with Ben + Kacee (with photo-taking intertwined, of course) was a beautiful way to spend the morning. They both were so fun to work with— their laughter genuine, contagious, and super photogenic. We can’t wait to meet them again on June 3rd and capture more of that happiness.