Engagement Photos

Sewanee Engagement: Kacee + Ben by Allison Kendrick


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.

Camp McDowell Engagement: Stratt + Carrie by Allison Kendrick


It was just above freezing when the sun rose at Camp McDowell. There had been a lengthy debate the previous night about how to deal with daylight savings and set alarms accordingly, but the sun did its job— waking everyone and welcoming us into a new day. Coffee helped a little, too.

Engagement photo day for Stratt and Carrie had arrived, and we were thrilled to celebrate this beautiful friendship. Coffee and camera in hand, we made our first stop at Clear Creek Dam. Mist floated across the brimming waterway, and we trekked down to take a look. Being at Camp is already one of my favorite things, but adding photography and sweet friends created the perfect day. Camp has a way of surrounding people with comfort and cheerfulness, and it’s certainly evident in the photos from this day. 

Stratt and Carrie hiked through the trails, scouting out beautiful nooks along the way. It was heartwarming to see them walk together through such a familiar place. They’d met at camp, befriending one another and eventually exploring the idea of a relationship over laundry one day. Camp McDowell is where they work and play. It’s where they met, create their home, and it’s where they plan on getting married. And it couldn’t be anymore perfect. 

Stratt is the summer camp coordinator at Mcdowell, and Carrie is assistant director to the Environmental Center. Both share a love for the outdoors and furthering the education of all who come to learn, fellowship, pray, and play at Camp McDowell.


We took a break during the photo shoot to go back to the cabin and eat breakfast. Stratt cooked bacon and eggs while Carrie filled us in on the details of their sweet story. After breakfast, we took their dogs, Winnie and Norah, to Tillers. This natural beach along Clear Creek is a popular destination for staff and campers alike, but I’ve yet to see the type joy I saw on the faces of Winnie and Norah. With boundless energy, they raced along the water’s edge, got tangled in tree roots, and played tug-o-war with sticks. Even the photos were reflective of this joy. Genuine smiles and laughter accompanied us throughout the morning, and I’m grateful to be able to share a glimpse of it.

We are so excited about being a part of Carrie + Stratt's big day on November 11, 2017 and capturing more moments like these! 

There's a place for everyone at Wonderful, Wonderful Camp McDowell. Check out all the opportunities to experience what's happening at campmcdowell.com.