rapidan campground engagement

Lauren & Will wanted to do something that felt most like "them" for their engagements, so on one of the last weekend's of the summer, we went camping at one of their favorite off-the-grid campgrounds, with their pups, & best friends. Prior to deciding where would shoot here, Lauren asked if I had a 4wheel drive vehicle (for the road up can get a little intense and also is a no service zone) -- I drive a 4runner so that was no problem, but boy did I not know what was coming. I met up with the group at Yoders Country Market, and followed them into the depths of the woods.

Virginia got hit with a ton of rain this summer (I'm talking the most rain in YEARS), and you could really tell taking the road up. All of the gravel was washed away, leaving massive trenches + slates of limestone cascading out of the ground. I have never been off roading before, so I had no idea what the heck I was doing. We drove in a line -- Will & Lauren in their vintage 4runner in front, me in the middle, and Mark & Kelsey behind me. I ended up driving okay according to these guys (made it up and down the mountain with no tragedies), and Will only had to help me out of a hole once, haha.

Our home for the night was a sweet little cabin nestled in the trees next to a flowing creek -- which was in fact built by the Marines as a getaway for president Hoover! Kelsey did Lauren's makeup, Mark collected + chopped wood for the fire, and after shooting for a bit the first evening, we had the most delish camp meal; shish kabobs, grilled corn, and grilled pineapple. The following morning (after another amazing meal by Mark & Kelsey), we went back out and shot with one of Will & Lauren's favorite possessions -- their 87' 4Runner. This thing is SO rad, and Will knows a ton about Toyotas so it was fun to learn about the history. Who knew they made 4runners with removable tops?! Anyway, we spent the morning chillin with the pups (Hankus & Olive), driving into the creek, and talking about favorite trips + memories.

Before this trip, I had only talked to Lauren over email -- coming home, I feel like these folks are old friends. 

& here are a few polaroids captured over the weekend adventure -- 35 mm film to come!