Hi! I'm Kirsten, an Asheville wedding, elopement, & engagement photographer. While I am based in North Carolina, I do offer travel packages & even discounts for locations on my bucket list!
Searching for a photographer who will deliver fun, intentional & storytelling photos? Look no further! Your wedding day memories are precious & I will document them with the same love & care as if they were my own.
Engagement sessions are such an important part of the wedding planning process! This is the time to get to know your wedding photographer & their style. Kind of like when you test drive a car to make sure you like it. It’s also a great excuse to get more use out of your hair & makeup trial if you’re having one! Might as well get your Asheville engagement photos taken while you’re already glammed up.
Asheville has a lot to offer when it comes to photo locations. There’s downtown, the blue ridge parkway, pisgah national forest, & so much more. Here are my top 15 favorite places to take your Asheville engagement photos & why I love them. If you’re interested in having your engagement session at The Biltmore, checkout this article about the Best Spots for Engagement Photos at The Biltmore in Asheville.
Black Balsam is one of the most popular hikes near Asheville. The forest service has asked couples and photographers to avoid going there during busy times because there is not enough parking for the number of people who want to go. I highly suggest not only choosing a date in the middle of the week, but also aiming for a sunrise session to avoid the crowds. This location boasts 360 degree views and is known to have unpredictable weather due to the elevation. But, that’s part of the fun of an adventure session! Black Balsam is about an hour from Asheville & requires a 10-15 min hike to the first viewpoint.
This is another location that has views in every direction you look. Max Patch is also extremely popular & because of this, I suggest only going here during the week or at sunrise on the weekends. It’s about an hour drive from Asheville & requires a short 20 min hike to the top.
The best part about this location is that it’s right next to the road and is very close to the Blue Ridge Parkway. This means if you’d like to have photos at a waterfall & a mountain for your Asheville engagement photos, you can! Looking Glass Falls is also a great spot for photos in the winter since the road is well maintained & the falls are stunning when half frozen.
The best part about this trail is that it’s never busy. The parking lot is shared by hikers going into Shining Rock Wilderness as well as Black Balsam, but no one ever seems to want to make the 2.5 mile round trip hike. Towards the start of the trail is an expansive open field & at the top is a beautiful view to the west.
This hike is not one for the weak. Hawksbill mountain is located in the Linville Gorge Wilderness. It features a 2.1 mile round trip hike – but the mile up is very steep. I always make sure to plan extra time to cool down at the top & to take our time so that you don’t sweat too much for the photos. I also am happy to bring my popup changing tent so that you don’t ruin your nice engagement clothes on the hike.
Wiseman’s View is one of the most stunning places in the gorge. While there’s no hike required, the use of an AWD or 4WD vehicle is almost necessary. The steep gravel road goes 6+ months at a time without being maintained so sometimes there are very deep potholes. If your car can make it here, this is one of the best spots to take your Asheville engagement photos.
This location is perfect for couples who want a beautiful view but don’t want to hike. The parking lot is a very popular spot for people to watch the sunrise & the sunset because there are open views to the west and the east. My favorite part about this location is that it’s perfect for blue hour photos & astrophotography. (Which is an add-on I offer for Asheville engagement photo packages).
Rough Ridge is extremely popular in the fall because it is absolutely beautiful. I highly recommend going on a weekday! Otherwise you may be stuck in traffic on the parkway and miss the sunset or sunrise. This location features rocks that jut out into the view that you can stand or sit on for the photos.
Buck Spring Overlook faces east so it is perfect for sunrise. (And it’s not very popular). After taking some photos at the overlook and along the short trail, you can take a very short drive down the road to the Pisgah Inn. Here, you’ll be able to walk out onto the Inn’s observatory deck for more photos.
Craggy Gardens is great for couples wanting sunset photos or want a spooky vibe during spooky season! At sunrise in the fall there’s usually fog everywhere that combined with the dead looking trees along the trail make for the best spooky vibe ever. If you’re lucky enough, you may even get to see some cloud inversions after the fog subsides. If spooky isn’t your thing, you can come here for sunset & get that warm golden glow in your Asheville engagement photos.
Craggy Pinnacle is a straight up steep hike, but is so worth it! The top features 360 views and there’s a couple side trails to side views that are more private for photos.
Pisgah Highlands is a collection of unique cabins. The land was meant to be for a high-end gated residential community but it was never developed. Haley & her husband have created a greenhouse aframe cabin, a shipping container cabin, a treetop hammock, & are currently rebuilding their treehouse cabin.
This spot is nestled into the mountains near Marshall, NC. You would never know from standing on the road that The Ridge even exists. While it is a private wedding venue, the owners have given me a special rate for you to get your Asheville engagement photos done here! The best part is that you’ll get the beautiful mountain view with no crowds whatsoever.
The Asheville courthouse is a cute idea for couples wanting their Asheville engagement photos to have an elopement or more classy vibe. The courthouse is an older regal looking building that also features a water fountain. Then you can walk around downtown & get some photos at a brewery or coffee shop.
Ahh, The Biltmore. One of my absolute favorite places to take Asheville engagement photos! This location does require either a house tour pass or a gardens & grounds pass in order to enter the estate. But don’t worry, I have an annual pass so you won’t have to worry about covering my entrance fee. I always encourage my couples to make an entire day out of visiting The Biltmore. Start out getting lunch at one of their cafes, do the house tour, then get your engagement photos taken at sunset, followed by dinner at one of their restaurants (I highly recommend the bistro) then enjoy some ice cream at the creamery. If you’re wondering the best spots to take engagement photos at The Biltmore, checkout this blog post.
If you’re planning on having your engagement photos done in Asheville, then definitely consider one of the places on this list! I would LOVE to be your Asheville engagement photographer & help plan out the best engagement session ever for you!
To start chatting about your session or wedding, click here!
For adventure session info, check out my blog post: What is an adventure session?
Amanda & Joe
"Kirsten was so sweet and fun to hang out with - it felt like we brought a friend along with us! She captured everything I wanted and gave us the perfect photos for us to remember our special day.
We received a mix of candid photos and portraits.
I thought I would feel awkward taking portraits. but she gave great prompts that made it fun and had us laughing. When I received my photos. I was blown away at how natural we looked and how much of our love was captured in the photos. I am literally obsessed with how our pictures came out!"
Payton & Kristen
"Kirsten produced lovely photos from our very dreamy and memorable mountain photo shoot. We display the engagement photos proudly all around our house. She knows the area well and can suggest areas if you are not.
She's non-judgmental if you're nervous about being in front of a camera and LGBTQ+ friendly! We highly recommend Kirsten to anyone looking to get engaged or elope in the Asheville area."
Caroline & Cameron
"😭😭 These are amazing. Thank you so so much for making this chaotic day look so peaceful and magical. I know we were rushed but you'd never know from these pictures. We couldn't have asked for more! and thank you for getting us our gallery and sneak peaks so quickly!!"
Amythest & Sara
"Kirsten was delightful and really allowed us to be ourselves and enjoy the time together. The photos from this session are warm. intimate. and really showcase the love that my wife and I hold in our relationship. I am forever thankful for that afternoon Kirsten spent with us. if you are considering booking a session. this is a business you want to do it with <3"
Sarah & Alex
"Kirsten was absolutely amazing to work with! While visiting the States on our honeymoon, we arranged to have photos taken to commemorate our elopement, and Kirsten took our vision and ran with it! Kirsten made the the entire experience so easy for us - from helping us plan and pick a venue, to bringing her pop-up tent for a wardrobe change at the top of the mountain.
Kirsten went above and beyond The photos themselves are more beautiful than we could have hoped for. and we are so grateful. Could not recommend Kirsten enough!"