A Scene from “The Notebook” – Kaylie + Eli’s Unique Rainy Engagement Session

When I first posted the sneak peeks and the behind the scenes of this engagement session, my phone was BLOWING. UP. all day long. Everyone (including myself) was freaking out over how adorable these two were, and the uniqueness and emotion that came out of this shoot. I received so many messages saying “this reminds me of The Notebook” or “This is my favorite engagement session you’ve ever done” or “This should be in a magazine.” All of these comments made my heart so happy. And I am so glad I got to experience this with the sweetest couple ever– Kaylie + Eli.

Kaylie is also a bride who found me through my podcast (I referenced why this is so incredible to me in my previous blog, Emily + Nick’s  Downtown Raleigh Engagement Session). I was so excited to finally meet her and Eli in person since I had already chatted with her a bunch about their relationship, their plans for their wedding day. and how they are freaking HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEARTS. Does it get any more adorable than that?

Kaylie and I chatted back and forth in the weeks leading up to their session about a game plan, outfit ideas, etc. She initially told me that she and Eli wanted to do something “out of the box” for their engagement session. We threw out a few ideas and landed on using Singletary Lake Park and officially set a date and time. The most “out of the box” we thought we were going to get was using a canoe and taking some shots of them paddling on it in the water. And well, needless to say, things got a little more out of hand.

I got in the car, grabbed myself some Chic-Fil-A (my go-to on the road dinner) and headed toward Kelly, NC for this session. The skies were a little grey all day in Wilmington, but each time I checked the radar it looked like we would be totally in the clear for that evening. But as I drove further and further outside of Wilmington, the weather was looking worse and worse. But I still didn’t hesitate because having been in the middle of engagement sessions with a storm passing through before, I figured that even if it did rain it would be quick and we could get back to shooting as soon as it passed. When I arrived at the park and met Kaylie & Eli there, we decided that we would just roll with it no matter what happened. I told them that I had packed a few clear umbrellas, so even if we needed to use them it would still make for really cute photos. So we went out, grabbed the canoe, and started shooting!

Moments later, the skies opened once again and it did not look like it was going to stop any time soon. We had to make the decision to just make the most of it even though it definitely wasn’t what we originally had in mind! I encouraged them that it would CERTAINLY be the “out of the box” look they were going for, and that it would be super unique and fun if we just got straight up soaked and played around in the water. I LOVED that they were 1000% down to make a crappy situation so much fun.

Kaylie and Eli hopped back in the canoe and paddled over to the docks where I met them. We decided on going all-out since they were already pretty soaked from the paddle over there. Kaylie and Eli grabbed hands, counted to 3, and took off running to the end of the dock where they jumped into the lake. I just continued shooting as they giggled together and played in the water. The whole session was non-stop laughter and sweetness as these two embraced, kissed, and even wrestled a little to see who could push the other back in the water first. I could not stop screaming and smiling and my cheeks hurt by the end of the session because of how much fun I was having behind the camera with these two. You’re probably wondering how I was able to protect my camera and gear from getting wet in the rain. And I don’t have any fancy water-proof equipment, so the answer is simply that I shot from underneath my umbrella the whole time, but that meant I had to shoot using one hand for the entire session. That was definitely a first for me, and although it took me out of my usual “flow” it was so so worth it!

If this couple was able to laugh at a situation like this when expectation certainly fell through, their go with the flow mentality is going to result in the most amazing and fun marriage ever! Kaylie & Eli, thank you so much for trusting me with my crazy ideas, and for being more than willing to have the best time with each other for your engagement session. Let’s just hope this means your wedding day will be beautiful and sunny! But if it isn’t…you know we’re prepared to make the most of it. 🙂






  1. This session!! Absolutely love it!

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