Tara & Isla Pisgah National Forest Session

There is something so special about motherhood sessions, and spending the morning with Tara and her little Isla in Pisgah National Forest was just magical. I got there a little early and was able to hike around by myself (without my kids, gasp!) to scout out some areas we might be able to shoot at. The trails were pretty much empty other than a few campers, and the light streaming in through the trees was breathtaking. This is my favorite spot in Asheville to hike around. There is lush greenery and beautiful wild flowers, there are rustic bridges over rocky streams and rivers, there are waterfalls, and if you have the time to make it to the top, the vista overlooking the entire valley is incredible.

But for today, since we were already disrupting Isla’s nap schedule, it was probably best to stick closer to the parking area just in case. And boy were these two troopers. They put their work in to make this outdoor session perfect. Wearing a beautiful vibrant dress, Tara hoisted Isla into the carrier and hiked through the woods, and over fallen trees, stopping along the way to pose for pictures in a blanket of ferns, on a rocky riverside beach area, and even dipping toes in the frigid mountain water. This is what makes mamas so badass. 

And Tara is truly not lacking in badassery (is that a word?). Her birth story is an incredible one. It was not easy. Due to complications, her first few weeks of motherhood involved emergency surgery, lengthy hospital stays, time away from her newborn while she endured painful recovery, and a long road of healing for her and her family. As if giving birth to a child is not difficult enough, she was thrown through the ringer and man did she endure and push through it. This is why I adore shooting mom and baby pictures. There is this unspeakable bond between these two humans who have not known each other that long, but have been through a hell of a lot together. The love and connection that these two have was evident in such an intimate way as they posed for pictures among the trees in this vast forest.

Isla wasn’t so sure about the camera clicking away in her face, and she certainly did not like when I placed her on a blanket by herself among the ferns, but as long as she was in mama’s arms, she would flash those big beautiful eyes at me like a pro. We got some steps in as we ventured throughout the area. There was even a sketchy area that the trail had washed out, leaving an alarmingly small path to maneuver through along a sharp and steep cliff. These two did it in style, even with an outfit change halfway through. It was really what outdoor photography dreams are made of - perfect weather, beautiful scenery, adorable family. Check, check, check.

Sun shining through the trees over a river in Pisgah National Forest
Mama smiling at her baby in her arms during an outdoor family photography session
Mom and daughter touching foreheads at outdoor photography session
Daughter playing with mom's necklace while posing for outdoor photo session
Mom looking at daughter in her arms while daughter looks at camera for picture
Baby with flower crown looks at camera while sitting on blanket at Pisgah National Forest
Baby with flower crown sitting on blanket in a field of ferns
Mom holding daughter while standing on a bridge in Pisgah National Forest
Mom and daughter looking at camera with trees behind them for outdoor photo shoot
Mom and daughter looking at each other while standing in the woods
Mom holding daughter while little girl shows her hair bow
Mom snuggling baby close during outdoor family photo shoot
Little girl with bow on her head looks straight at camera for Asheville photo shoot
Little girl dips her toes in a rocky stream while mom hold her hands in Pisgah National Forest
Close up of little girl stepping foot into stream during outdoor photography session