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  • Madison Paige Photo

5 Tips For Planning Your Smoky Mountain Engagement Session

So you want to plan your perfect Smoky Mountain National Park engagement session? Then look no further! These are my top 5 tips on making your day seamless, easy, fun and filled with tons of adventure! As an experienced and licensed CUA holder with the National Park I know all the tips and tricks that you will need to make it happen.

Hire A Photographer That Is A Licensed CUA Holder With The National Park!

This is so important! I always recommend that when planning your Smoky Mountain session to make sure your photographer is a licensed CUA holder with the National Park. If you’re planning a smoky mountain elopement, wedding, or engagement session, make sure that your photographer is licensed to take pictures in the National Park. This ensures that they have permission from the park to photograph your event, they’re also knowledgeable about the locations you’re allowed to utilize, and carry liability insurance.

Think About The Time Of Year!

Don't forget to consider the time of year that you’re planning your session! The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited National Park in the country boasting over 14 million visitors is 2021. This means that if you’re planning your session during peak tourist months, you’ll likely encounter traffic traveling through the National Park so be sure to plan extra time to arrive at your destination. If you’re planning your session during the winter months, snow and ice frequently cause the roads in the National Park to close so it’s important to always check for road closures with the National Park Service prior to leaving for your destination. This is why it’s also important to work with a photographer who is familiar with the area and have back up locations ready just in case.

Plan For The Weather!

A ton of people tend to overlook the weather but this should definitely be on your lists of what to plan for! Weather in the Smoky Mountains can change rapidly. While it’s important to double check the weather forecast, it’s also important to prepare for anything. Dress in layers as the elevation changes throughout the park can greatly affect the air temperature and always pack an umbrella. Essentially, be ready for anything that gets thrown your way so you can still enjoy your session in the Smoky Mountains!

Get A Map!

Seriously, like a paper map! I know it sounds silly since we all have GPS on our cell phones but cell service is extremely unreliable in the Smoky Mountain National Park so it’s important to bring a map with you or download an offline map that you can use while inside of the National Park. It’s also a good idea to set up meeting locations outside of the National Park in towns like Gatlinburg or Townsend where cell service is available. It's a great idea to make sure you don't get lost on your special day!

Consider Wearing Comfortable Shoes!

I know that taking your engagement photos is a once in a lifetime opportunity and you want to look your best- but let’s not forget that this is still a National Park and there’s a reason you chose the Smoky Mountains for your photo session. We’re going to be out in the elements for your photo session; in the grass, on rocks, crossing streams, on hiking trails, going up and down hills so it’s important that you’re both safe and comfortable.

There you have it! With these top 5 tips to plan your epic Smoky Mountain engagement session it is 100% going to be the best day yet. Plus, you will be more prepared to create a seamless and fun day. If you are ready to have me be a part of capturing your day in the mountains, then I am your girl and would be honored to be a part of your day! As a licensed Smoky Mountain Photographer, I love working with couples to find the perfect location for their session within the National Park. There are so many epic locations and backdrops- from mountains, to rivers, and historic structures- Smoky Mountain National Park has something for everyone.


Fill out my contact form to inquire and make your day special for you!

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