Kristi McKeag Photography » Photographer Blog

A Storm Chaser Bride

I could not come up with a better title for this post then Storm Chaser!  This is definitely a bridal session that I will never forget!!  Unforgettable and yet so much fun!  I never thought that I would be chasing a storm for a session but sometimes, you have to get creative and do what it takes to get the shot!  Back in August down in Nags Head, North Carolina, my beautiful beach bride, Kristy, and I had our calendars marked for her bridal session.  Everything was set up for Kristy, meeting with wedding coordinator, florist, hair trial, make-up trial, and bridal session.  That is a lot of vendors and a lot of coordination that had to take place that Kristy couldn’t go through all of that and miss out on her bridal portraits.  Although there was a storm in the forecast, we were hoping it would come after the session and wouldn’t affect us at all.  In normal circumstances, when there is a storm in the forecast, we typically try and reschedule sessions but this was not in the cards,  Kristy was just down for the day and was headed back to Richmond that night!  So with my luck, when I have had to reschedule sessions due to weather, nothing ever ends up happening so I was hoping this would be the case but without the rescheduling, so we were ready to give it a go!

As Kristy and her mother arrived at Jeanette’s Pier, there were some lingering dark clouds but nothing that looked threatening so Kristy hopped into the bathroom, threw on her dress and was ready to go.  We walked down to the beach and looking left were some dark clouds but looking right was a bright blue sky so we stepped out to the right of the pier.  I’m not kidding you, the second, THE SECOND, Kristy took one step out from under the pier, the rain came down…and not just a misty rain, a straight downpour!!  But I wasn’t going to let that stop us.  We tried to maneuver our way under the pier to see if we could get close enough to the edge to see if we could still get the effect of being on the beach and getting the water in the background all the while trying to get as much light as possible and most importantly, getting our bride wet!  So with one attempt, we get to the edge and the rain shifts and there goes that idea.  Then we try another side…a little better light, Kristy is kept out of the rain while I decided I didn’t care if I got soaked as long as I could get some good bridal portraits but it still wasn’t perfect or what either of us had in mind for her bridal portraits!  At this point, we decided we would try and wait out the rain.  I’m pretty sure right as we said that, the rain started coming down even harder and then came the lighting.  “That’s okay.  It’s just a summer storm…it’ll pass”, we said and then came another loud bang of thunder and a strike of lighting…to the point that we were starting to get a little scared and were trying to figure out the best way to jet back up to the pier inside.  We decided to make a run for it trying to keep Kristy from getting soaked by running beside her with an umbrella.  Phew we made it!  Okay, now the storm has got to almost be over…summer storm, summer storm.  Waiting probably a good fifteen minutes, we couldn’t figure out this storm…it wasn’t moving and was just staying on top of us.  Still looking down to the right, past Manteo, was clear blue skies.  Figuring the storm had been hovering over us for a good half an hour, we figured it was slow moving and Kristy suggested that we just drive down a little ways and then we may have a little better luck.  We decided to hop on beach road and head towards the blue skies.  Looking to our left on the beach was still black clouds but it would only take a couple minutes to out drive them…at least so we hoped!  Still driving…10 minutes later, and clouds just not leaving my right side, I decide to give Kristy, who was in the car behind me, a call.  “These darks clouds are not leaving us and I’m a little worried as I’m watching in my rear view, streaks of lighting continuing to strike down, that we may just have to call it”-I said.  “Let’s just keep driving for a couple more minutes and then if worse comes to worse, can we just jump out and take one or two so that we get some on the beach?”-Kristy suggested.  “Of course!  Sounds good to me! “…We weren’t ready to give up just yet.  So after another ten minutes or so of driving, with dark clouds and lightening still trailing us, we arrive at Pea Island, park on the side of the road, run across the highway and on to the beach!  No rain and still no dark clouds to the right so we gave it a go and I am SO glad we did!!  With ending up with about fifteen minutes, we got some absolutely gorgeous shots and exactly what we wanted…pictures on the beach, not under a pier, and the ocean in the background!  And, even a few up on the dunes with still having the ocean in the background.  Success I must say!  And definitely an event to remember!  And Kristy, you were such a trooper and I thank you over and over again for being such an amazing bride!!  From your bridal portraits to your wedding day, you are just way too much fun and I am so honored that we were able to be a part of your special day!  I can’t wait to share your actual wedding day pictures…some of my absolute favs:-)  But now, after my novel that I have written for the day, some of my favorites from the most memorable bridal session EVER…STORM CHASER!!

And these were the start of the dark clouds that were slowly started to creep in on us…

And a little vintage-y, beach feel edit…

One of my absolute favs:-)

I can’t believe we were able to get such a stunning image with what looks like a fake background with the weather that we had!  You would have never have known!

Just absolutely stunning my beautiful beach bride!
  • Tammy Ferguson

    Kristi you did an amazing job. You are right that was some kind of a day that we won’t forget. A lot of laughs we had. You forgot to tell how Kristy changed her clothes after the pictures on the side of the road. Good thing there wasn’t a lot of traffic. Thank you for making that day special for my daughter and also the wedding day. TammyReplyCancel

  • Kristy Budny

    You are an amazing photographer, Kristi! It was an eventful day, but I’m so glad we stuck it out and got some great pictures, even if I had to change on the side of the road and we had to drive back through a flood :). Thank you so much for everything! I love, love, love all of the pictures of our special day!


  • […] a bridal session with Kaci, I couldn’t wait!!  I hadn’t done a bridal session since my storm chaser bride (Remember that one?  That’s a good story!) so I was excited!!  And probably the reason […]ReplyCancel

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