I’m Stephanie, a wedding + lifestyle photographer based in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Warrenton, Virginia. Whether I’m by the mountains of Colorado or Virginia, my soul feels at home, surrounded by rural living and the raw beauty of nature. I genuinely love what I do, and feel so passionate to share the enthusiasm and joy of these celebrations with you!



find inspiration

Gallery images

December 19, 2022

Dennis & Cassidy | Shenandoah National Park Engagement

Dennis & Cassidy | Shenandoah National Park Engagement

Cassidy reached out to me what seems like a year ago to photograph their engagement portraits at the Shenandoah National Park! Since then, the months flew by, and I could tell from Cassidy’s emails that she could hardly wait!!! 🙂 I loved seeing her excitement because I could tell this meant so much to them to have professional portraits of their engagement. And I cannot think of a better place to take engagement photos than the beautiful Shenandoah National Park!! Especially since Dennis proposed in the Smoky Mountains— It’s the closest best option with views!

When we met in October to finally take their photos, it was a true fall day — The leaves on the mountains were turning, and it was a bit windy/cold!! Cassidy was a trooper in her dress, but it was an excuse for extra snuggles with Dennis! Haha! Because this was their first time taking photos together, they weren’t sure what to expect — I helped eliminate any fear in front of the camera, and we played with the gorgeous scenery! The wind worked for us (as you’ll see below)! The wind picked up Cassidy’s dress in the right way and her hair. 🙂 The wind isn’t always a bad thing — I love to call this the Beyonce fan. Haha! I also loved the photos with their pups!! Especially the extra unexpected licks that about knocked Cassidy down. So cute!!! Check out their session below!!! 🙂

Dennis & Cassidy | Shenandoah National Park Engagement



From Cassidy’s perspective

We have a really basic beginning to our story! We met through a mutual friend on March 9, 2018, at a get together in McLean, VA. I was super hesitant to go, but was told “our friend Dennis wants to meet you” and ultimately decided an hour before I needed to be there that I was going.

When I first got there, Dennis was sitting on a chair holding his guitar talking to people surrounding him and I stuck to my friend that encouraged me to come. I had the biggest butterflies in my chest when I first saw him, and I immediately had this overwhelming feeling I was going to marry him (anyone that knows me, knows I’m not a sappy kind of person in that way so the feeling was even more special). We didn’t talk for two hours, but then were forced to take a picture with one another and after that we didn’t leave each others’ side.

We started officially dating on March 14, 2018, literally 5 days later. Since then, we’ve both graduated college, traveled, started our careers, moved in together, welcomed our two fur babies, got engaged, and are now less than a year away from getting married! I couldn’t ask for a better soon to be husband, Dennis is truly the most selfless and genuine person I have ever met. I just love him so much and I can’t wait to turn the page into our next chapter of life as husband and wife!!


From Dennis’ perspective

It all started near the end of 2020. One day, Cass and I decided to go ring shopping just for fun. We looked at several rings and one completely stuck out at me. I told Cass to try it on, and after I saw Cass’ expression on her face, I knew it was the one. A couple of days went by, and I decided to go back and make one of the most important decisions in my life, buying the ring.

After I bought the ring, I brought it back to our house and hid it on the highest shelf in a computer bag in my office where I knew she would never easily get it. As several months went by, I couldn’t keep it a secret to just myself. I pretty much showed all of our friends, and told her brother and mom I had a ring.

After I finished school, and got into my career, I knew it was time for me to pop the question. We planned a trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee during Veterans Day weekend of 2021. The day before leaving, while Cass was out of the house, I called her dad to ask his permission. I always knew that I wanted to pop the question in a beautiful scenic area and this was the perfect place.

Unfortunately, Cass had a gut feeling that I was going to ask her to marry me, so I did everything I could to throw her off from that idea.

One day we went on a waterfall hike in the Smoky Mountains, and I decided to tease her by taking out my tripod camera several times to take photos. After we went up halfway the trail realizing there was no top view to it, we decided to turn around and go back down. During our walk back down, we found this beautiful spot on the corner of the trail where all the leaves were covering every inch of the ground, and the sun was piercing down the trees into the spot. We took several photos at first, then I brought the camera closer to take a video (without her knowing a video had started).

As I got close to her, we smiled for the camera, I reached for my right jacket pocket, dropped down on one knee, and asked the question, “Will you marry me?”

I had to take a photo of their sweet friend who assisted them with their pups! She was a rockstar in the frigid temps!!! Haha!

Thank you!!!

Thank you, Dennis and Cassidy, for a great time photographing your engagement portraits at the Shenandoah National Park! Thanks for bearing through the elements of the mountains — WORTH IT! And I love how the wind worked with us for these shots!!! 🙂 What a FUN day and I wish you both the best as you plan for your big day next year!

Stephanie Messick Photography, LLC is a Northern and Central, Virginia + Colorado Family, Wedding, and Engagement Photographer. Learn more HERE or contact her HERE!!