Hey there, OTBT wanderers!
With chilly weather on the horizon and the landscape beginning to burst into vibrant fall colors, now’s the perfect time to get the squad together for an outdoor autumn adventure. Last week, we at OTBT set out for Peaks of Otter here in Central Virginia for our Outdoor Explorer photoshoot.
Here’s a look behind the scenes!
After loading up the RAV4 with tents, clothing changes, and assorting camping gear, we left the office in the morning and began the drive up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Our team included our senior photographer Ashley, our videographer Matt, our social media manager Liz (a.k.a. yours truly!) and our two beautiful models. Our goal was simple – to capture fun lifestyle photography for the comfortable new fall boots and sneakers in our Outdoor Explorer collection. But that didn’t mean we couldn’t have a little fun along the way!
After purchasing our campsite pass, we drove around in a loop to scout out a place to set up camp. Ashley quickly found the perfect spot, and we got to work putting everything together. Setting up the tents was the first task. Our outdoorsy model Lauren immediately knew what to do, and we managed to get both of our tents pitched in roughly 10 minutes (despite not having directions for the second one). What a pro!
Next came the two-person hammock, which we tested out right away, of course! And then we collected firewood, so we would have everything we’d need for a roaring campfire later in the day. Just thinking about all the s’mores we’d eat was making us hungry, so we stopped for lunch at the lakeside lodge, after doing a bit of shooting around campsite.
Refueled and refreshed, we gathered all our equipment and hopped on a van that would take us up the mountain so we could get those truly breathtaking shots. It carried us part of the way, so we had to hike the rest – about 15 minutes straight up, all while carrying our cameras, accessories, and clothing bags. Good thing we were all wearing our comfortable OTBT shoes!
The mountain was surprisingly busy for a Wednesday afternoon. Before we could start taking shots, we had to wait for a local field trip to clear out. So we sat for awhile, enjoying the gorgeous view of the Blue Ridge Mountains and chatting during our downtime. There was no cell service up on that mountain, obviously, so it was a nice chance to be unplugged and socialize without any modern-day distractions.
Lauren was obsessed with her Radius wool sneakers, which she took home after the shoot was over. She couldn’t stop talking about comfortable they were, and even did a few yoga poses right at the top the mountain.
Once we got all the photos and videos we needed, we made our way back down the mountain. The sun had begun its descent, so it was time to get the campfire going and roast some marshmallows for s’mores. Yum!
While our second model Karyl kept the fire going, we poured some coffee from Lauren’s thermos, which was still hot despite being brewed early in the morning. We grabbed sticks, roasted our marshmallows until they were golden brown, and sandwiched them in between graham crackers and chocolate for a delicious early evening treat.
After grabbing a few more shots and some more video, our time at Peaks of Otter had come to a close. One more round of s’mores were eaten, and before we knew it, we were packing up our gear and driving back down the mountain, internally vowing to return on our own once the weather cooled and the autumn leaves reached their peak.
Our shoot was a lot of work, but incredibly fun! And our comfortable OTBT boots and sneakers made all the difference when it came to the cozy, autumn aesthetic we were hoping for. If you’re interested in snagging one of these styles for yourself, be sure to shop our Outdoor Explorer collection of hike-leisure inspired footwear.
Happy camping, wanderers!
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