From the desert to the mountains, Central Oregon has so many unique and absolutely stunning places to take your engagement photos.
There is almost nowhere as accessible as Sparks Lake to get majestic and epic mountain views. With incredible views less than a 5 minute walk from parking making it the perfect location for couples that want that stunning view without the hike. From the lakeside you’ll be able to see South Sister & Broken Top along and include the lake. Over on the camping side by Soda Springs the green (or yellow in the fall) meadow boasts views of Bachelor and the evergreen hills. Cascade Lakes highway is generally open from Mid-May to November depending on the snowfall – although if you’re real adventurous these views are accessible via snowmobile or a nice cross country ski in the winter! Sunset is a beautiful time here but if you want to beat the crowds and for the most clear mountain views consider starting your session at sunrise!
About a 30 minute drive from Bend, Smith Rock feels like you’ve transported into the Southwest. The red rocks emerge from the road and is a favorite place for rock climbers and adventurers. There are truly dozens of incredible spots here – from the main parking lot you can get large expansive views to down in the canyon. If you’re up for an adventure, Misery Ridge is less than a mile (but be warned, it’s VERY steep) and you can see the otherside of the canyon. One note, as this has become a more popular destination for photography Park Rangers are strictly enforcing that photographers & couples stay on trail to protect the delicate landscape, so keep that in mind before you cross any fences or go off into the brush for a better view.
A quick 15 minute drive from Bend, Dillon Falls has it all – from large ponderosas, a raging river, a beautiful meadow to a few mountain views in the distance. During the springtime Dillon erupts with yarrow and wildflowers and during a snowstorm the road is generally okay (you’ll definitely want 4 wheel drive) for those wanting a snowy session.
As crazy as it sounds, one of the harder things to find in Central Oregon are groves of leafy trees. Just about 5 minutes from town Shevlin Park has everything from a leafy aspen grove, large ponderosa, pine trees, and even some mountain views. Shevlin is often very popular while the leaves are yellow in the Fall with family and senior photographers- I personally prefer shooting when the leaves are still green!
This one is a hidden gem and not as popular as Sparks or Smith to take engagement photos at. Paulina has no phone service, so make sure you come up with a very clear place to meet your photographer! The two most iconic areas to photograph are down by the main lodge with Paulina Peak in the background and up on Paulina Peak itself (about a 15 minute drive to the top). There are tons of beautiful forests and lakes to explore and even hot springs if you’re feeling extra adventurous.
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE
Your own exploring! There are so many absolutely amazing places to explore that are off the beaten path- even more if you’re willing to hike a mile or two. Contact me today and we can chat!