5 Places for Engagement Photos in Bend, Oregon

Engagement Sessions

From the desert to the mountains, Central Oregon has so many unique and absolutely stunning places to take your engagement photos.  Here are five of my favorite places to take engagement photos in Bend, Oregon. And if you’re looking for a photographer learn more about me!


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 other side of the canyon.  Or just go into the canyon for a totally different view. The sun goes behind the rocks earlier here but I personally love shooting just after sunset at Smith Rock. The public bathrooms here are surprisingly clean and a great place to change!

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 has a large pond that later erupts with yarrow and wildflowers. What I love about Dillon is the diversity of backgrounds within 20 feet of each other which makes it really simple to get all sort of variety. Be warned that during late June and July it can be especially mosquito-y so absolutely bring bug spray.

I also love Dillon in the winter time but the road can be a bit treacherous.


Black Butte ranch has epic views all year round which makes it an excellent pick for anyone wanting mountain pics when the Cascade Lakes highway is closed (November-May). With a giant field, aspen trees, huge mountain views and sometimes even some horses you’re able to get a variety of shots with just a little bit of adventure.

Black Butte ranch does require a permit to take engagement photos which is as simple as just filling out this form and requesting permission. They do require that there is not another event so during peak wedding season I would generally plan on weekdays. After your session you can grab a drink or dinner at the bar.

My favorite time of day here is about 10 minutes before and after the sun goes after the ridge so plan on being near your favorite spots then!

Bend Adventure Engagement Photos

Some of the best views in Bend taking some hiking but it can be well worth it for some truly magical views. From on top of Broken Top to Black Butte you’ll need to plan on changing at the top and bringing plenty of snacks, but these are usually my absolute favorite sessions. Note that many of the more epic hikes in Central Oregon now require a permit but if you plan ahead and set a phone alarm they are generally available.

Broken Top No Name Lake Engagement Photos
Couple poses in the desert for engagement portraits in Bend, Oregon. She is wearing black flowy dress. He is in a white button down shirt.

Looking for more places for engagement photos in Bend, Oregon?

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