Erica and Jose decided to do their engagement photos in the beautiful open desert near Las Vegas, Nevada. The Dry Lake Bed is a special place to me because it’s actually where my now-fiance proposed to me back in May. So I always offer it as an option because as you can see, it’s perfect. They wanted something that really represented their love for adventure (They are world travelers and we reveled in our love for seeing the world!)
Jose has lived in Las Vegas his whole life and Erica moved to Vegas for a work opportunity 5 years ago from Orlando. After they met and dated for a while, they knew they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. Just by looking at their photos I’m sure it’s quite apparent how they are simply perfect together.
Golden hour is one of my favorite times to shoot at. It turns the mountains pink and the lighting hits everything juuuuust right. It also creates sun flares that bounce off my subjects and just leaves them awash in romantic light. Which is definitely ideal for a romantic engagement session. Learning to manipulate light is one of my biggest parts of my job. From perfect landscapes like this to dark reception rooms it’s a critical aspect of my job and I love the challenge. Golden hour is perfect IF you know how to work with it. It’s unpredictable and it’s simply up to me to adjust settings constantly as well as angles. The wrong angle and the sun would completely overtake one of the subjects’ faces. But when you get it right, you get it right.
This session was super important to Erica (Jose too, but he let Erica take the reins - good idea. Preparation for that old adage - Happy wife, happy life!) Erica cutely came to our session with a printed out Pinterest list. And some super grand ideas like a table in the middle of the desert and lots of champagne popping. Which we did, but the funny thing is that when you do an outdoor session - nature can do whatever the hell it wants.
It was 108 degrees out and the hot wind was in FULL force. One of our champagne glasses shattered and the table nearly blew over multiple times. I’m so glad they were good sports about it cause really, that’s all you can do. And hey, we got the shots we wanted so that’s all that really matters.
They decided to do two outfits. One being super classy and dressed up and the other more relaxed.
In their first outfit, Jose wore a classic black suit with a black tie. And matching shiny black dress shoes. Erica chose a perfect deep maroon dress with stunning gem encrusted open siding. My favorite part was definitely the bottom part that blew gently with the wind that created for some seriously epic photos.
But seriously can we all give LOTS of props to Jose who, as I’ll remind you, was in a FULL BLACK SUIT. In the middle of the desert. In summertime. When it was 108 degrees. I was in a short gray dress and felt like I was dying so I can’t even imagine. But Las Vegas locals get acclimated to the summer heat, or so I’m told. Not sure how though, haha.
For their second outfits Erica wore a knee length fitted and strappy white cotton dress, delicate dangling earrings with matching white heels. I LOVED the straps on the dress. Plus it just looked comfy. Super perfect for a summer engagement! Jose wore a short sleeve pink button up that was complemented by khaki pants and brown laced dress shoes.
About halfway through our session I told them I knew another spot with vastly different scenery that was a short drive away back towards Las Vegas. So we hopped in the car and drove trying to find it.
One of the areas that I had done sessions in before and routed us to has some shiny new fencing around it so after hitting a dead end we looped around and found this spot. Which is now saved in Google maps and I’m hoping it stays secluded and open without fencing. Pretty sad about the other one, the mountains appear a LOT closer at the original spot but this one is pretty dang cool too. Between the Dry Lake Bed and Sloan National Conservation Area is a 5-10 minute drive and it’s pretty east to hit both spots during an engagement session. Especially now that I have a new “secret spot”. :)
One of my favorite parts of my job is the variety of people I get to meet. I absolutely love my job and hearing about others life experiences. The paths are almost never easy, and it’s such an inspiration to see people end up exactly where they’re meant to be. And in this case, Erica and Jose holding hands walking towards the rest of their lives as a team.