The question was popped, the answer was yes, and now the planning has begun! One of the best moments of your time as an engaged couple will be your engagement portrait session. To help make sure they turn out as gorgeous as your daydreams, we have put together a list of this year’s most scenic engagement session locations in Northern California.
Now this might be an obvious mention, but we wanted to start off the list with one of the most stunning treasures California has to offer. Not only is Yosemite beautiful, it is absolutely one of the most versatile locations on the list. From the valley floor to waterfalls to dramatic overlooks, there are so many nooks and crannies in the park that allow couples to achieve a variety of looks.
Tips: Weekdays are the best time to beat the crowds. Get there early, and we mean very early, so that you have plenty of time to explore. There is limited phone service in the park so ensure you and your photographer have a solid plan in place before arriving.
Muir Woods, beach, and overlook
One of our most requested locations is Muir Beach. Couples who want a little bit of everything California has to offer love this location. You can start out in the woods earlier in the day, and head to the beach or overlook (or both!) later on.
Tips: The Bay Area is always subject to fog, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time. Make a day of it and bring a picnic in case you have some waiting to do! If you are starting in the Woods, you will need a reservation to enter.
Knight’s Ferry on the Stanislaus River
If you like the idea of tall grass, a river, and granite, Knight’s Ferry might be the perfect little spot for you! When the sunlight glows through the hills, it is pure magic.
Tips: There is a lot of walking off trails at this location, so bring appropriate shoes. Bug spray is a good idea too!
Arguably one of the prettiest beaches in Northern California, Carmel boasts stunning sands and the cliffs of Pebble Beach to add interest to the horizon. It is also a bit warmer and foggy less often that many of the other beaches in the area.
Tips: Make a weekend of it and enjoy the area! With so many amazing restaurants and shops, it would be a perfect little getaway to escape the stress of wedding planning!
Ok, I know we said Northern California, but Tahoe eked it’s way onto this list because the stateline happens to be surrounded by some of Cali’s most stunning views! Whether you are up in the trees, or along the beach, it is hard to go wrong in Tahoe, in any season!
Tips: Research different spots and head to the side of the lake that works best for your time of day. If you’re like us and love dreamy backlit photos at sunset, South Lake Tahoe is the perfect direction to start your adventure.
Last, but definitely not least is Donner Summit, overlooking Donner State Park and Donner Lake near Truckee, CA. The view absolutely speaks for itself, and you really don’t need to do any hiking to reach it either! A simple walk up some granite and you’re there!
Tips: Start your day in the park for a forested second location before heading up the highway to the summit. A shot inside the park adds a perfect casual compliment for the dramatic and more formal summit view.
We hope you loved taking a peek into our most popular destinations for scenic outdoor engagement portraits! Engagement is such a special time, and we sincerely hope you two cherish the journey toward your wedding day! If you would like to chat about setting up an engagement session, please complete the form below. If you’d like more amazing engagement and wedding planning tips, click here.