This blog post is a guide to help you find an area or location you love and want to make some magic in for your engagement photos! Part II focuses on engagement locations in Washington! If you’d like to see Part I with all our dreamy Oregon locations, click here!
We have both lived our entire lives in the Pacific Northwest. Venturing from the corner of eastern Oregon driving across the playa in the Alvord Desert to the tip of Washington where you can find rocky beaches and dense magical forests. If we had to stay and die in one place, this would be it. The Pacific Northwest no doubt only gets more and more beautiful as you explore every mile.
ALL ABOUT WASHINGTON
There are two major climate zones in Washington. West of the Cascades you will find mild humid summer and winter days while the east of the state has warm summers and cold winters. You are almost always going to find cloud cover, drizzle, and fog to the west with a much higher rainfall year round.
Depending on your location choice for your engagement session, you may need to get a permit or specific permission. Often times, state and national parks require a permit. You can easily do this by a quick online research of the specific park or locations website or by calling their info center. You may also need to pay an entrance or parking fee if you are shooting inside a national or state park.
You should be somewhat weary in terms of weather here in the PNW, especial in Washington! I’ve seen it be sunny, rainy and hail all within the same hour on a spring day. Many of our couples travel to the Pacific Northwest from other parts of the world/country and rescheduling their session is not always an option. We come prepared with multiple backup plans and are well versed in shooting in any type of weather. Our biggest advice is to embrace whatever weather comes your way and to go with the flow.
October-May: Expect overcast skies, rain, fog, and snow in certain areas of the mountains! A.k.a. Moody magic on the peninsula or a winter wonderland up in the mountains somewhere. There is no shortage of amazing places in Washington State to adventure in while documenting your love story!
June-September: Although weather can be more predictable this time of year, you can never be 100% certain in beautiful Washington. True story: we got married in the middle of July up on the peninsula and it poured on our wedding day! Unpredictable weather creates some of the best images and memories though! So like I said earlier, embrace whatever comes at you! Summers in Washington are some of the prettiest things you might ever see. Wildflowers on Mt. Rainier, lush forested mountain tops as far as the eye can see, and the abundance of ferns nestled near lakes makes this place pretty unforgettable.
Believe it when we tell you some of our most memorable photos actually took place when unexpected weather surprised us!
PART II- WASHINGTON ENGAGEMENT SESSION LOCATION
Olympic National Park Engagement Photo Locations:
Hurricane Ridge, Elwha Valley, Lake Cushman, Ruby Beach, Lake Crescent, Mount Storm King, etc…
Landscape: Talk about one of the most diverse places in the Pacific Northwest, Olympic National Park has it all. From rocky beaches to sweeping mountain views, you name it and I bet your dream engagement location can be found somewhere nestled in the magical rainforest or majestic alpine peaks. We tromp around this area often, but never feel like we’ve seen enough! In our opinion, Olympic National Park might hold the most beautiful engagement locations in Washington.
Permits: Depending on where you want to have your session, a special use permit may be required when shooting in the Olympic National Park. You may also need a Northwest Forest Pass or to pay an entrance/booth fee depending on where you choose to adventure! More info here!
Mt. Rainier National Park Engagement Photo Locations:
Longmire, Paradise, Sunrise, High Rock Lookout, etc…
Landscape: From massive glaciers descending from its peak to wildflowers in its subalpine meadows, Mount Rainier National Park boasts some of the most extravagant and beautiful scenery all year round. We document a lot of engagements and elopements within this park and are never disappointed by it’s sheer beauty. Mt. Rainier has some real keepers if you are searching for the perfect engagement locations in Washington.
Permits: A special use permit is required when shooting in Mt. Rainier National Park. More info can be found here! You will also need to pay an entrance fee or hold an eligible pass to get into the park. More information on passes and entrance fees here!
North Cascades National Park Engagement Photo Locations (+ surrounding areas):
Diablo Lake, Mt. Baker, Rasar State Park, etc…
Landscape: We traveled to North Cascades National Park a few times this year and were in absolute awe every single day we spent adventuring around. The views are something else! The alpine landscape and forested valleys might be the prettiest Washington has to offer.
Permits: Depending on where you choose to do your engagement session, you may or may not need a special use or parking permit/pass. More info can be found here!
Seattle Engagement Photo Locations (+ surrounding areas):
Downtown Seattle, Snoqualmie Pass, Rattlesnake Lake, Discovery Park, Deception Pass State Park, Whidbey Island, etc…
Landscape: Adventuring atop parking garages, sheer cliff sides looking off into the distance, to small islands just a ferry ride away Seattle and its surrounding areas are full of so much beauty. We document a lot of engagement session within Seattle or 1-2 hours just outside.
Permits: Depending on where you choose to do your engagement session, you may or may not need a special use or parking permit/pass.