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 I focuses on engagement photo locations in Oregon! If you’d like to see Part II with all our dreamy Washington 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 OREGON!
Oregon is divided by the Cascade Mountain range from North to South. To the west, you will find a marine climate. The rain starts in October and stops in May, give or take a couple of months! You will find a high desert climate to the east of the Cascades. Generally, extreme weather conditions are found in both the Summer and Winter season here. Summer and is very dry and hot and Winters are cold with moderate snow.
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 need to pay an entrance or parking fee if your chosen location is inside a national or state park.
You should be somewhat weary in terms of weather here in the PNW. 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: You can expect overcast skies, snow, and potential rain to the west! A.k.a. Moody magic or a winter wonderland up in the mountains somewhere. There is no shortage of magical places to adventure in while documenting your love story in Oregon’s beautiful landscape!
June-September: Summer months here in the Pacific Northwest boast some of the most beautiful places in the entire world. Weather can be more predictable this time of year, but still holds some uncertainties. Generally, you can hike up to glacier lakes free of snow this time of year and get the most magical mountain views. Want to frolic in flower covered meadow? We got you covered there too!
Believe it when we tell you some of our most memorable photos actually took place when unexpected weather surprised us!
PART 1- OREGON ENGAGEMENT SESSION LOCATIONS
Eastern Oregon Engagement Photo Locations:
The Alvord Desert, The Painted Hills, The Wallowas, Hells Canyon, etc…
Landscape: Eastern Oregon boasts some of the most amazing open landscapes and mountainous views you could ask for. I admit that in the twenty something years I’ve lived in Oregon I had never been to this part until recently and I wish I had gone a lot sooner. There is everything from massive canyon lands, expansive desert landscapes, and beautiful mounds of red and yellow-hued hills. Your desert dreams will come to life when you visit any of the above and decide to take your engagement photos in this part of Oregon!
Some of our favorite memories this past year were out on the Alvord playa just adventuring and catching some late night stargazing in the natural hot springs nearby!
Permits: There are currently no permits needed to shoot an engagement session here. More info here!
Central Oregon Engagement Photo Locations:
Smith Rock, Bend Oregon’s Cascade Lakes Scenic Highway, Paulina Lake, Camp Sherman, the Lava Lands, etc… (Honestly, the list goes on!)
Landscape: Central Oregon’s landscapes range from alpine lakes to the most beautifully forested areas with tall ponderosa pines and sagebrush. There is no shortage of mountain views, jagged desert cliffs, or rushing rivers either. Probably one of the most diverse places you will ever visit. If you are still looking for the perfect location to take your engagement photos, Central Oregon just might be the perfect spot!
Permits: Depending on where you choose to do your engagement session, you may or may not need a special use permit. Most of these places you visit will require a $5 day use pass to park your car or a recreation pass purchased from the forest service. We can give you all the details once you pick one! More info here!
Columbia River Gorge Engagement Photo Locations:
Latourell Falls, Abiqua Falls, Rowena Crest, The Cove, Vista House, etc…
Landscape: Full of waterfalls and sweeping gorge views, there are so many gorgeous (no pun intended!) spots along the gorge to choose from! We are never disappointed with the lush green scenery that compliments our couples love stories.
Permits: Depending on where you choose to do your engagement session, you may or may not need a special use permit. Some of these trailheads require you to pay a day use fee or have a forest pass. More info here!
Oregon Coast Engagement Photo Locations:
Cape Kiwanda, Saddle Mountain, God’s Thumb, Yaquina Bay, Cannon Beach, etc..
Landscape: Believe it or not we practically lived up and down the Oregon Coast this past Winter season. Because Highway 101 is our second home, we have so many amazing spots we love to photograph and frequent. If you are still looking for an engagement photo location, the Oregon coast could be it! From rocky or sandy beaches to the most beautiful scattered lush cliff sides, we’ve got you covered.
Permits: Depending on where you choose to do your engagement session, you may or may not need a special use permit. More info on where day use fees are charged here!
Mt. Hood Engagement Photo Locations:
Trillium Lake, Government Camp, Timberline Lodge, Lost Lake, etc…
Landscape: If you are still at a loss at where to take your engagement photos in Oregon, Mt Hood might be your final stop! This area is very mountainous, full of thick forest, and hidden lakes. It’s beautiful all year round too! We drive over the mountain a few dozen times a year and no matter the season, it never disappoints. You can choose a beautiful location in Mt Hood a few miles hike in when the weather is nice or just a stone’s throw away from the parking lot.
Permits: Depending on where you choose to do your engagement session, you may or may not need a special use permit. You will need a northwest forest pass or to pay a day use fee at the trailhead of some locations. More info here!