Engagement photos at the Great Sand Dunes, CO
Updated: Aug 23, 2021
Have you ever made something so perfect that you're afraid you'll never do anything better?
I have. I've been protested and demonstrated agai-- oh, wrong song.
No seriously, this is how I feel about my engagement shoot at the Great Sand Dunes National Park with the most electric couple, Carley and Harrison, and their fur-baby, Lady.
I met them at the visitor parking of the national park's parking lot just 30 minutes before sunrise. We almost missed sunrise hiking towards the high dune, but we stopped for a second just to grab that early morning sunrise photo.
We stopped at various points on our journey to the high dune, and in total, I think we took a solid 2 hours to get to the top. It was not a joke lol and severely reminded me to get back into the gym...
But the views were worth it. I wish I could put into words how I felt through the heaving and sweating, but it was just so cathartic to be surrounded by giant dunes as far as the eye could see. Carley and Harrison were so natural in front of the camera and exuded chemistry from the first time I met them. I had so many poses planned but they fell into them fluidly and almost forgot I was there at some point...
If you're thinking of taking photos and the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Mosca, CO, do it. It really is one of those "check off your bucket list" things to do. The park is beautiful and you just feel in awe at how big it really is. Not going to lie, it was a little bit of a challenge to get there by sunrise, but it was worth it. There were no large crowds of people to shuffle away from (or edit out) and the views were breath-taking. The next time I photograph there I'll do some at sunset and get some beautiful golden hour colors! :D People do camp out here as well, so if you're the adventurous type, well there you go! It is also a great way to bond with your photographer!
Be warned, it is a sand dune so I would not recommend bringing anything you wouldn't want to be buried in sand at some point. A backpack with water is a must and any hats or face coverings to shield your face from the sun is nice. I believe now you have to wear a mask on the trail. If you're looking to have some fun, you can always bring a sand sled (are those even real things) or rent one closeby and sled your way down! If you're a photographer yourself, I would highly recommend putting protective gear over your camera body and using filters to make sure sand does not get into the cracks of your lenses/body. Be careful when switching out lenses and do so with your back against the wind.
Location Rating: 8.5/10 (-1.5 bc I still have sand in my pockets)
Permits: Yes for commercial photography & videography
Cost: $200 photo permit fee, $50 location fee
Where to get permits: https://www.nps.gov/grsa/planyourvisit/special-use-permits.htm
Interested in booking a session? Take an adventure with me and get photos just like these for your home.