When it comes to desert engagement photos there are definitely a few things that’ll make the session easier and the end result eons better. Living on the East Coast for the past 30+ years, I learned a little bit the hard way that things work a little differently.
Working out in the desert was always a goal. I love the dry heat and the colors of the sunrise and sunset. This past winter I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time in California and Arizona enjoying the desert and taking desert engagement photos.
Something to be mindful of when taking engagement photos in the desert, the sun can be a little brighter and often the light from the sun bounces off the ground — especially with lighter sand. Darker, warmer sand tends to cause a warm wash when bounced. Because of this I often prefer to work at sunset and sunrise, when the risk of bounced light is much less.
The heat can be a *thing* in the SoCal area deserts. I don’t work in California in the summer unless you bribe me really well (just kidding, kind of), but even in January and February it can get very hot during the day and very cold at night. Always pack lots of layers
Joshua Tree has tons of beautiful locations for desert engagement photos. If you’re planning to head into the park, the wait can be a bit, and you won’t be guaranteed the locations you love. I will say though, renting an AirBnb, just driving around till you find a fun spot — you’ll have a bit more of an adventure.
When planning your session, definitely snag an Airbnb for the night or two before/after your session. Treat it like a special little date night. Snag some sweet take out, bubble bath and a rad movie and treat yourself after the engagement session.
When it comes to what to wear layers are always your best bet. There aren’t many bathrooms or bushes to change in out there so having something you can slip on and off or layer up with is key. The desert will also get super chilly quickly on you — having layers for your desert engagement photos will also give you diversity in your images.
You can certainly get hair and makeup done if you wish, but the desert isn’t the most forgiving when it comes to keeping you clean and your hair and makeup perfect. Desert engagement photos can swing from casual to super formal, so feel free to bring lots of different clothes to figure out which you like the most. Light-colored clothing definitely helps in the sun.