Yosemite Sunset Engagement
Before this shoot, I had never been to Yosemite National Park - so when Eddie and Madison wanted to head there for their engagement photos, I was so excited! My immediate response was “heck yes!” Eddie + Madison had inquired a few months earlier about their 2020 wedding in California. They had this awesome idea to have a Yosemite sunset engagement shoot.
Since they’d never been, they thought it would be cool to go exploring and get some cool photos. I was so pumped, and blocked out a whole week in my calendar mid-July for my California road trip!
I’m always down for a road trip or adventure, especially if it involves a California wedding or a Yosemite sunset engagement session!
My husband, brother, and I packed up our things, loaded the car, and started our coastal week-long road trip from Portland. We hit up national parks and all the best spots along the way. Driving all the way through Highway 101, we stopped at all the pretty coastal cities in Oregon.
A few of our other stops during our road trip:
Point Reyes National Seashore by San Francisco
We spent a few days exploring San Francisco, and the weather was SO nice while we were there. After our week of exploring, we road tripped to Yosemite to meet up with Eddie and Madison on the Saturday.
If you want to hear more about traffic jams, sunset chasing and hiking back in the dark - then keep scrolling!
PRO TIP - The best times of year for your Yosemite National Park elopement or photoshoot:
If you’re planning for summertime, I would recommend doing your Yosemite photoshoot on a weekday evening. Weekdays are much less busy than weekends, so you won’t get stuck in traffic or have to fight off other tourists for good photo spots. I would avoid Yosemite on weekends in the summer!
Late spring or early fall are also good times to visit Yosemite National Park.
Because we visited in the summer, and it was a Saturday to boot, it was crazy crowded. When we arrived at the park, we got stuck in traffic for 3 hours!
PRO TIP- Yosemite National Park has barely any cell service. Make clear arrangements ahead of time if you’re meeting up with people at the park.
We had planned to meet Eddie and Madison at Taft Point, but barely made it there in time for sunset! I frantically sent messages while we were stuck in traffic, and luckily one of them happened to go through! They got my message, and met me at the trail head so we could hike up to the point.
The hike up to the Taft Point lookout is about a mile and a half, and it’s a gorgeous walk up. The golden light was filtering through the forest so beautifully! We took some golden photos in the trees, and then made it to the viewpoint just in time for the perfect sunset photos. There weren’t many people at the Point by the time we got there, which was perfect - we had the whole spot to ourselves!
The sunset was casting the most gorgeous colors and shadows over the mountains, creating blue, purple and pink streams of light all through the valley. It was SO stunning.
We soaked in the gorgeous views and could see the whole valley that was lit by the setting sun, as well as the mountains and Yosemite waterfalls in the distance.
I had so much fun with these two, we played music, soaked in the views + they decided to be daredevils and stand right on the edge of the cliff. It freaked me out for a bit but the photos turned out UNREAL!
After the shoot, we walked back in the dark along the trail. About halfway, we stopped we all turned off the flashlights that we were using to guide our way through the pitch black forest. We looked around and saw nothing - and then we looked up.
Words cannot explain how surreal and incredible the sky was. It was the most gorgeous, twinkling starry sky I’ve ever seen. We paused there and soaked it in, silence and stars making us feel small in the darkness.
Needless to say, this Yosemite sunset engagement shoot was worth all of the traffic and the last minute scrambling. I’m so glad that Eddie and Madison found me and asked me to tag along on their adventure, and I am SO excited for their wedding next year!
It’s gonna be another epic road trip to California to capture their special day. ;)