couple kisses in while in flower field

Columbia Gorge Wildflower Engagement Session


My favorite time of year is my annual trek out to Rowena Crest in the Columbia River Gorge for wildflower engagement sessions. The wildflowers bloom here in April and May, usually peaking late April and early May. This day, we were surrounded by shades of purple and yellow all along the Tom McCall Nature Preserve. This location is wildly popular among photographers and nature-lovers alike, so don’t wait to book your session out here. The timing of the bloom is pretty consistent from year to year, you can bank on planning your session for the timeframe described above. It tends to get very crowded on the weekends, so I highly recommend carving out a weekday evening to make the drive.

Rowena Crest is about an hour and a half from Portland without traffic, but if you’re leaving right after work it can lean towards two hours. However, it is SO worth it for the views. You might recognize Rowena Crest for the iconic photo of the road from the viewpoint. It’s beautiful year-round for a sunset, but the wildflower bloom truly is the best. It’s very important to me that I leave no trace when visiting any location, but especially nature preserves. This location unfortunately does not allow dogs, but that is in place to maintain these fields for years to come. We will never trample any flowers during your session, but we will weave between patches to show the beauty that is around us.

One thing to be prepared for out here is wind. Every session I’ve ever had out here is very windy, but that’s just the nature of shooting in a gorge like this. Your hair will be flying a bit, but that’s why I snap hundreds of photos to capture the moment where things appear more calm. You may want to take this into consideration when it comes to outfits. Loose clothing will be picked up in the wind, so short dresses and skirts may not be the best options. I think a long dress can be super fun to capture the movement though!

It’s also going to be very sunny here with little access to shade. If you aren’t a fan of harsh sunlight, I would definitely recommend a sunset into blue hour session like I did for this one. It will start out very warm and golden, but then move into a blue, vibey session.

Columbia Gorge wildflower engagement sessions are some of my favorite. It’s such a fun way to show off the beauty of Oregon in your photos and create memories that are set in a dreamy and whimsical landscape. This is such a fun place to take documentary and candid engagement photos since there is a ton of room to run around. I always love to shoot a mix of posed and prompted photos, but if you and your partner want a more laidback, natural feel, we can always take the documentary route! If you’re ready to book your session for the next season of wildflowers, let’s chat! Missed the prime months for Columbia Gorge wildflower engagement photos? Mt. Hood’s wildflowers bloom in July and August, so there’s still time!

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