man kissing woman on cheek in front of bright sunset

Smith Rock Engagement Photos


Maddie had a vision for her engagement photos to take place at Smith Rock State Park in Terrebonne, Oregon, just a short drive from the Bend/Redmond area. In the heat of July, I drove to central Oregon for my best friend’s engagement session! We were expectig a clear sky with a classic golden hour, but the weather had some other (even better, in my opinion) plans. The first few shots had sun shining in the distance, but clouds soon filled the sky. I’m glad we had a mix of sun and overcast, just to add some variety!

I highly recommend Smith Rock for engagement photos, even if it’s a few hours drive from the Portland area. It makes for a fun weekend trip because there is so much to do in Bend. We stayed up at the top to avoid any hiking, but there are even more options if you take the first descent down to the river. Smith Rock is great for a warm, desert vibe to your engagement photos.

We spent a lot of time before the session planning outfits. The first one Maddie chose was a white fit and flare dress for a classic bridal option. Tanner wore a casual outfit to match, a white tee and khaki shorts. This perfectly fits what I usually recommend when it comes to engagement session outfits, neutrals! Smith Rock is a fun location, so we didn’t want to distract from the beauty surrounding us. One style that resonates with Central Oregon is Western, and Maddie brought her cowboy boots to throw on for a few photos as well. This is one of those small touches you can include that adds a ton of personality to your session. Accessorize and have fun with it! While I often recommend certain styles or colors, it’s ultimately your session that should be authentic to you.

Next, we switched up the vibe a bit with black outfits. While still neutral of course, this gave a lot of contrast against the background. I love to incorporate a prop into engagement sessions and champagne is a popular one. It’s a fun photo to capture to celebrate your engagement! I always encourage bringing props, having an activity, or even creating a date night around your engagement or couples photos. It can help tell a story and allow you to move and interact in a more natural way with each other.

As we moved on to the last, most casual outfit, the cloudy sky surprised us with one of the best sunsets I’ve had during a photoshoot. The sky was pink in all directions and we had a ton of fun running around until it disappeared behind the towering rocks. This was such a fun and special day making memories for one of my very best friends <3

Love Smith Rock? They also take reservations for wedding ceremonies! At the end of the parking lot, you’ll find a small amphitheater with the rocks in the background. Click here to see wedding photos at Smith Rock.

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