When Josh and I came up with the concept to shoot at the Imperial Sand Dunes most people’s reactions were “wow, you guys really love the desert”, and yes, we really do. Josh found the location through a photo on Instagram and after doing research I fell in love with the idea. We realized it would take dedication and effort to actually shoot photos at the sand dunes. For starters, it’s not near an airport and is basically near the border of Mexico. We’ve also never been there, nor our photographer Sally Pinera. We explored other options and Sally suggested other beautiful locations like the Santa Barbara historical museum but I realized it wasn’t us. I knew if we didn’t shoot at the sand dunes we’d regret it, so we made it happen. Here’s how along with some tips on how you too can have an epic photoshoot wherever you want. Scout the location and research: We did a lot of research before committing to shoot here. We researched the weather, read through travel websites for insider tips, and studied the map and its surrounding area to see how realistic it’d be to travel here. The closest airport to Imperial Sand Dunes is San Diego. From San Diego, the dunes is a 2.5-3 hour drive east and once you get there there’s not much civilization. We also read that a lot of people go to the dunes for ATV and off-roading which creates tire tracks all over the sand and can be dangerous. The area north of Highway 78 (officially North Algodones Dunes Wilderness Areas) though is off limits to off-roading. Knowing this, Josh and I went to the dunes early to drive around and scout safe and beautiful photo locations. Parking at the Sand Dunes: We learned that although the area is massive, parking is very limited.Since it was all of our first times at the sand dunes and there’s poor reception there Josh pinpointed an exact location on where to meet, the parking lot. You can either park at Cahuilla Ranger Station and walk 10-15 minutes across Highway 78 for some great dunes or park at Hugh T Osborne Lookout Park (where we parked). Hugh T Osborne Lookout Park was convenient since the tall dunes surrounded the parking lot and we didn’t have to walk far. The downside though is that because this area is more popular, the sand has a lot of footprints. If we were up to the challenge, a great option would have been to walk down the hill across Highway 78 for more uninterrupted sands and clean views. Another popular area with a parking lot is the Buttercup Dunes, closer to the border and just south of Highway 8.Create a Pinterest board and share your vision with your photographer: When creating a Pinterest board it’s easy to go overboard but I recommend only pinning photos that accurately reflect your vision. This will help make your vision clear and not overwhelm the photographer. On our Pinterest board were photos of our outfits (like the dresses I bought), other photos taken at the dunes, couple poses, and colored smoke bombs. I also knew I wanted to wear white in 1 photo and burgundy in the other. White because it’s classic bridal and burgundy because it’d contrast well with the desert landscape. I showed our photographer the dresses and she suggested that Josh wears white with my white dress and black with my burgundy dress. One tip she provided was to keep our outfits simple so that the focus is on us. Get creative and plan your execution: It was important to me to have colored smoke bombs in the photos (purchased on Amazon here). It was a vision I had and one that I knew would photograph beautifully in the desert and reflect us as a couple. Fun, creative, and always up for an adventure. Josh realized we couldn’t bring smoke bombs on the plane (not even in a checked-in bag), so I called the hotel to ask if we can get a package shipped there. I purchased the smoke bombs online, got them shipped to the hotel and confirmed with the hotel when they got delivered. The package was ready for us when we checked-in. We also decided to use the smoke bombs with our white outfits so the colors would pop. We saved these for the end of the photoshoot knowing that the smoke bombs might stain our clothes.

Take photos during sunrise or sunset: this is kind of a given, but it is so important to take photos during sunset or sunrise if you want the perfect lighting and that sunkissed skin. For the sand dunes, sunset set at 5PM so we planned to meet at 3:30PM which gave us enough time to get ready, scout, and take photos. The great thing about sunset is that this is also when the temperature is the most comfortable. We intentionally chose to take our photos during March too knowing the temperature would be ideal.For those that wonder what it is about the desert that I love, I love how still it is and how it reminds you that although we all live busy lives, to appreciate the stillness around you and to be present with each other. It’s a place with no distractions and gives you the opportunity to think and be creative, all within a beautiful and constant landscape. Overall, this experience felt like a dream. I got pre-wedding jitters this day and was anxious but also in pure bliss. It also made me fall more in love with Josh because it reminded me of how good of a team we are. I knew it wasn’t easy to shoot here, it’d require effort, work, money, time, etc. but we made it happen. I knew I wouldn’t have been able to do this or execute it as well with anyone else but Josh. I love how we always support each other, are on the same page about everything and feed off each other’s ideas to make anything we want a reality. We were so excited and having so much fun during the photo shoot that it helped make posing together comfortable too. Whenever you plan any photo shoot, it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself why you’re doing it and whats important. The photoshoot was a reflection of me and Josh as a couple and a passion-filled adventure for us. If you’re planning your engagement photo shoot just remember at the end of the day it’s all about you and your significant other and everything else is just a plus. Thank you to my wonderful fiance Josh Pyles for being the best teammate ever, and our talented photographer Sally Pinera for making our dream engagement photo shoot a reality.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Better Strength Garcinia Reviews
    May 2, 2018 at 7:47 AM

    Simply a smiling visitor here to share the love (:, btw outstanding style.

  • Reply
    Suggested Resource site
    May 10, 2018 at 9:20 AM

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  • Reply
    May 19, 2018 at 8:52 AM

    You’re so interesting! I don’t suppose I’ve truly read through a single thing like this before.
    So wonderful to discover someone with original thoughts on this topic.

    Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This site
    is something that is needed on the internet, someone with a bit
    of originality!

  • Reply
    Audie Baral
    May 25, 2018 at 2:44 PM

    I really can’t believe how great this site is. Keep up the good work. I’m going to tell all my friends about this place.

  • Reply
    July 14, 2019 at 8:32 AM

    Photo Liker, autolike, Autolike, Increase Likes, ZFN Liker, auto like, Autolike International, autoliker, Auto Liker, Autoliker, Auto Like, Working Auto Liker, auto liker, Autoliker, Photo Auto Liker, Status Liker, Status Auto Liker

  • Reply
    navigate to this web-site
    August 17, 2019 at 11:38 AM

    I simply want to say I am just all new to blogs and honestly liked you’re blog. Likely I’m going to bookmark your blog post . You actually come with great stories. Thank you for revealing your blog.

  • Reply
    John Deere Technical Manuals
    August 21, 2019 at 11:02 AM

    I think your blog is getting more and more visitors.

  • Reply
    my past lives
    August 22, 2019 at 2:55 PM

    This page reminds me of the other page here I found earlier

  • Reply
    August 26, 2019 at 1:13 PM

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thanks, However I am experiencing difficulties with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I can’t join it. Is there anybody having identical RSS issues? Anyone that knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!

  • Reply
    August 28, 2019 at 8:24 PM

    Your style is so unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this page.

  • Reply
    August 31, 2019 at 2:22 PM

    I blog frequently and I really thank you for your content. This great article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to bookmark your blog and keep checking for new information about once a week. I subscribed to your Feed too.

  • Reply
    September 1, 2019 at 11:15 AM

    Hello to every body, it’s my first visit of this weblog; this
    webpage carries remarkable and really fine stuff in favor of readers.

  • Reply
    Pablo Theaker
    September 1, 2019 at 2:58 PM

    I absolutely love your blog.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you make this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my very own site and want to know where you got this from or just what the theme is named. Appreciate it.

  • Reply
    September 2, 2019 at 6:57 PM

    Hi there! This article could not be written much better! Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept talking about this. I’ll forward this post to him. Pretty sure he’s going to have a very good read. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    September 3, 2019 at 11:19 AM

    You’re so awesome! I do not suppose I’ve truly read through something like this before. So nice to discover someone with unique thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that’s needed on the internet, someone with some originality.

  • Reply
    September 4, 2019 at 2:18 AM

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been conducting a little research on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast due to the fact that I discovered it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to discuss this subject here on your site.

  • Reply
    September 5, 2019 at 3:26 PM

    Spot on with this write-up, I seriously believe that this web site needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the info!

  • Reply
    September 6, 2019 at 2:14 PM

    You have made some decent points there. I checked on the net to learn more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.

  • Reply
    Riley Nietzer
    September 12, 2019 at 4:18 AM

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post! It’s the little changes that produce the largest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  • Reply
    fila shoes
    September 13, 2019 at 3:29 AM

    I precisely had to thank you very much again. I’m not certain the things that I could possibly have created without the creative ideas discussed by you regarding this area. It was the frustrating circumstance for me personally, but witnessing a new expert technique you resolved that made me to leap over delight. I am happier for this guidance and even have high hopes you are aware of an amazing job you have been putting in instructing most people thru your site. I am certain you’ve never met any of us.

  • Reply
    September 13, 2019 at 8:22 AM

    bookmarked!!, I really like your web site!

  • Reply
    Bradford Kendrix
    September 14, 2019 at 5:38 AM

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this article and the rest of the site is also very good.

  • Reply
    kate spade handbags
    September 14, 2019 at 5:21 PM

    I’m writing to make you be aware of of the helpful experience my wife’s girl gained reading your web site. She mastered a lot of details, which included how it is like to have an incredible teaching character to make others with ease master several multifaceted subject areas. You truly did more than people’s desires. Many thanks for imparting those important, trustworthy, revealing and in addition cool tips on your topic to Lizeth.

  • Reply
    September 15, 2019 at 8:27 AM

    Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful article. Thanks for supplying this info.

  • Reply
    supreme hoodie
    September 16, 2019 at 4:56 AM

    Thank you a lot for giving everyone an extraordinarily wonderful possiblity to check tips from this website. It is often very enjoyable and also full of fun for me personally and my office colleagues to visit your site really three times weekly to read the latest things you will have. And lastly, I’m actually satisfied considering the great hints you give. Some 2 points in this posting are definitely the very best we have had.

  • Reply
    September 16, 2019 at 2:16 PM

    An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. There’s no doubt that that you should write more about this issue, it may not be a taboo matter but usually folks don’t talk about these subjects. To the next! All the best!

  • Reply
    September 17, 2019 at 3:29 PM

    I was able to find good information from your articles.

  • Reply
    cheap jordans
    September 17, 2019 at 3:33 PM

    I have to show my thanks to you just for rescuing me from this trouble. As a result of browsing throughout the search engines and meeting things that were not helpful, I assumed my entire life was done. Existing minus the approaches to the difficulties you’ve resolved by means of this guideline is a crucial case, and those which could have badly affected my entire career if I had not noticed your blog. Your personal ability and kindness in taking care of all the pieces was very useful. I’m not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t come across such a thing like this. I can also at this time look ahead to my future. Thanks for your time so much for this professional and result oriented guide. I won’t think twice to suggest your web sites to any person who needs to have care about this problem.

  • Reply
    nike cortez
    September 19, 2019 at 1:53 AM

    I intended to post you one little observation in order to say thanks a lot as before considering the remarkable information you have documented at this time. It is pretty open-handed with you to allow easily all many of us would’ve supplied for an e-book to make some dough for their own end, precisely given that you could have tried it in the event you decided. Those techniques in addition served to become a easy way to know that the rest have the same interest similar to my own to know the truth a whole lot more with regards to this matter. I am certain there are numerous more pleasant opportunities in the future for many who see your website.

  • Reply
    John Deere Service Manuals
    September 19, 2019 at 8:42 AM

    so much good information on here, : D.

  • Reply
    Lesley Drawe
    September 19, 2019 at 11:20 AM

    I blog often and I seriously appreciate your information. The article has truly peaked my interest. I’m going to book mark your site and keep checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your RSS feed too.

Leave a Reply