Last year I received a really exciting inquiry for not only an engagement session taking place in Sequoia National Park, but also a secret elopement. What?! A ‘twofer’ that was an absolute dream come true for me. I immediately jumped on my texts and sent Chris and Savannah a greeting and let them know I was down! There are always hurdles when planning destination engagements but we navigated them well and this Sequoia National Park Engagement was perfect in every way.
Chris and Savannah live in Southern central California and a few years back they took a trip to the Redwoods. The redwoods span across north central California and are literally everything you any cottagecore person could dream up in a hazy 2012 Tumblr post. And I say that with all the love in my heart because I grew up on Tumblr and it holds a special place in my dark and emo millennial heart.
Anyway, back to the Sequoia National Park Engagement.
Chris and Savannah loved the peace, the beauty, the stillness, and the feeling that the redwoods exude, which is really like being out in space. Everything there is so ancient and old–it’s been there long before we’ve ever existed and it will be there long after we depart.
They love the redwood forest so much that they really wanted to get married amongst the giants. And there really is nothing more giant that a sequoia. If you’ve never have the pleasure of experiencing the absolute dwarfing you’ll get as a human next to a sequoia tree that dates back farther than most religions, you’ve got to do yourself a favor and get out there.
Sequoia National Park is just a short 4 hour stint from SFO or LAX. I say short because if you’ve ever traversed California, 4 hours ain’t shit.
They took a trip up north while I headed west to meet them for their dreamy and elegant sunrise engagement shoot in Sequoia National Park. Savannah shared that not only did she want to get her engagement portraits done there but she and Chris had another plan as well.
They wanted to get married on the same day.
And of course, I’m an overachiever and a total optimist when it comes to travel, how much we can do in a day, and an intense researcher in ensuring that everything a client dreams up can be made possible.
So not only did Chris and Savannah have their dreamy sunrise engagement at Sequoia National Park, but they also got married on the same day in a secret beachside elopement in Morro Bay, just south of Big Sur, California.
The weather leading out to the engagement shoot is perfect. Dry. Hot in Three Rivers (the town just outside the park) but ascending the hour drive up into the actual portion of the park always proves a perfect cool down.
I had the pleasure of staying at the most intimate AirBnB outside the park with Lynne and Darella. These two ladies were the most accommodating and even fed me while I was there out of their kindness of their hearts. We had some great chats, shared some wine, and swapped travel stories. I even had the pleasure of meeting and feeding their tortoise, Zooma, a thirty year old tortoise who will live another 60+ years. Book a stay with Lynne and Darella here!
But back to the Sequoia National Park engagement. Yes, we woke up early, Savannah and Chris prepped and got dappered up in the most flattering and fun clothes you can adorn in this beautiful space, and we made our way into the park before the sunrise. As we drove, rainclouds were everywhere and I was praying that we’d get some breaks.
We started off in a downpour and ended with a light drizzle.
But honestly, the entire engagement shoot was perfect. Even with the rain, the magic of this grand and ancient space on top of a mountain in central California, held a sway over me and these two. We ran, we got muddy, we got wet, and we braved it all to get some of the most epic and truly awe-inspiring images I’ve had the pleasure of capturing in my 6+ years as a professional photographer.
That evening we sped off to Morro Bay and you can see and read about their elopement here!
The next day we were greeted with sun and lots of bright skies in Big Sur (honestly a first for me). We hiked down to a waterfall, ventured next to giant beach basking seals, and and ended in Lucia, my favorite stop in Big Sur, to end it all. And literally the vibe was Iceland the entire time.
One million thank you’s to both Chris and Savannah for not only trusting me to fly out but for being such wonderful adventure people. I wish you both all the success and love that life has to offer. I know you’ll take it because you have a fervency for kindness and love toward one another.
If you and your boo would like to travel to Sequoia National Park for an engagement, I’d be honored to help facilitate and photograph your epic engagement or elopement there! Just send me a message here and we can chat!
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New Adventure Productions is owned by Nate Dale, a Lafayette, Indiana wedding and elopement photographer. We travel nation and worldwide to capture beautiful and intimate weddings and elopements while providing a guidance, love, help along the way.
He is married to the love of his life, Felicia with their two doggies, Pika and Princess.