Big Bend Engagement Session

Dallas Engagement Photographer

I am so flippin’ excited to post this, AT LAST. I probably had one of my busiest spring/summer seasons where I had almost no breaks between shoots as a wedding and engagement photographer which led me to not be able to blog as much as I would like. But hey – it’s FINALLY here!

The stars were aligned when Shelby and Bob met at an anime club at school. Bob was studying aerospace engineering, and Shelby was still deciding on her educational path. A few days later, they had a first date getting to know each other while wandering around campus. Over the years, their love grew deeper, and they realized they were destined for each other.

Fast forward to the proposal, Bob surprised Shelby with a ring at a housewarming party in front of all their friends.

Shelby and Bob booked me a while back while in search for their wedding and engagement photographer, and with how I meet all my clients before booking, we hopped on a Zoom call to get to know each other better. During this call, I found out Bob was very much interested in astronomy. Before the wedding planning started, they wanted to have an adventurous engagement shoot surrounded by nature and wilderness. Of course, I had to pitch the idea of doing their engagement session at The Big Bend National Park. Big Bend has been on my bucket list for a LONG time – since before I even moved back to The States. victory hand gesture IT FINALLY HAPPENED Y’ALL! Road trip! It took almost ten hours to drive there – totally worth every single mile!

On the first day, we hiked through Santa Elena Canyon. It was one of the most peaceful hikes in my life. We assumed it’d be hotter than the devil’s bumbum in the desert during July in Texas. Still, surprisingly, it wasn’t that bad. We walked through the river into the canyon. Where the U.S./Mexico border met, we sat under the shade and just listened to nature for a while.

The same night we decided to do the astrophotography session, which was challenging since we were shooting in pitch-black darkness, but the rewards were gorgeous. Since both have a love of astrology, these romantic starry images are perfect for their engagement album.

The next day we did our golden hour session. At first, it was very cloudy (hello, monsoon season!). I feared we would not have the golden hour (because, ya know, mother nature!), but then the most amazing thing happened… The clouds started to dissolve, and the sun showed its face. It was probably one of the most epic sunset shoots I have ever done. If you know me in person, you know how I squeak with excitement when I start getting perfect photos. You can bet I squeaked the entire time, haha! No, really, it’s a whole thing! 🙂

Shelby loved the sunset photoshoot time.

“The chemistry Bob and I had during that session was amazing, and I didn’t want it to end.”

The whole experience was energizing for all of us. The light and colors were perfect, the weather was fantastic, and Shelby and Bob’s connection is so apparent in the just-engaged photos. This was one of my favorite engagement shoots this year.

We chased the golden hour light, admired the starry sky, and became friends for life during that epic four-day engagement shoot. The earthy tones, cactus, and rustic flowers in the desert setting made a stunning engagement photography backdrop. Bob decided to hike on top of the Emory Peak on the very last day, but Shelby and I were not really up to it. While he climbed, we ended up doing more accessible hikes in the area – because I’m old! 😛

My favorite part of all the activities was our 2-hour sunset horseback riding adventure. If you know, you know – I LOVE horses (who doesn’t!?). My last experience was way back in 2004-2005 in Cappadocia, Turkiye. But the horse, Gozde, was such a b*tch, she tried to throw me off her back the entire time while we were passing through the cliffs – of course, I got scared and ended up walking her all the way back to the barn.

For YEARS, I didn’t attempt again. But I’m the kind that will go against my fears and challenge myself, and I was going to give another shot. My horse Libby was the sweetest. Funny enough, when we gathered in front of the barn, I saw her and told Shelby, “That one right there, I want her to be my horse!” and little did I know, the equestrian brought Libby to me. She was such a good girl and literally refilled my faith in horses, haha! I would totally make the whole trip all over again if I could! Spending time with these two lovebirds, adventuring in the area, squeezing so much into four days was just a dream.

Here are few cellphone memories – because ya know – I can’t “work” all the time and those cameras get heavy :v

As a Dallas-based traveling engagement photographer, I’m up for all adventures! Road trips, flights, sailing, or even space travel (I mean, why the heck not!?) – you name it. I’ll ride a horse, get in the water or go hiking for hours through rugged canyon landscapes to capture the photos you will love for a lifetime. I’m ready to hear your wild ideas so let’s hear ’em!

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