A Day in the Life of a Palm Springs Engagement Session

two women hugging on a palm tree lined street in palm springs shot in film

So Many Places to go Under the Desert Sun

When I am asked to photograph a Palm Springs engagement session the first thing I ask is, well, where do you want to be? I like to say my part time job is driving because sometimes its all I do to find an off the beaten path type place that captures the feeling of being in love, and being in a place you love. Some places, like the one pictured above in film, eventually get retired from being recognized on Instagram and being over used by others. It is inevitable, but thankfully, the space here is wide with so many varying degrees of different looks.

I love this little cul de sac I discovered while driving around one day. Its iconic and instantly recognizable as being a token Palm Springs street with its architecture, palm trees. I like to shoot both my film and digital cameras into the setting sun so I look for locations that are positioned in that way – this street has the mountain sunset behind it, which was perfect. I was told that since shooting here the first couple of times, and posting it on instagram, that its been over run with photographers so I’ve retired the location (I’d prefer to keep in the good graces of the neighbors and residents!) There are many streets like this though so all good, onwards and upwards! This set of Palm Springs engagement photos are shot in a mix of film and digital that show some more architectural options around Palm Springs.

To the Desert We Shall Go

There is no shortage of open desert spaces in the Palm Springs and Coachella valley area. It really just depends on the season, the time of day, and location. I am not scared of light so I dont have a strong opinion on when things should be photographed, but certain places we are limited to hours of operation, presence of other visitors, and the most photogenic time of day. Our strongest visual suits of natural landscape would be the mountains, the vastness of space, sand dunes, and mother nature willing, wild flowers.

grant & michael

Some locations require a short hike, but that just means more time and opportunity to photograph the adventure along the way. It also makes it a nice time for me to get to know my new friends before I arrive like a bull in a china shop on the wedding day. Just kidding I don’t literally swoop in like that on the day of, but it sometimes can feel like that! I feel the most genuine moments that happen around me, occur when the guard is down, and it just feels like some old friends having a good time.

All of these images above are shot in film – I love how dreamy and soft it feels and looks. Another popular location is the sand dunes – while I try to avoid the popular spots, this one I don’t mind so much. The space is vast and can be captured in so many different ways – though best recommended to not be there on windy days! There are two sand dune locations – one is the popular one, and one I’ll tell you but it’ll cost you a cocktail with me.

I like shooting in both of these locations at all times minus high noon…but sunset to dusk – it just offers so much mood.

Hotel Dreams

Palm Springs is host to so many different hotels – each provide such a unique experience. However, the catch here is that there is almost always a fee involved or, you have to be paying guest.

I don’t shoot too often at hotels, venues and airbnbs because for a Palm Springs wedding, most couples are already getting married in a hotel or venue – and prefer to go somewhere they can’t otherwise go on their wedding day due to logistics and time restrictions. But as you can see, some of these places are so beautiful…it might be worth the cost and effort!

The most important thing to remember – is to have fun. Most of these Palm Springs engagement photos are shot in film – to see another Palm Springs wedding, see here!

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