Big Sur Engagement Sessions
As a photographer, when planning an engagement session, I always advise couples to choose a session location that’s meaningful to them. Sure, a beautiful photo backdrop can be lovely, but a beautiful backdrop with meaning can’t be beat. So, when I asked Megan and Walden told me they’d had their first date in Big Sur, it was a no-brainer! Even though they were initially unsure because of the extra travel time, extra travel for the best possible location is always worth it! So, off we headed for their Big Sur engagement session!
About Big Sur
Big Sur is a popular tourist destination for a good reason—it’s absolutely stunning! Located in Monterey County along the historic Pacific Coast Highway, Big Sur is an iconic stretch of California’s curvy coastline. There’s something so amazing and magical about the area, and if you’ve never visited, you probably recognize it from many movies. The seaside cliffs, often covered in a mystical fog, offer such unique and breathtaking views.
When you think about the California coast, most people think of LA and beautiful beaches lined with palm trees, but it’s a whole other world on California’s central coast. There’s so much greenery, especially in the summer months. And with the waves crashing against the cliffs, it has a quite striking and romantic atmosphere, making it a perfect spot for elopements and engagement sessions!
The Engagement Session
Walden is a firefighter, so his schedule presented a bit of a challenge for us. But we remained flexible and ended up going out to Big Sur in the middle of the week, which actually worked out perfectly since it was less crowded and more intimate. They even brought their dog, Mia, with them! She was so chill and calm, and she was so much fun to incorporate into the photos.
In the days leading up to our session, we’d been watching the weather forecast anxiously, hoping for clear skies. I love Big Sur—fog or shine—but Megan and Walden envisioned brilliant, sunny engagement photos. So, for their sake, I hoped for clear skies. And lo and behold, when the day of our Big Sur engagement session arrived, the fog hovered offshore as it so often does, but the sky was perfectly clear! The very next day was completely overcast, so we really lucked out.
We began the day with pictures by the cliffs and then went for a hike. There’s so much to see and explore in the area. Aside from the main attractions like Bixby Creek Bridge and McWay Falls, there are lots of lesser-known but equally gorgeous hikes to explore. And because Walden actually grew up in Big Sur, he knew all the best spots to go! After our hike, we meandered and had a blast together.
As you can see from the photos, Big Sur has a sensitive climate with diverse and fragile vegetation. We made sure to practice “leave no trace” and respect the wildlife, which is super important to me. That means we had to get creative at times to give the illusion of being in the middle of the vegetation without actually harming it. It’s such a sensitive ecosystem, so you really have to be extra careful to preserve all of its magic.
I’ve known Megan for a while, but I just recently met Walden. I loved watching them together and getting to know them. He was a little shy initially, but it didn’t take long for Walden’s personality to shine through. By the end of the day, these two were just giggly joyful balls of energy, and we had so much fun together!
Best of all, Walden’s family still lives in the Monterey area, so they made a mini trip out of it to spend a few days with family—a family I can’t wait to meet at their Sacramento wedding in November! Congratulations Megan and Walden, and I look forward to celebrating with you in just a few months!
More Cliffside Engagement Session
Want more inspiration for an engagement session at the beach with also amazing views from the cliff? Come check out this engagement session in the Marin Headlands.
Rodeo Beach Engagement Session
Come check out Olivia and James fun engagement session at Rodeo Beach. A short hike away from cliff views of the ocean.