Lassen National Park
California has no shortage of breathtaking National Parks to visit. From Yosemite to Joshua Tree, California’s National Parks are a hotspot for visitors and elopers alike. And while I love the more popular parks – they are popular for a reason, after all – I consider Lassen Volcanic National Park to easily be one of the most underrated National Parks in the country! And when it comes to helping a couple plan an adventurous engagement session, a Lassen Volcanic National Park engagement session is always one of the top options I recommend.
With a crazy amount of variety in scenery and experiences, nearly impossible to believe it can all fit in one park! You get greenery, lakes, and hydrothermal areas, like Bumpass Hell and Sulphur Works. So, variety in a Lassen Volcanic National Park engagement session gallery is basically guaranteed.
Honestly, the drive alone would make the visit worth it. It takes about an hour to drive from one entrance to the other, and you get to see so much along the way – even if you never get out of the car. But of course, the stops themselves (and the photos that come along with them!) really make the trip.
With all Lassen offers, you could never do it all in one visit. So when Alayna and Trey decided to book a Lassen Volcanic National Park engagement session, we chose to wander primarily around Manzanita Lake – a beautiful body of water surrounded by trees that smell like Christmas and towering mountains. And the experience was one I’ll never forget!
A Lifelong Love Story
Although it wasn’t all about the romance right from the start, Alayna and Trey’s love has a long history. The two of them grew up together in Arizona as elementary school friends. They played and worked on projects together all the time, but everything remained strictly platonic, even when Alayna convinced Trey to go to prom with her group of friends.
But once college arrived, sparks flew. After years of friendship, the pair finally made their relationship official. But the story wasn’t totally smooth sailing from there. The two of them always intended for Trey to find a job first after they graduated so they could plan around that. But, fate had other ideas. Alayna actually landed a job in Redding while Trey’s took him to Vacaville, over 150 miles away. So began their long-distance love story.
But then COVID struck, and remote work enabled them to close the distance. They took turns staying with each other, giving them the opportunity to hike together, indulge in their shared love of breweries and coffee, and move toward marriage. So despite the hardships of the pandemic, Alayna and Trey found their own little silver lining.
It’s undeniable that these two are totally meant to be together. I like to ask clients what their favorite things about each other are, and Alayna’s response really moved me. She told Trey, “I love how I mold into you.” Just thinking about how much she loves his embrace and how they are just a perfect fit gives me chills. And I knew right away their chemistry was going to make for an unforgettable session.
The Perfect Day
Remember all that hiking during COVID I mentioned? Well, that’s actually what led us to choose Manzanita Lake for our session! This was one of the trails along which their love blossomed, so we absolutely had to document it here.
On the day of the session, we met by the entrance. The weather was perfect – not too hot with a mostly clear sky and just enough clouds to make for some beautiful backgrounds!
They were a little nervous about stepping in front of the camera at first, but as we hiked around together – getting to know each other a bit better with each twist and turn – they grew more comfortable in front of the camera. I always say a sincere relationship with your photographer is the key to relaxed, genuine images filled with connection, and it was certainly true during this Lassen Volcanic National Park engagement session. The session turned out so sweet as they found a safe space to connect without any pressure. We all had a blast, and I can’t wait until their wedding day!
With an entire future ahead (hopefully filled a continued opportunity to work remotely!), these two share a love story I’ll never forget! As Alayna and Trey prepare for a beautiful new adventure together, I’m beyond excited for them. I am so grateful for the opportunity to document this day that represented in so many ways the very beginning of their brand new adventure, and I can’t wait to be there when they exchange “I do”s.
Thinking of Eloping in California?
Check out my blog on “Top 5 Places to Elope in California”. It’s also a great blog to read if you are just looking for places to explore in California.