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Sedona Engagement Session Guide | Locations, Photo Ideas, Tips & More!

July 28, 2022

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Husband & Wife Elopement Photography & Videography Team
Based in Sedona, Arizona, ready for any adventure!

Meet Caitlyn & Chad

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Why have your engagement photos done in Sedona, Arizona?

Couples come from all over the United States to get their engagement photos done in the red rocks of Sedona- I mean can you blame them? Sedona has incredibly unique scenery that is bound to make your photos stand out. The red rocks make for the perfect adventure to start celebrating your upcoming marriage. You can choose to walk 5 minutes to a beautiful location, hike a couple of miles to reach the edge of a mountain, or off-road in a Jeep for an hour to capture golden hour. Whatever kind of adventure you and your partner are looking for, Sedona has it!

Not sure where to start? Check out this guide to start planning your Sedona engagement session!

couple kissing with the sun set in the background at the cathedral rock engagement session

Sedona’s Best Engagement Photo Locations

You can’t go wrong with pretty much any trail in Sedona! Here are a few popular spots to help you start dreaming up your dream engagement session! With all of these trails please keep in mind Leave No Trace principles- let’s keep Sedona sacred and beautiful!

Cathedral Rock

Ready to kick off your engagement with an epic adventure? Cathedral Rock is the hike for you! This is by far the most popular location in Sedona for engagement photos. This 1.5 mile roundtrip, 700 foot elevation climb hike takes you right to the top of some beautiful red rock mountains. You can stand right on the edge of a 300 foot cliff. Who from your hometown can say they’ve done that for their engagement photos? Cathedral Rock isn’t for the faint of heart but it is a versatile locations that is sure to blow your mind. My personal favorite time for an engagement session is right before the sun sets! I’ve found some amazing hidden nooks on this hike that will give you some seclusion. Golden hour is always incredible on the cliff edge. Make sure you pack good hiking shoes, lots of water, and a change of clothes to make your hike a lot more comfortable!

Hike: Moderate to Difficult, 1.5 mile roundtrip, 700 foot elevation gain

Permit: $5 parking pass available in parking lot, shuttle available

Start Planning Your Cathedral Rock Engagement Session Now!

Bell Rock

Wanting red rock mountains and scenic views but not craving a big hike? Bell Rock may be the perfect location for you! This is a huge park that has tons of trails weaving throughout it. You can hike for as little as 5 minutes or as much as 30 minutes, depending on what kind of views you want. We’ve adventured here dozens and dozens of times and it never gets old! This location has great views for sun set and will be sure to be an amazing setting for your photos! It’s one of my favorites!

Hike: Easy to Moderate, ranges from less than 1 mile to 2 miles

Permit: $5 parking pass available in parking lot

West Fork

This is one of Sedona’s most popular hiking locations and another jaw-dropping option for your photo session. West Fork is a red rock canyon that has Oak Creek flowing through it. In the late spring and summer you can expect green trees and foliage while in the autumn the trees turn all the shades of orange. You won’t need to hike too far for beautiful views but be prepared that parking can be difficult!

Hike: Easy, less than 1 mile

Permit: $11 per vehicle parking or $2 per person walk in

Seven Sacred Pools

Seven Sacred Pools is a short hike to seven “pools” that are often filled with water. This is one of the few desert locations that has the potential for water so it can be a busier spot! I love the mountains around this location and how immersed you feel within the red rocks. The parking lot for this location is tiny but luckily the local shuttle can drop you off. The sun sets behind the mountains earlier at this location so keep that in mind to have the perfect lighting for your session!

Hike: Easy, 1.1 mile out & back

Permit: None

Merry Go Round Rock

Looking to make your engagement session more of an adventure but not wanting to hike a ton? Merry Go Round rock may be the perfect spot for you! You can expect a one hour drive out and back on a bumpy 4×4 trail. High clearance and 4 wheel drive is absolutely necessary. Don’t have your own Jeep? No problem, you can ride in mine for no additional charge! This location has become popular over the years but don’t worry, I know of some awesome hidden spots around the rock. Make sure you plan your session around sun set because it is unreal at this location!

Hike: Easy, less than 1 mile

Permit: $5 parking pass available in parking lot

Start Planning Your Merry Go Round Engagement Session Now!

What To Wear to Your Engagement Session in Sedona

There aren’t any rules for what you should wear to your engagement session. What matters the most is that you are comfortable and feel like yourselves- not like penguins in a suit! Depending on what package you choose for your session you may have time to change into another outfit. I don’t recommend having more than two outfits because it can really take up your time by changing constantly! A good rule of thumb is bring one more casual outfit (think jeans!) and one fancier outfit (a dress/nicer pants!. Another thing to consider while picking out your outfits is your color scheme. I highly recommend sticking to neutral earthy tones. Muted blues, greens, yellows, and oranges, all look amazing in the red rocks! I always tell my couples they can send me photos of outfit options and I can give my opinion from a photographer’s perspective.

Don’t forget to pack hiking shoes to swap with your sandals or heels to make your life a lot easier while we hike to different locations. The desert cools off as the sun starts to set so bring a light jacket for the hike back if it isn’t summertime.

Best Time of Year for Your Engagement Session

It’s important to plan your engagement session with plenty of time for your photographer to get your images back in time for you to send out your save the dates. You can expect a 4-6 week turn around for your full gallery from me but I always send a sneak peek within 48 hours!

The great thing about Sedona is that it is gorgeous almost year-around! Most locations look exactly the same all year so you can get away with a winter session without worrying about dead trees. Just make sure you pack layers accordingly. In the summer it is important to prepare for daily thunderstorms and possible flash flooding. There is almost always a chance of rain every single day so if you don’t want rainy photos, avoid summer! Spring and Autumn are always gorgeous so you can’t go wrong planning your session then.

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Fun Ideas for Your Engagement Session

Want to add something fun to your engagement session? I always recommend couples making their session their own! Some fun ways to do that include bringing your pup, tying in your hobbies like off-roading and camping, doing an activity during your session, or including your culture!

Ready to Start Planning Your Session?

Let’s do this! Fill out my contact form and I’ll send you over my full Engagement Session Pricing Guide where you can see all of my different packages. Not sure what you are wanting? No worries! We can hop onto a quick phone call to find out what package fits your needs. I can’t wait to start planning your dream engagement session in the red rocks!

Start Planning Your Session

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