Smith Rock Couple Session
What a stunning place to be in to photograph Leah and Keaton’s couple session. Smith Rock State Park is one of the best parks I’ve had the chance to visit. This is the kind of place that photographs will never do justice. Though their Smith Rock couple session was a freaking dream!
I’ve had the chance to meet these two on Instagram and plan a fun adventurous sunrise session with them at Smith Rock State Park right outside Bend, Oregon this past January. We had planned to visit the Painted Hills instead but the weather didn’t turn to be the best so we changed our plans and headed to Smith Rock instead. We were super lucky to have such a nice morning with some dramatic clouds coming in and out of this impressive landscape. When the sun hits the rocks it really makes you feel like you’re in a different world. The colors are just stunning and keep changing as the sun rises. We started near the parking lot where we left our cars and as we were walking into the park stopped to some beautiful and epic spots to enjoy the views. To be honest I don’t even know how much time we spent in the park but it was just so much fun to be there with them and enjoy the scenery as much as we could.
These two babes are not engaged yet and if you’re reading this now I want to say you don’t need to be engaged to get your portrait taken professionally! I mean look at them rocking it and being the cutest couple. They have only been together for a few months but the way they look at each other was absolutely amazing to witness. I love how much fun they were having together and all the cool stories they shared with me. Leah is a talented fellow photographer and I’m always so excited when I get to photograph another someone who shares the same passion. They were such a bowl of fresh air to be around. They are ready for anything and always in for a fun adventure! They came all the way from Portland to spend their weekend in Bend and enjoy what Bend has to offer. They also gave me all the cool spots to go visit in Bend and their favorite places to eat which I was so thrilled to try right after we finished our session together!!!
About Smith Rock State Park
- The park is open year-round, but summer heat can reach 100°. Stay safe.
- Day-use visitor hours are from dawn to dusk.
- Dogs are allowed, on a leash.
- A $5 day use permit or a current state park camp receipt available from the self service pay stations is needed for each vehicle.
- A yearly permit is $30, two-year permits are $50, and both are available at the Welcome Center and online
What to know when planning an elopement in Smith Rock State Park
- A permit is only required if you have 50+ people or have special needs, such as exclusive use of any one area.
- Those getting married and the people in your party need to purchase and display valid parking permits, don’t use drones, smoke or have any open flame. Generator use and amplified sound are also not permitted.
- The park is open dawn until dusk.
- Bring water—16 oz per person per hour of exertion. The water fountain at the bridge is the last water station in the park. You may consider a hydration pack for easy access. The rocks can really heat up in the summer months and the combination of heat and dehydration can be dangerous.
- Stay on marked trails. The trails are clearly marked to prevent erosion and to not mislead the next hiker. They also provide a reference on your trail map to get back so that the rangers don’t need to come to find you.
What to do in Bend Oregon
Bend is located on the Deschutes River in Oregon. Driving to Bend was such a beautiful drive, only 3hrs away from Portland. When you take the road passing by Mt Hood you’ll obviously drive in the mountains and then be treated by the High Desert. The landscape keeps changing as you drive South and it’s such a pleasure to look around. Bend is one of the best places if you’re looking for winter vacations and go skiing at Mt Bachelor. On the West side of the city, you’ll find the Cascades Mountains and the famous Cascade Lake scenic byway. From hiking to skiing, to just enjoy some good food and beer, Bend has it all when it comes to having a fun and adventurous trip! When I was there I drove back to Portland passing by Sister instead to see a different scenery and OH MY GOD. I wish I could have stopped every 2 min! When taking a trip to Bend, take your time and just appreciate all the nature that surrounds you.
- The few things I did and loved on my first day in Bend:
When it comes to visiting a new place the first thing I look for is: a restaurant. After our session in Smith Rock I headed to this fun Latin American Restaurant called the Barrio located on the main street of Bend downtown. They had some serious tacos and I was excited to try them all!!! If you feel like having some local beer you can walk one street over to the Bend Brewing Company, right before the brewery you’ll find a store with handmade jewelry that I highly recommend you stop by. When it comes to cute local stores, Wall Street is full of them. If you’re looking to go shopping you can head to the Old Mill District and you’ll find everything you need there. After visiting Bend for a few hours I headed to a nice coffee shop called Backporch Coffee Roasters located on the West side of the City.
- Other fun things to do when visiting Bend:
When visiting Bend Oregon there are so many amazing locations around the city to go visit for a day trip or a fun weekend getaway. Here are my favorite places:
- Painted Hills
- Sparks Lake
- Broken Top
- Todd Lake
- Dillon Falls
- Mt Bachelor
- Koosah Falls