For years, I’ve heard from outdoor adventure enthusiasts that Valley of Fire State Park is a phenomenal attraction for natural scenery in the Western United States. And when the situation presented itself to take a couple here for some engagement photos, I immediately jumped on board! Well, let me first back up a bit and tell you all how I landed at this location. A received an email from Manju & Jason, a newly engaged couple, who saw the Antelope Canyon engagement photos I captured a few years back and they wanted the same experience with the bright red rocks, narrow slot canyons, and rocky scenery. As it turns out, the Navajo Nation has strict laws regarding the ongoing pandemic and won’t allow anyone into any of the canyons without a mask, so obviously, that wouldn’t work for our purposes. The compromise I came up with was to take Manju & Jason t0 Valley of Fire State Park and Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
In order to take any portrait photos legally in any National or State Park, a photo permit is required. Since I travel all over the country, I have to apply for permits regularly and I must say – Valley of Fire has the strictest most in-depth process I have ever seen. Like…really intense. But, totally worth it because the landscape and photo opportunities were incredible. Not to mention, the close proximity to Las Vegas makes it very easy to drive to.
VALLEY OF FIRE ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS
For the first part of our session, we started out at Valley of Fire. Since this was my first time here (I’m based in Colorado) I spent 3 hours the day before scouting locations that would work for our purposes, and as you can see from the photos, we were able to find some excellent spots. My favorite spot was one of the slot canyons we hiked into. It had rich colors and narrow walkways, similar to Antelope Canyon. Which scene is your favorite?
RED ROCK CANYON ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS
One day wasn’t enough for this couple, so we got up early (well, early for Vegas, mind you) and headed to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area. Another absolutely stunning location, this natural area has similar features and scenery to Valley of Fire, but with a shorter drive time from the Las Vegas Strip. We only spent about 30 minutes capturing photos here, but it was all we needed.
About Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire State Park is a 46,000-acre state park located approximately 50 miles northwest of Las Vegas in Overton, NV. It’s a popular outdoor attraction for people looking to sightsee, camp and hike. This park gets extremely hot in the summer months, so tourists are encouraged to bring lots of water and prepare for temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. For photographers looking to capture professional images here, a photo permit is required from the State Park Office.
About Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is located in Nevada’s Mojave Desert about 20 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip. A National Parks pass is accepted for entry at the fee station.There are short day hikes, panoramic views and scenic drives for tourists.