Preparing for Your Photoshoot in the Mountains

Preparing for Your Photoshoot in the Mountains

You must be here because you are the adventurous type! I absolutely love engagement sessions, elopements, and intimate weddings located in beautiful scenic locations; there is just nothing better. However, it’s not all colorful sunsets and photos on mountain tops, a lot goes into preparing to shoot in a location that is wildly unpredictable.

The best thing about photoshoots in the mountains is you don’t always have to hike to your location in order to get that epic shot! If you prefer not to hike, ask your photographer if they know any spots that are accessible by a paved road or 4×4 vehicle (depending on the type of experience you’re looking for). 

1.) What Do We Wear While We Hike?

There are a lot of things that can go wrong, annoying bug bites, crazy weather, overcrowding of trails, and let’s not even get into the wildlife! It’s important that you and your photographer are prepared.

I can’t stress this more: Be comfortable. Wear your typical hiking clothes. You want to coordinate colors but not match! Ask your photographer, and typically they have a style guide they can offer you.  I always suggest staying away from heavily patterned items (and graphics), and bringing along a 2nd outfit. A new outfit can change the entire dynamic of a photo!

If you’ve got a gorgeous dress you want to wear for your photos, I suggest packing that bad boy back in your bag and changing at the top. If you’d rather hike in the dress for pictures sake, then you go girl!!


Photo of bride and grooms hiking boots as they stand toe to toe

2.) Know Everything About Your Location

Overcrowding of trails does happen. It’s hard to enjoy an intimate moment when you have people walking by every few minutes. I suggest choosing a trail that is less traveled, or 4-wheel driving to your location.

Do you spend most your time closer to sea level? Altitude sickness is a very real thing, and can be dangerous. In addition, the weather in higher elevations is known to be unpredictable. Especially if you’re in Colorado, afternoon storms are very common and can often come out of nowhere. Check the hourly weather for that day and BE PREPARED! I always keep a change of clothes in my car just in case we run into crazy weather.

3.) Bring All The Essentials

Now, if you’re hiking with me then I have most of these items already covered for you (just need to bring your own water). At minimum, you will want to bring along water, lip balm, snacks, bear spray, bug spray and sunscreen. Especially if you are planning a longer hike for your adventure session. You do not want to be itchy and sunburnt when you finally reach the top and are ready to have your photos taken! In this case, one of our main essentials was… BEER! 

4.) Don't Skip Proper Footwear

Say it with me – Durable Hiking Boots. Preferably waterproof! The last thing I want is you rolling your ankle as we are going up the hill! If it’s early spring then you may want to have a pair of micro spikes handy to hike up that icy trail. I hike often in Colorado, and have been surprised to find snow covered trails all the way into July.

Groom reaches for his hiking boots, and his Star Wars themed socks in the corner of the frame

5.) Stay Hydrated

This, times two. I know it should go without saying but water can make a big difference if you are trying to avoid altitude sickness. Bring along a backpack with a water reservoir for extra security.

6.) Clean The Ring!

If this is an engagement session or elopement, then your photographer will definitely take a few ring shots if you have one so come prepared!

Bride and groom wedding details from winter elopement, wedding rings on vow books

7.) Leave No Trace

This is SO important. I take my couples out in nature because I want to share the beauty of these epic landscapes with them. So many people are lazy or unkind to nature and leave their trash for others to clean up (my ultimate pet peeve). All trash, flower petals, everything, is packed out!

8.) Relax & Have Fun!

I’m here to be your guide. If you need help with outfits, feel free to text me pictures and I can help you pick. If you have a preferred location, give me all the details so we can plan the perfect engagement session. If you’re still looking for the perfect spot then I can help you there too!

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7 thoughts on “Preparing for Your Photoshoot in the Mountains”

  1. First of all, you CRUSHED these photos. This session looked like such a blast. Secondly, I love that you wrote out a super helpful, super informative post like this for couples. These are common questions and it’s great to have this info out there. PS–you rock for making LNT principles a point — we need more of this in our blog posts!

  2. Brittany Johnson

    This is such an incredibly helpful resource for anyone thinking of heading to the mountains to hike for their engagement photos!
    Love all of these adventure session photos!

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