The Columbia Gorge is a magnificent piece of nature, especially in the fall. So when Stephanie contacted me about possible locations for their engagement session, I added the Cascade Locks to the list.

I met up with my friend, Charity, of Narrow Path Photograph, at 7 am, and we caravaned up the gorge to reach out destination by 8. Usually, the sun is well above the horizon at this time, but for our location, the cliffs above the Columbia Gorge are still high enough to give us the light that we want a little later in the morning.

Vancouver, WA PhotographerAccess to the park is gated, but just for vehicles, hiking in is wholly encouraged. We first started at the sheer rock faces there. I love the colors that they give.

Vancouver, WA Photographer

Hiking to the top looks intimidating, but really, there is an access road around the back that makes it super easy to get on top of this gorgeous bluff overlooking the Columbia River. One side has the river views, and the other has the giant cliffs spotted with evergreen trees. This place is GORGE-OUS (see what I did there?!?)

With the sunrise coming up over the hills, it gave the perfect light for Stephanie and Ty.

They call this the “golden hour” for a reason.

Before we headed to the waterfront, I knew I wanted to utilize the cliff edge. It’s relatively safe to access and stand up on from above. So I positioned them and handed Charity my light to hold while I walked below. The speedlight didn’t help too much as the sun was brilliant this morning, but it added a little. I would say that it doesn’t matter either way to me, I am in LOVE with this image, I think the studio may need a large metal print of it.

Columbia Gorge Engagement Session

When we all made it back to the bottom of the cliff, we walked to the waterfront to enjoy the view. The rock outcroppings made for a perfect seat for Ty; we just let them enjoy the morning stood back to create the images. I will admit, the evergreen tree framed in made the shot perfect for a holiday card, but also fits the Pacific Northwest perfectly.

The whole island was mostly open and filled with field grass, so this last image of them walking away was perfect.

Vancouver, WA Photographer

I would like to that the sun for playing along for this engagement session. The night before I was capturing a wedding, and there was a little bit of rain, but lots of clouds. The light streaming through the clouds this morning was stunning as if the higher powers were reassuring me I was following the right dream.

 

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