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Glamis Sand Dunes Adventure Engagement Session

Morgan + Teddy

The Imperial Sand Dunes have been on my photography bucket list ever since I moved to San Diego. So of course I jumped at the opportunity photograph Morgan and Teddy at this epic location. And I’ll tell you what. It did not disappoint.

The Imperial Sand Dunes is located about 2.5 hours east of San Diego. If you are ‘“guesstimating” it’s location on a map it’s basically on the border where California, Arizona and Mexico meet. So somewhere in the middle of what I’m guessing is the Colorado/ Sonora desert. It’s quite a trek for the average person but boy is it worth it. And besides don’t all great adventure session start in an absurdly hard to reach location?

The drive there is a whole other story but I will say that about 25 minutes from the actual shoot location the typical SoCal desert landscape starts melting away into something that resembles a sand filled planet in “a galaxy far far away”. It starts off with a pile of sand here and there but eventually massive sand dune peaks start popping up on the road ahead. I think massive is a bit of an understatement. These peaks rise to 300 feet above the desert floor. We are talking a whole 200 feet higher than the sand dunes in Death Valley.

This is where the excitement starts to set in. I have been in a nice air conditioned car for three hours but my adrenalin is now pumping. I am just so excited to be here. I park my car at Hugh T. Osborne Lookout Park, open the door, and BAM. It’s was like someone opened an oven door. It’s 4:30 in the afternoon and 108 degrees (F) out.

At first it’s not too bad. We all do a meet and greet in the parking lot and walk into the dunes to set up. We are less than 5 minutes from the parking area but walking in the sand in this kind of weather was challenging. After about 10 minute of shooting in the desert heat we were seriously starting to question our life choices. We decided that it was in everyones best interest to take a break and stop shooting until the sun went down a little.

After an hour of silently suffering from heat exhaustion in our cars we decided to give it another try. It’s really surprising what an hour of rest and a 10 degree drop in temperature will do for you. Now it was time to create some magic.

This shoot wasn’t full of details but this allowed the location and the couple to really shine. Lauren (the planner from Taylor'd Southern Events) chose some absolutely stunning outfits and florals for this session. Morgan was dressed in a beautiful dusty rose gown from Davids Bridal and her fiancé Teddy was rocking an awesome 3 piece blue suit from Generation Tux. Vibe Florals also provided a stunning bouquet that really popped in the desert landscape. 

Interested in learning mote about Morgan and Teddy? You can read more about their engagement here on The Knots "How They Asked" .

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