Melissa + Will’s gorgeous Pismo Beach engagement session is the product of epic landscape, an adventurous couple, and a whole lot of can-do attitude. From my past experiences I’ve had obstacles thrown my way here and there but this day in particular definitely had me on my toes. Situations like this where I have multiple problems to solve throughout the day really tests what I’m made of, not only as a photographer but also as problem solver. But after all was said and done, we all had a great time together and capture some gorgeous images!
We originally scheduled to have this session at an alternative set of dunes but as I pulled up to the gate I noticed a sign notifying me of the park’s closure. Apparently crazy winds earlier in the day had blown the sand across the road, thus making it impassible for traffic. Luckily I am familiar with the area and had a secondary location already in mind that was located close by.
When I arrived to our secondary location, Pismo Beach, I scouted out the dunes before Melissa & Will arrived. I happened to run into a friendly local that was sitting in his Jeep on the beach and informed him of my situation. He offered to give me a ride down the shore and up to the dunes to take a look around. I hopped in his lifted SUV and we were off. After driving though a running creek and 5 minutes of off-roading through the soft sand we arrived to the location I had in mind. I quickly framed some shots I had envisioned, hopped back in the Jeep and headed back to civilization.
I was warned from the start by a park ranger that they strongly recommend a 4×4 vehicle to get out to the dunes. I was fresh out of off-road vehicles but I had the next best thing, a Toyota Prius and the will to get there. I did a test run first to make sure there wouldn’t be any issues. We crossed the creek. Seawater splashed well over the top of my car as we hurled ourselves in my little grey Japanese bullet across to the other side. We made it! I exhaled a huge sigh of relief knowing I could put that behind me. Melissa and Will arrived shortly after I returned back to the parking lot where we were to meet and I notified them of the little adventure we were about to take.
As we pulled up to the location, we could see sand being hurled up and over the dunes. Everyone likes a little wind in their photos, right? We spent the next few hours running up around the sand together and chasing light. Melissa & Will’s engagement session just so happened to coincide with Will’s birthday. So as the sun dipped behind the Pacific Ocean we celebrated by popping a bottle of champagne on the beach and surprised Will with some of his favorite chocolate cake.
Scanning | The FIND Lab