I'm so glad you are here to check out some recent work. I'm a Colorado wedding photographer that shoots all around the country. The blog is filled with full wedding and portrait sessions, and includes weddings planning tips and inspiration.
April 7, 2021
Colorado is such a beautiful and large state. With so many gorgeous locations in Colorado, it’s hard to decide not only where, but WHEN to take professional photos. I’ve put together some helpful info for couples deciding the best time of year to take engagement photos in Colorado. This info may depend on where you’d like to take photos, and provides tips on what to wear as well!
I recently wrote a whole blog post on the best locations in Colorado for engagement photos! I’d definitely check it out to get some inspiration! The locations range from downtown Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park, hikes to some cool lookouts, and much more!
Weather and location will play a huge role in what to wear for your engagement session outfits. I also recently wrote a blog post on this topic. Feel free to check it out to get some inspo!
If you’re not from Colorado, you may not know that within one week, we can have the “snow storm of the century“, and then 5 days later, be enjoying a margarita outdoors in 72 degree weather.
Point being, it’s unpredictable.
So to answer the question of when is the best time of year to take engagement photos, it really depends on your preference! Thinking about the weather may help you make your decision though. There is no guarantee of what the weather will be like on the day you schedule your engagement session, so the best advice is to guess….but be prepared for the opposite.
Also, please remember that BAD WEATHER, IS NOT BAD. Photo shoots in the rain can be fun! Snow storms!? Yes! Don’t be tied down to a bluebird day for your shoot, especially in Colorado.
Also be aware of elevation. Colorado is know for the most “14ers” in any state in U.S., 58 to be exact! (A “14er” is a mountain over the elevation of 14,000ft!) With such varying elevation, it makes for a plethora of terrains and weather forecasts. The weather and temperature in one town may be completely different than in a neighboring town 10 mins away.
That being said, I can advise you on what the weather will be like ‘historically’ per season. Check out the average temperatures per month via denver.org! I’ll dive more into this in the below sections.
Being in front of the camera can be overwhelming! I know that the majority of my couples confide in me about their nerves. I tell everyone the same thing; thats normal! It IS awkward to get your photog taken! But it shouldn’t be un-enjoyable! The first 15 mins are always more tense, but I promise you, that be the end of your session, that will all go away. I also remind them that it is MY job to make you feel comfortable and look good, not yours! I understand that my couples are not professional models, (or maybe you are??), and that you may feel awkward in front of a camera. Knowing this, I constantly talk to my clients from behind the camera. I’ll be giving you directions the whole time!
That being said, it doesn’t hurt to ‘practice’ in front of a camera. Know what angles you like and don’t like. Practice doing your hair and makeup. Or! Why not hire your wedding makeup team and do a wedding day trial that day??
Pick out your outfits ahead of time. As I mentioned before, you can always send me photos to ask for my opinion!
Spoil yourself! Get your nails done! Find out the benefits of using Glitterbels nail desk compared to other nail desks. Be careful of bronzers, spray tans, or the sun before your engagement shoots! Same goes for facials. Anything that you haven’t tried before, your engagement session usually isn’t the best time to test it out…
If you are feeling VERY nervous….it wouldn’t hurt to take a shot of tequila before your session. Just sayin’.
Colorado does winter right. With SO many ski towns, the spots to choose can be endless! If you love snowshoeing and are down for an adventure, your location options open up. Heads up that a lot of roads in the mountains are seasonal, and close from Oct-May. Your favorite summer camp site that you had in mind, might not be accessible in the winter. The average temperature in Colorado during these months can range from 16-55 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is windy, then it can be freezing!! Also be prepared for bad weather and snowstorms, and make sure you are driving a car with good tires or 4 wheel drive.
One of my favorite short winter hikes, is to Dream Lake up in Rocky Mountain National Park. Since a lot of the park closes during the winter months, the fact that the road up to Bear Lake parking lot is still open is a huge bonus. From there, it is a beautiful one mile hike to Dream Lake. Highly recommended; ice spikes!! The lake is frozen over, so we have lots more room to run and play beneath the beautiful sharp mountain tops above us. Insider tip; bring a backpack with you with extra clothes for when we are not shooting! Also- hand warmers!!!
Another favorite winter location would be around Lake Dillon (or also known as Dillon Reservoir). This is a great spot because it is easy to get to. The roads around the entire lake are plowed, so driving is pretty easy. With that in mind, there are SO many pull offs with gorgeous views of the scenery! With the leaves gone from the most of the trees, the view at Sapphire Point is even better!!
Vail is known as being such a quaint ski town in Colorado, so they cater to the winter crowds! Try getting a guest lift pass to the top of Vail mountain for some of the most epic Colorado snow views! Pro tip; be aware of crowds! Give yourself EXTRA time for parking and getting a gondola ride to the top.
Spring showers bring spring flowers! With so many beautiful fields in Colorado, spring time is a beautiful time for engagement photos. I personally love any open fields near the Boulder Flatirons. You will get the grass coming in nicely from a long winter, and flowers starting to bloom. Pro tip; watch out for mud! Early spring on the hiking trails brings extra mud. Some trails even close for the spring months until it gets a bit drier. Stick to fields and areas that aren’t popular hiking trails. The average temperature in Colorado in the spring can range from 27-72 degrees Fehrenheit!!
The Paint Mines is another great option for spring time photos in Colorado. As mentioned above, a lot of hiking trails will be muddy this time of year. The Paint Mines won’t have this issue, so it a great alternative for an engagement location! The spring sun is still pretty low in the sky and creates gorgeous sunsets. Pro tip; watch for wind and chilly temperatures in the shade!!
You also can’t forget the activity that Rocky Mountain National Park will start seeing in the springtime! While some of the roads will still be closed at this time, the meadow at Moraine Park will be snow-free and so stunning! Wild flowers might start to make an appearance, as well as baby animals like elk and big horn sheep! Temperatures will still be cool and not too hot. With the winding stream in the foreground and the snowcapped mountains in the back, this spot is so gorgeous!
Summertime in Colorado brings out all of the hikers, climbers, kayakers, and campers! While mountain roads that were previous closed for the winter start to open back up, this also brings more tourists to the area. The summer season is such an amazing time to take photos, but with the warmer temperatures, you just have to remember that parks and trails will be more full. The average temperature in Colorado during the summer months can range from 50-90 degrees Fehrenheit. Plus, it gets extremely dry in the summer, so bring lots of water and lotion!
With that said, I personally love the Brainard Lake area. Just know that there sometimes can be a wait to get into the park that is over an hour long!! But once you are in the park, check out Brainard Lake, as well as Lake Isabelle. Yes, there will be lots of people cooking bbq and napping in hammocks, as well as following you on your hike, but you can still get amazing photos at these locations that look like you were all alone!
Another favorite summer time engagement session location in Colorado would be Loveland Pass. Loveland Pass is part of the Continental Divide! (So cool!!). I personally love this spot at sunrise. Pro tip; sunrise= less crowds!! Trying to avoid crowds and traffic in the summer gets a lot easier if you are open to sunrise times!
Also, downtown Denver is such a hot spot in the summer! Go bar or brewery hopping around the RiNo arts district or bike to Union Station! Find a cool roof deck to catch the sunset over the city skyline!
Lastly, you will need to check out Blue Lakes just south of Breckenridge in the summertime. This is another beautiful gem that is mostly accessible in the summer months due to it being at the end of a long dirt road. The lakes are, obviously, very blue! Being so for out in the mountains makes for some epic sunset colors as well.
While it is hard to definitively say when the best time of year to take engagement photos is, fall time is one of the most sought after seasons for engagement sessions. I get it; cool temps, beautiful foliage, less family and tourist crowds. The only problem is, people in Colorado LOVE to go “leaf peeping“. Leaf peeping is essentially, Aspen tree foliage hunting. You will see CROWDS of people parked (illegally) along side the roads near aspen groves during peak foliage weekends. It can be a mess! It is also very hard to determine exactly when they will peak each year. Sometimes it will be early to mid-September, sometimes early to mid-October. The average temperature for fall in Colorado can range from 37-75 degrees Fehrenheit.
That being said, although the crowds and undetermined “best” time can be discouraging….the colors are worth the struggle! One of the best locations for fall engagement sessions would be, un-ironically, in Aspen. I loooove Maroon Bells near Aspen in the fall! And as mentioned above, just BE AWARE OF THE CROWDS. It is not only crowds you will need to navigate, but also getting a reservation to visit at that time. It is a highly competitive time to visit, and reservations can be out months in advance.
Another insanely beautiful, yet very popular, photo for fall engagement photos would be near Kenosha Pass. Pro tip; plan extra time for driving and parking! It’s like a zoo there during the peak foliage weekends!
Lastly, to bring it back to the list, the Dillon Reservoir is a great place for fall season engagement photos in Colorado. The entire lake is surrounded by beautiful aspen groves that just light up the whole valley. With the quiet reservoir behind you, you can’t really go wrong on any part of the lake!!
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