Engagement photos in Rocky Mountain National ParkCouples portraits in RMNP
Rocky Mountain National Park, also known as RMNP, is one of the best places in Colorado for engagement photography. The scenery is outrageous, and there are more quite, picturesque locations to photograph people than just about any other area in the Rockies.
RMNP is a year round destination that looks gorgeous throughout the winter, spring, summer or fall. This beautiful park encompasses 415 square miles of jagged peaks, glacial lakes, and rivers, streams and aspen groves.
I love taking advantage of the unbelievable scenery here to create photos of my couples before they get married. You can’t really go wrong as a photographer in RMNP, especially if you know of the many jaw dropping locations that are just a little off the beaten path.
I have a commercial use permit to shoot engagement portraits in Rocky Mountain National Park, as required by RMNP’s concessions office, and I know the area quite well. I’ve lived here since 2006.
In the lower elevations around Estes Park — and yes, “lower elevations” is relative, since Rocky Mountain National Park has peaks above 14,000 — the backdrop for your engagement photos will be forests, grasslands and riverbanks.
The forests on the east side of the park, near Estes Park, are drier, and are not particularly dense. When shooting portraits, we can create interesting images by framing brides and grooms-to-be through trees. The western forests near Granby are much thicker.
Higher up, we can shoot engagement pictures in the alpine tundra, but we need to be extra careful to stay on the trail, as the tundra grows very slowly. However, if we do go up here, we will have incredible vistas to shoot in front of, and gorgeous evening light.
Summer months can be insanely busy in Rocky Mountain National Park, so it helps if we can create your engagement photos in the late afternoon and early evening, when the tourists dissipate and the light gets low on the horizon.
I like to shoot as late as 8 or even 9 in the evening in July, and sometimes even later when trying to create astrophotography engagement portraits at night, with the Milky Way above. One special thing about the park ist there is almost no light pollution, so the stars are super bright.
Engagement photos in the fall are pretty epic in RMNP! The aspen trees turn bright yellow and fiery orange. There are often many people enjoying the fall colors, but I know a few secrets spots around the park where the crowds are scarce and we can have the groves of trees to ourselves.
The Park, as it’s affectionately known by locals, is surrounded by the Roosevelt, Arapaho and Routt national forests, all of which also offer beautiful locations for engagement photos. Sometimes I actually like to shoot outside of the park, since the look and feel of the photos is similar but there are far fewer crowds. Depending on when you’d like to do your engagement photography, I might recommend shooting in the nearby National Forest instead.
Areas I like in the nearby forest include the area around Twin Sisters, the top of Lily Mountain, and some of the parks in the town of Estes Park and along Fall River Road. I also enjoy taking people outside of Estes Park along Highway 7, especially when the aspen trees are turning.
All in all, creating engagement photos in Rocky Mountain National Park and its environs is a pretty fun thing to do, and the resulting images are guaranteed to be gorgeous.