The past few months, I've been all over the place. I'm a Chicago wedding photographer. I'm a Cincinnati Wedding photographer. I'm an NYC wedding photographer. I'm a NorCal wedding photographer. Now I'm a SoCal wedding photographer (well, working on it...that sunshine was an amazing getaway from the classic Chicago gray, cold, gloomy winter).

woman in red dress and man in blue shirt smiling and walking through Joshua Tree National Park for engagement pictures
engaged couple holding hands and looking at each other in Joshua Tree park California

A few months back when I was in San Francisco for Amanda + Ben's stunning September vineyard wedding, I got the pleasure of meeting Olivia + Matt for an awesome Bay Area engagement shoot.

Olivia came in clutch and sent Aarti + Bob over to me right away.

woman with long dark hair in red dress kissing man in blue shirt under the sunset at Joshua Tree National Park

I stay in touch with all my lovely couples across the country through Instagram and Facebook, so when I posted I was heading from Chicago to LA and Joshua Tree and wanted to do a couples photoshoot, Olivia came in clutch and sent Aarti + Bob over to me right away. Within a few hours, we already had dates set up, outfits starting to come together, and so. much. excitement!

woman with long dark hair in red maxi dress looks to the side in front of boulders at Joshua Tree National Park
man in blue button down shirt looks to the right and smiles in front of rocks at Joshua Tree National Park
woman in red dress and man in blue shirt kiss at sunset next to a Joshua tree at Joshua Tree National Park

We met up so they could change at the awesome AirBnb I had in Joshua Tree, complete with a cute backyard, hot tub, and cozy living room (plus three bedrooms so my friends I was with and I all got our very own....amazing!) before driving down the road to Joshua Tree National Park for their engagement pictures.

man in blue button down puts hand on face of woman with long dark hair in a red dress at Joshua Tree Park in California

For the first half of the shoot, Aarti chose the most perfect flowy red wrap dress, and rocked that thing like it wasn't only 40 degrees out! I can't praise my clients enough for pretending it's warm when it's not, because my wimpy self couldn't put up with it lol. But I promise, every dang time, withstanding the cold in a killer outfit is worth the final pictures.

man in blue button down stands on rocks at Joshua Tree National Park and holds hand of woman in red dress who is sitting

After a quick outfit change, we drove just a little further down the road of JT National Park and grabbed some more picture for these two at the end of the sunset, and of course, Aarti's stunning engagement ring. It's always a bit of a bummer when the sun isn't out, but boy did she shine for the second half!

woman in black dress holds man's hand and leads him through Joshua Tree National Park at sunset for engagement pictures
woman in black dress kissing man in gray shirt in front of a colorful sunset at Joshua Tree National Park

We chatted about my day earlier in Los Angeles, exploring Griffith Observatory, hiking near the Hollywood sign, and of course the food we ate while there. I loved hearing about their plans for their LA wedding in November, including a super cool venue/restaurant right near Griffith Observatory!

engaged couple look at each other while standing in front of rocks and trees under a sunset at Joshua Tree National Park

And seriously.....look at allll this dreamy light. A wedding photographer's dream.

man in gray shirt kissing his fiancee in a black dress while hugging her from behind at Joshua Tree National Park
man in grey shirt hugs his fiancee in black dress from behind in Joshua Tree National Park for engagement pictures

Pro tip: Make a mini vacation out of your engagement session! There are so many gorgeous locations in LA for engagement photos, but taking a quick road trip, getting an AirBNB, and having a relaxed day before getting some epic photos at your engagement session at Joshua Tree might be the perfect plan for you.

man and woman hold hands in Joshua Tree National Park under a blue and pink cloudy sunset

(Or hey, just do a romantic desert elopement at Joshua Tree!) The downtown has the cutest little coffee shops and of course, the Joshua Tree Saloon for a quick bite.

man in gray shirt dips his fiancee in black dress in the middle of the road during sunset at Joshua Tree National Park

The sunset was absolutely stunning, I'm SO glad we stuck around in the cold to capture it. Those LA sunsets are definitely a little something different than the building-cluttered sunsets we get in Chicago (sunrise, however, is a different story).

oval diamond engagement ring with smaller stones on the side on a Joshua Tree
man in gray shirt and woman in black dress stand back to back under the blue sky at Joshua Tree National Park

It was so so so good to meet Aarti and Bob during my quick time in LA and Joshua Tree, but here's to many more sessions in warm, sunny weather coming up!

If you or someone you know needs a wedding, elopement, or engagement photographer in Chicago, LA, San Francisco, NYC, Nashville, or anywhere else (I travel all the dang time!), inquire here.

You can also stay up-to-date on all my travels, daily life, behind the scenes of sessions, and more on Instagram and Facebook.


Alana Lindenfeld is a Chicago based wedding photographer, specializing in all things colorful, fun, and adventurous.