Paddle Board Engagement on the Kern River


The end of summer holds a special kind of fleeting magic, and this couple grabbed onto that magic by deciding to make their engagement session an adventure paddle-boarding in the Kern River. They invited me along to document one of their favorite activities, exploring and camping in California’s gorgeous Sequoia National Forest. This paddle board engagement session on the Kern River was perfect for this couple.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: make your engagement session something worth documenting. This is one of the few times you have an excuse to get a professional photographer (although I’m a big fan of anytime photo shoots). The time you have together as a couple before you get married is so important. Why not use this opportunity to have your real, meaningful memories captured? For this couple, that meant combining one of their favorite activities with one of their favorite places.

Engaged couple adventures into the Kern River for their summer engagement photo session.

Tess and Coty have been together for 4 years, but have never taken professional photos as a couple. This is actually pretty common with engagement sessions, so I try to keep it as laid-back as possible. We found a shady spot on the edge of a calm section of the Kern River, and set up a cozy picnic complete with s’mores and pineapple cider. They snuggled up and got comfortable on the edge of the water, and just enjoyed being out in nature. We snacked on barely toasted s’mores between shots and Coty started a marshmallow fight with Tess that started cute and ended with them both taking it very seriously (and with me crying from laughter behind my camera).

Couple snuggles up with a picnic of the camping classic, s'mores, while enjoying nature in the Sequoia National Forest.

Paddle board engagement photos in the Kern River

The sun was about to set behind the mountains, threatening to take the last warm rays of summer with it. This adventurous couple (literally) threw off their bathing suit covers while running into the chilly Kern River. They hopped on their paddle board to float and watch the sky change colors as the sun sank deeper.

Couple relaxes on the Kern River during their paddle board engagement session in Sequoia National Forest.
A steamy engagement session on a paddle board in California's Kern River.

Couple high-fives on their stand up paddle board during their engagement photo session in the Kern River.
Couple leans over paddle board to kiss during their adventure engagement session in the Kern River.
Couple wades into the river in California's Sequoia National Forest during their summer engagement photo session.

All this magic makes me want to spend all summer frolicking in a river through a forest. Sequoia National Forest has definitely made my list of places I need to explore more of. Also, how freaking fun does stand up paddle boarding sound? It definitely takes a lot of balance and skill. I’m always so impressed with my couples, they’re somehow always amazing in some way!

Dreaming of your own adventurous engagement session?

Making memories with a photo session isn’t just for engagements, either! Contact me now to start planning your adventure elopement, engagement or couple’s session!

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