Tyler and Kacie knew early on that they wanted to capture their engagement photos somewhere that held a special meaning to them and showcased their adventurous spirits. Convict Lake, which is nestled in the eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range about 25 minutes southeast of Mammoth Mountain, quickly became the location that Tyler and Kacie set their hearts on.
Destination engagement shoots create a unique type of magic for me as a photographer. Not only does it give me the opportunity to experience places that I have never been before, but it adds another layer of sentimentality to the shoot. Tyler grew up vacationing with his family at Convict Lake and his excitement to return there to commemorate his engagement to Kacie was apparent and inspiring.
When we arrived at the lake, it was immediately clear why Tyler’s family chose to spend their summers there. Convict Lake is a glacial lake known for its turquoise-blue water as well as the dramatic mountains that surround it. We started the session by setting out on a 3-mile hiking trail that goes around the lake; with Tyler and Kacie’s pup Lambo, an adorable and energetic shepherd-lab mix, in tow.
On the far side of the lake, the majesty of the Sierra Nevada mountain range’s ecosystem took hold of me. A grove of aspen trees edged the lake and all the flora and fauna created a magical feel to this slightly secluded stretch of shoreline. The glass-clear water fed from the surrounding peak’s melting snowpack looked cool and refreshing. The weather was a perfect 75 degrees and there was a freshening breeze from a light summer storm rolling in.
Having such a perfect backdrop and beautiful couple such as Tyler and Kacie can make my job easy. I was glad to have the setting in subjects down pat because shooting during the COVID-19 pandemic created unique challenges. I wore a face mask for the entirety of the shoot with Tyler and Kacie. It’s a funny thing to tell someone to smile or laugh when they can’t see you doing it yourself; you really have to cue with your body language and vocal expressions instead. This new way of working has made me a much more animated photographer, which of course, had all of us laughing.
After shooting on the far side of the lake we hopped back on the trail and returned to the marina. Tyler and Kacie share a love for beer—Sierra Nevada beer to be exact—and decided to end the shoot with a celebratory toast to a successful session and cheers to their future together.
Convict Lake is truly a gem among the numerous lakes in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. It was well worth the trek to capture Tyler and Kacie’s engagement photos at such a breathtaking and sentimental location. I fully intend to return to Convict Lake myself to soak up more of its beauty and camp along its shores.
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