Engagements + Couples

La Playa Carmel Engagement Session

September 15, 2021


I'm a California wedding and engagement photographer. The blog has past weddings, planning advice, photo education and more!

Hi, I'm ashley.

Despite all the weddings I attend for work, Nate and I haven’t been simply guests at a wedding in over two years! (Looking at you, working weekends!) When our dear friends Kelsey and Joey got engaged and invited us to celebrate their big day as guests, we were very excited. I was also excited and honored that they said they just had to have their engagement photos taken by me.

Kelsey and Joey are hosting their wedding next September at La Playa Carmel in Carmel-By-The-Sea. They wanted to take their engagement photos at the venue and surrounding areas. Nate grew up with Kelsey, and I was shooting another wedding in the area on a Saturday, so we turned the engagement session into a bit of a weekend getaway with Kelsey and Joey! We stayed at the Normandy Inn, grabbed a fantastic lunch at La Bicyclette, and then got ready to head to the shoot!

We started off getting pictures of Kelsey and Joey at La Playa Carmel Hotel & Bar. They wanted to capture a couple of pictures in front of the venue’s sign and in its patio area. I thought this was such a cute idea not only to take the opportunity to visit their venue but to have pictures they can use to give their guests a feel for where they’ll be hosting their wedding.

Once we finished at La Playa Carmel, we set off to Point Lobos State Park. Due to its overcast nature, the park closes two hours before sunset, making Point Lobos an attraction primarily visited midday. We waited until around 6 pm, and by that point, most of the crowd had cleared out, and there was plenty of parking. While the offshore flow may be why Point Lobos closes early, we all loved the fog and cooler temps in mid-July compared to the heat we experience in Chico. Plus, overcast skies can make for some of the best lighting for photography! 

We captured some stunning shots along Point Lobos’ path, tide pools, and the neighboring beach. Kelsey and Joey were game for any shot suggestions I threw at them. Kelsey has a dance background, so many of the recommended movements come naturally to her. These two were also just so loving and sweet to each other. It was easy to photograph moments I know they’ll cherish for years to come. We had a truly amazing weekend with Kelsey and Joey at Carmel-by-the-Sea, and Nate and I cannot wait to return there to celebrate these two next year!

If you loved this, chances are you’re engaged and planning a wedding of your own! I think you’ll LOVE my engagement session guide jam packed with EIGHT helpful tips all about preparing for your engagement photos! The best part? It’s FREE!

  1. […] Want a look at the venue and the surrounding location, check out an engagement session I shot there on the blog! […]

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I'm Ashley, a California wedding and engagement photographer. The blog has past weddings, planning advice, photo education and more!




Head into your engagement shoot prepared and nerve free with these 8 tips!