Colorado Engagement Photographer | Destination Engagement Photos | Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods is one of those spectacular places that will stay with you forever, whether you’re visiting, climbing, or having your wedding/elopement/engagement photos there
The best way I can describe Garden of the Gods? A bizarre landscape playground for adults that feels like a mini desert with nooks and crannies for playing hide-and-go-seek. If you’ve been there, you may just agree. Located near Colorado Springs and with views of the well-known Pike’s Peak, Garden of the Gods offers a very unique, you-wouldn’t-guess-it-was-Colorado viewpoint. And for Colorado locals Yasmine and Thomas, it was the perfect place to do their engagement photos.
About Garden of the Gods
It’s free. There are tons of fun activities within just a few miles of Garden of the Gods. It’s in a beautiful state. You can rock climb and hike here. And there’s delicious frozen custard nearby.
(If you know me, you know I love my ice cream.)
Seriously, the owner of the Colorado Custard Company is a runner, and claims he only runs so he can eat more frozen custard. Also, I have a funny story about how ice cream from here ended up on my head, but that’s for another day…
There’s more than 20 miles to explore while hiking Garden of the Gods, including desert landscapes, forested areas, overgrown meadows, mountain vistas, and more. I will warn you that it’s a desert, and it DOES get quite hot here. Still, Garden of the Gods hiking is not difficult, and provides a lot of interesting viewpoints on gravel and dirt paths. I love seeing the climbers on the orange rock faces, and watching bikers cycle through the park. It’s different in every season, but one thing that’s not to miss is sunrise.
As is nearly always the case, most people (me included) don’t want to wake up at the crack of dawn, but a Garden of the God’s sunrise is one you’ll never forget. When you first see Garden of the Gods from far away, it looks like a bunch of orange shark fins and needles broke through the Colorado soil at once. Upon closer inspection, you’ll see that the stones are massive, fragile-looking, and more nuanced than other rock on Colorado. It’s definitely an anomaly! Also not to be missed: The local food, arcades, and fun of the nearby stores and outdoor gaming areas. For Thomas and Yasmine’s cool-down/part 2 of their engagement photos, we took advantage of all the fun at nearby Manitou Springs, and I know they had tons of fun playing the games, too.
Garden of the Gods Engagement Session
My assistant and I brought Yasmine and Thomas all around the Garden of the Gods, and we had so much fun exploring all the nooks and crannies. The lighting was magnificent, and despite the fact that these two lived in Colorado, they weren’t familiar with the park.
From the grassy meadows to the most popular rock structures—and to little rock formations hidden off the beaten path—we hiked all around and enjoyed watching the rock climbers. After their Garden of the Gods engagement session, we headed over to Manitou Springs for ice cream and arcading (is that a word?).
As far as Colorado Springs engagement photo locations go, you’re not going to beat Garden of the Gods, but when it comes to old-fashioned fun…how does handmade fudge, nostalgic stores to stroll along, and pinball sound? If this is you, head to Manitou Springs near the mountains! This cool mountain town offers mineral springs, adventure activities, all the skeeball your heart desires, little cabins to rent, and amazing hiking.
Manitou Springs + Colorado Springs
I’m a sucker for old-fashioned arcade games (ever been to Fun Spot in New Hampshire?!), and the outdoor arcades in Manitou Springs, Colorado are awesome. You’ll definitely feel you’re in another era with the ball-rolling horse races, pinball, mini carnival rides, Pac-Man, and more. They were completely game to have fun, and I think they almost had TOO much fun. No, I kid. But seriously, arcade engagement photos are THE BEST, and so fun for catching candid moments. Yasmine wasn’t sure at first, but fell in love with the entire day—especially the arcade engagement session.
“I’m absolutely in love with these pictures. I can’t thank you enough!” – Yasmine and Thomas on their Garden of the Gods engagement photos
We closed out Yasmine & Thomas’ Garden of the Gods engagement session with ice cream sundaes, and as you can see from their grins, they didn’t think this photo session was all that bad 😉
Colorado Springs is a wonderful place, and has great food, the great outdoors, and proximity to so many outdoor activities. But it’s hard to beat its very own Garden of the Gods park–an incredible place for your elopement, intimate wedding, or engagement photos. Manitou Springs is so close by and such a step back in time.
I always remind my couples that engagement photos need not be traditional. For these adventure engagement photos, we both hiked AND enjoyed playing games at the local arcade. Nontraditional engagement photos are my jam, and these two were so much fun to work with!