Engagement Session Garden of the Gods Park

/

Gallery: My Favorite Colorado Summertime Photo Sessions

Who said this summer could go by so fast? As we head towards Labor Day, I wanted to relive some of my favorite moments by curating a gallery of my favorite summer photo sessions.

This summer, I shot in some of Colorado Springs’ most photogenic places. I traveled to Rocky Mountain National Park twice, took numerous trips to Garden of the Gods, and teamed up with Plated Picnics which brings a luxurious experience to couples and groups of friends that serves amazing grazing boards. I went back to Wisconsin a handful of times and enjoyed weekends near the water. When I was home in Colorado, I soaked up days at the park walking my dog and basked in those beautiful mountain views. When I look back at this past summer, it was filled with beautiful memories and photos.

Slow things down by taking a look at these Colorado summer photo sessions that are full of summer vibes.


Summertime Fun

Rocky Mountain National Park, July 2021

Talk about summer fun! Courtney and Jessie Schwiebert had their elopement photos at one of the best summer spots — Sprague Lake and a mini-golf course! These two had the most beautiful day — it was so hard to narrow down my favorites.

Elopement Sprague Lake
Mini Golf Estes Park
Sunset Photos Estes Park Colorado

Magical Summer Nights

Garden of the Gods Park in collaboration with Plated Picnics, July 2021

Is there a more magical way to spend a summer evening than with a perfectly set picnic table, an expertly curated charcuterie spread … and a surprise proposal? I was so grateful to share this experience with Drew and Krupa.

Engagement Session Garden of the Gods Park
Garden of the Gods Proposal
Plated Picnics Proposal
Plated Picnics Charcuterie Board
Garden of the Gods Kiss

Lakeside Summer Celebration

Rocky Mountain National Park, Sprague Lake, June 2021

What says Colorado more than summer sun with snowy mountains in the background? Amber and Dylan’s elopement and Rocky Mountain National Park couldn’t have fallen on a more perfect summer day!

Sprague Lake Elopement
Army Couple
Happy Colorado Married Couple

Summertime, Rain or Shine

Cheyenne Mountain State Park, June 2021

As I was heading to Treasure and Dakota’s proposal session, it was pouring rain. But as soon as we got to our spot, the skies opened and the sun shone through! Also, A+ on their outfit selection?

Proposal at Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Colorado Engagement Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Mountains and Summer in Colorado

Summer Love

Cheyenne Mountain State Park, June 2021

How beautiful are Kayla and Craig? These two had such a great June engagement photo session, soaking up the earliest summer warmth.

Beautiful Engaged Couple
Laughing Engaged Couple
Couple Kissing Colorado
Mountaintop elopement in Colorado

/

It takes some location scouting and time to adjust to a new city before you really know the most scenic places. I moved to town in August 2015, and since then, I’ve continued to seek out the best places for graduate, family, couple, and wedding photography. For engagement sessions, locations that have highlight a beautiful sunrise or sunset, and space to move are desired. Family photo sessions typically go well when I’ve researched a spot that has a parking lot in close proximity to our photo destination. It saves us time on the commute and reduces the risk of kids running or tripping and getting their clothes dirty. 

From mountain views, canyons, ridges and rock formations, Colorado Springs views offer a unique type of scenery you just don’t see everywhere. Here are my top five favorite photographic locations in Colorado, Springs!

1.     Garden of the Gods

While it may be a touristy spot, it’s one of the best — and for good reason. The unique rock formations that are close to the mountains provide a classic Colorado Springs look. I’ve photographed many new families here, as well as visitors. One of the great things about photographing in Garden of the Gods is that the park is so big and offers a variety of locations. The longer I have lived here, the more I’ve change up where I like to go in the park. Some spots allow you to park and walk right out to a gorgeous view, whereas others require a 10–15-minute walk from the main parking lot to a specific destination within the park.

Tip: Always make sure you have the appropriate footwear for your photo session, especially if it includes walking. Read my tips for selecting the perfect photoshoot outfit.


Lauren and Kyle were supposed to get married in Ohio, but like other 2020 brides and grooms, their plans changed and they had a small intimate civil ceremony at Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs.

Lauren and Kyle were supposed to get married in Ohio, but like other 2020 brides and grooms, their plans changed and they had a small intimate civil ceremony at Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs.


Beautiful red rock formations and mountain backdrop, Sophie and Tyler picked the Southgate Entrance of Garden of the Gods Park for their engagement photos.

Beautiful red rock formations and mountain backdrop, Sophie and Tyler picked the Southgate Entrance of Garden of the Gods Park for their engagement photos.

2.     The Broadmoor

First, the hotel is absolutely gorgeous! Due to the property being only for guests, it’s important to check in first to see if you need a permit. If you can get onto the golf course for photos, the landscape is pristine. The Broadmoor is great for families or couples who are looking for a different type of view than mountains. 


best-photographic-locations-colorado-springs-3

3.     Palmer Park

I discovered this place when I started taking my dog, Cooper, to one of the best off-leash dog trails in the city. Palmer Park is a little quieter than Garden of the Gods, but still boasts amazing mountain views. If you’re looking for that dusty road, but more greens and blue than reds, this is the place for you. There are pockets within this large park that you can tuck away from the bikers, walkers, and runners, too!


Couple travels to Colorado for a road trip and ends up taking their engagement photos at Palmer Park in Colorado Springs, CO.

Couple travels to Colorado for a road trip and ends up taking their engagement photos at Palmer Park in Colorado Springs, CO.

4.     Cheyenne Mountain State Park

While this park does require a $7 parking admissions fee, the views are stunning, and it’s not too crowded. It’s important to note that some trails do not allow dogs, so for a city that is incredibly dog-friendly, be sure to check out the map so you know where you can take your furry friend. The views at Cheyenne Mountain State Park are the same mountains you get at Garden of the Gods, but the landscape tones are more blues and greens than reds. There are several pull-off spots within the park, so if you’re looking for a bit of variety within one location, this is the place to go!


East Coast natives, Jordan and Tyler, recently moved to Colorado Springs and wanted to capture the essence of the new city they live in with  engagement photos  at Cheyenne Mountain State Park.

East Coast natives, Jordan and Tyler, recently moved to Colorado Springs and wanted to capture the essence of the new city they live in with engagement photos at Cheyenne Mountain State Park.

 5.     Ute Valley Park

Ute Valley is a very popular places for family photo sessions. The parking is so close to the entrance of the park, making it an easy and accessible location. I’d describe the views to also be more greens and blue, but also cream-colored rocks. The good news is this park is so big as well. One of my latest couples took me to a “secret” spot that was just stunning! It was a five-minute walk from the parking lot and was a secluded spot where nobody was at. I encourage photographers to venture around and find those pockets that are less crowded, yet still special and beautiful, to take your clients. 


Kim and Alex are adventurous travelers, so it makes sense they know how to find the best hiking spots at Ute Valley Park.

Kim and Alex are adventurous travelers, so it makes sense they know how to find the best hiking spots at Ute Valley Park.

It’s hard to go wrong with any photographic locations in Colorado Springs. There is so much variety at each location that it’s hard to get bored with the scenery. If you are unfamiliar with the area, it’s always a good idea to location scout first. You’ll want to know the best places to park and where to possibly avoid foot traffic. And don’t be afraid of the weather! I’ve photographed at all of these locations, which are also wheelchair accessible, in sunshine, overcast, snow, and rain — it can surprise you how well the photos can turn out with some help from Mother Nature!

 Sarah Arnold of SArnold Photo is a portrait, engagement and wedding photographer located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.