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Tips For Your Sand Dunes Engagement Photo Shoot

SAND DUNES ENGAGEMENT TIPS

Choosing the glamorous and ethereal sand dunes as your engagement photoshoot backdrop? Here are a few tips to take with you!

PLAN YOUR SHOOT DURING COOLER MONTHS

The best time to have your engagement session in the desert is when the temperature is between 65-80 degrees so that you can enjoy the dunes and have an easy breezy photo shoot. In California and specifically Glamis Sand Dunes, that’s anything between October through May. A few reasons to avoid planning your sand dunes engagement photoshoot from June through September:

  1. Sand absorbs more heat and will make it hard (read: burning hot) for you to walk or sit on! I always recommend going barefoot so you can walk easier through the sand, so you can always combat this by wearing boots or closed-toe shoes instead.
  2. The high temps alone can cause dehydration, so extra water breaks will be necessary.
  3. Pair that with all the hiking up a sandhill and you’re likely going to sweat a ton, which causes sweat stains on clothes and makeup that will likely melt quicker.
Michelle and Tanner at Glamis Sand Dunes

WIND FORECAST AS A VARIABLE

The wind would normally be an exciting factor for photographers because it adds natural movement to hair and outfits! I normally LOVE the wind. BUT. When sand is flying into your eyeballs, it becomes less glamorous. Haha! On average, Glamis Sand Dunes winds stay around 5-10 MPH which is tolerable and adds a fun amount of wind to the shoot. Any higher than that and half the photoshoot will be you two lovingly wiping sandpaper fingers onto each other’s faces and trying to keep sand from getting in your eyes. I’m always conscious of the wind forecast and will advise my couple to choose a new date if they don’t want to deal with that mess!

Vero & Arenet at Glamis Sand Dunes


OUTFITS & SHOES

Wear breathable material like cotton, linen and silk to feel fresh throughout the shoot and avoid sweat stains. Consider wearing outfits that have movement to them. If you choose a dress, one that can be picked up by the wind is always fun, but also be sure it’s long enough that you aren’t fighting a Marilyn Monroe moment. If you choose to wear something more casual, linen jumpsuits or pants with a cute top and accessories are a nice option. If you choose to wear something more upscale and glamorous, making sure you can move around freely in them and that you have the proper undergarments is super key. Be sure to consider the temperature and wind at all times when choosing outfits! Haha, what a love-hate relationship we have with the wind!


Shoes are completely optional! Personally, I prefer walking through the sand barefoot because it’s soooo much easier on the body. It also looks more natural. But if you want to wear shoes, I would recommend something closed toe and flat so you aren’t fighting the sand to climb up a hill. Or, bring your fancy shoes in a bag and I can carry them for you until we’re ready to use them.


BRING EXTRA WATER & SNACKS IN A BAG

Glamis is about 2-4 hours from most people in SoCal, depending on where you live. For all mini road trips to the desert, I always recommend bring extra water and snacks so you can cruise to the location and not be hangry!

Erin & LA at Glamis Sand Dunes


CLIMBING DUNE HILLS IS A WORKOUT – TAKE IT EASY

Need I say more?! Haha. Know that while the sand dunes look glamorous, this photoshoot will be a tiny bit of a workout. Re-emphasizing here to wear breathable outfits, hydrate as much as possible, then take it easy & have fun for your shoot!

Sirena & Quincy at Glamis Sand Dunes


CHECK IF YOUR SAND DUNES LOCATION REQUIRES A PERMIT

Glamis Sand Dunes is on Bureau of Land Management Land that is checked on by rangers. Permits are required October through April for anyone visiting the area (even if you aren’t riding dirt bikes) and can be found here!
Technically, photo permits are required in most California locations, including the Glamis Sand Dunes. Here is more info on who to contact for that!


Loved these sand dunes engagement tips and currently planning your engagement session? Click here for a free engagement planning checklist!

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