A few weeks ago, I went on an adventure to Antelope Island with my cousin Tara and her fiance Juan Carlos to do their engagement photos. I visited Antelope Island for the first time in years last month (see blog post here) and spent the entire time thinking about how cool it would be to do engagement photos there.

Most people think of Antelope Island as a brown, dead-looking mountain that sometimes lights up like a roman candle in the summer when struck by lightning (it also doesn’t help its reputation that it’s sitting in the middle of a smelly lake with super high salinity and bug populations), but it actually has some really cool things to offer.

For engagement photos, I think it’s actually a perfect location because of all the diversity. You can do beach photos, farm photos, mountain photos, or even exotic (speaking as an inhabitant of North America) animal photos. And there are convenient public restrooms located throughout the state park if you want to do multiple outfits without flashing the bison while changing. It’s perfect, really.

So the three of us (and Tara’s wonderful roommate Sydney who agreed to be my photography assistant for the day) drove out to Antelope Island late in the afternoon to take some photos. This was my second foray into engagement photography (see the post from my first attempt: Why Engagement Photos Scare Me Senseless), so I wasn’t entirely confident, but it ended up being a really good experience.

I had an even better time editing the engagement photos, especially the photo of them next to a bison (see below). For that one, I used a photoshop trick. I put the camera on a tripod and took a picture of the bison. We then waited for it to move on, and when it was a very safe distance away, I sent Tara and Juan Carlos out to stand next to where the bison had been. Using Adobe Photoshop, I combined the two images to make it look like one:

Tara & Juan Carlos 40-2 [small]

If anyone is interested in how exactly that is done, I can give more details.

For all of the images, I did facial retouching and then four different edits: a vivid color version, a warmer hazy sunshine version, a high contrast black and white version, and a sepia-toned black and white version with a vintage wash.

Tara & Juan Carlos 52-1 [small] Tara & Juan Carlos 52-2 [small] Tara & Juan Carlos 52-3 [small] Tara & Juan Carlos 52-4 [small]

Overall, it was a great experience (other than when I made everyone sprint down a 1/4 mile trail in order to catch the best lighting). Here are the rest of my favorites: