Lake Elsinore Adventure Engagement Session | Southern California Adventure Elopement Photographer


Engaged couple in a field of flowers.

Couple adventuring in poppy fields

SoCal adventure engagement sessions are some of my favorite to photograph! Being engaged is such an exciting time in your love story. And it’s only time you’ll get the title of fiancé/fiancée! It’s a time to celebrate your commitment to come and have a ton of fun. One way to kick off the celebrations is with what I call “an awesome date where you guys go exploring and get sweet photos of your adventure”. Other people call this an engagement photo session 🙂 Either way, it’s a great excuse to drop everything and get outside with your beloved!

This spring’s Southern California super bloom was irresistible for Dana and Tim. They were all in when I suggested seeing the hills painted with California poppies!  So we headed south to the Lake Elsinore area where even before we got to the trails where we would eventually hike, laugh, and photograph together, you could see miles of ORANGE. It was surreal – like someone had flipped all the colors around in Photoshop but this was real life!

Yes, there have been SoCal super blooms you’ve probably heard of in the past. But with record breaking rainfall this year the wildflowers sure turned it up a notch. We’ve had a spring like no other! And with so many wildflowers ALL around – the stoke and giddiness was real for Tim and Dana! It was an otherworldly magnificent backdrop to showcase how much these two love each other. You can see they’re pretty pumped for their upcoming June wedding!

And yes, we were hiking at noon in unseasonably high heat for early spring in SoCal, but that’s when the poppies are open in all their glory! Poppies are sun powered. They open during the day to soak in the sun and then close their petals at night. While still a beautiful orange showcase in the evening, we picked the middle of the day specifically for the poppies. A lot of photographers might shy away from super harsh lighting. However, I’m here to let you know it’s totally possible to have an epic adventure in the middle of the day and get awesome photos too!

Couple running through wildflowers for their engagement.



Because of people this year’s super bloom was really hard on the environment. As jaw dropping as the sheer amount of flowers in this area was, the more staggering statistic was how many people were there and hiking off the trails, picking flowers, and crushing the flowers in some way or another just for a selfie. This area was actually closed off the following day because of how disrespectful people were being.

From these photos it may seem like Tim and Dana were experiencing these wildflowers alone. The reality was we were three of thousands of people visiting that day.  We waited patiently for the few precious moments when no one happened to be in the background (because of how many people were off trail…). It’s so important to respect the natural areas we have the opportunity to explore. If we leave no trace then others can experience that same awe and wonder we do. To that end, the three of us were always on trails or hard surfaces, like boulders!  It breaks my heart to know that many of these wildflowers will not regrow in the same places in the future because of the impact of ill-behaved hikers.

I shot many of the photos from this session using cropping, layering, and creative points of view to create a perspective similar to standing in the middle of the flowers. And I realize that could be misleading. But with a little creativity you too can get amazing photos from the trails! With so many folks selfishly trampling these gorgeous flowers just to get a selfie, I just want to point out that that’s not ok. No flowers were harmed during this session.

If you want to know more about Leave No Trace, I encourage you to check out their website and learn how you too can be a better human. Yes, it takes effort, but for our one beautiful world it’s definitely worth the work! And if frolicking through fields of flowers (on the trails of course) sounds like your kind of engagement adventure, let’s get in touch! I’m your equally excited third wheel who can document this special season in all it’s awesomeness for you 🙂

Engagement session in the wildflowers.

California Poppies near Lake Elsinore

Engagement session in California poppies fields

Couple walking the trails of Lake Elsinore

Couple kissing in wildflower fields.

Engaged couple embracing in the spring wildflowers

Engaged couple kissing in the spring

Couple hiking in wildflower fields

Kissing couple in a field of CA Poppies.

Engaged couple dancing in wildflower fields.

Engagement session in CA Super Bloom wildflower field.

Couple dancing in a CA poppy field

Engaged couple kissing in wildflower field

Engaged couple playing on a wildflower trail.

Engagement session in Lake Elsinore during the super bloom

Engaged couple hiking in SoCal.

Kissing couple in spring SoCal wildflowers.

Couple sitting on a boulder instead of in the wildflowers.

Spring engagement session in the wildflower fieldsEngaged couple in Lake Elsinore during the super bloom


Butterfly on chia flowers

  1. Abbi Hearne says:

    This is sooo beautiful! And thank you for commenting about LNT!!

  2. Nora Logue says:

    Amazing!! And so happy to read some Leave No Trace information in regards to this place. Also, way to tackle some harsh sun. Beautifully done!

  3. Wow I can’t even get over this session! Gorgeous!

  4. Courtney says:

    These flowers are so incredibly beautiful!!!

  5. Jackleen says:

    Lovely! And I’m so glad you mentioned LNT in detail in this post.

  6. Heather says:

    These photos are incredible! I’m so sad I didn’t get to see the superbloom this year. Way to capture it!

  7. Agnes says:

    Ahhh this makes me so sad, that people were just off the trails and not respecting the place. You definitely made it look like there was no on else with you guys. Well done!

  8. That poppy field is beyond gorgeous, I’m obsessed! Great job!!

  9. I have never seen sth like this in my life. What a place, what a location! Of course without your photographer’s touch all wouldn’t turn out so fabulous!

  10. Jenn says:

    I’m glad to see you mentioning LNT in this session, and you took some gorgeous photos in harsh lighting! Having seen the state of the superbloom take it’s toll on California plant life this year, any acknowledgement about how bad it is going off trail or using social trails is good!

  11. Samantha Genido says:

    SO PRETTY! I know it’s not easy shooting in that kind of lighting but you did a great job!

  12. Jerrick O'Connor says:

    Love this! So pretty!!!

  13. Marijo says:

    Beautiful! Great job Clarissa 🙂 I love the movement in the photos!

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