Sunita & Brian’s Big Sur engagement photos

It’s hard to go wrong on a photo shoot in Big Sur. Still, it always helps to have great light, no matter where you go.

So it was with some trepidation that Sunita, Brian, Conner and I drove down a very foggy Highway 1 on our way to make their Big Sur engagement photos.

Sunita and Brian love Big Sur, as I do, and had at least one spot in mind for their engagement session. I had put a lot of pressure on myself to make this one great, since Sunita and Brian are friends with Leslie and Ryan, and all our mutual friends had been raving about their Big Sur engagement pictures, which I shot a couple months ago. Photographers are always judged by their past work, but when the past work involves close friends, well, let’s just say I didn’t want to disappoint.

Sunita and Brian had decided on using their engagement photos to make a guest book, which the folks at their wedding will write in on the blank areas around the pictures. Since we were shooting for a book, I knew we needed a number of different scenes to make good visual variety, so I made up a list of locations. We found spots at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, where a waterfall drops from a cliff and onto a beach, creating one of the most iconic Big Sur views. And we went right up the road to Partington Cove, the spot they suggested, and got dramatic crashing waves on the rocky shoreline.

Everything was looking great, but the fog and clouds was keeping me from getting the kind of drama I really wanted.

That is, until the sun dropped below the level of the clouds, lighting everything up from below, and giving us an amazing sunset, which we got a view of by making our way around the rocky edge of Partington Cove.

We shot a lot of great photos in the few minutes it took the sun to travel from below the clouds to below the horizon on the Pacific Ocean. On our way back, Brian treated us all to a celebratory pint at my favorite Big Sur bar, The Maiden Publick House.

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday.

I also made an interactive panorama at this cliff side spot, which easily ranks as one of my favorite places in the world to watch the sun set. Click on the “load” icon below:

Click and drag inside the panorama to look around.


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