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How To Plan Out the Perfect Winter Proposal Photos

How To Plan Out the Perfect Winter Proposal Photos

Planning a winter proposal is a little more complicated because of the unpredictability of weather and the accessibility of the best trails. I try to help my clients as much as possible, keeping track of snowfall and scoping out the best location with easy access and a great backdrop. But all the extra effort is totally worth it for the magic of winter and the snow-capped mountain views.

Setting Up the Winter Location With Mountain Views

Tanner, was planning on proposing to his girlfriend Bryanna and wanted a unique spot as private as possible. They both were coming from Miami, Florida, so snow isn’t something that they are real used to. Tanner had called, and we chatted about what his ideal location to propose would be. The morning of his proposal, I went to the location I envisioned would be perfect for this proposal. We had just received about 6 new inches of snow, so I had to snowshoe to the location. Snowshoeing not only helps me get to the location in fresh snow, but also helps them walk that same path in regular snow boots. That’s why I wanted to make sure I had a good trail for them to walk in. Along the way, I took pictures of how to get to that exact spot.

Helping Couples Find the Spot

I knew that there was not time for him to meet me and have me show him exactly where to go, so this was the best I could do. I walked him through each step in pictures, and he was able to follow the clearly laid out directions perfectly. As I was hiding behind some pine trees, here they come, trekking down the trail I made for them that morning. He had her stop on the exact spot, a snow covered boulder overlooking Lake Dillon and Buffalo Mountain. It couldn’t have been more perfect!

Tanner even made sure to write in his 5 star Google review that, “[Andrea] even went on site early that morning prepping the location and sent a detailed plan of how to get to exact spot. She stayed hidden to capture the moments all the way, with a photoshoot after. Photos came out spectacular, and my fiancé and I could not be happier with the whole experience!!”

Planning Out All the Details

Planning out a shoot to the exact detail, even preparing the path ahead of time is something that I am more than willing to do to make my clients enjoy their time even more! I was so happy to be a part of this proposal! Bryanna’s reaction to Tanner getting down on one knee left her totally speechless.

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The 5 Best Proposal and Engagement Photo Locations around Breckenridge

The 5 Best Proposal and Engagement Photo Locations around Breckenridge

I look around my beautiful home of Breckenridge, Colorado everyday and never get tired of views. There are beautiful places all around us. I get so excited to use all these locations as a backdrop for engagement sessions or suggest them when helping plan your proposal! The couple will always be the focal point but the location provides the perfect environment to capture my couple’s together.

I’m constantly scouting new locations to take my couples to, but these are my top 5 best proposal and engagement photo locations in Breckenridge. All of these locations are in or around a 45 minute drive from Breckenridge, Colorado. If you’re staying in Keystone, Silverthorne, Copper, Blue River, Frisco or Dillon, Colorado, all of these locations would be perfect for your destination proposal or engagement session.

  1. Boreas Pass Road

     

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Boreas Pass Road offers a stunning setting for a Breckenridge engagement photo session.  This is one of the best locations for a Breckenridge engagement photo session because of the variety of breathtaking locations all in one place. Like literally, it will take your breath away at almost 11,500 feet. It is actually the only location on my list that is located in Breckenridge. 

Boreas Pass Road was a railroad track until 1938. It features aspen tunnels that are vividly bright in mid September and rocky passages that will gorgeously frame a couple for their proposal or engagement session. In the winter, the road is closed but it’s a quick (less than 10 minute walk) in to some pretty fantastic spots and an overlook that features all of Breckenridge Ski Resort. You can drive on the road from June-October and even see an old train car at the Continental Divide. 

2. Blue Lakes

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For an adventurous and whimsical Breckenridge engagement session location in the Summer and Fall, I recommend Blue Lakes. Taking your engagement photos at the waterfall and high alpine lake could be just the perfect adventure for you both. I was first drawn to the location because of the tucked away waterfall on the Monte Cristo Creek. You may even see a mountain goat along the trail up to the highest lake! This location is only accessible by car from late June-mid November depending on seasonal snowfall. 

For an adventurous and whimsical Breckenridge engagement session location in the Summer and Fall, I recommend Blue Lakes. Taking your engagement photos at the waterfall and high alpine lake could be just the perfect adventure for you both. I was first drawn to the location because of the tucked away waterfall on the Monte Cristo Creek. You may even see a mountain goat along the trail up to the highest lake! This location is only accessible by car from late June-mid November depending on seasonal snowfall. 

3. Sapphire Point and Windy Point 

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I’m pairing these two together, because they are so close together and both offer great mountain perspectives no matter which one you choose. Or don’t choose! We can do both! Sapphire Point is extremely popular, so when it gets super busy or is already reserved for a wedding, I like to take my clients to Windy Point. Last year, Shane was about to propose to Kaitlyn at Sapphire Point. When I pulled up to Sapphire Point where we originally planned to shoot, Shane texted me and said. “It is so busy, can we go somewhere else?” I had Windy Point in my mind already, so I had them follow me just a short drive around the corner, and they had a perfectly private proposal! That’s not saying I don’t love shooting at Sapphire Point. You just have to be prepared to have people around. These two locations are year-round, and easily accessible even in the snow.

4. Lake Dillon

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Sapphire Point and Lake Dillon Colorado Proposal

 

Lake Dillon is the big reservoir you can see from i70 when driving from Silverthorne to Frisco. There’s so many different spots around the lake that are great photo backdrops. I love shooting around Lake Dillon from July-December when the lake is not frozen and you can have easy access to the shore. 

5. Loveland Pass

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Now the last location is not actually in Breckenridge, but is a scenic drive and my all time favorite for every kind of shoot. Loveland Pass is about 45 minutes from Breckenridge and only 25 minutes from Keystone. The reason I love this area speaks for itself in the Engagement pictures below. It features high vistas, alpine lakes, wild flowers in the summer, and almost year-round snow on the peaks.

 

Annie and Connor Engagement Session Breckenridge, Colorado

Annie and Connor Engagement Session Breckenridge, Colorado

Annie and Connor’s engagement session was one I’ll never forget. These two were just so easy going right from the start. I believe it translates through their engagement pictures just how in love and relaxed they were.

Planning is a big part of the prep leading up to any of my sessions. Annie, Connor, and I had been emailing about locations to shoot at around Breckenridge. Annie was interested in engagement shoot with mountains, lakes or rivers, while Connor said a good overlook or rock outcropping would be good. All the planning paid off!! We had a perfectly overcast day to go play atop Loveland Pass. Then we drove back towards Breckenridge, where they were staying, and stopped along Lake Dillon to get the overlook and rock outcropping location that Connor specifically asked for!

Here’s the sweetest and BEST review from Connor and Annie, they voluntarily wrote on Google, that I could ever ask for:

“We were both blown away by the time and effort Andrea put in for our engagement shoot. She scouted out areas ahead of time based on my fiancee and I’s requests in order to find us locations we would love. She was willing to be adventurous and had knowledge of the local area and weather patterns. She immediately made us feel comfortable in front of the camera and genuinely seemed to care about us as people. She got to know us in the short amount of time we were with her and this added to the overall experience of the shoot. Couldn’t say better things about her. Wonderful! Her eye and talent for photography is evident from the start and the unedited sneak peek she gave us was already amazing. Not only do we have great photos, but also a new friend! If you’re looking for a photographer of any sort in the Breckenridge area, she’s definitely the one to go with!” -Annie & Connor

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Brenna and Andrew’s Fly fishing Engagement Session Part II

Brenna and Andrew’s Fly fishing Engagement Session Part II

Brenna and Andrew's Fly Fishing Engagement Session - Andrea Parnell Photography

Brenna and Andrew are such a fun couple and I love everything about them, especially their shared love for fly fishing. Andrew proposed to Brenna by hiding the ring in her fly box on one of their many days together on the river. Brenna has done some pretty inspiring things with her love of catching trout. She created Rod’s Reels and Heels, a brand I found on Instagram that I thought filled a void of hard-to-find female angling inspired clothes. She makes super cute shirts and I know I have two coming to me in the mail right now.

I couldn’t leave my fly fishing gear behind for this one, or my favorite fly fishing partner. Tyson and I went earlier in the day to squeeze in some fishing and scout locations at Eleven Mile Canyon before Brenna and Andrew made the drive from Colorado Springs for their session.

Ever since Tyson brought me to fish there last summer, it’s been one of my favorite spots. I could already envision a couple standing in front of the twin tunnels on the canyon road for engagement photos (check out how those came to life in Part I of their blog post). When Brenna text me to schedule her session, this was the first river that popped into my mind. I love how all their photos turned out and finally my vision for a fly fishing engagement session came to life!

Brenna and Andrew's Fly Fishing Engagement Session - Andrea Parnell Photography

Brenna and Andrew's Fly Fishing Engagement Session - Andrea Parnell Photography

Brenna and Andrew's Fly Fishing Engagement Session - Andrea Parnell Photography

Brenna and Andrew's Fly Fishing Engagement Session - Andrea Parnell Photography

Brenna and Andrew's Fly Fishing Engagement Session - Andrea Parnell Photography

Brenna and Andrew's Fly Fishing Engagement Session - Andrea Parnell Photography

Brenna and Andrew's Fly Fishing Engagement Session - Andrea Parnell Photography

Brenna and Andrew's Fly Fishing Engagement Session - Andrea Parnell Photography

Brenna and Andrew's Fly Fishing Engagement Session - Andrea Parnell PhotographyCan’t wait to photograph the wedding in September which will have Pike’s Peak as the backdrop!

Brenna and Andrew’s Fly fishing Engagement Session Part I

Brenna and Andrew’s Fly fishing Engagement Session Part I

Wedding season has finally begun and with that engagement portrait sessions! I was so ready for this session with Brenna and Andrew for two reasons. Since I live in Breckenridge, a destination wedding town, I don’t get to shoot as many engagement sessions as I did in Arkansas. Some of my couples already have their engagement session done before the wedding they hire me to shoot. Engagement sessions are one of my favorites though, because I love to get to know the couple through the session and for them to get to know me and my shooting style beforehand.

Most importantly I was so excited for this session since it was with another fly fishing couple. Brenna is blogger and owner of Rods, Reels and Heels and her fiancee Andrew, or “Beard” as I first new him from her blog, share the same love for fly fishing that Tyson and I do. I think all engagement sessions from now on should be with fly fishing couples so we can all wear our waders and get a little fly fishing in during and after the session!

Brenna and I became friends through social media before she contacted me to do her wedding this September. We both agreed from the very first time we talked about the engagement session that fly fishing had to be a part of it since that’s how Andrew proposed. She lives in Colorado Springs so we chose Eleven Mile Canyon as the backdrop for their formal and fly fishing engagement session. You’ll have to come back tomorrow for the fly fishing part of the engagement session, which I promise will be worth it! I feel like I captured the best of what this couple loves to do together the most.

Brenna and Andrew Fly Fishing Engagement Session - Andrea Parnell Photography

Brenna and Andrew Fly Fishing Engagement Session - Andrea Parnell Photography

Brenna and Andrew Fly Fishing Engagement Session - Andrea Parnell Photography

Brenna and Andrew Fly Fishing Engagement Session - Andrea Parnell Photography

Brenna and Andrew Fly Fishing Engagement Session - Andrea Parnell Photography

Brenna and Andrew Fly Fishing Engagement Session - Andrea Parnell Photography

Brenna and Andrew Fly Fishing Engagement Session - Andrea Parnell Photography

Brenna and Andrew Fly Fishing Engagement Session - Andrea Parnell Photography

Brenna and Andrew Fly Fishing Engagement Session - Andrea Parnell Photography

Come back tomorrow to see the creative fly fishing portraits!