Being a wedding photographer really has perks. One of the best ones, is that we sometimes get to hike beautiful bluffs for our jobs. This week we made our way to the iconic Devil’s Doorway located inside of Devil’s Lake State Park!
After getting engaged during their annual trip to Copper Falls, it seemed only fitting that we return to a state park to capture Hayley and Rory’s engagement photos! Though this time, they didn’t travel quite as far North. Instead, they found themselves close to home at a local favorite- Devil’s Lake!
If you’ve never hiked Devil’s Lake before, we highly recommend it. Even though we’ve been there dozen’s of times, I am always blown away by the view. Hayley grew up in Sauk and spent plenty of hours hiking the trails as a teen. She was excited to return to Devil’s Doorway for this special occasion.
To get to Devil’s Doorway, we headed up the Balanced Rock Trail. Even though it’s less than a mile, it is a steep and somewhat strenuous hike. We joked about how this would count as our workout for the whole week. Thankful for the cooler temps, we made our way to the top. In between catching our breath, we got to listen in on a few inside jokes and spend time getting to know one another.
We made a few stops along the way to grab quick photos, but the best part was when we could finally see the doorway! It was so peaceful and quiet, with only a few other people around (which is rare most days). We really lucked out, and we’re grateful for it.
One of the things that was most important to these two about their engagement photos was capturing their “candid love and happiness” while helping them to feel relaxed. While it’s almost impossible to fully relax when you’re on a 500 foot bluff- Hayley and Rory really leaned into the experience.
Since we weren’t able to move as freely as we normally would on low, flat ground, we had to get creative with our approach. Keeping them close (and away from the edge), I encouraged their natural interaction to unfold. As their nerves slowly melted away, the giggles got stronger. That’s when I knew we had gotten exactly what we came for- an engagement session that was uniquely them.
The descent back down wasn’t nearly as hard, but by that time we were all ready for dinner. Luckily Jose’s was just a quick drive down the road with 2-1 margaritas calling our names. I don’t remember the last time we worked so hard for our dinner.
Thank you Hayley and Rory for braving the heights, and spending your Tuesday evening listening to us huff and puff up the bluffs! All jokes aside, it was a beautiful night for a hike to celebrate the start of your exciting adventure. We’ll see you next year at the Tinsmith!
Check out our favorites from their May engagement session below!
Want to see more Devil’s Lake sessions? Check out Kaitlynn and William’s Adventurous Engagement Session!