The Salton Sea Engagement

When I decided to do my engagement shoot at The Salton Sea pretty much everyone, including my own Grandmother thought I was crazy. The response I received was usually along the lines of "oh, hmmm that's interesting.. Have you ever been there?" or my favorite "Eww". To be fair the Salton Sea is certainly not your average location for engagement photos and it does have a distinct smell due to the decomposing fish. Hah, off to a great start right? Since Zack and Janet were on board I decided I couldn't be that crazy and pushed along. The Salton Sea is an incredible paradox and proves that unimaginable beauty can be found in the most unexpected of places, even those that are considered a toxic wasteland. 

My first trip to the Salton Sea was one I will never forget. While searching for the perfect abandon house to take photos in I was shocked to see that people still live there! As we began taking photos one friendly local in particular kept driving around in circles to chat with us. He took a liking to Janet's boyfriend and was determined to get Dave to relocate to his desert oasis. The best part of the whole deal was not the incredibly low price but the fact that this property was somehow connected to HIS! Inexpensive land in California and a built in best friend...Sold! According to him it is a very up and coming neighborhood but the house we were taking photos at was probably too much of a "fixer upper"...I would say so. 

Unlike my fiance, I am not a very photogenic person. I don't particularly like being in front of the camera {I am more of a behind the scenes kind of gal}. This is another reason why I decided early on to travel to a unique location and of course to call on my hair and make-up team to doll me up. Add a glass of wine to the mix and wah-la the nerves were no longer a problem. In all honesty though, at the end of this shoot I walked away feeling incredibly empowered. I know, that sounds silly right? I can't really explain it. I think everything sort of came full circle for me. Not only did I feel beautiful but I saw with a fresh set of eyes just how beautiful my life and the people in it truly are. I simply cannot wait to marry Zack. 

The Salton Sea Engagement Shoot
Unique Engagement Photo Ideas

Embedded within the shoot are items that I hold near and dear to my heart. The "one life" and "one love" signs play off of the saying that both my parents and grandparents have engraved on their wedding bands while the bomber jacket and war metal are a nod to my granddad {who unfortunately is not with us any longer}. I know he would absolutely love Zack and Jagger of course. 

The Dainty Lion
Desert Engagement Photos

I have Erin Fader Jewelry to thank for adorning me with ridiculous amounts of jewels.  She is one of the most creative and inspiring women I have ever known, not to mention the absolute sweetest! Can you believe I met her at the dog park? What are the odds?! As time went on and our dog park visits turned into an everyday occurrence I told Erin my idea of traveling to the Salton Sea for my engagement shoot {her reaction was much nicer than the ones described above} and pairing a simple white dress with a ridiculous amount of jewelry. She loved the idea and offered to provide me with jewelry for the shoot. Needless to say I jumped at the opportunity to wear some of her pieces. By mixing her stunning jewelry with ones handed down from my mother and grandmother {along with others found and borrowed from friends} my idea turned into something more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

The Salton Sea Engagement Photos
The Salton Sea
The Salton Sea Engagement
The Dainty Lion

Can you believe that I bought my first tube of red lipstick just one year ago? Better late than never I guess.

I cannot thank all the wonderful vendors enough for helping my vision come to life! Not many photographers are willing to make the trek out to the middle of the desert but Janet is such a trooper! Not to mention her assistant and wonderful love Dave. Thanks soo much to Ashley for her eternal wisdom about all things make-up and Melissa who did such an amazing job on my hair {as always of course}. Thank you so much Erin for letting me yap your ear off at the dog park about all my ideas and providing me with some of the most gorgeous jewelry I have ever seen!

Photography: Love Janet Photography
Jewelry: Erin Fader Jewelry
Make-up: My Girls on Film Studios
Hair: Style Me Pretty 2013
Styling/Concept/Flowers/Rentals: The Dainty Lion