Adam and Lisa’s engagement session was one we couldn’t wait to share. But, this wasn’t a typical Olympic National Park engagement session… we helped Adam plan his surprise proposal to Lisa at Maiden Peak!
The great thing about the PNW is that you have endless options of incredible state and national parks to visit year-round for vast beauty and adventure. However, the difficulty is that it’s almost a catch 22. There’s almost too many options and not enough time! As lovers of the PNW, we have been dreaming about shooting a session at Olympic National Park for some time now, so we’ve done tons of research on the park and feel pretty familiar with the trails there, this summer we finally got to explore the park for a surprise proposal, which was a dream come true!
Keep reading to hear all about it and view the stunning images & footage we captured along the way.
Adam reached out to us completely ready and willing to trust our vision, something we value immensely with our couples. He and Lisa are currently living in LA and have been together for 7 years, but planned on celebrating their anniversary in Washington! He wanted both photo and video coverage of the surprise proposal – which we couldn’t agree more with him for! Having video of such an important moment allows us to capture the memory in motion – we typically add in audio, and you even have the option to add on drone footage to capture the beauty of the landscape, as well as behind-the-scenes footage like moments of the drive or the hike itself to not only capture the perfect moments you want to remember but also the real and raw moments too!
For the photo side of things, we create a GIF as a unique element we love to include in our sessions and encourage you to send it to your friends and family right away to announce the news, or even share it on social media to announce your engagement to the world (see Adam and Lisa’s here!) We always snap a few polaroids that you get to take home afterward with you, and even offer 35mm film with all of our sessions. You’ll receive sneak peeks within a week, and then your full gallery will be sent within a month via a personalized site where you can download all of your photos as well as share them with your friends and family!
We were so excited about Adam’s idea to propose to Lisa in the mountains of Washington, so once we hopped on a call with him to brainstorm locations, timeline, and package options, we got him on the books and started planning! Although Adam himself isn’t the most adventurous, his fiancé Lisa couldn’t be more of an outdoorsy kind of gal. With that in mind, Adam wanted to make this day as close to perfect as possible for Lisa, so we set off on our journey to plan an engagement session that she would absolutely love.
Here at Avodah Co., there are few things we love more than adventuring with our couples through beautiful landscapes for their moment & seasons of celebration. After Adam suggested that he propose at Olympic National Park, we chose Maiden Peak as the exact location for a few great reasons.
First of all, certain locations in ONP can get pretty crowded in the summer, (such as Hurricane Ridge!), and Maiden Peak is much less traveled than other trails, especially in the summer, which are peak seasons for national parks in the PNW! Seclusion and privacy, while still having incredible views, is the ideal combination for a surprise proposal! Maiden Peak is a 7 mile out-and-back trail with a 1700-foot elevation gain, which for some, might be quite challenging, but Adam was up for the hike, knowing that Lisa would love it, and we know how to pack our camera bags for a long adventure outdoors so it wasn’t a problem for us at all!
If you’re not an avid hiker but are planning your own proposal at Olympic, a few other trails we love are Hole-In-the-wall from Rialto Beach for coastal vibes, and Spruce Nature Trail + Hall of Moses Loop for those classic PNW forest feels! Mount Storm King is also another epic trail we recommend for mountain views and scenery of Lake Crescent, but it is certainly not for the faint of heart!
After spending so much time planning and getting so excited about the proposal, the day finally arrived. Adam had planned a day trip to the National Park for Lisa, so naturally she thought they were just having an outdoor date day. We flew under cover for the hike up to the summit, getting there before Adam and Lisa and posing as nature photographers. The entire hike up there reminded us why we love the PNW so much – the birdsong, wildlife, and scenery made us so grateful that we get to capture beautiful moments in the great outdoors.
We planned the proposal and corresponding engagement session for around 5 p.m. so we would have plenty of time to get off the mountain before sunset, which was important for Adam + Lisa to have time to celebrate after their proposal back at their AirBnB! When Adam and Lisa arrived, it was go time! She of course said “Yes!” and we spent the rest of our time together taking photos, video, and talking about all of our common interests & hobbies. Spoiler alert: we’re always down to chat about travel, hiking, and our Corgi kid, Cleo! Adam and Lisa have 4 pups and a Corgi themselves and bring them along for all of their local adventures together.
Mosquitoes in the PNW at high altitude are pretty insane during the summer, so make sure to be prepared for that! Be sure to pack bug spray, and enough sunscreen for your hike as well, since you’ll be hiking closer to the sun as you gain altitude. If opting for a golden hour or blue hour session, bringing a headlamp or hanging lamps for light and a cute photo op are great options!
Layers are always a must with the changing weather of the PNW as you hike. Thick socks and tight boots are best for a hike like this to avoid blisters! And of course, bring a day pack, water, and summit snacks to keep you hydrated and not hangry (we’ve all been there!) We recommend downloading your route via Google Maps and your hike via All Trails because you will likely lose service once you’re in the mountains. If you’re planning to camp overnight, make sure to reserve your campsite ahead of time if you can or show up early to set up camp before your hike, or at least before sunset.
You can also rent equipment from REI if you’re traveling in and not wanting to fly with your gear. Don’t forget your America the Beautiful National Parks Pass to get into Olympic NP, and your NP Passport if you have one! And lastly, we always recommend checking NPS.gov for road/park closures and important updates as well to have a backup plan!
We’ll work hard to curate an Adventure Session experience that encapsulates your love for each other and your love for the PNW! Each session is so unique in itself, completely based on your individuality as a couple. The planning process for an engagement session or surprise proposal goes something like this:
We typically will hop on a connection call after inquiry and brainstorm ideas, locations, timeline, package, etc. Then, once you officially say “Heck yes!” we will deep dive a little bit more into permits if necessary, sunrise and sunset times in the mountains via Google Earth, create a game plan/timeline for the trail (making sure we have a general understanding of our mph while hiking), pinpoint a proposal location/where we will be hidden, etc., and make sure we understand your specific priorities for your session!
When you’re ready to have us tag along on your next adventure, you can reach out to us here and we’ll hop on a call together to plan your dream adventure session!