There are hidden gems throughout Kansas that are so breathtaking for capturing incredible photos. Western Kansas in particular is filled with chalk formations and bluffs that seem to pop up out of nowhere. What’s cool is they are ancient formations that are filled with sea fossil remains from prehistoric times, when Kansas was under water. It’s kind of mind-blowing when you think about it that the heartland was once the middle of the ocean! When Laura and Adam asked if I’d be willing to shoot their engagement photos in Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park, I couldn’t wait. I knew the backdrop would be perfect with these amazing limestone bluffs in the distance.
While I am based in Lawrence, I love exploring places like this in Kansas, and I’m always up for an adventure. I was excited to travel across the state to see a part of the country I’ve always wanted to visit, and all to capture a new chapter in their love story. It turns out the photos would be every bit as epic as their story.
Full disclosure: I’ve been mistaken for a Jersey girl before, but I take a lot of pride in being a Kansan. Finding locations like these badlands just make me even more proud to be a Kansas gal. We have so much richness in this state, so much deep history and fascinating spaces, and this trip reminded me of how much more I need to get out and see our state.
Truth be told, there was not a bad place to shoot in this park. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Adam and Laura are such a gorgeous couple in the first place. But with this setting, every view was stunning. Even the up-close shots have such a visually interesting background, it pulls you in and makes you want to see more.
I loved that Laura and Adam had two outfits for this shoot. Their casual look was great for walking around the badlands to see what shots we could find before shooting something more formal. But once Laura put that dress on… OMG you guys. This session was so gorgeous, especially when the sun started to set beyond those cliffs. Keep scrolling to check out that insane golden hour setting under our legendary Kansas sky!
If you’re considering doing something away from home, let’s talk! There are perfect locations across Kansas for your engagement photos that I’d love to use for your sessions. My advice is to find a place that’s meaningful to you and your partner. If you need ideas, I’m happy to brainstorm with you to determine how things like the lighting and setting will show up on camera. As a photo journalist, I’m trained and educated to know exactly how the camera will respond no matter where we are, so I can give you candid, professional advice to ensure we get photos that exceed your expectations.
In the case of these rock formations, I knew I’d get some light bouncing from the limestone, as well as some shading from the structures themselves. Fortunately, there were so many great spots for this couple to choose from, and that meant we were able to capture stunning images without any real issues.
My friends, we got so many amazing photos from this shoot that I really struggled with culling them down to the handful you see here. That’s also what I love about traveling for shoots—new surroundings are so inspiring to me and they renew my self-concept as an artist and visual storyteller.
I’ve always thought our Kansas sunsets are so insanely beautiful. And then I went to Little Jerusalem with these two. I swear, I am finding myself falling in love with our skies and our state a little more each day.
As the sun lowered below those limestone bluffs during the golden hour, I thought again about how perfectly chosen the Little Jerusalem badlands were for Laura and Adam’s Kansas engagement photos. If you’re interested in taking a session on the road, too, get in touch! I’d love to get creative with you and find the perfect spot for you.
For good measure, I had to include a shot from the couple’s second shoot, which they wanted with their beloved pups. What a perfect sign-off for this couple’s Kansas engagement photos, which is also so perfectly Kansan. I love how personal these photos are to Laura and Adam and I’m so proud I was chosen to capture these moments for them.