engagement sessions

The Most Breathtaking Desert Inspired Engagement Photos in Michigan

This session is also published by the award winning wedding blog The Wedding Chicks and an image from this session was also awarded The Top 100 Best Destination Photographs of the Year by Junebug Weddings.

In the brutal wind, sand swirls up and off every dune crest as it is slowly recreating its own landscape. Its shape is in constant change, but moving forward, it is only becoming more beautiful. Like Gentry and Sierra's relationship; in this moment in time, they may feel as if they know each other fully and love as much as possible. However, as the days go on, and life's constant wind of change continues to take hold in their lives and bring them closer together, their love will only grow deeper, never to fully settle. There is always a deeper picture in creation. A way to remind us of relationship, and ultimately perfect restoration and harmony.


When we started planning the stylization of their engagement session, Sierra told me that she  loves the desert aesthetic because of the band, The Killers. When She and Gentry were first starting to get to know each other, Gentry made her a mixtape of their songs and sang them to her. She shared that certain songs quickly take her back to different times in their relationship. Because of this, I knew we had to incoropate this idea into their photographs. 

However, living in the Midwest, we're far from any real desert. That why we chose the Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Michigan. With the harsh lake winds blowing across the vast and rolling dunes, and the horizon line being unobstructed for the sunset, the elements are perfect for creating depth and the perfect illustion.

Before their session, Joshua and I met Gentry and Sierra at MadCap Coffee in downtown Grand Rapids, and spent nearly two hours getting to know them, laughing at Gentry's hilarious jokes, and learning more about what's important to them. When we finally arrived at the dunes, it had become colder and windier. The gusts blew sand in our eyes and ears, and Sierra endured the biting and frigid breeze against her bare skin; but despite that, she and Gentry never complained. They were lost in the moment of experiencing this majestic place for the first time. They were with one another, embracing, laughing, dancing and creating memories for the rest of their lives. 

In all honesty, we couldn't have created any of the images below without this incredible couple's willingness to put their full trust in us. We honor that and are beyond humbled to document this irreplaceable time in their lives. That may sound like something a photographer is suppose to say, but we genuinely mean it. Joshua and I often have conversations about how blown away we are that we get to work with people like Sierra and Gentry. It will always be a gift, and we want to steward it well. 


Eastlyn Bright & Joshua Lee are adventure wedding, engagement & elopement photographers based in Ohio Midwest, but travel often to places like Michigan, Colorado, Arizona, California and the National Parks for sessions and weddings. 

Desert Inspired Adventure Wedding Engagement Session at Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Michigan. Michigan Wedding Engagement Photographers.