Californian Desert Engagement Session at Sunrise

Jill and Nick began their 5:30 a.m. session with a hike at the glorious Joshua Tree National Park. The adventurous Colorado couple not only chose this location because of the spirited violet sunrises, but also to commemorate their proposal that took place at the Lost Palms Oasis, a secluded area of the park. Halie West Photography was there to capture the entire morning as Jill and Nick cuddled up on a blanket to watch the sun come up.

How did you meet?

Nick and Jill met at a UC Riverside campus-wide concert, where they tried to outdo one another in how much Spanish they could speak. After a few months of casual get-togethers with friends, homemade breakfasts, and short hikes, they began dating in the Spring of 2016. Since then, Jill has introduced Nick to her love for the outdoors, and limbered him up with yoga. Nick on the other hand, has introduced Jill to bacon, and an enormous amount of science fiction movies and television. When not outside, Nick and Jill like to cook meals, see movies, and wander around town with friends. Together, they love to explore nature via hiking, backpacking, or climbing. Independently, Jill always seeks to improve her yoga practice, and Nick loves to focus on martial arts.

What is your proposal story?

Nick popped the question by surprise to Jill in February of 2019! After Jill had spent the previous month in Costa Rica to become a certified Yoga Instructor, Nick realized that he did not want to wait any longer to propose. As soon as she arrived back in California, they went hiking the following day on one of their favorite hikes, the Lost Palms Oasis, in Joshua Tree National Park. The out and back hike has lovely desert views and ends in a secluded oasis filled with fan palm trees. Once they arrived at the oasis, Nick got down on one knee with his mother’s ring and asked Jill if she would marry him! Her initial surprise of “What?!” confused Nick, as he was so nervous he did not know what was happening – if it was a happy “What?!” or a confused “What?!”– turns out, it was the former, and now they are happily engaged.

Tell us about the ring/band.

Nick’s mother graciously let him give her wedding ring to Jill! The ring is white and yellow gold die stuck with a bright polish finish. All seven diamonds are round brilliant cut and prong set. The center is about 0.71 ct, the two adjacent diamonds are about 0.085 ct, and remaining 4 adjacent are 0.080 ct.

Tell us about your engagement shoot outfits and accessories.

We had a wonderful time shooting with Halie! We met up with her just before sunrise in Joshua Tree National Park. I wore a pink dress with beige booties. Nick wore a white button down with gray pants and a black belt. The first part of the shoot was on a trail. Nick and I cuddled on a blanket while Halie captured the magic of the Joshua trees and the rising sun. She made us feel comfortable and relaxed. After the sun was up, we moved from the trail up to some nearby rock formations. All of us (Halie included!) are rock climbers, so it was easy for us to get to the top of a boulder for a beautiful overlook of the valley. We even took some mock climbing photos! Halie’s photos of us capture our love for each other and the outdoors.

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