• Sydney Leigh

Engagement Session in the Badlands

Updated: Jun 16

Living in the midwest, we are surrounded by corn, bean, and alfalfa fields that are lime green and not always everyone's style. Trust me, I get it! It is hard to incorporate locations that don't work well with your style. One place that I have grown to love more and more throughout my years as a photographer is the Badlands. The Badlands is a location that works so well for an engagement session, couple's session, or even an elopement! If you are wanting to book and elopement here, check out the website for details on what permits you will need! Why do I like the Badlands? It offers such a unique atmosphere, is such a different style for photos, and has amazing colors and tones that complement you!


Like always, the best time to do a session in the Badlands is around sunrise or sunset so the sun is accenting the photos the right way! This will give the colors of the Badlands a little more warmth and creaminess! You can definitely do photos at other times of the day here, but the light is a little more harsh and it doesn't truly capture the amazing colors of the Badlands! When choosing colors to wear in the Badlands, choose colors that will stand out! Hope chose to wear a black dress in the photos above while putting Noah in a white shirt. These colors pop and accent the location extremely well! She added an oatmeal hat and he wore khaki pants which complimented the location well and pulled the colors all together! In the photos below, Noah and Ajla (I know, both Noahs.. coincidence!) took photos around 11am in the Badlands. As you can see a little more of a harsh light and not as creamy, but still gorgeous! She chose a pop of color to show the spring season while putting him in all neutrals to not make it extremely colorful! I love both options and looks here! You truly cannot go wrong with either!


Hope and Noah (the first couple) did their session in the fall at sunset. Ajla and Noah (the second couple) did their session mid-day in the spring. Both sessions are clearly beautiful and have their own uniqueness! There are so many different locations in the park that not two places look the same! It has so much to offer. If you are looking to get away from all the tourists, go on a weekday. If you can only go on a weekend, do early morning (sunrise) or later evening (sunset). There will be less tourists. If you go on a weekend, drive further into the park. The further you get into the park, the less tourists there will be! The first few pull offs from the entrance are for sure the most busy! Adventure around! There are miles and miles of beautiful locations. Always beware of where you are at the park! There are signs to watch for snakes and other creatures!


The best things about having your session at the Badlands is getting to explore an epic location while having it documented. It is crazy to think that this beautiful park is in the midwest, surrounded by plains, corn fields, and cows. ;) If you are wanting the desert feel but not wanting to travel to Arizona or New Mexico, The Badlands is a great location for that vibe! Make a weekend out of your session and explore the Badlands. Then head over to Custer or Spearfish Canyon and go hiking together! Message me and we could even make two sessions out of it in two epic locations! :)


xoxo, Sydney

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Mountain Elopement Photographer

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Destination wedding and

elopement photographer
based out of Minnesota but

always ready to travel. 

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