We drove down to Bend, Oregon for this Sparks Lake Adventure Session. The sky turned to cotton candy and the lake reflected the snow-capped mountains. It was perfect. Read on to see the pics!
Sparks Lake Adventure Session // Bend, Oregon
We had never been to Sparks Lake before, and neither had Jamie and Lucas. But judging from the little bit of research we did online before heading down, it seemed pretty fail-proof. I mean, it’s a pristine lake surrounded by white-capped mountain peaks on all sides. Plus, there’s a city nearby with more craft beer than you could drink in a lifetime (Bend, Oregon if you’re not familiar). Done.
So we set off on a Friday afternoon to meet them down there for sunset. After running into multiple car wrecks (one car was literally on fire on the side of the road) and some insane traffic, we were racing the sun. Good thing these PNW summer days are loooong. We ended up getting to Sparks Lake around 9:30, just after the sun dipped behind the mountains. And really, the show was just beginning.
As soon as we parked, we hustled out around Sparks Lake to find an open spot to shoot before we lost our light. The sky was beginning to light up with cotton candy colors of pink and aqua blue. Constantly glancing out at Sparks Lake to check the light, we raced past a group of, oh, I’d say about 100 tripod-hugging photographers eager to capture the sunset. Look, we can relate to wanting to get that stunner shot. But fighting for space with a hundred other people getting the exact same picture isn’t our idea of fun.
Although we usually scout for the best shooting locations before our adventure shoots, but this was our first time seeing Sparks Lake. And we were super tight on time. Finally, we found a small rocky outcropping that offered some privacy and stunning views of Sparks Lake. Fortunately, Jamie and Lucas were down to scramble over some questionable terrain to get in the frame we wanted to capture. Hey, this is an adventure shoot, after all 😉
Seriously, Sparks Lake is gorgeous.
The sunset at Sparks Lake did not disappoint. We got lucky with a few wisps of clouds lingering in the sky, which turned a cotton candy pink as we got deeper and deeper into blue hour (the hour after the sun actually sets). I’m pretty sure the two mountain peaks we could see poking up behind Sparks Lake are Broken Top and the South Sister. With the lake reflecting the mountains and clouds, we couldn’t stop snapping pictures. I can see why so many photographers come to capture this landscape.
Jamie and Lucas killed it. And we mean that in the best way possible. They even posed for their album cover. Not sure what their band is or what kind of music they play, but they got the look down and that’s what really matters. We always try to capture a mix of intimate, scenic, and fun/playful shots in our sessions. These two, combined with the insane backdrop of Sparks Lake, made that super easy.
Check out another mountain lake we love: Tipsoo Lake Mt Rainier Adventure Session
FYI, If you ever go to Sparks Lake, also go to Bend and drink the beer.
After the shoot, we drove back into Bend to get some tasty craft beers with Jamie and Lucas. Our recommendation is the 10 barrel Joe IPA 😉 There was free camping all around Sparks Lake, so next time we come down I think we’ll grab the beers in Bend beforehand and bring them to the lake. That might be the only way to make this Sparks Lake sunset any better than it already was. Cheers!
The Foxes are Brandon and Gabi Fox, an adventurous husband and wife elopement and wedding photography team living full-time in their DIY renovated 1972 Airstream. They are loosely based in the Pacific Northwest, but travel for work and play throughout the western states. Their work is best described as candid photography that captures couples as they are, where they are, blending images of love and natural beauty in the great outdoors.