As a mountain and cold weather lover, I never dreamed I could fall in love with the desert as much as I have. On my first visit to southern California a few years ago, I was completely entranced by the rugged beauty of Joshua Tree National Park, the neutral-colored landscape, the golden sunlight, and that refreshing desert air. And ever since shooting some amazing photo sessions in the park, I have also been dreaming of shooting a engagement or couples session at the unique Palm Springs windmills.

On my most recent visit to Joshua Tree last month, Megan + Allen drove up from Los Angeles and we met up in Palm Springs to make this dream come true. We spent an evening playing in the sand, eating our hair from the wind, and waving hello to the moon. Megan + Allen are both dancers and photographers, so needless to say photographing them was a total dream. They have been together for 6 years, and it was so beautiful to witness how relaxed and at home they are with each other. I completely embraced the wind, the blur, and the grain in this session, because I really wanted these photos to reflect the carefree, effortless, fun, crazy love these two have for each other.

This was one of the last sessions I photographed before the U.S. had to go into quarantine due to COVID-19, and let me just say, putting together this blog post is making me miss my job SO MUCH. I miss working with couples and documenting moments. I miss exploring beautiful places. I’m ready for the world to go back to normal. I’m ready for the heartache and tragedy to be behind us.

One day at a time, friends. We’re in this together! Hope these photos bring a smile to your face.

Payton Marie Photography is run by Payton Wilson, a traveling wedding + elopement photographer based in Oklahoma City. She specializes in working with intentional, adventurous couples who are focused on making their wedding day exactly what they want it to be, regardless of tradition. Every story is unique, every love has its own flair. So whether at home or on a mountain, she focuses on creating photos that are celebratory, emotional, and unforgettable. 

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