Going into this entire experience for Krystina & Jason’s Canyonlands engagement session, I didn’t fully know what to expect! I knew these two worked for the National Park Service and were really big hikers, so I trusted them to guide the way on the experience they wanted! They truly are the kindest souls and most welcoming couple ever. Anyone who knows them knows how down-to-earth, real, and just incredible they are. I felt like we were friends from the moment I got to their house, and they had guac and margaritas ready to go within a few minutes of me arriving! 🙂 My kind of people!
I stayed at their home in Canyonlands National Park where Jason is currently working, and got to know them on such a personal level! Tina is working a few hours away at Arches National Park, so they’re living apart right now! Getting them back together with the pup for a few days was really special! I got to play with their adorable furbaby, Moqui, eat incredible vegan food that they prepared for us, and explore the gorgeous landscape all around us!
From homemade pasta nights to hiking 10+ miles for around 7 hours to waking up at sunrise for more photos, I truly had SUCH an unreal and amazing time out in Utah for their Canyonlands engagement session! It’s one of those places I know I’ll have to go back to – I saw just a piece and already fell in love!
Jason and Tina are so understanding and prepared, so I felt totally safe saying ‘yaaas’ to a long hike with them! I wasn’t sure what my body could handle, but knowing that they thought of everything and more to bring so I could just explore and take photos was so helpful! What I love most about these photos is just how real it all feels because it was exactly that – photographing a couple in love on a hike in a location that means so much to them!
One of the sweetest parts of the entire trip was getting to witness their candid, natural reactions to seeing their sneak peeks for the first time! Typically, I edit some images from my sessions and send them to my couples as sneak peeks, but the most I ever get in response is a super excited text! That’s always the best, but getting to sit in their living room as I flipped through their images connected to their TV was next freaking level. Not only were they in awe of how amazing they looked together, but they threw sweet compliments back and forth to one another like “babe, your smile looks amazing there!” or “you look so pretty!” They also both have an artistic eye, which made it really fun to hear what visual elements like color, tones, lighting, and composition they were attracted to!
Their Love Story
Tina & Jason met over 13 years ago through a mutual friend and for years had a platonic friendship. Jason is from California and he would visit her family on LBI in the summers, so their friendship was built on surfing, margaritas, and sunsets. They ended up living in Philadelphia at the same time and they started spending way more time together! They realized something more than friendship was developing. They’ve been together for over 7 years now and have lived all over the country while working as interpretive park rangers for the National Park Service. They typically move every six months to a new national park, it’s been quite the adventure! Hearing so many wild stories from them made me feel like they’ve lived SO many more lifetimes than most people will ever get to experience in life!
Tina told me all about how Jason proposed! She said “Jason proposed March 2019 on a hike in a poppy preserve right around the start of the super-bloom. He gave me a ring that he got from my family that was my great great grandmothers. My parents had flown out to visit us in CA where we were working for Channel Islands NP and they brought the ring with them. He had the ring in his possession for less than 24 hours before he couldn’t wait anymore and had to propose. He asked if my parents would take our picture and he suggested we walk back up the trail some so the poppies could be seen in the photo. As we walked he brought up that the following week was our 5 year anniversary and asked if we should get each other presents. I said that would be fun! Then he said he actually already got me mine and asked if I wanted it now. Jason always gets so excited about the presents he finds me and wants to give them to me early haha. So I didn’t find this out of character at all. And then he handed me a small box that completely caught me off guard. I just stared at it and then at him, haha and he was like, open it! And I did and was completely speechless. That’s when he got down on one knee and asked if I would marry and I said “Well, of course!!” Honestly, after 5 years of being together and knowing that we were going to get married one day, you think I would have seen it coming, but wow was I blindsided haha.”
These two always stay busy depending on where they are living! She said, “Though no matter where we are, we have a tradition that’s been going on for 4 years that every Sunday is pasta night and we make fresh homemade pasta and sauces and open a bottle of wine. If we’re in a city, date night is hopping from bar to restaurant to brewery, any unique places and get one drink and one dish at each so we can get a sample of the new city we are visiting and try to end the night with a concert at a smaller venue. If it’s in nature it’s a camping trip and we like to either make pizza over a fire, tacos, or chili, and almost always have margaritas. If it’s on LBI and we’re not just at the house on the bay, we love going to the Arlington or Black Eyed Susans.” Like I said, they’re always up to something! 🙂
Tina & Jason
If you can’t tell by now, I truly feel like I’m your biggest fan! Thank you for welcoming me into your home, making me feel like a friend who’s known you two forever, and for taking me on such epic adventures! Your Canyonlands engagement session was an absolute dream. I can’t wait for your LBI beach wedding day and to have all of your family and friends from all the different places come together for your love! See you cuties in September, love ya bunches!! xo
Adore this Canyonlands Engagement Session? Come check out the first half of this trip where I photographed another one of my couples in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico!
Chesler Park Canyonlands Engagement Session, Utah | Krystina & Jason