Valley of Fire Adventure Session | Kara Chappell Photography | SEATTLE Family Photographer

Words like “epic” and “other-worldly” were created for places like the Valley of Fire.

An hour from the Las Vegas strip, this natural wonder was the perfect setting for a truly adventurous family session. From the Mars-like landscape to the dueling lizards (like Mortal Kombat street-fighting lizards) I knew I wasn’t in Kansas (or Washington) anymore when I stepped into this gorgeous park.

In lieu of a fancy and expensive workshop with an epic setting, my bestie (and the most AH-mazing wedding photographer) Jennifer Hodges and I decided to take a work-hard, play-hard gals’ trip and get some friend/work time in during a trip to Vegas this spring.

My schedule stays pretty booked throughout the year, but I wanted to make time for a creative styled shoot that was just for me. I put a call out for a fun family in the area and found the perfect (and most beautiful!) bunch of humans in Amber and her fam. Stationed at a nearby Air Force base, it was an awesome bonus that they were also a military family.

Amber and I worked on outfits while Jenny and I worked on permits and toured the site, which truly took our breath away. There are no bad views in the Valley of Fire. It’s insanely gorgeous. And I now have a new appreciation for Washington State Parks, which are WAY more chill permit-wise than Nevada State Parks. But the applications, mandatory visit, and interview(!) were SO worth it to get the opportunity to work in this gorgeous setting.

A huge shout-out to my model fam and my bestie for making this happen. This session definitely lit a fire in me (pun intended, Carrie Bradshaw). Investing in yourself and your growth is always money well-spent.