Steamy Session Guide: How to Get Steamy

I just love ~steamy~ photos of couples. They are so full of personality and intimacy. I mean, how much fun is it to have photos of you and your lover getting up close and personal in the most sacred way? Steamy sessions can be intimidating and uncomfortable if you end up in the wrong environment or with an inexperienced photographer. So I’m here to tell you everything you need to know about having a one-of-a-kind session that you’ll look back on for years to come.

So, why should you get steamy?

The beauty of intimate photos is that you don’t have to share them with anyone else. You’ll likely share your engagement and wedding photos with family, friends, and social media, but having a steamy session gives you an outlet to fully express yourself as a couple without the pressure of external eyes. Unless you want them, of course!

How is it going to work?

Before your session, we’ll meet to go over every single logistic to make you and your partner feel as comfortable as possible. We will set boundaries and exchange inspiration to ensure we are aligned. My goal is to capture vulnerability and intimacy to give you the most special set of photos. 

How to Incorporate Steamy Sessions Into Your Elopement Day

There are plenty of ways to incorporate a steamy photo session into your wedding. We can:

  • Wake up early and have an intimate session at dawn before you start getting ready
  • Plan our session for the night before your wedding day. If you’re having a more traditional wedding, we can sneak off after your rehearsal dinner to a glamorous hotel room. If you’re eloping, we can work together to find a perfect location to create magic before you say “I do.”
  • Finish the night off with a steamy hot tub session before I depart

Let’s Talk Location

It’s important to know what to look for in a location for your steamy session. Let’s find a place that embraces the two of you as a couple. A place that shares your personalities! And more importantly, a completely private place.

There are plenty of options and we can work together to find what works best for you. You could be tangled up in the sheets in a cozy cabin. Or, get hot and bothered in a natural hot spring. 

Hot Springs

Water accents create movement and mystery. And choosing a hot spring adds a natural element to your steamy session!

The Olympic Hot Springs are located deep within Olympic National Park in Washington and can only be accessed on foot. 2.4 miles in, you’ll find a small natural hot spring surrounded by a lush rainforest that can only be found on the Olympic Peninsula. Now, there are several different scenarios in which these hot springs would make for incredible ~steamy~ photos. We can choose a winter day with guaranteed snow for a winter wonderland kind of vibe, a green summer’s day during dawn golden hour to beat the crowds, or catch a little fall foliage in October. This would be the perfect opportunity for us to have an Olympic engagement session and then transition into steamy photos in the hot spring. And don’t worry, I’ll handle the permits!

Down to hike a little more for the magic? Consider Conundrum Hot Springs in White River National Forest, Colorado. Located 5 hours from Denver, it takes a hefty 9 miles plus 2800 feet of elevation gain to access. But hear me out. There are plenty of backcountry campsites surrounding the hot springs. We’ll reserve a permit in advance, have a camp-themed session, and then wake up before dawn to capture you and your partner in the hot spring at golden hour. Just imagine! It will be raw, packed with personality, and surrounded by magnificent Colorado 14-ers. 

Cozy Cabin

Choosing a secluded cabin in the woods guarantees complete privacy and the option to take photos in multiple locations throughout the property. 

Check out this hut on the Northern Coast of California. At just $234 a night, it’s surrounded by Redwoods and has one perfectly lit, minimally decorated bedroom that must have been designed with steamy photos in mind. Not to mention a gorgeous outdoor bathtub!

If you prefer the east coast, just LOOK at this gorgeous, modern-yet-rustic cabin just outside Great Smokey Mountains National Park in eastern Tennessee. Personally, I see so much potential in the emerald green couch, the cozy lofted bedroom, the moody shower, and the rooftop deck. Guaranteed fun for under $200 per night.


My creative brain runs wild when I think of what’s possible in the desert. Specifically, Joshua Tree, California, where you can book one-of-a-kind Airbnbs on multiple acres of desert. We can use the entire property at all times of the day to capture something truly unique. The best part? Everything is on-site. Want to change your outfit? Just pop inside. Freshen up your look? Easy! Here are a few options that offer expansive desert views. 

San Angelo House + Hot Tub – $217 per night

Zebra Shadow – $492 per night

Magical Airstream Adventure – $265 per night 

The Shack Attack in Joshua Tree – $248 per night

If you’re looking for an inexpensive option, there is a ton of BLM land surrounding Joshua Tree where we can set up camp. Here’s a helpful article from The Outbound that outlines how to camp outside Joshua Tree for free. Which leads me to our next option…

Van Life!

Imagine the back hatch of a converted van opening up to reveal a cozy bed. We are parked in your favorite National Park, National Forest, your favorite beach, your favorite lake. We stage our steamy photos at dawn with coffee, or dusk with wine. 

Sound like magic? Then let’s take sexy van life photos!

Don’t have a van? Check out Outdoorsy, an Airbnb-style site that allows you to rent private camper vans and RVs in most major US cities. This luxury van in Seattle is perfectly equipped for a steamy PNW adventure. 

In Your Own Home

No place captures you and your partners’ personalities as much as your own home. We will find the best lighting, the best time of day, and the best nook in your home to have your shoot.

Favorite WA Steamy Session Locations


Öxull Hús, Mineral, WA – $159/night

Kayaker’s Tiny House, Mason County, WA $183/night

Getaway Mount Adams, Glenwood, WA $150/night

Lake Chelan – DD’s “over the water” Cabana, Chelan, WA $350/night

Midcentury Modern Treehouse Cabin + Hot Tub, Ronald, WA $354/night

The Klickitat Treehouse, White Salmon, WA $400/night

Secluded Beaches and Bodies of Water

Third Beach, La Push, WA

Shi Shi Beach, Callum Bay, WA

Mirror Lake, Snoqualmie Pass, WA

Baker Lake, Mt. Baker, WA

Olympic Hot Springs, Olympic National Park, WA

Goldmeyer Hot Springs, Snoqualmie Pass, WA

Forests and Other Unique Locations

Dispersed camping off any Forest Service Road on Mt. Baker Highway for true solitude

Queets Rainforest, Olympic National Park, WA

Big Four Ice Caves, Granite Falls, WA

You don’t need to be getting married to have a steamy session…

Do it just because! Who needs any other reason to celebrate you two and your bodies? Celebrate any milestone you want. It could be getting down and dirty in your new house, a pregnancy, or vow renewal. Consider gifting a steamy session to your partner for an ultra-unique vacation or adventure. Contact me and together we can create something magical. 

Let's get this elopement (engagement/wedding/etc) party started! I'm your go-to gal for creating an unforgetable experience! Reach out with the contact form to get started.


  1. Kristen says:

    A van-life session/elopement sounds amazing! I wouldn’t even know where to begin on doing one, but that’s what’s great about hiring a vendor who knows their stuff!

  2. Sienna says:

    Ooh, i am absolutely adoring all of the options for Having a steamy session! Yes please!

  3. Ashley says:

    I love all of these amazing ideas for steamy sessions!! I’m digging the cozy cabin and van life vibes!

  4. Brandi says:

    Not some that is trad Thought of, but i love it! So many OPTIONS i love it!

  5. Kat says:

    I haven’t seen a post quite like this, so it’s definitely helpful for such a niche subject! A great list here of unique locations for all those who steam 😉

  6. Kate Hampson says:

    What an unusual and brilliant idea!!!! this sounds amazing, and now i want to visit this cabin in california!

  7. Marla says:

    Okay, love all of these ideas! I’m obsessed with steamy sessions and you have so many good ideas here.

  8. Steamy sessions are so much fun to let loose and really be in the moment with your partner! Love the ideas and examples.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


hey, i'm molly!

This ain’t an all-day photoshoot, I’m not here to get you to grin at a camera all day long, that would suck. I’m here to capture all the natural and organic moments of a beautiful day filled with things you two love to do the most together. Whether that’s hiking, backpacking, camping, rock climbing, sailing, biking, exploring cities, or sipping on microbrews; whatever your heart desires. 

Top resources

Look around and stay a while!


That's enough talking, let do this!