Lauren and Fuad flew from San Diego to North Carolina to celebrate their love with an intimate wedding at the Outer Banks. Their back yard wedding was perfect their love story and had so DIY touches to show their love and include family and friends.
Peoria Backyard Wedding - Arizona DIY Backyard Wedding Inspiration - Arizona Intimate Wedding Photographer - Arizona Elopement Photographer
If you follow my blog you know that I am an avid cheer-leader for skipping the big wedding and having an elopement or adventure elopement instead, but when a fellow photog friend asked if I would shoot this beautiful backyard wedding for her I hopped on board! From elopements with just the couple to intimate weddings with 25-65 guests I LOVE helping couples document their day and creating beautiful images for them to look back on, share with their kids and hang on their walls forever. Nikki & Keith had many loving family moments, perfect DIY details and a wedding day that was truly them.
Check out all the DIY details that Nikki sprinkled throughout her ceremony! Everything was so well thought out and really gave the space a romantic feel. As a guest to the family I could definitely feel the love that this family has bonding them together through all the personal touches.
Their ceremony wasn’t just the joining of two people, but truly about blending a family. I love the special moments that they had with their kids and special touches from other people in the family that have helped support them throughout their relationship already. During the ceremony you could just feel all the support they have from everyone there and how much having their guests there to be apart of this day meant to them. I also think it is so kind of a family member to open up their home for you to be able to have your wedding there! You will also have a memory of that and go back to be able to visit the place that you tied the knot.
It is always important to me when working with a client to create images that show emotion and the bond that the two have. It’s also always a priority for me to have creative images for the clients that will be awesome ‘wall pieces’ that are artistic and a celebration from the day. I love that with backyard weddings I still get that freedom to create for my clients just like my adventure elopement clients.
Flagstaff, AZ Adventure Session - Anniversary Session - Arizona Elopement Photographer
Meet Elizabeth and Leon! These two recently celebrated their one year anniversary of marriage by doing an adventure anniversary session in Flagstaff, Arizona with me! They have a love story that would make your heart melt. They met each other at a time in their lives where their love was exactly what each other was looking for and needed and met in the most of fate way possible! They definitely have anniversary to remember, we hiked a few miles through the aspen trees to reach beautiful views of the the San Fransisco peaks, they cuddled up and danced around in the dropping temperatures during our photo shoot. Then we hiked back through the aspens in the dark and ended our session with star photo, lots of my couple’s favorite moments on a shoot. Of course, we fit in an anniversary dinner on your drive back into Phoenix, stopping at an amazing authentic Mexican restaurant in Flagstaff.
Flagstaff, Arizona has so much to offer to any couples for an adventure session. Whether you’re engaged, eloping, having an intimate wedding, celebrating an anniversary or just wanting to set out on a hike Flagstaff is a goldmine. It is one of the few places you can be in Arizona and trade out the desert look for aspens, mountains, fall colors or snowy mountain caps! If you’re in Arizona and thanking of eloping this holiday season it is a perfect place for a magical winter elopement and I would love to help tell your love story!
Joshua Tree is a scared place for many. The vast desert is so beautiful and peaceful, can you think of a better place to elope? Even though the park is popular, you’re bound to find a little nook just to yourselves for those vows. Check out Jax and Octavio’s romantic session and learn more about eloping in Joshua Tree National Park.
North Carolina Cabin Engagement Session
Meet Myriah and Cody, high school sweethearts from Belews Creek, North Carolina! These two are set to marry next November in the cutest white barn in Booneville, NC! When your “little sister” calls you to say she’s engaged you get right to planning with her the perfect engagement session! Myriah wanted to shoot in a location that no one else had shot at before. I had the perfect spot! We grew up camping together on my family farm, Big Rock. So I said let’s go to big rock and shoot your engagement session at the cabin! We set the date for the session in hopes for beautiful fall leaves, but the hurricanes brought other plans to North Carolina. I packed the gear and flew in super excited for the next day of going to a place that held so many memories and getting to photograph my oldest friend with the love of her life. We ventured out through the tall grass keeping an eye out for the bull that was said to be in the pasture. We are lucky the hurricanes didn’t leave too much damage on the farm except for higher, muddy water. It was a beautiful engagement session filled with laughter and excitement, which I am sure we will see a lot more of on their intimate wedding day!
Engaged? I would love to work with you for you engagement session or adventure elopement! Just reach out here!
Traci Edwards Photography
Wild Hearts on Fire
Arizona Based Elopement Photographer - Adventure Engagement Session Photographer
Arizona Based Adventure Elopement Photographer
Wild Hearts On Fire
Recently, I had the chance to do a mentorship with Ruthanne, a fellow elopement photographer, which brought me to the stunning views of Lake Tahoe! We took some time out of our grind on business talk to photograph this beautiful couple, Claire and Wilson! These two souls are madly in love with each other and prepping for their venture into Van Life. I could not get enough of their sweet giggles, admiration and that red hat!! I love their excitement to take photos together. I am always for couple’s pictures especially before any life change; who says you need to be engaged to enjoy each other and have beautiful images to show it!
This duo even opted in pose as a bride and groom. Claire slipped into one of my wedding dresses for rent for a some styled elopement images! Claire is wearing the ‘Death Valley’ dress designed by Monique Lhuillier. These beautiful flowers were provided by Love & Lupines Floral Design who are also based in Lake Tahoe. I’m head over heels for this bridal look with the red hat and feather, the sexy jeweled dress, romantic floral arrangement and let’s not forget all of those pines! If you’re thinking of eloping I can ensure you that it will be an experience you will never forget and stunning images to last a lifetime!
Let’s get your elopement or couple’s session on the calendar!
How to Choose a Photographer - Arizona Based Elopement Photographer - Engaged, Now What?! Part II
Things you should considered when booking your photographer:
Booking your elopement or wedding photographer is one of the most important things for your big day! The photographer is with you the entire day and we are preserving every part of the day for you to look back on later or hang prints on the walls of your home. When selecting your photographer it is important to be mindful of your budget, but there are a lot of other things you should be looking at when making this selection! In this blog post we will explore all of the things that you should be looking for and thinking about when looking for the right photographer! These days your options are endless for photography so it is important to be able to narrow it down from an educated stand point! No matter what, the most important thing is that you communicate and mesh well with your photographer! You want to vibe well with the person that is taking your photos and spending the most intimate day of you and partner’s lives with you.
Hiring a Photographer Checklist:
Is the Photographer insured? You are trusting someone to document one of the most important days of your life. It is important they are insured in case anything was to go wrong with the cards they shot on or for any medical purposes. If you are eloping this is especially important in case there is a rare, terrible accident of a camera tumbling down the mountain!
Does this Photographer have experience? Read the photographers bio on their website. Other ways to check the experience level is read reviews, look through their work and you can also get a feel for their experience level through communicating together. Are they able to help you with your wedding day timeline, do they have advice for locations (trails), time of day, colors to wear for your engagement session or connections with any other vendors you may need? When eloping you need to look for a photographer that has experience in photography, but also time spent on the trail and knowledge of leave no trace behind.
Will this Photographer bring two camera bodies or a second shooter? This may seem silly, but we are working with technology and you never know when something may go wrong or break. It is always best to be prepared! A professional should have two camera bodies, and if they do not then hiring a second shooter is always a good alternative.
Will the Photographer give me a contract to sign? Yes, you want a contract! A contract protects you and the photographer. It also should fully disclose what is provided in your package, time that will be spent with you, payment information and when you can expect to receive your images.
You want to ask yourself if you like this Photographer’s style. Each photographer has a different style in which they shoot and edit. Looking through the photographer’s portfolio can help give you an idea of the colors and over all mood that photographer leans towards. When looking through the photographer’s portfolio it is also key to look for consistency. You want to LOVE your photographer’s style because you want to LOVE your images at the end of the day. Not sure what you’re looking for or have questions??? Always feel free to ask the photographer questions!
Now, let’s talk about your budget! So you have found someone you like and can trust, but are they within your budget? It is important to have a budget and to stick with it, but it is also important to hire a photographer that can provide you in focus high quality images that you will love and be able to cherish forever. The average wedding photographer in the Phoenix area is $3,000 where as the average for a wedding photographer in Seattle is $3,500-$7,000. According to Wedding Wire, the average cost of a wedding photographer in the US is between $1,200-$3,000 and photography should be 12% of your overall wedding budget. I do not like to get all into the numbers, but I think that setting a budget is important to do with the basic understanding of how photographers price their packages. A few things that go into a photographers cost are taxes, insurance, gear, editing software, marketing, time spent in prep with the couple, time spent at the wedding or elopement and time spent editing.
I hope that all of this information was helpful to you! If you have any questions please feel free to drop them in the comments or send me an email! If you are feeling overwhelmed looking for a photographer do not fret! Make a list of the photographers you like and organize them by budget, style, what is included and their experience/reviews. Never feel like you can’t reach out and talk to the photographer, we are all here for you to help make your elopement or wedding day everything you wished it was!
Vendors involved in this shoot:
Coordinators: @morgankbeauty @ashlyarts
Dress & Veil: @gracestyleandbridal
Jewelry: Bear Ridge Trading Post Heber, AZ
Moss chairs: @kyliekirklandphoto
Guide to Engagement Session Locations - Engaged, now what?? - Adventure Photographer based in Arizona
Engagement photo locations in Arizona
Arizona has endless possibilities for places that you could choose to take your engagement photos. If you want to know even more places than what I have listed here then please reach out and let’s chat!
The Salt River near Mesa, Arizona is a fantastic place to take your engagement photos! With options near the water, cactus, on top of rocks, by the lake and the chance to run into wild horses!
Desert Botanical Gardens
The gardens is beautiful, if you want your session full of lush cactus with out the hike this spot is perfect. When I photographed a friend of mine’s couple session there we went with a wild west love story theme and this location is the perfect vibe for anything western or modern!
The downtown area offers lots of different colors and will for sure give you all of the urban feels. We can shoot in a coffee shop, on the side walk, or on top of a building! You can get funky with this option.
Rim country is absolutely beautiful! In this area we can shoot right on the rim and get stunning mountain views, or take a loop around the lakes, shoot in open fields with wild flowers or even around the camping areas. Close to the rim is Payson, Strawberry and the Tonto Natural Bridge. The Bridge is a great spot for that edgier couple.
There are soooo many perfect spots in Sedona for a desert engagement session. You can hike a distance to some great areas or not hike far at all. Red Rock country is full of options and views. Sedona is one of those places you just have to see to believe and be able to grasp the beauty, but there is something there for everyone. On the way up to Sedona or on the way back it may be worth your time to stop at Sunset Point for a few images.
Northern Arizona/Horse Shoe Bend
Heading up North in Arizona is almost like entering another world and there are truly an insane amount of locations to consider. Horse shoe bend is a place a lot of people are familiar with and makes a stunning background for an engagement session. Horse shoe bend is near a lot of other great places like Lake Powell, the slot canyons and many other spots you could have to yourself with a 4x4. It is important to remember that a lot of the land in Arizona is on Indian Reservation land and if you plan to have your engagement session at one of these locations you need to acquire the correct permits. Your photographer should be able to help you through this process. Did you know you could also do your engagement photos in the Grand Canyon?? Well, you can! There are also permits for that which can get pricey, but those views are worth it!
If you are craving the fall leaves that will soon be upon us check into having your engagement session in Flagstaff! You can do a short one mile hike on the Aspen Corner to Alfa Fia Tank trail to beautiful views in a valley opening. You can also choose to stay under the aspens and shoot within the trees, take a trail to the top of a peak for killer views for example by braving Humpfrey’s Peak.
In Your Own Home!
Yes, you read that right! Take your engagement photos in your home for a super cozy or sexy feel. If you love your home it could be a good way to show off your style in your images. If you don’t feel the design of your home is the look you want, but love the idea of an indoor session check out local Airbnb’s! There are some extremely well done airbnbs throughout the valley and I highly suggest looking into it!
I am a huge fan of Watson Lake, to me it is Joshua Tree meets water and in my state! An engagement session at Watson Lake is also a great place for variety. You have the boulders and the water, but also open fields and long drives that make for romantic pictures. Or hop in a canoe with your lover for some fun photos! Watson Lake is right near Prescott which also has a lot of offer from it’s sweet old downtown, to trails and views.
Location is not everything…
No matter what you choose or do at your engagement session have fun and enjoy it! This is an exciting time in your life to show and share your love. It is the start of your commitment to each other and savor the experience. Once you’re engaged and getting ready to start making all of these choices together finding a photographer that you vibe with and can easily communicate with will be a life savor! Once you book your engagement session with your photographer speak with them about what they suggest for location, hair, make & up and clothing! Do not be afraid to ask questions, share what you want and bring options!
Outside of Arizona Engagement Session Adventure Locations…
Looking for something more, a little different, more of an adventure or just in a different state? Here are a few great places to consider:
- Big Sur
- Joshua Tree
- Sand Dunes
- San Fran Bay Area
- Smith Rock, OR
- Washington (literally almost anywhere in Washington lol)
- Hanging Rock, NC
Vendors involved in these session:
Coordinators: @morgankbeauty @ashlyarts
Jewelry: Bear Ridge Trading Post Heber, AZ