Hannah and Wade’s hiking couples session in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Check out this blog post for tips on totally crushing your own couple’s adventure session!
a year in review…
Welp….this is it, the last day of 2018! I always spend the last few days of the year to review the year and make plans for the new year.
I must say HOLY COW what a year!!!
The first part of the year I prepped for opening business and moving to Arizona. I drove across country with my two cats in my car arriving to my new life on Valentine’s day.
I jumped right in full force, my first week here I photographed an intimate wedding in Northern Phoenix and and in home maternity session. As the year went on I worked on building a portfolio of adventure elopement and anniversary sessions to show clients just some of the amazing options for their wedding day. I met A LOT of new people in the industry and outside of the industry, got to know my new city, did some intense continued education within the industry, determined a style and a brand and traveled a lot. In between it all, I even launched a wedding dress rental program for all of my elopement and intimate wedding brides. The year was BUSY and not at all what I thought it would be, but does anything go as we plan???
If you have ever moved out of state you know that the first year is usually….odd. Lol. It is a year of adjustment, change, learning and reworking relationships. It was not a easy year at all for me emotionally and I must say I am very excited for a new year. I think 2018 was my year of change, growth, grounding and wonder. I am hoping 2019 will be my year of growth, blossoming and success. I am so grateful for the clients I had this year, the new friends I have made here in Arizona, to live somewhere with mountains and for supportive family and friends.
I’m also so blessed to have found the path within photography that I am extremely PASSIONATE about!! Graduating college with a BFA in Photography only 4.5 years ago I had no idea what I was going to do to with it. I knew I liked working with people and helping style photo shoots, but that was it. I went to work for an RV company photographing product to then a studio and golf photography job. While I loved my job and doing the work the all-around passion was missing. I truly think I have found my home in photography and couldn’t be more excited to go into the next year with further knowledge I gained this year to help couples pick a location for the elopement, help them plan, give them tips on awesome local vendors, be able to help them with a wedding dress if they’re eloping on a shorter time frame and document the most special day of their lives.
Cheers, ya’ll to 2019!
I consider my first accomplishment of the year to be moving to Phoenix, Arizona. I can tell you first hand it really makes a huge difference to love where you live. Then would come the official launch of my business! I took a leap of faith and went from working at a commercial photography studio that mainly focused on golf to turning my focus to couple’s in the wild and photographing elopements!! I feel so honored to have been featured in my first year of business by Looks Like Film, Wandering Weddings, Tacari Weddings and interviewed by the Phoenix Voyage. I also launched a wedding dress rental program for all of my elopement brides!! I offer designer wedding dresses from size 0-10 that brides can select from without the time lines and stress of shopping at a store, not to mention saving closest space later. Of course, the overall achievement of surviving my first year in business.
Locations of 2018:
In 2018 I visited, scouted and photographed at the following locations: Joshua Tree National Park, Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Anacortes, West Palm Beach, Flagstaff, Sedona, Hanging Rock State Park, South Carolina, Louisville, Southern California Sand Dunes, Arizona Rim Country and Coal Mine Canyon.
Upcoming Travel for 2019:
In 2019 I will be traveling to the following locations for elopements and intimate weddings: Lake Powell, Asheville, North Florida, Sedona and the list is growing. Some places on my travel list for the year not yet scheduled would be Smith Rock, Oregon, Grand Tetons National Park, Yosemite National Park, Colorado, Alaska, Mt. Rainer and of course Iceland (it is always on the list!)
I can’t wait to see where all 2019 takes me!
I am also excited to bring in the new year with a new logo!!
Be on the look out for some big things and new changes on the website. I'm so EXCITED for the new year!
Special thanks to the following folks for helping make 2018 not too shabby for my first year in Arizona: South Mountain Films, AZ Fleuristas, Ruthanne, Lauren Yvonne Design, my PHX ladies hiking group, Ashly, Shane Baker, Everardo, Jen Maclay, I Do Rentals, Platinum Medical Group, the Southwest PGA Section, ALL OF MY AMAZING CLIENTS, all the ladies that modeled my wedding dresses for launch, of course my handsome significant other, Shane Simmons and many more.
Arizona Adventure Elopement Photographer - Salt River Adventure Session
With Thanksgiving upon us I’m going to get a little mushy…
Without a shadow of a doubt I am beyond able to say I LOVE my job. I mean I feel like saying ‘job’ can’t even be right?! I get to spend my day with couples madly in love with each other. I get to photograph them in stunning places. It does not come without the hard work of communicating together to make the perfect plan for the couple’s session or elopement, detailed marketing, branding and the typically life of a business owner. This being said it doesn’t hold a candle to all of the other joys it brings me. I feel like in this day and age we are in now so many people have lost faith that true love exits, but I am here to tell you it does! I see it all the time in front of camera and it is so inspiring. Outside of engagements, anniversary and adventure couple’s sessions I feel extremely blessed that I get to witness the most intimate thing I believe a couple can experience, an elopement.
While I am on my mushy train… I just want to say how lucky I feel to live here in Arizona. Yesterday I was driving to Lost Dutchman for a session and was just in awe of the Arizona views; always stunning, especially at sunrise and sunset. A year ago to the date I came to Arizona with my partner to check it out as a possible place to live. It blows my mind to be able to say now we both live here and get to thrive in our work and life in the desert. It is the most magical place to live as an adventure elopement photographer and I am forever grateful.
Special shout out and more thankfulness to Jeff Watkins who invited me to The Gathering where these photos were taken of the lovely Jonnie + Garrett. I am telling you it has been a crazy busy last two months of location scouting for future elopement couples and continued education within the industry.
Tip to future Arizona intimate wedding brides and grooms: you MUST check out Saguaro Lake Ranch as a venue. It is adventure elopement worthy location, but perfect for the couple that wants their closest friends and family there for the celebration.
Want to document your love?! I strongly believe if you’re engaged, married, dating or anything imaginable it is important to document your love!
Jennifer & Ben’s Flagstaff Engagement Session - Adventure Elopement Photographer - Arizona Based Photographer
An Adventure Fall Engagement Session <3
Jen & Ben met me in Flagstaff for a beautiful fall engagement session! We had the most gorgeous sunset to end our adventurous session. I knew I had met my match couple when Jen said she thought about bringing her cat to the session so they could have a photo with their fur babies! I was also so stoked to find that my partner and I are not the only couple where the lady gives the piggy back rides! This sweet couple, who do a lot of great work in the community of Phoenix, is due to get married in Phoenix next year in February. They had a dreamy scavenger hunt proposal leading them to a special place in Sedona where Ben surprised Jen by asking her to be his wife after many years of being together. I can not wait to see these two tie the knot at their intimate wedding next year!
Adventure Anniversary Session in Payson, Arizona - Arizona based Elopement Photographer
Let me introduce you to Erica and Tom…
This Michigan duo moved to Phoenix a few years ago after seeing how much it had to offer for the outdoor life. They were married ten years ago, but never received the photos they really wanted from their wedding day. They had a camping trip planned the same weekend that I had to be in Heber, Arizona so we decided it was time to get their anniversary session in the books. The Mogollon Rim is beautiful, but I tell you it has nothing on the love these two have for each other. When Tom saw Erica for the first time after helping her with the pearl buttons down her dress he said “Wow, there’s my wife!” I am telling you this man loves his wife and Erica completely adores Tom. Their equal need for each other, laughter and flirting like they are still a new couple is so inspiring and they have a beautiful love. Their anniversary session was definitely an adventure. We had a lot of rain, lightening, we did the shoot after camping and hiking over ten miles that weekend, we saw elk, spent some time around the lake and the rim. I hope it was an evening they will never forget, but I know for sure it is one of my favorite sessions to date.
Getting ready at the campsite was a first for me and them, but I think everyone involved would highly recommend it! We had dispersed camped the night before in this spot and spent the previous day hiking around the area to decided where we wanted to shoot. I love that they were able to get ready in the same spot that we awed at the stars the night before and joked around the fire and even cooked steak before setting out for our day. It definitely set the tone for the rest of this magical session!
They had a mission for their adventure anniversary session, see the elk as they do every time they come up to Rim Country. So of course, we had to get some photos with the elk. We spotted a herd and just went for it, I looked back to make sure Erica was okay in the dress and I had to snap a picture. She was running in heels, dress hiked up and the biggest smile on her face. It was such a special moment, the elk just went about his business and looked up at us occasionally and let us take photos nearby. They were so excited to see the elk and be so close to one I had to keep reminding them to stop staring at it so we could get some beautiful photos!
We ended the adventure anniversary session with an insanely beautiful sunset! It was extremely unexpected to say the least considering we were rained on for most of the session.
Arizona Adventurous Elopement - Wedding in the Canyons
Two am call times and four hour drives are always worth views like this when spending the day with two love birds! I have had my eye on this location for a while for one of my elopement or adventure anniversary couples and I was so stoked when Amanda and Conner decided to have their session here! I love scouting out the best locations and helping couples plan their elopement. This was my first time at this stunning canyon in Northern Arizona and I must say if you're wanting to elope somewhere private this is definitely the place to do it! Exploring along the rim there are so many great places to say your vows, have a private quiet moment, or do a little slow dance.
I got overly excited about the cows roaming nearby, but then again I always do, and so "starstuck" by all of the views. I can never get enough of watching my clients get excited about where they are too. Amanda was most excited by all of the different rocks along the rim. She would pick them up and stuff them in Connor's pockets or come up to me in pure excitement to show me how different one was from the other. It warms my heart knowing that my couples can have their wedding day be completely their way . They get to explore, see, and do on their own time where ever they would like. Arizona never stops amazing me of all the beautiful places there are to elope. Along our drive up from Phoenix I kept staring in awe of the locations we passed some were fields of dew with elk in them, some were dark sand mountains, and others were pine forested areas and mountains.
Adventure eloping is not the pampered life. You're getting married in hiking boots and your hair and makeup won't stay perfect. Eloping is worth so much more because your whole marriage will be essentially just a mirror of what your elopement is, helping each other through life, protecting each other from the fall, experiencing new things together, and exploring all life has to offer. I also have to give Amanda and Connor major props for conquering their fear of heights along the canyon rim for those gorgeous shots all while reading their vows. I know that they will be able to get through so much more together throughout their lives.