Engaged??? Considering eloping versus the big wedding, but not sure if it is the right choice. Check out this blog post for the top reasons to choose an elopement wedding.
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 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.
Amanda is wearing the 'Grand Canyon' dress from my designer wedding dress rentals. Check out more here!
Anacortes Elopement - Washington Elopement Photographer - Arizona Adventure Elopement Photographer
“Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain.” - Vivian Greene
I met Jessica and Glen when I photographed their in home engagement session in Scottsdale, Arizona. We got to chatting about their wedding and upcoming adventures we both had planned. Luck was in the air that day and it turned out that we were both going to be in the Seattle area at the same time in the following weeks. This was super important to them because Jessica had lived in Washington for most of her adult life and really wanted wedding pictures in the Pacific Northwest with her future husband. Their intimate wedding will be later this year here in Scottsdale, but we took the opportunity to get Jessica the pictures she's always dreamed of having and creating beautiful memories during Glen’s first trip to Washington. I meet them at their Airbnb in Anacortes on a rainy cold day, but we still conquered the day hiking several trails and popping champagne! Jessica and Glen's love is so apparent when you spend time with them from the pure laughter to the sweet quiet moments they have, it was such a joy spending the day with them. It was my first time in the Northern Washington area (most of my time has been spent in the Olympic National Park region) and I must say it is beautiful! The Anacortes and Deception Pass State Park are perfect locations for a PNW elopement!
Isn't their little cabin on the lake the cutest?!
Please note this cabin is an Airbnb rental. It is important when you are eloping and you rent an Airbnb to speak with the owner if the photographer will be taking any photos on property. Most owners are okay with pictures being taken, but you need to communicate with them about what will be happening and get their permission.
Sedona Elopement Photographer - Adventure Elopement - Anniversary Adventure Session
Meet AJ & Celeste...
These two said their vows to each other two years ago during an intimate backyard wedding. Sadly, they did not receive many wedding photos. This lead them to me, for an adventure anniversary session in Sedona! We hiked four miles with their best hiking companions (aka Huskies), Calypso and Nova to stunning views in Red Rock country. The location was perfect and we photographed until there was no light left. Our hike back was not a disappointment either, because we had a full moon showing us the way and a little cooler Arizona temperatures!
I want to share something Celeste wrote on social media because it completely embodies what an adventure elopement is all about. "Four years together, four years of climbing, and enjoying the views with you. This anniversary shoot was a complete representation of how I feel about you AJ. I will climb mountains, in any condition, and push myself, mentally, physically and spiritually, just to enjoying the view with you." - Celeste
I could not have put this in better words myself. Eloping in state parks, national parks and anywhere else you can adventure is not just about the breathe taking views, but also about the climb and journey together. I am so thankfully that I can create moments like these for my clients and be apart of something so beautiful in life.
Meet the Make-up Artist....
Freelance and MAC makeup artist
Also, huge shout out to Foothills Floral Gallery for providing the lovely bouquet and floral head crown. Foothills Floral Gallery always provides me with beautiful flowers for my sessions!