Izzy and Garrett’s elopement off of Bell Rock trail in Sedona, Arizona. A beautiful elopement with pups and closest friends. An evening under the stars and spent camping together. Read the full story here and get inspiration for your own elopement!
So it turns out I LOVE the snow!! How about you??
Coming from Texas and Florida for my last four and half years of living I haven’t got to be around the snow much! Who would have thought my first big ‘blizzard’ since college would be in Arizona?!?! No one that’s for sure!
Enough about me though, I want to talk about you two!! So you’re engaged and you’re thinking of eloping! YAY!!! If you’re wanting that winter elopement do not rule out Arizona. Besides being in a state packed with hiking trails, rock climbing locations and endless adventure road trip destinations you probably won’t freeze to death here if you elope in the winter! You can get those snowy views and winter wonderlands at warmer temperatures! You are most likely to find snow in Payson, Flagstaff, Bisbee and the Grand Canyon. It is possible to get snow in Sedona, WIlliams, Prescott, Page and Jerome. My best advice for a couples looking to elope in Arizona during the winter wishing for snow would be to be prepared!! Go ahead and get your marriage license in advance and watch the weather to set a date. Once you have set a date stay flexible and be prepared to change the date for more snowfall, a different location or due to any road blocks.
Payson is a perfect place for a winter elopement or a snowy adventure session!! The drive to Payson from Phoenix takes on a whole new wow factor with the mountains covered in snow!! A lot of the areas to photograph you will pretty much have to yourself minus the few and far between snow mobile drivers. There is just something about all the pines, the sunshine and the snow that scream romance to me. Not to mention the possible sighting of elk! Rim country gets about 20 inches of snow each year so it really is probably the best option next to Flagstaff for that winter wonderland look.
If you get to see Sedona graced in snow you are so LUCKY!!! It really is one of the most beautiful sights I have seen in Arizona. Sedona snow fall is more unpredictable, but it does happen more than you would think! These shots were from the recent “blizzard” Sedona had, said to have been the most snow in many years! Low clouds moving through the red rocks with snow covering the trees and cacti is sure to make for a stunning photo background and romantic day together. Eloping in the snow typically sends my mind straight to Iceland, Colorado, Washington or the Grand Tetons. If you’re willing to put in the work with selecting date and being flexible I think Sedona would surpass your wildest imagination!
If you’re considering eloping in Arizona please reach out to me! I would love to be apart of your day and document your love story! If you’re thinking of eloping in Arizona during the winter I would love to share more tips with you about planning and accessing great locations for your elopement!
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.
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.
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!
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!