elopement in northern arizona

Arizona Adventure Elopement Photographer - 2018 Year in Review

Sedona Elopement Packages - adventure elopement photographer sedona arizona
Traci Edwards Photography - Adventure Photographer

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!

2018 Accomplishments:

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.

Joshua Tree National Park Elopement Photographer -

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!

Flagstaff adventure engagement session - flagstaff elopement photographer - flagstaff couple's session
adventure elopement photographer logo

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.

Double Exposure Flagstaff Couple's Session

Selecting a Photographer for your Adventurous Elopement

Payson Elopement Photographer - Arizona Adventure Photographer

How to Choose a Photographer - Arizona Based Elopement Photographer - Engaged, Now What?! Part II

Adventure Elopement Photographer - Intimate Backyard Arizona Wedding

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
Hair: @dev.hair
Makeup: @morgankbeauty
Dress & Veil: @gracestyleandbridal
Jewelry: Bear Ridge Trading Post Heber, AZ
Tables/settings/backdrop: @fancyloudesigns
Arch: @idorentalsaz
Moss chairs: @kyliekirklandphoto
Florals: @cheekyblooms
Cakes: @babyjanescustomdesserts
Sign: @etchingsbyemma
Invitations: @lovelylettercollection
Videographer: @sunnydayproductions

Photographer: @tracicreatesphotos

Intimate Wedding Photographer in Phoenix, Arizona

Mogollon Rim has nothing on ten years...

Adventure Anniversary Session in Payson, Arizona - Arizona based Elopement Photographer

Arizona Adventure Elopement Photographer - Phoenix Wedding Dress Rental
Anniversary Adventure Session - Phoenix Arizona

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!

Getting ready for an elopement at camp
Mogollon Rim Elopement Photographer
Wild Elopements - Adventure Elopements - Arizona Elopement

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!

Adventure Elopement Photographer based in Phoenix, Arizona

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.

Elopement Photographer - Arizona Adventure Elopement Photographer
Arizona Wedding Dress Rental - Elopement Wedding Dress Inspiration

Erica wore one of my designer wedding dress rentals for their anniversary session. This is the ‘Red Wood’ gown by Watters Bridal.


Hey this ten year anniversary session was recently featured!!! Check it out here: Tacari Weddings and Wandering Weddings!

Hey, it's me...!

Sedona Elopement Photographer & Wedding Dress Rental

Hi there, I am Traci! While I have been blogging my work for over a year now I have not properly introduced myself, so lets do that! :)

Arizona Destination Wedding Photographer

Me the Photographer...

My passion is adventure elopements and in home sessions. I love photographing elopements! There is something so amazing that happens when you get to be outside in the wilderness, in places that take your breath away, for that special moment of intimacy. I love to connect with couples and see their strong rooted love in front of my lens, everything feels so raw and real. This gives me the freedom to be really creative and produce imagery for them to have as fine art prints on their walls that they will cherish forever.

I try not to ever limit myself! I also photograph golf, portraits, senior portraits, maternity, boudoir, and intimate weddings. I officially opened my business this past Feb. after moving from FL to AZ, but I have been doing photography for over nine years. I have a BFA from UNCG and got my 'masters' from working with Montana Pritchard Photography. You may be asking why go from being on a commercial photo team and photographing huge golf tournaments to shooting adventure elopements and lifestyle shoots? Well that is simple, a lot of my work stems from my beliefs. I strongly believe that couples should have the wedding day they want, no matter what that means to them. Couples can have their dream wedding without all the wedding drama and without spending a down payment on a house.I find it truly inspiring to watch couples hike together on their wedding day and share the most intimate day of their lives together, just the two of them. This is no different than me believing in women doing boudoir sessions, which I have found leave them feeling sexy, peaceful, and empowered. I am also a huge advocate for having art on your walls, especially art that means something to you. I find that elopements and adventure sessions are a fantastic way to do this. Nothing warms my heart more than a client ordering a huge print for their walls. I like to explain my style as earthy, dramatic and artistic. Outside of photography I offer complimentary planning sessions for my couple's elopement, designer wedding dress rentals to my brides and I am an ordained officiant!



Arizona Based Adventure Elopement Photographer

..but who is Traci Edwards??

I was raised in a very small town in North Carolina, but I have now lived in five states and traveled all over! Texas is my second favorite state I have lived in so far and probably because of its amazing horse culture. I have a passion for travel and exploring new places. I also really enjoy a good cocktail and a chef's choice meal where ever I go. I have you covered on any Mezcal recommendations or a good plate of duck. Outside of camping, hiking, and eating, I am a cat mom to Indy & Sophie, who also hike! I spend my spare time not on the trail volunteering with animals, riding horses, reading a mystery or business book and planning my next trip. Besides photography my background in the arts goes from dance, printmaking, and theater. I am extremely passionate about doing things to your own beat, mental health, understanding other cultures and strong relationships!

Three random facts:

- I have always wanted to hug a cow

- My speciality is dark chocolate fudge brownies with peanut butter chips

- My dream dog is a German Shepherd



Iceland Elopement Photographer

The Places...

My first adventure elopement was in Iceland back in December of 2017. It is now my career goal to photograph an elopement in Iceland each year <3

 Besides Iceland some of my favorite places I have been to are Australia, Washington, Oregon, London, California and of course Arizona (hello, I moved here I loved it so much!). Photographing elopements is a passion that is just as strong as my passion to travel and hike. I can never plan a trip without wanting to also photograph a couple, it's not work it's my natural desire. 

Here are some of the places I am currently dying to go explore:

- Banff

- Grand Tetons

- Yosmite

- Greenland

- Scotland

- Mt. Rainer (I am not sure how it is possibly that I've been to Washington four times and not hiked here)

- Valley of Fire

- Moab

Places I have already been and highly recommend visiting or eloping at: Joshua Tree National Park, Olympic National Forest, Big Sur, Top Secret Private Family owned farm in NC, Vik, Smith Rock, Anacortes, Micanopy, San Fran, Sparks Lake and a few less traveled places in Arizona!

Tell me where you want to go in the comments!!

Adventure Elopement Photographer - Grand Canyon

I am here to answer your questions! Any thing from work to personal, just drop them in the comments!

Special thanks for the behind the scenes photos to: Jennifer Lynn, Drone Dreamers and Brooke Magee.

Southern California Elopement Photographer

Arizona Canyons Elopement

Arizona Adventurous Elopement - Wedding in the Canyons

Coal Mine Canyon, Arizona - Elopement - Adventure Elopement Photographer

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.

Desert Elopement
Hopi Reservation Elopement

Amanda is wearing the 'Grand Canyon' dress from my designer wedding dress rentals. Check out more here!

Intimate Arizona Wedding Photographer

Learn More about my Adventure Elopement Sessions