Part I.

It’s not everyday you dress up, go somewhere wild and have someone take your portraits for hours. I get it. So before we get to that part, let me tell you what it feels like to be photographed by me. 

This way, when you wake up on your elopement day, you aren’t worried about what you are going to look like, how you’ll pose and what you’ll do. Trust me, you are going to look great. 

I’m writing this example based on real elopement experiences I’ve had over the years. This is a true to life recounting of different elopement memories I have floating around in my head. This is by no means the only option for your day, it’s just a smattering of moments in time.

Beginnings

My alarm goes off. 

Here we go. 

I drag my not-a-morning person butt out of bed. Mind you, I’m thrilled about what we are going to do today. I am just not a morning person. I’m not really a night owl either. Maybe I’m just a day time person. That seems totally reasonable, right? I digress. 


My second alarm goes off. 

I re-check the gear I packed last night.

Get dressed.

Brush my teeth. 

I braid my unruly hair into a single diagonal braid over my right shoulder.  

Throw on some SPF face stuff. 

Fill up my water bottles. 

Climb in the 4X4. 

I route myself to a “hope it’s better than the hotel coffee” destination. I hope the destination also has savory scones. If not, I’ll be reduced to the oatmeal and nuts I pack. Bummer. Back in my car, I route myself to you, put on some music and make my way.

As I drive, I run through your day in my head. I consider the weather conditions the universe has bestowed upon you. Evening rain? We might have to move that finale beach bonfire from the end of the day to a daytime picnic. And instead of a romantic bonfire to end your night, we’ll head back to the Airbnb for a final cocktail by the indoor fire or maybe drop by a local dive bar for a nightcap with the locals. Whatever you want to do. 

I’m a couple minutes out from your Airbnb. It’s a backwoods dirt road with a lot of potholes. The roads have a view of some neighboring mountains. I stop the car, alone in the middle of god knows where. It’s so quiet, I love it. I take a picture of the dawn rays filtering through the trees like magic. I notice some spring flowers popping up alongside the road. I make sure the morning dew resting on their petals has its fifteen seconds of fame. I get back into the car and continue to dodge potholes. 

As I roll up to your cabin, I start to see. 

It’s a chilly morning, there’s smoke slowly floating into the woods from your chimney. 

The house is adorable. There’s an amazing wrap around the front porch.

The door knob is beautiful. 

The light spills through the windows. 

There’s a collection of rocks, driftwood and a few old spiderwebs in the entryway.

Wow, this is all handmade.

Shit, it’s fabulous. 

Youhooo! Hello! Hi! How are you? 

You’re in your coziest flannel with a cup of coffee in your hands. You’re sitting on the couch reading the binder full of weird facts that the owners of the Airbnb left you. Or maybe you are finishing up blowing out your hair or pressing your suit. Or maybe you are sitting on the front porch, together, listening to the birds sing the first song of your wedding day.

Are you guys excited?! How are you feeling? 

You are feeling relaxed. Good. A little nervous. This new human (me) is in your space. I’m going to photograph you today. It’s a big day. You are gonna commit the rest of your life to your person today. Oh boy. It’s real. Can’t go back now. This is exciting. This is surreal. 

We do a quick debrief. Where are you in your getting ready process? Do we need to tweak the plan for the day? Did you forget something? I have boob tape in my go bag. I got you. 

Cool. I’m gonna go shoot details for a while guys. 

I’ll be wandering around the house and the yard. I’ll probably weave myself in and out of what you are doing, but I’m not focusing on you. You are just simply being you. Whatever that is this morning. We’ve got plenty of time. I grab all your detailed items and wander off somewhere nearby. 

I really liked that front room with the cobwebs and light. 

Oh this weathered wood bench is gorgeous. 

Flowers. Rings. Shoes. Grandma’s ruby. Mom’s pearls. The bolo tie your grandpa gave you. Your favorite pair of cowboy boots. A doily and basket from the bathroom. 

Ooo, is that an elk in the front yard? Guys! Come here quietly! Your first wedding guest has arrived! Switch cameras, 200mm. Got ya cutie, enjoy breakfast bud. 

We wander back to the bathroom where you’re doing your hair. 

It’s a tiny bathroom, we’re basically elbow to elbow. 

A little window light is doing its best to spill in.

You are curling a few last pieces of hair. 

Your person gets into the amazing claw foot tub with a cup of coffee and we all chat as you finish up. 

I realize I’m gonna have to stand on the toilet to get the shot I want. 

We’re in it now. 

You’re about done with bathroom stuff. 

Hmm, does now feel like a good time to write your vows down in your books?

Cool, do you want to do it together or separately? 

Awesome, how about you both pick a spot in or outside of the house that feels really comfortable. 

The front porch would be a good option. Or maybe that huge cozy chair by the fireplace and the bay windows? The dining room table is dark and moody, that could work too. Just settle in with your vows and coffee. I’m gonna take a few more detailed shots and I’ll swing back around in a bit. 

You decide you can’t go wrong with the kitchen table. It’s the easiest place to write. 

Your partner chooses the front porch, the morning bird song feels comforting. 

I wander outside, there’s a beautiful collection of moss covered trees off the balcony. 

And a few birds sitting up on the trees. 

Some overgrown bushes with yellow flowers by the cars. 

Dang, nice ride for the day! 

Before you write your vows, you take a moment to reflect. 

You stare out at the morning happening around you. 

The smell of your coffee.
The light breeze. 

Finally you settle in. 

I stay pretty far back at first. 

This is a private moment after all. 

You are writing down THE WORDS. 

The words you’ll say to your forever best friend. 

It can be pretty damn emotional. 

I notice the way your foot pops under the table. 

I see the depth and moodiness of the doorframe. 

I see the light bouncing off your face, ever so perfectly. 

Hm…. could I make this a pano and get both of you?

As you wrap up and start to stir, I think about the timing of the day. 

Are we on track? Do we have extra time? Could we spend extra time getting ready? 

Do I need to make sure we are spot on because we have a reservation with a boating tour?

It’s about time to get your official “we are doing this” clothes on. 

You decided to get ready together. 

You get your dress pulled up and your partner laces it up for you. 

Shoot, you have never laced up a dress. 

I got you. This one alternates with that one. 

You pull on your hiking boots as the sun warms you up. 

Earrings check. 

You pull your vest on. 

Grab those cowboy boots.

Whoa whoa whoa. 

I gotta get a picture of those bad boys. 

And finally, the ring.  

We are ready to rumble. 

To be continued….

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