Investing in a photographer for your outdoor elopement may seem like one more thing to pay for, especially if you’re looking to elope partially to reduce the costs on what you might spend for a large wedding or think you could just set up a tripod and get the job done for free.
Trust me, I get it. Because unlike many elopement photographers, I’ve actually been in your shoes. Yep. My husband Zach and I made the beautiful decision to elope in the Redwoods of Humboldt County, California in 2016. It was just me and him, a close friend as our officiant, a friend as our witness, and our photographer.
I love being able to look back at our wedding photos now, but I’ll be honest when I say that I had so many reservations about hiring a photographer for our wedding, just like you might. I didn’t even initially think to have one at all. Because as easy as people might think eloping is, there was still PLENTY to stress about. It just wasn’t at the top of my list. (But let me tell you, it should have been!!)
It was my mama who insisted we hired a photographer, because in all honesty, she was pretty crushed initially about not getting to be there for it. She was constantly taking our photos as kids and created dozens of scrapbooks for us that I look back on with fondness now that she’s passed away.
Which leads me to my first point of why to hire a photographer:
Even though your wedding day is about YOU and the love you share with your partner, your family still wants to celebrate that and support you. Being able to let them know “don’t worry, we’ll get together afterwards and share the gorgeous photos with you” (maybe even have a little party??) is a nice gesture you can give to your loved ones. And ultimately, this helps take the stress off YOU if you’re stuck worrying about what they’re going to think for not being invited to your private ceremony.
The next reason for hiring a photographer may or may not be one you have already thought of. But your photographer more than likely has been to your location, or a similar location, and knows how to find information on things like permits and fees for eloping. Yes, permits and fees are required for most places in California, regardless of the size of your wedding.
Your photographer will also know or be able to research incredible locations for your ceremony, and if they’re local to the area, will know “secret spots” or “hidden gems” not widely known to the public. Honestly, these two reasons alone would have been enough for me to consider a photographer right off the bat. (Unfortunately, our experience with our photographer was not a great one, which is a whole other topic for another blog post and was the main fuel for me specializing in elopements to begin with.)
Beyond being capable of dealing with logistics and offering photos to share with loved ones, hiring a quality photographer for your special day will mean that they have a well-trained eye and will be able to capture the lighting and composition in a way your selfie-stick or propped-up iphone never in a million years could.
Not to mention, fumbling with your equipment means that you aren’t living in the moment with your partner, fully enjoying and embracing the special moments you’re trying to create. And neither one of you deserve that. You deserve to be fully present and focused solely on your love for each other.
A good photographer will be able to create a relaxing environment and capture the true essence of you and your loved one. They will be a ninja during your ceremony, to the point you might not even remember they are there. But they will also be able to guide and prompt you for gorgeous shots before and after that help tell the story of your unique love.
Hiring someone who is a visual storyteller for a living means that not only do you get to clear some space in your brain to focus on what matters, but that you can count on them to create artwork that is worthy of blowing up and printing to hang on your walls, so that you can reflect on that momentous day with fondness for years to come.
In the vast wilderness of your love, an outdoor elopement serves as a testament to your adventurous spirits and unique bond. Just as nature’s beauty deserves to be preserved, so do the fleeting moments of your intimate celebration. Hiring a quality, professional photographer for your outdoor elopement isn’t just about capturing special moments; it’s about entrusting a true artist to capture the beautiful essence of your love story.
As you consider taking this magical journey, consider the gift of having an experienced eye to see the unseen, a skilled hand to freeze your most cherished moments, and a heart that truly understands and treasures the significance of your commitment to each other.
Together, I’d love to create timeless and soulful images that will give voice to your beautiful love story through the ages. Your elopement deserves to be celebrated and documented, and I’d be truly honored to be a part of your sacred space on this magical journey.
If you have any questions at all or are ready to book your outdoor elopement with me, please reach out via the “get in touch” tab. I can’t wait to hear from you and see what you have in mind for your special day!