Eloping in Yosemite doesn't have to be Complicated
Eloping can be anywhere and whenever you want it to take place. This can be at the place where you got engaged, at a brewery, at your favorite hiking spot that you bring your dog to, a favorite spot in Yosemite, etc. An elopement doesn't have to take place at an expensive venue or have so many people that you've met a few times or you have to invite them because parents are helping pay.
Samantha, originally from California, and Cody originally from Indiana. When she reached out, she inquired about eloping and wanted to have an additional engagement session. With a location this gorgeous, can you blame her? So we locked in the engagement session and their elopement.
At sunrise, we had their engagement session. During this time, it was only the two of them and their mothers. The mothers helped with getting them ready for their photos and driving them around the park. This moment was so special to the moms. They are witnessing their kids have fun with their photo sessions, be immersed in nature, and have the whole park to themselves which feels like such a luxury given that they woke up so early and this is the "WIN" reward.
For the elopement ceremony, they chose a spot overlooking the beautiful valley, with a view of Half Dome in the distance. Their officiant was amazing and helped to create a beautiful ceremony that reflected their personalities and love story. It was a heartfelt and emotional ceremony that had everyone in tears. After the ceremony, they took more photos in the park as the sun was setting, and then had a private dinner at the lodge with their families. They shared stories, laughed, and enjoyed each other's company. Samantha and Cody's elopement day was exactly what they wanted. It was intimate, beautiful, and filled with love and nature. They will always have these amazing memories to cherish, and the photos to remind them of their special day.
Everyone's Elopement is Different
S and C really wanted to have a private moment before everything kicked off. They wanted to get ready separately. So they booked a spare room where S was to get ready. This made it easy in terms of "Getting Ready" shots. I was able to get C getting ready first since guys are the easiest for photos and don't require much of a "setup" for getting ready. Then I hopped over to S. This is where I did all the detailed shots, getting ready photos of her and some simple detailed shots of everything. After they got ready, earlier in the day I had location scouted for a spot that is quiet, with very little foot traffic and no distractions for their first look. They didn't want to have anyone around for this part. Just the two of them. I love this for couples because this makes this moment so pure, memorable, and an experience that only the two of you can talk about and share.
After the first look, I tucked them away and instructed the family to meet at a specific spot and time for the "couple reveal". This was a special request from the couple. They wanted to do this Couples First Look with their family so everyone can be part of that moment but also, the couple didn't want to drag it out given that they are both very introverted and just want to "get that part over with" and get married already.
After the couple's reveal, we proceeded to the ceremony location. Doing a first look is great for couples who want a private and special moment together where there will be no distractions, or interference, and helps get the nervousness away. Afterward, this is where the couple can really relax and just be themselves. When it was time for the ceremony, I positioned myself to capture the key moments: the exchange of vows and rings, and the first kiss. After the ceremony, we proceeded with the family photos. I always suggest doing these formal photos right after the first look because everyone is still fresh, clean, and looking their best. We had a shot list prepared in advance to make sure we got all the group combinations they wanted. Once we finished with family photos, we took some time to do the couple portraits. We had a few different locations scouted out in advance. I give some light direction to help them feel comfortable and guide them into natural poses that showcase their love for each other. Afterward, we headed to the Lodge for the reception.
Do What's Best for the Both of You
During the reception, I captured all the important moments: the toasts, the cake cutting, and any special traditions or activities they had planned. I also took candid shots of guests enjoying the festivities, and I made sure to get photos of all the important people in the couple's life, including their close friends and family.
At the end of the night, I made sure to get a few final shots of the couple before saying goodbye. It was an amazing day, and I was honored to be a part of it.
As a photographer, my goal is to capture the essence of the couple's love and the emotions of the day. It's not just about taking pretty pictures, but about telling their story through images that will last a lifetime. I want them to look back on these photos and remember how they felt on their special day, the love they shared, and the small moments that made it all worth it. I always encourage my couples to take some time for themselves during the day, to step back and enjoy the moment. It's easy to get caught up in the details and the schedule, but it's important to remember why they are there in the first place: to celebrate their love for each other. So I always try to create a relaxed and stress-free environment, where they can feel comfortable being themselves and just enjoying each other's company.
At the end of the day, my job is to capture their love and their story in a way that feels authentic and true to them. I want to create images that they will cherish for years to come, and that will remind them of this special day and the journey they are embarking on together.
I am here for you both!
I believe in creating a collaborative experience with my couples. I want to understand their vision, their story, and what they want to remember about their special day. This allows me to personalize their photography experience and create a unique set of images that truly captures their love and personalities. I also understand the importance of being organized and prepared for the day. I always scout locations beforehand, create a timeline, and have backup plans in case of any unforeseen circumstances. This allows me to focus on capturing the moments as they unfold and be fully present for my couples. Overall, my goal as a photographer is to create a stress-free, personalized, and memorable experience for my couples. I want them to look back on their photos and relive the emotions of their special day, and feel grateful that they chose me to capture their love story.