Where you can find my recent work, inspiration and all things elopements.

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Finding the Right Elopement Photographer


Finding the right elopement photographer for you can feel daunting when there are so many images online including socials and google searches or wedding resource blogs and you have no idea what you should like or who you should book. As someone who not only eloped themselves and have HORRIBLE photos as a result of knowing nothing about this, but also an elopement photographer myself for 13yrs, I can completely relate to the struggle of being certain you are selecting the right fit for your photographer. With an elopement, you are choosing to focus on you two as a couple and the love story that is uniquely yours so you want it to be everything you envisioned and more!

This could be your only crack at it, unless you do a vow renewal in the future, so you want it to be as special a day as possible and an incredible experience. Most likely photography will be the most expensive and important part of your elopement, but it’s ALSO the ONLY thing you can take with you forever and the only way you can share the day and your love story with everyone not in attendance. You spend a lot of time with your elopement photographer too as they are probably the only one there and they are with you ALL day! 😉

So now is NOT the time to trust your friend with a basic DSLR camera or the kijiji photographer offering low prices because they only do this as a hobby and may not have invested in what it takes to make your experience EVERYTHING you dreamed of!

For those that will NOT go past this point because TLDR (lol), here is the bullet points (but truly you should read the whole way through *wink wink*)

  • Forget the discount experience and choose the value of an involved experience with your photographer
  • Make sure you have thoroughly reviewed the photographer’s work (ask for full galleries to view)
  • Evaluate if their posing and the emotions their images evoke jive with you
  • Love their style (lighting, use of background, angles, color, mood etc)
  • Ask Questions – choose questions that get you the answers that matter to you

When it comes to finding the right elopement photographer for you, your experience is a huge part of it. Would you be surprised to learn that it starts the moment you inquire with a photographer?! You can have a mediocre experience or you can have an epic one with the elopement photographer you choose.

The Mediocre, Spare-An-Arm-And-A-Leg Experience

You choose a photographer that has pretty photos, or ones you don’t seem to mind because they’ve lured you in with a discount/sale/deal/etc that seems incredible because it’s not breaking your bank account or making you feel like you are selling your first born for this “one day” service. You send your retainer, maybe see them once for an engagement shoot if they offer those with your package, and they send an email a month before your elopement to touch base with the timeline and plan for your day. They show up with a smile, shoot, send a nice gallery within 3-12 weeks and that’s it. They are not different than any other professional you hire and you are left to your own devices to sort out all the rest of your planning.

But in the weeks, months, or year leading up to your elopement day you have no idea what you need to do to bring it all together and you don’t want to hire a planner as that seems like a huge price tag for a simple elopement with just the two of you or a handful of guests. So you are left spending hours finding vendors, locations, trying to figure out what you can include and then building a timeline for your day when you have no experience with something like this; it’s not like the 80-120 people weddings of your friends you’ve been to and there’s no set tradition of order of events or anything like that. You become overwhelmed with googling and asking your friends what you should do with your day. You are frustrated and wish that someone had helped you or offered some guidance that wasn’t, “go do some research”.

The Full, Incredible Experience

You booked a photographer with everything you need to plan your entire elopement, do the research if required, offer advice when needed, unlimited emails and zoom calls to chat when you need something or have questions, and checks in with you. Shortly after booking this photographer you receive a welcome gift just for the two of you to enjoy a date night just the two of you and let all the stress of life and planning nuptials to melt away. Then you receive a detailed questionnaire that lays out your story and gets an understanding of what is important to you for elements of your elopement day.

Then your photographer sends you a proposal for 3-4 location ideas as well as some activity ideas and a custom timeline draft based on the location and what you want to include in your elopement. You choose your location and then your photographer continues to send you vendor recommendations, checklists and packing lists, timelines for getting everything booked for your day, permit advice, and more. You were not expecting this much help, but it leaves you with more confidence in your photographer and your whole elopement experience.

Your photographer stays in touch with you the whole way between booking and your elopement, making sure you are on track and offering any help that you may need. They touch base with you a month before in a zoom call to review the plan (and any backups plans) and make sure no last minute issues have cropped up. The week before you get an email detailing everything you need to know for your elopement day and cheering you on in the home stretch leading up to the big day! All of this communication leaves you feeling nurtured through the whole process that you were unfamiliar with.

Within 24-48hrs after your day you receive 5-15 sneak peek images so you can relive the day and share with friends/family immediately! Having this so quickly lets you bask in the glow of the day all over again as well as include those that you could not include on your adventure!

The Full Experience is what I offer in my business as it’s about YOU, and not about the business of photography. I felt very lost when I eloped, and my photographer was an awful experience, so I never want any couple to feel the way I did! I strive to give every couple the ROYAL EXPERIENCE so they feel nurtured and relaxed during the their elopement planning and their whole day as well as after it’s all done! Find out all about the experience you will have with me and if we are perfect for each other…

When you search for a photographer or see one on social media and you think, “Wow, these photos are amazing and I love this photographer’s images!”, you are loving their style; the editing, posing, and emotion that it creates in you.

Most couples say they want candid images, and yes there’s plenty of opportunities to capture those, but for true art and “natural” images there’s a mix of guiding the couple with tips on a pose, but there’s also the beauty of emotion created in an image by leading couples with prompts that drive reactions. Those are personally my favorite and most photographers that offer a high-end experience do the same. By using prompts and creating organic moments you will feel less awkward and far less stressed about the photos and it allows you to be truly present and enjoy the experience. All of my couples and inquiring couples say the reason they chose me was because it looks my couples are having fun in their photos or they love my fun vibe!

The mood of the images is the first thing couples notice; there’s dark, warm and moody images to light, bright and airy, and other styles too. When you are looking for a photographer you should feel that you vibe with the images and you want that for your photos to plaster all over your walls and your social media platforms. My vibe is dark & moody with a warm tone as that what speaks to me and my romantic soul. 😉

Beyond the experience your elopement photographer offers and the style of their photos there’s some important questions you should ask to ensure that you are getting the photography experience you deserve and will love.

You will want to ask your photographer these questions before you sign on the dotted line and secure them for your elopement.

  1. Can we please see one or two full galleries in a similar location?
  2. Can we see an elopement plan and timeline?
  3. What do we do if weather or some other situation changes our plans for the elopement?
  4. How are our images backed up and protected?
  5. Do you have a plan should something happen to you and you can’t shoot our elopement?
  6. How and when do you deliver our images?

Don’t wait!! Most photographers book up fast, up to a year in advance! As soon as you know you are going to elope, reach out to an elopement photographer. You may have an idea of what time of year you want to elope, but they are going to know the location(s) you are interested in and will guide you on the best season to elope in that location(s) and guide you through all of the logistics of designing your dream elopement!

If you are looking for a darker & moody style, love to laugh, want to feel relaxed on your day, obsess over the mountains and just live for fun while having the stress of planning an elopement lifted from your shoulders then I just might be your girl. Get in touch and let’s see if we vibe to go on an AMAZEBALLS ADVENTURE together!

xo, kelly

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