2018 has been a year. I’ve met so many couples (many of whom are now friendsies) and they’ve given me probably the best year I’ve had yet. I’ve gotten to travel to some amazing places, and help my clients create the best elopement day ever. There’s truly no better feeling than capturing someone’s wedding day in an outdoor environment that’s significant to them (whether it’s an old haunt or they’re creating their first memory there).
Being an adventure elopement photographer may seem like it’s all excitement and fun, but I’ll be the first to tell you there’s a lot of behind the scenes work (and even more time spent in front of a computer). It’s a lot of business, marketing, and making sure your clients are taken care of. But let me tell you, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve made new friends, worked hella hard, traveled to awesome places, was an expert when my couples needed me, and offered a listening/nonjudgmental ear. I was a booze carrier, jacket holder, adventure guide, photographer, memory maker, f-bomb dropper, friend, sister, and so much more.
Here are some of the places my work has taken me:
Glacier National Park
Alabama Hills, Lone Pine California
Kauai & Maui
Cape Flattery Washington
I started out this year with trips to Mt. Hood, the California Redwoods, and the Oregon Coast. As we moved into June and July, I made trips around Oregon to various locations.
August came and it was time to head to Maui for a short stint, followed by Brian picking me up at PDX to head straight to Glacier National Park and Banff National Park for 2 weeks. We hiked, explored, I photographed some beautiful couples (who are now friendsies – that never gets old) and we did our best to avoid the Howe Ridge Fire smoke (spoiler, the smoke won). We made our way back through Wyoming and Idaho to Oregon./
September saw the Oregon Coast, Crater Lake, Mt. Whitney CA, and the Alabama Hills.
October and November saw Oregon, then Kauai, and then right back to the Pacific Northwest for a drive up to Cape Flattery on the Olympic Peninsula for a gorgeous elopement at the edge of the world.
December has been a recuperating month, up until mid-month. I finally was able to execute a project I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. With any luck, it will be revealed by the third week in January, so stay tuned!
Below are some stats from the past year, and some of my favorite images (in no particular order).
17,096 Miles Driven
Increase in Bookings
Christmas or Announcement Cards on the Fridge
Miles Hiked with Clients
Moose in Portraits
Pairs of Hiking Boots
Bald Eagles Seen While Driving to Elopements
Partridge in a Pear Tree
Goals for 2019
– Maintain a great client experience – and implement a couple refined aspects. I’m super proud to say that I personally know each of my couples and I love getting to know every new couple that comes my way. I’m here to help with planning and location scouting and permitting.
– Continue to educate about the outdoors, and Leave No Trace. This one is pretty simple. With overcrowding and national parks increasing in popularity, I want to continue to do my part to keep these places beautiful. Helping out spans from picking up others’ trash to letting others discover the joy of finding their own special locations.
– Be more vigilant about asking for no straws when eating out at restaurants. I slip up frequently and it pisses me off every time I am brought a straw. Even if the restaurant doesn’t serve drinks with straws, I want to be sure to iterate that I wouldn’t have needed one anyway. It’s a simple thing to do to reduce waste.
– This may seem random, but I want to encourage couples to use more vendors. I’ve heard more than a few couples say they wish they would have taken my recommendation in getting a simple bouquet, renting gear for an outdoor activity, or having their vows written in calligraphy so they could frame them afterward. It’s their day and I don’t want anyone to feel like they should have splurged a little more to make the day more special.
– Travel more. I love traveling for my clients, but I’d love to take a personal trip with my husband to a place we’ve been dying to go (any guesses where?). I work a LOT. Sure, I have some stuff automated and streamlined, but I still reply to emails late at night while watching TV with Brian.
– Submit more features. Because there are less details involved in an elopement, it’s often more difficult to get them featured. Magazines and blogs are looking for details to give other couples inspiration. Regardless, it’s still awesome to see my couples featured online or in print and you never know what fun aspect about an elopement will garner the attention of a feature 😉
– Create a community. I have photography friends/colleagues that I have never met in person. We lift each other up constantly, and I would love to create a retreat weekend devoted to hanging out and cutting through that feeling of competition that I feel is prevalent throughout the adventure photography community (and photography community as a whole). The goal is to lift each other up while educating on value and worth.
If you’re still here after all that, then thank you! I’d love it if you left a comment and shared your wins for 2018 and/or goals for 2019.