THE CONNECTION THAT’S CAPTURED IN MY CAMERA GETS PEOPLE HYPED. HERE’S WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY.
My relationship with you means the most to me
I count myself pretty damn lucky to know my couples. Scroll down for a slideshow of testimonial videos from past couples about “Elope Your Life” and their elopement experience. Below that are even more written kind words.
REVIEWS STRAIGHT FROM GOOGLE
Jen & Mel, Alaska
What can we say about our experience with Sam and Rachel? From the very first zoom call with Sam we knew she was special….
We are a relatively private couple (probably one of the reasons we decided to elope) and found the requirement for both of us to partake in the zoom call a little daunting HOWEVER Sam instantly put us at ease and that one zoom call solidified our decision to have Sam part of our special day. If you are feeling a little anxious about the zoom call … don’t be, Sam is so very personable, and we instantly felt like we were chatting with an old friend….
Fairbanks Alaska is quite possibly the furthest away from Australia we could get, in both climate and distance, but Sam and Rachel scouted and pre-visited locations for us, ensuring our days ran as smoothly as possible…. They were quick to ensure our jackets were put back on between photos, our fingers were warm and even sacrificed their battery chargers to provide that extra warmth!
We travelled and eloped with our 10-year-old son and to say Sam and Rachel were amazing with him would be an understatement. If you, like us, are planning to elope with children, Sam and Rachel will not disappoint. I am pretty sure our kiddo was ready to follow Rachel home at the end of our adventure…
….Even though the days were jam-packed with activities, it really felt like we were going on an adventure with friends. Sam was able to read our body language and unspoken cues (no easy feat for two usually very private people). Sam and Rachel did an amazing job keeping us laughing (our bellies have not had such a workout!), relaxed and engaged – without a staged photo in sight!
Our decision to elope in Alaska is certainly up there for life experiences, choosing Sam and Rachel to capture those moments is a decision we will never regret. We all had the time of our lives, stress free and best of all – aside from eloping of course – we walked away with two amazing lifelong friends.
Sam and Rachel, we seriously cannot thank you both enough for the laughter, amazing memories, experiences and of course the stunning images you captured of our special day/s. Just one regret … “Where’s Brian?”
If you are considering Sam to be part of your special day, book in your zoom call and we look forward to seeing your gallery on Instagram.
REVIEWS STRAIGHT FROM GOOGLE
We’ve spent a good while trying to describe how perfect our elopement was and how grateful we are to have connected with Sam.
From the very first call, we knew we wanted Sam to be a very important part of our very special day. We chose a location that we had never traveled to. Sam was able to guide us to choosing the perfect adventures. She had great local recommendations for vendors that she had worked with previously- and they were very eager to work with her again!
When we first met up in person, it was like reconnecting with a long-lost friend. She has a way about her that is just effortlessly cool and comfortable. We decided on the two day adventure package… we were so excited to get to spend an entire second day with Sam.
We received a call that our planned adventure for day two had to be canceled due to inclement weather. Without missing a beat, Ranger Sam recalculated the weather pattern, consulted the map, and started making phone calls. Within a few calls she had pulled some strings and found us a last-minute private pilot….
If you’re reading this and even considering an adventure elopement over a stuffy wedding, do it! I mean, Sam literally crawled over a snowy glacier to get the photos she was envisioning and proudly wore snow in her pants in order to do so. And the photos? Better than we could have ever dreamt. We aren’t even photogenic people and somehow all of our images are stunning! The album she created was the icing on the cake….
Don’t mind us, we’re over here trying to think of an excuse to get to spend another day with Sam and her camera.
Carissa & Ben, Alaska
Jacintha & Kevin, White Sands National Park
Sam is awesome! While preparing for our elopement, we were looking for a photographer to be another connection on this very special experience of eloping at White Sands, and that’s exactly what we got. Working with Sam is not for people who just want their photos and elopement experience to be a transaction. If you want a separated relationship with your photographer, honestly she is probably not the best fit. But if you’re wanting a relationship that goes past that, get on a consult call with Sam! She puts a lot of care into her work and the couples and got to know us outside of just capturing our elopement.
She blocks out time for Zoom calls and truly makes the effort to get to know you. What you see on her website (which I recommend you read, especially her About page) is her, and you can tell that from the first consult call.
She didn’t only strive to get to know us, she got to know the environment as well. She had never been to White Sands but did plenty of research and came out beforehand to double-check locations. She took the time to learn about the area, the history, and the geology as well…. She helped us create lasting memories and we had the most relaxing, empowering, playful, adventurous day that was pure JOY! The photos she took of that day are epic as well and truly captured the moments we will want to remember forever.
One last thing: take advantage of hanging out with Sam before the big day when the opportunity arises! We wished we all would have been able to hang out more before AND after!
Working with Sam and Rachel was SO smooth. The process was fun and they were so responsive any time I had a question (or a mild freak out about the marriage license – you know, the usual!). We are not the most comfortable when it comes to taking pictures of ourselves, but Rachel made us feel so comfortable in front of the camera! It’s amazing that it felt like we were just hanging out with a friend, and then ended up with GORGEOUS pictures. She is the best!
We had a team behind us to help pull off a stress-free day in the Redwoods. These two are more than just photographers. They helped us get an idea of what an area looks like, and all its specs (like crowdedness, trail incline, etc.), without us ever having been there! They also had a ton of resources for restaurants, lodging and so much more.
Sam asked us during our initial call how we wanted to feel on our day (which was key to building the day we wanted!). We said: free, centered, relaxed, fulfilled. And that’s exactly what our day was. It was the perfect elopement and I am so thankful for Sam and Rachel. These two know what they’re doing!
Christine & Matt, Redwoods/Oregon Coast
REVIEWS STRAIGHT FROM GOOGLE
Shelby and Jeff, Alaska
Let’s start off with the fact that the whole week we were in Alaska felt like a blur, because it was truly more awe-inspiring than anything we could’ve imagined, making it SO hard to go back to reality after this fantasy adventure that Sam helped us cook up. There were helicopters, tons of different sights, glaciers, and MOOSE!
One thing we loved about working with Sam was that it never really felt like we took posed photos; there were prompts and directions, but it really was genuine, she captured us just being weirdly us. Jeff complained about getting his photos taken in the months leading up to our elopement, but the experience was way better than expected (he grew up despising cameras) and all of our photos are so full of life, taking us back to that exact time and place. Also, Sam suggested thinking about our day as an adventure first and a wedding second, and it really helped us realize the potential and plan a day that was way more badass and memorable than any traditional wedding!
We certainly don’t feel like we missed out on anything by eloping; in fact, we feel the experience was more meaningful and intentional because we got to experience all of these new adventures together that were uniquely us. I’ve already had friends and colleagues come up to me asking how to elope like we did. My advice is, “Here’s Sam’s contact info – you need to call her.”
Sam is COOL. AS. HELL. Working with her and Rachel was great! All of us felt right at home as our goofy selves. We wanted to feel tiny among a vast world on our elopement day and Sam totally delivered. We weren’t worried about all these wedding logistics or family drama, instead we just had an epic adventure in Moab with our dogs, our moms, and some new friends. It was freaking magic!
We loved the whole experience, from our own personal client portal (use it, trust me!) filled with resources, planning and location inspiration to all of us building this really personal relationship. At the end, we had a stress-free “best day ever”, images to remember it by, and a new friend to adventure with. Do yourself a favor: Elope Your Life and hire Sam and her team!
I would do this every year if we could! It was an absolutely magical day & we are so grateful to have her help us create such incredible memories. I’m writing this on our 1 year anniversary because time just flew by! But it’s a perfect time to reflect on just how amazing Sam & her whole team are!
JEss. & Brady, Moab Utah
REVIEWS STRAIGHT FROM GOOGLE
Katherin & Clay, Maui Hawaii
Due to COVID, we decided to forgo the traditional wedding and plan the adventure elopement of our dreams. But also due to COVID, we changed our elopement location 3 times! Not only were we impressed with Sam’s flexibility, but with each step, she had an incredible repository of recommended vendors and location suggestions that fit the bill for exactly what we wanted. How can we put into a short paragraph how amazing our 2-day elopement was across the island of Maui? We got married at 10,000ft at Haleakala National Park, explored a red sand beach with a DRONE, hiked a bamboo forest, and so much more. Sam doing what she does gave us a super solid foundation and empowerment to make our experience exactly what we wanted: spontaneous, candid, and fun. She made it so comfortable, so 2 days flew by! Her direction in front of the camera was also a great balance of serious and funny moments. We’re still laughing at, “Every guy has a condition. It’s called ‘dead hand’.” On top of all that, she knew things about the planning process (like when Google was lying about drive time ?, or how we’d fit our day together perfectly) that made our life so much easier. Her timeline questionnaire and timeline she crafted from it just put our minds at ease. Sam cares SO deeply about every couple she meets. From the first conversation we had, the first thing she did was get to know us as people and what we wanted, past the epic images. Since we were all free, we met up the night before our elopement to just have dinner and talk (and share dog photos) and that really stood out to us about Sam’s process too. The whole elopement experience surpassed what we ever could have imagined.
Every part of our Glacier elopement was what I thought it would be. We loved being able to focus on ourselves and not worry about other people. We loved Sam being our hype gal and getting us into the mindset on the day with her prompts and things to consider. It allowed us to get connected and be ourselves – it seriously made the whole experience. Also, having the relationship where we could just text Sam photos of dresses, or when we were freaking out? Priceless. “Elope Your Life” has sort of gone past the elopement day with me (Lindsey), and it’s made me realize that if we can have even a modicum of happiness that we experience on our elopement in our everyday life, then it’s worth pursuing. So this gal is starting her own organizing business! If you’re even vaguely thinking that eloping is an option, 100% fucking do it.
Lindsey & Kevin, Glacier National Park
Jaclyn & Logan, Moab UT
Our day was so kickass. It wasn’t stressful in the least, and the few loved ones the witnessed our ceremony had a great time too! Working with Sam was SO easy, she made us feel super comfortable in front of the camera and her resources were everything we needed. Looking to elope? Congratulations! Now go see Sam LOL!
Choosing a great photographer is the most important wedding decision to make, second only to choosing your spouse. We could not be happier in choosing Sam as our adventure elopement photographer. It was the best decision we made for our day. ….We were immediately sold, and this choice went on to shape the best day of our life. Sam really helped curate the day and make our vision come alive, just like we imagined. Even better, really. Our day was light, fun, romantic, and we felt so ALIVE. Sam’s direction was fantastic, and we loved her games like, “The Floor is Lava” (if you know, you know). It didn’t even feel like “direction”. We now recommend Sam before anyone can even ask. We’re always looking at our pictures all googly eyed, and it’s great to have tangible memories that we can share with our family and friends…. She knows what she’s doing, a true professional, but it was also so genuine. She wrote a book. She even did a TEDx Talk on eloping!! We were both like whaaaaat!!! Yes, woman, kill it! Seriously, hire Sam, great pics are sooo important, but it was more than pictures, it was an experience. It was worth every penny. I honestly cannot recommend her enough. Break from tradition and do something for YOU that you can share with each other.
Nikki & Evan, Maui
REVIEWS STRAIGHT FROM GOOGLE
Andy & Ashland, Alaska
Our elopement in Alaska with Sam was so epic. Our friends kept saying that our elopement announcement photo should be used for Alaska’s tourism! The whole elopement experience was completely worth it. The mine, glacier, and reindeer farm were all perfect additions to the day where we climbed a mountain and said “I do”. It felt good to do what we wanted. It wasn’t like we were trying to exclude anyone, but an Alaska elopement was just what we felt more comfortable doing. Sam’s communication was on point (I love a quick response and she was on it) and she gave us so many location/activity recommendations that were so helpful, whether she’d been there already or not. And the whole Elope Your Life aspect? It was present in our day, with trying new things and getting outside our comfort zone. It was also a great reminder to continue that bravery and exploration in our lives. With Sam there to capture it, we forded a glacial stream, hiked a mountain, were surrounded by reindeer, kissed a moose, and explored an old mine in the mountains of Alaska. To anyone wanting to elope – do it. We now have so many friends and family who wish they did what we did.
Coming from out of state, Sam’s resources were invaluable and she walked us through the entire process for our Redwoods/Oregon Coast elopement. And she was SO personable! It felt like we were with a friend going out on a hike, experiencing and learning about our surroundings. She got us into the moment and allowed us to be ourselves and open up/get in the right mind frame to say those meaningful things you always think about the other person but never say. Someone else said working with Sam is like relationship therapy, and they’re right! We didn’t know we were getting a therapy session included LOL. It was everything we expected and more, working with Sam. Get a hold of her and plan an epic adventure with your partner!
Jane & Matt, Redwoods/Oregon Coast
Nicolette & Bret, Oregon/Redwoods
So many times we thought “Thank goodness for Sam”. She was flexible with COVID, helped with our timeline, and was super responsive. We didn’t have to worry because she took care of us. I (Bret) wasn’t expecting that our photographer would be this involved and care enough to build a relationship with us, but Sam’s whole process, from the “getting to know you” Zoom calls to our wrap up call when we got to see our images and album draft, was fantastic and helped build connection between all of us. Sam’s view on eloping really aligned with how we feel. Eloping really just reaffirmed that, while we do care what people think, there are days and times where we’re going to ultimately do what we feel is right for us, and that can be regarding any typical societal expectations, like buying a house or having children or how we get married. Our elopement day was adventurous bliss. We wish we could recreate it again and again, and it was so fun working with Sam.
When anyone asks me how our Kauai elopement was, my words are ‘it was perfect’ and it truly felt perfect! We combined in that day what we truly love to do. And having Sam there was amazing; the fact that she was so accommodating, willing to do whatever (props for being a great rider), taking awesome photos and on top of that, marrying us in a very personal ceremony with that beautiful scenery. We truly couldn’t ask for a better day, and now having these amazing photos, it makes me want to go back to Hawaii.
Deidra & Juan, Kauai
Corri & Mike, Oregon
It’s hard to put into words how we feel about our elopement day. It was empowering because we’ve spent a lot of our lives trying to please others. Sam was 100% behind us in our unique choices that represented us. Getting to do what we wanted, in a way we wanted, was amazing. We were able to be completely ourselves. This experience made us want to carry that empowered feeling on into the rest of our lives. Cheesy as it sounds, before Sam came into our life, never would I have imagined running around in a dress in nature, going on an adventure not giving a hoot that that is not the “typical” way to get married. That experience and my ongoing interactions with Sam, watching her lives, being in her Facebook group has just made me want to do more with my life. In all aspects, personal goals, work, etc. My life has changed for the better because I know that I can do things in life that may be uncomfortable, may not be what everyone else wants me to do, but it’s okay, because it is my life, not anyone else’s.
Our day went by in a blur and we were glad to have Sam capture all the memories we may have missed or forgotten. She made things super easy so we were able to focus on what was more important, which was experiencing the day together and enjoying ourselves. Sam was also quick to empower us to do whatever we wanted – whether that was going to a diner in our wedding attire, or getting matching wedding band tattoos! Our day was everything we could have wanted and we felt like Sam was just a friend that was helping guide us through it.
Martyka & Steve, Oregon Coast
Rachel & Mitch, Oregon Coast & Redwoods
…We loved that Sam was able to marry us, because we felt like we knew her really well and didn’t like that idea of having an officiant who we weren’t as close with. Her personality made things super comfortable and we all had an awesome time. She knew so much about the area that she shared in stories and advice. That also translated into her awesome timeline she made, which was spot on for timing! We trusted Sam implicitly with our special day within 5 minutes of speaking on the phone. Eloping and having Sam capture it was the best decision.
Seeing Sam’s gorgeous, atmospheric photos I knew we would be lucky to have her photograph our Kauai elopement, and after our first Skype session I knew she’d fit in just perfectly with our little wedding day posse! We loved hanging out with her (and her hubby!) on the day and when we got our photos back I was stunned. So so grateful.
Nikki & Tom
Chloe & Dylan, California Redwoods
We absolutely loved our experience in the Redwoods with Sam. Nothing was rushed and it was perfectly ‘us’. She helped create an amazing experience on our elopement day (particularly the local bar we went to afterward!). Dylan was worried about feeling awkward on the day, but he ended up having a blast! She took so much stress off our shoulders, and we loved her fun personality. Our elopement experience totally exceeded our expectations! We feel like we’ve gained a friend who we can visit and spend time outdoors together.
As soon as I spoke to Sam on the phone we connected and I knew there was no one else I would rather have in my corner to pull off the magical adventurous wedding I had in mind! Sam was super communicative, crazy knowledgeable, and just so much fun to work with! She crafted a sweet and fun experience for us with the combination of her effervescent personality and wilderness guile! Do yourself a solid and cancel your wedding, hire Sam, and run away and marry your sweetie like you really want to!
Kendal & Mike, Glacier National Park
Candess & Jess, Eastern Washington
YOU’RE INCREDIBLE! You’re personable and made us feel so comfortable and loved!
Sam did more than I ever imagined a photographer would. We gave her a big, empty circle (elopement in Glacier National park) and she helped work out all of the details. She removed any piece that could have seemed overwhelming. On top of all of that, she’s a fantastic photographer and a phenomenal person. Our wedding day was a group of friends, trudging through the woods (hot tea in hand, thanks to her and her husband), laughing, talking, and getting pictures along the way.
Leah & Mike, Glacier National Park
Caroline & Manny, Oregon Coast & Redwoods
Having Sam guide us through the process of planning our elopement was one of the best decisions we made about our wedding day. It was everything we wanted and exceeded our expectations. Sam was always available and I loved that I could text her about anything, wedding related or not. We really felt like we were more than just clients to her and that she wanted our day to be as intimate, connected, fun, and relaxed as we did. The day was amazing and beautiful, and looking back, the only thing we wish was that we had had more time with Sam (even though our day didn’t feel rushed as it was!). And even though we were living in two different countries throughout the entire planning process, my husband and I were able to get connected with each other on our day, which might not have been as possible with a big wedding and trying to please everyone else. Eloping with Sam by our side was an awesome experience and I feel like we’ve gained a life long friend in her! Thank you, Sam, for our special day and for our stunning photos!
We loved our intimate wedding at Cape Kiwanda – though it went by way too fast! Sam had some great location advice and since she was guiding us through the day, we were able to let go of the reins and not worry about making decisions ourselves. She also helped us with the timeline of the day and it turned out her suggestion that we needed even more time than we thought was spot on. It enabled us to capture everything that was most important to us. Our wedding day and ceremony was simple and sweet – just what we wanted.
Erika & Hakan, Oregon Coast
Hope & RJ, Oregon Coast
Sam exceeded our expectations as a photographer! She instantly made us comfortable about being in front of a camera. She captured us at our finest, weirdest and silliest (which is totally us!). We had a blast joking around with Sam and immediately realized we adored her and needed more Sam in our lives! We also had the greatest time together as a couple! I could not ask for any other images that actually tell our story and capture who we are as a couple. Plus, we got a nice wine tasting afterward!!! We highly recommend her if you want beautiful, personal and truly unique images. We already want more!
We were just overwhelmed with Sam’s help in finding essentially our wedding location. She’s everything rolled into ONE. I can’t thank her enough for capturing what we were picturing in our heads, so well. Not only did Sam capture our wedding day but she became a friend, who I will refer just about any and everyone to now. Thanks Sam!!!
Noey & Jeramie, Alabama Hills CA
Anna & Jamie, North Umpqua OR
Sam took our engagement and wedding photos and they are more beautiful than I could possibly have imagined. She captured so much more than images, she captured moments that we can always treasure. Having our picture taken is usually an uncomfortable experience for both me and my husband, but she so easily helped us forget the camera, allowing us to be ourselves. She is fun, engaging, imaginative, and incredibly talented, and I am so thankful to have met her on both professional and personal levels. If you’re looking for stunning and unique images, Sam is your gal.
Sam is a magical unicorn and she can take one heck of a photo! We were both so at ease with her and were able to be ourselves without feeling awkward or goofy or judged.
Cory & Matt, Portland OR
Tabby & Justin, Mary’s Peak OR
I don’t even know where to start when it comes to describing how amazing our experience with Sam was! We felt like we always had someone we could turn to for any wedding advice! We were planning a more traditional wedding, but wanted it to be small and sweet. Sam helped us really figure out what we were wanting and how to achieve that feeling…and gave us the confidence to stick to our wishes, even if they were non-traditional! Now, the photo experience. She honestly felt like working with a goofy friend. I remember thinking, how in the heck are these going to turn out intimate and sweet? We were honestly blown away! The pictures were more than we could have imagined…and for my husband who really is shy in front of the camera? You never would have known! Sam made it SO easy. Lastly, she’s just a really really awesome person! I loved getting to know her and really do consider her a friend! If you can snag her you are super lucky!!
Sam is an awesome communicator and very easy going. She went above and beyond in helping us the day of the wedding and helped us feel more relaxed during what could have been an awkward photo session of different poses. All of the pictures were even more beautiful than I’d hoped. Could not recommend her enough!!
Paula & Joe, Portland OR
Amanda & Darrell, Bend OR
You quickly helped us forget the camera with your kind, genuine, and fun demeanor. We left our session with a sense of relief knowing that we made the perfect choice for our wedding day. We can’t wait to have you be part of our big day!