Kind Words | Reviews & Testimonials | Sam Starns Elopements

KIND WORDs

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.

3 3
Client Testimonials
Katherin & Clay
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.
Scroll through
Client Testimonials
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!
Scroll through
Client Testimonials
Road to Hana Maui elopement at rainbow eucalyptus trees
Nikki & Evan, Maui
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.
Scroll through
Client Testimonials
Alaska adventure elopement photographer
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.
Scroll through
Client Testimonials
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.
Scroll through
Client Testimonials
Horseback riding Kauai elopement
Deidra & Juan, Kauai
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.
Scroll through
Client Testimonials
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.
Scroll through
Client Testimonials
Martyka & Steve, Oregon Coast
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.
Scroll through
Client Testimonials
Will my friends and family be upset if I elope - adventure elopement photographer - redwoods elopement
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.
Scroll through
Client Testimonials
Nikki & Tom
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.
Scroll through
Client Testimonials
Redwoods elopement, adventure elopement photographer
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.
Scroll through
Client Testimonials
Glacier National Park Elopement Photographer, adventure elopement photographer
Kendal & Mike, Glacier National Park
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!
Scroll through
Client Testimonials
Candess & Jess, Eastern Washington
YOU'RE INCREDIBLE! You're personable and made us feel so comfortable and loved!
Scroll through
Client Testimonials
Glacier National Park Elopement Photographer
Leah & Mike, Glacier National Park
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.
Scroll through
Client Testimonials
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!
Scroll through
Client Testimonials
Erika & Hakan, Oregon Coast
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.
Scroll through
Client Testimonials
Samuel H. Boardman Oregon Coast Elopement Intimate Wedding S Photography Adventure Photography
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!
Scroll through
Client Testimonials
Lone-Pine-Mt-Whitney-California-Alabama-Hills-Elopement
Noey & Jeramie, Alabama Hills CA
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!!!
Scroll through
Client Testimonials
Oregon-Coast-Adventure-Elopement
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.
Scroll through
Client Testimonials
Cory & Matt, Portland OR
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.
Scroll through
Client Testimonials
Oregon Intimate Wedding Photographer
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!!
Scroll through
Client Testimonials
Oregon Elopement Photographer
Paula & Joe, Portland OR
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!!
Scroll through
Client Testimonials
Oregon-Coast-Shore-Acres-Adventure-Engagement-Session
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!
Scroll through