Sometimes, you just need to go to a waterfall in the middle of the week and sit at a lookout until the sun goes down. Spending time with your person is just as important as all the other big things in life. I know I'm usually sharing couples getting married and engaged, but I've found that it's all the little things in-between that matter the most. Silver Falls is one of my favorite places in Oregon, there's this 10 waterfall hike you can do that is pretty incredible. All to say, take the night off, stop watching Netflix, get outside, and spend some real undistracted time with your loved ones, because it's a big deal.
Do you dream of eloping, but know that it means too much to your family + friends not to?
You're not alone.
The elopements that you see all over instagram and the internet where a bride + groom plan an epic trip to some far off land with cliffs and waterfalls have only really been a thing for the last 5 years. That's probably why your parents don't get it.
The thing about eloping that really is so incredible (and what I love so much about them) isn't the killer photos or even the money that you will probably save on catering and an open bar, it's the intimacy.
I'll just start out by saying if you don't know who Dawn is, then you probably should. She's an amazingly driven photographer who lives in Oregon and has a huge love for adventure and the outdoors. I was so honored when she asked me to shoot her engagement session and her plan to go into the mountains and adventure around for an afternoon was so perfectly her, I didn't expect anything less.
We drove out towards Sisters, OR, stopping along the way when we found pretty forests, braving some epic winds that left our hair in one giant dreadlock, and laughing so much my abs were sore by the end of the day. If you can't tell through the photos, Dusty is a character and these two together is an experience to be had.
It was so cool to be a part of their story, not only because I think Dawn is the sweetest/coolest/most bad-ass photographer, but because as a wedding photographer, you know the ins and outs of the whole industry, and every decision you make for your OWN wedding is well-informed and thought out. That being said, they are doing everything exactly the way they want to, no outside pressure or following obligation, but making it just about the two of them, and I love this so so much.
From the first time I talked to these two, I knew right away that they were the most relaxed, down to earth couple and we would all have so much fun together. They had found this spot on Canon Beach where the tide goes down far enough to access a different, secluded beach, and their dream was to have a little private table setting, in the water, as the sun was going down. It was nothing short of amazing.
Then we spent the rest of the daylight dancing in the waves and I just stood back and captured these two playful souls be together just as they are.
These two came all the way from Ohio to elope on the beautiful Northern California coast. Their families stayed together at the Lost Whale Inn, an incredible bed and breakfast right on the ocean in Trinidad, CA. It had the coolest old school sauna that the men soaked in before the wedding. Everything on this day was so simple, full of emotion, love, connection, and natural beauty, just as an elopement should be. They said their vows under the towering redwood trees with tears streaming down their faces and family members encircling them. Then we adventured into fern canyon, walking through streams and jumping over logs in heels like it's no big deal. There was so much love shared on this day, I feel like the images can barely contain it.
Two of the best people I know. We parked as far as we could in Lassen National Park (the roads aren't fully open for the season yet) and walked into a meadow full of mosquitoes and incredible views. We spent the night just hanging out, talking about life, barefoot and drinking beer till the sun went down. This is what summer nights are made of.
Not even sure where to start with this wedding because it was truly an unforgettable experience. Michiko + Daniel live in Dubai and brought a handful to friends over to Fukuoka, Japan (where Michiko used to live) to celebrate their wedding with their closest family + friends. We met them a few days earlier to hang out, get to know each other, take a few photos in this incredible tucked away Japanese garden in the middle of the city, and of course eat ramen. I knew right away that they were some of the most kind hearted people and I felt so honored to be the one to capture their special day.
The night before their wedding everyone went out to a pop up food stall to hang out, drink sake, and eat some of the craziest food like snail, whale, sea urchin, cow tongue, octopus, to just name a few. It was quite the experience and we felt so included + welcomed as part of the family. It was a complete cultural immersion to say the least and Rich and I fell so in love with this country and all of it's people.
On the wedding day, Michiko is from Japan and Daniel is from the UK so there was a bit of infusion from both cultures in their day. They said their vows out on the lawn next to the ocean with a view of the city in the distance, and then changed into traditional Japanese kimono's for the first reception. Their families came together to break open a barrel of sake from the bride's hometown and served it to every guest in appreciation of their friendship and love. Then they headed indoors for a second reception with more incredible food + danced to gangnam style like no other wedding party I've seen.
Linda + Jake's story is a little different than most. They contact me a few months ago explaining how they spontaneously eloped last year and never got any engagement or wedding photos done professionally and realized they still wanted them. Re-creating this day for them was so special and no better place to do so than in the Redwoods of Northern California. Linda had always wanted to wear a veil, but didn't use one when they eloped at city hall, so she made sure she had one for our shoot together. We met and had their first look under the towering Redwood trees, and ended the night on the coast just as the sun was setting.