Real Elopements

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When these two decided to get married, they had a choice: spend a huge chunk of money on a traditional wedding, or put that money towards home improvements and have a smaller backyard wedding. Especially when Covid hit, their decision was made for them. But look!!! Needless to say, they made the right decision. If you’ve followed my work for any period of time, you know that backyard wedding photography is near and dear to my heart. I love the simplicity of a smaller wedding (having had one myself). I love photographing them, especially. That’s the only thing I regret skimping on for my own backyard wedding, and I love that these two took the time and planned for good backyard wedding photography.

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This year has been crazy. It’s 2020. When Covid-19 first hit, it severely limited or cancelled dozens of planned weddings. Most couples decided to wait and see what would happen. After a few months, more and more couples were faced with a choice: cut the guest list severely, elope, or put your wedding on hold indefinitely. Indoor weddings were almost impossible altogether. As a wedding and Yosemite elopement photographer, I started seeing couples look around for alternatives.

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C contacted me on FaceBook a little while ago asking if I’d be up for a short-notice mini, backyard wedding in Santa Clarita. I have a huge soft spot for backyard weddings, I had one myself. And C’s sweet conversation convinced me this would be a wedding of dreams. C and E loved each other so much. It was obvious from the first moment. I peeked into C’s getting ready room and found E had slipped a note under her door, saying that he loved her to infinity. These little moments are reasons I love photographing backyard weddings. When the production is stripped away, you get to the bare-bones love of the day. The entire family pitched in, decorated the whole house, and invited me to sit down for delicious food. It was amazing perfection.

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I love marriage. I think marriage is valuable, regardless of how the wedding has to happen. Simple or complex, the wedding doesn’t matter as much as the two people entering into the marriage together. Which is one reason I was so excited when Quique and Sahana asked me to photograph their Covid-19 elopement at the Honda Center. Because this will be a day and a time we will tell our kids about. And when there are photos, it’s so much more of a story.

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As with almost all the weddings this summer, Masha and Nate’s was put on hold due to Coronavirus. However, they couldn’t wait, and decided to hold a tiny backyard celebration anyway. They picked up the pieces of their original wedding, did a lot of DIY, made masks, and invited the people closest to them who weren’t as vulnerable. I love photographing backyard weddings. They are near and dear to my heart, since I had one, too.

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Quite awhile ago, Liba and Sasha contacted me about doing photography for their grand Los Angeles wedding. Then, 2020 hit, and nobody was sure what to do. These two decided to get married anyway, and needless to say, it was a good choice. I loved photographing for their backyard microwedding. I’m so proud they decided to get married anyway. Maybe that’s a weird response, but I’m a huge fan of love, and finding your spouse, and marrying them, regardless of how much money you have. That’s one reason I love offering affordable wedding packages and alternatives.

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I had the privilege of photographing this wedding with Kathryn Cooper, who is an AMAZING elopement and international photographer. She hired me because, obviously, she liked my work, but Stanley, Idaho, also happens to be a very familiar place. I grew up a few hours from there and visited a lot as a kid. My parents actually got married at Redfish Lake, as well (although I wasn’t there for that part, haha).

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Happy bride mountain elopement photography wedding photography los angeles
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So, you want to elope, but don’t know how your family will react? Here’s a little advice from someone who has seen a LOT of weddings. As a Los Angeles wedding photographer, I get involved very early on in the process. And I totally understand the thought of “I want to elope.” I’ve seen the planning process and the stress of traditional, big weddings. I have had my own relatively simple traditional wedding. And I’ve photographed quite a few elopements. If you want to elope, go for it! Here are some tips for breaking it to family/friends. The photos scattered throughout this post link to real elopements I’ve photographed recently. Hopefully this article comforts your soul and helps in your journey.

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Inside an artist’s chest there beats two hearts. One is weak and ugly. It is necessary, the pessimist, the one who critiques, talks finances, and picks out all the little details that aren’t correct. The other one is colorful, vibrant, relishes the colors of the sunset, and imagines up the most beautiful creations. It never thinks about something as trivial as money or food. Those things just don’t matter compared to the soul-filling joy of CREATING.

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