With any wedding day, finding the right photographer is essential – because not only will they be responsible for capturing the best moments of your lives and creating a tangible reminder of memories you’ll treasure forever, they’ll also be the ones hanging out with you all day and following you around (in a not creepy way). This means that while liking their work is important, it’s just as important that they’re someone you can spend the day with!
This becomes extra important when you choose to elope – because with a shorter (or nonexistent) guest list, your photographer is going to be a huge part of your day! It’s a pretty big decision, and a lot of couples have no idea how to find a wedding photographer, much less an elopement photographer as they’ve likely never planned an elopement before. But don’t worry, that’s what I’m here for – to give you all the tips and tricks on how to find a wedding photographer for your elopement, from deciding what kind of editing style you like to making sure you vibe with their personality.
The first step to figuring out how to find a wedding photographer is to figure out what exactly you’re looking for!
You know how all squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares? It’s kind of like that with wedding photographers and elopement photographers! While most wedding photographers will gladly take on elopements as well, there are some huge advantages to finding someone who specializes exclusively in adventure elopements.
Often, if you’re looking at pricing from a wedding photographer, they’ll have a cheaper rate for elopements that only includes a few hours of coverage. And here’s why that kind of sucks!
This perpetuates the myth that elopements are less meaningful, and less valuable, than big weddings – which just isn’t true! Just because you have fewer guests doesn’t mean your day doesn’t matter. It’s not about just doing a quick ceremony and a few photos – the entire elopement day should be an experience, because this is still the day you get married!
Elopement photographers understand why you’re eloping – that it’s not a way to rush your wedding or avoid investing time and money into your day, it’s about being intentional and getting married in a way that actually feels true to you. They get that you’re not one to follow the crowd (which is badass, but sometimes kind of scary!) and will be there cheering you on – because they know how it is!
Did you know that in the middle ages, there was something called a barber surgeon?
It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like – a barber who also performs surgery! The logic was that a barber has razors and hand eye coordination, which made them qualified to do medical procedures.
Today, you probably wouldn’t ask your doctor to cut your hair, or your barber to take out a kidney – because you know that it takes an entirely different skill set! Eloping isn’t the same as planning a big wedding, and someone who specializes in elopement photography knows all the ins and outs – because there’s more to it than being able to use a camera! Elopement photographers have experience dealing with the outdoors, they know when you’ll need a permit, they’re passionate about exploring and know all the best hidden gem locations, and they know how to make sure your elopement is exactly what you want.
Now that you know what you’re looking for – let’s talk about how to find a wedding photographer for your elopement who feels like the perfect fit!
When you’re figuring out how to find a wedding photographer, the most popular pces to start are Instagram, Google, and Pinterest. If you know where you want to elope, start your search near that location! You can be as specific as “Lake Tahoe elopement photographer,” or as broad as “California elopement photographer.” The great thing is that most elopement photographers love to travel – so don’t hesitate to expand your search!
As you search, the first thing you should look at is their photos. Check out their social media, but make sure you go to their websites too – because while social media is a way to display their best work, it’s important that you see photos of entire elopement days to get an idea of their style. If you like their work, make sure they seem like someone you could click with! Read their Instagram bio, look around their website, and see if you can picture spending the best day of your life with them.
If you’ve made a list of people you like, and there’s more than one photographer on the list, it’s totally okay to email multiple elopement photographers while you’re looking. Submit the contact form on their websites, and wait for the email!
This might help you narrow down your search too, whether it’s because they’re out of budget or just not a good fit.
It’s really hard to get a feel for someone’s personality over email – so it’s important to schedule calls with the photographers you like. This will help you get to know them, and help them get to know you, and give you both an idea of what you want your elopement day to look like! Don’t hesitate to ask questions about anything and everything.
If you had consultations with multiple people, it’s time to decide! A lot of factors go into this decision – like budget and how much you like their work, but the most important one is how you felt talking to them. You don’t necessarily have to feel like BFFs immediately, but you should make sure that they’re someone you see yourself hanging out with on your elopement day, and someone you trust to document the day! Let them know you want them to photograph your elopement, and they’ll tell you what the next steps will be.
Side note – email the other photographers you talked to to let them know you’ve gone in a different direction!
We’re all about helping couples have a stress free elopement day, and one that actually reflects who they are. As a husband and wife team, our goal is to create incredible experiences with a twist of adventure – so that when you look back on the day you got married, you can remember it as being everything you dreamed of.
We offer all inclusive elopement packages with photography, videography, live music, planning assistance, and everything you’ll need for your day! Contact us to learn more.
If you're thinking about eloping or getting married in NorCal, our blog is an excellent resource for inspiration. We've got sneak peeks of recent weddings, tips for eloping in Northern California, and more. Let The Adventure Begin is the perfect place to start planning.
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