The Beauty of Eloping

Elopements are not like they used to be anymore. When you elope it doesn’t mean you’re running away from your family and getting married in secret.

When you choose to elope that just means you and your fiancé are not traditional. You don’t dream of a big wedding, a huge party or having the most elaborate decoration. And that’s okay.

This year we flew to Brazil to shoot an elopement in one of the highest mountains in the state of Rio. Erika was our adventurous bride and she always thought she wanted a huge wedding. Until she met Marcelo. They both share a passion for trekking, hiking, rock climbing, and all sorts of adventures.

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Hiking nearly 6 hours, sleeping at the top of the mountain and waking up at 4 am for their ceremony couldn’t have been more... them. There was no other way they could picture their wedding day. And you know the coolest part about this? Their families were so happy about it.

There are no rules. If you can’t picture yourself having a traditional wedding, don’t do it. It’s the most special day of your lives and you should spend it how you want to.

As long as you’re both happy with the decision of eloping, your family and friends will be happy for you, they’ll understand. And there are plenty of ways to include them as well. Plan a family dinner after the fact, show up wearing your wedding attires and surprise them! That’s what Erika and Marcelo did and everyone was so excited to see them wearing their wedding clothes, bouquet in hand and all!

Climb a mountain, camp under the stars, read your vows barefoot above the clouds.

Have the wedding of YOUR dreams.

To see more pictures from this awesome elopement in Brazil, CLICK HERE.

Thinking about eloping? We would love to come along.

Inquire more information HERE.

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Why You Should Ask For Your Photographer’s Help With Your Wedding Timeline

When you start thinking about your wedding day, think about the photos you would wanna have. Do you want a couple of pictures of you getting ready and your mom zipping your dress up? Would you like to sneak out with your spouse during sunset and get the famous golden hour pictures?

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Well, for this to happen, you need to plan things out a little bit. And there is no one better to know how long each set of pictures will take than the person taking the photos itself, right?

Think about it: if a photographer shoots 20 to 30 weddings a year, imagine how many timelines he has seen before. He knows what works and what doesn’t. For example: based on your bridal party or family size, he’ll know how long the formal portraits will take, and he can guide you through how much time you need to separate for that and make sure nothing gets delayed.  

Your wedding day is one of the happiest days of your life. You hire a professional photographer because you want to be able to look at those pictures and be taken back to that day. You want those pictures to reflect what it was like being there. And believe me, your photographer wants the same thing.

When you give your photographer a shot list of the things you want to be photographed and allow him to help to make sure there is enough time to capture it all, things will go smoothly, and you’ll have plenty of photos to cherish for the rest of your life.

Yosemite Engagement Session - Taft Point Does It Again

Abigail and Jonathan got engaged back in August, at the top of Clouds Rest, a 15 mile round trip hike in Yosemite National Park. When they saw our pictures on Instagram from another Taft Point Engagement Session they thought that was the kind of feel they wanted for their photos! Up in the mountains and above the clouds, just like the proposal.

We took them to Taft Point last week and it did not disappoint. For obvious reasons, we love engagement sessions there, but it’s extra special when it’s the couple’s first time at that spot! When the trail ended and they could finally see the insanely beautiful landscape, Jonathan pulled his phone and started taking a video right away! I love getting to see those reactions.

As photographers, we always wish for an amazing sunrise or sunset. But we also know we can’t control the weather and we have to make the most out of whatever situation is presented to us.

Well, this situation was pretty awesome and, once again, we were so thankful to do what we do and to be able to witness an epic sunset like this at one of the most amazing places on Earth.

Scroll down the gallery to see what I’m talking about!

Planning a Wedding - Where to Start?

You just got engaged and everything is super exciting! You’re telling your family and friends, posting pictures, everyone is so happy. But then it comes the time to think about the big day and everything seems overwhelming.

Most people feel this way. Here are 4 SIMPLE TIPS to give you a good head start on this whole process:

  • Priorities First, Budget Second

Set your priorities. Sit down with your fiancé and write them down. What matters the most to you? Do you have a Venue of your dreams? Or a dress that you’ve always wanted to wear? Everything will cost money, but once you prioritize you can find a budget and still have the wedding of your dreams.

  • Wedding Date

Find your ideal date and have a plan B, C and D. Being flexible with your date will make it easier to book the Vendors you want. If there is a specific photographer you want and they’re already booked for your date, having a few more options will make your life easier. Also, getting married any other day that’s not Saturday is less stressful. We got married on a Tuesday, only had 3 months to plan our wedding, and had no problems booking any of the vendors we wanted.

  • Rough Timeline

95% of the Vendors you’ll meet will ask you if you have a timeline of your Wedding yet. So, build a rough one right away. Things will change through the course of planning, but knowing more or less what you want your day to look like will help you and your vendors tremendously. Think about certain things you wanna have for sure, like the bouquet toss, first dance, toasts, etc. If you have no idea what order they should happen, photographers and videographers are really good to help when it comes to that, ask them.

  • Number of Guests

This is also something you’ll get asked frequently while talking to vendors. This might affect the price of some of the things you have to book, like the Wedding Venue and Catering. So having a headcount is useful right away! And let’s be honest, most people know who they want at their wedding even before they get engaged.

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Wedding planning can be fun, seriously. Just remind yourself it’s your day and you get to spend it how you want to, not how other people think it should be.

Why are Engagement Sessions so important?

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I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of engagement photos out there, on Facebook, Instagram, etc. The background is somewhere really pretty and the couple is usually dressed up.

But why is it so common to do it?

There are a lot of benefits of doing an Engagement Session before your wedding day and I wanted to share some of them with you!

 

  • Interaction with your photographer(s)

You get to interact with your wedding photographer before the big day and vice versa!

An engagement session lasts for about two hours, and that doesn’t mean we spend two hours looking behind the camera and telling you to pose, nope. That means two hours of chatting, of getting to know each other!

We get to hear your story. It’s important for us we capture your relationship in the most genuine way possible and for that, we need to get to know you a little bit!

  •  Practice

Some people are beyond natural in front of the camera, it’s seriously a talent. And some people aren’t. And that’s okay. Your Engagement Session is the perfect practice to how it feels to be photographed before your wedding day.

It’s our job as photographers to make you feel comfortable and try to get you to have fun, even if taking pictures is not your favorite thing in the world!

  •  Location

You get to pick your location, and that’s so fun! We always advise to choose somewhere that’s special to both of you.

For us it was Yosemite. Since I’m from Brazil I’ve visited Stephan a few times before I moved in for good and honestly, Yosemite was the only place that made me feel home. I have an instant sense of happiness every time I get there. So, of course, our pictures would reflect that!

And even if your place isn’t a National Park, even if it’s a coffee shop where you two had your first date and have been going since, it’s special and it makes you happy, and it will show in the pictures.

  •  Use your pictures

I don’t know who had the genius idea first, but you can use your engagement pictures to make Save The Dates or even your wedding invitations!

Another great idea is to use them on a Guest Book album. We had one done for our wedding and love it! Our guests looked through our engagement album and wrote us the sweetest words that we love reading to this day.

And if none of that sounds too appealing to you, just share them away! Post them on your Social Media, use them as a fun countdown to the happiest day of your life!


 Engagement Photos might seem like a silly thing but, as photographers, we love them! We get to connect with you and vice versa! 

I hope this post helped you understand a little more about the many benefits of doing an Engagement Session, besides taking pretty pictures in pretty places.

Although that’s a pretty good reason too.


Wanna check out some more engagement photos? Just CLICK HERE !

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Husband & Wife - Fresno State Photo Session

Professional photography services are a luxury. You know that and we know that. It’s not a necessity. It’s not food, water or toilet paper. So, like any luxury, we save it for special dates like weddings, anniversaries, graduation, family photos for holiday cards, etc.

But sometimes this luxury brings a lot more than just pretty pictures. Sometimes a photoshoot can make you relive certain memories and put a huge smile on your face. And that’s what happened during this photoshoot last Sunday.

Chantea and Michael are married and have four beautiful kids. They met at Fresno State, the same place where he proposed to her, right in front of the library. She had this vision to relive their student days during the photoshoot and we got on board right away. We had such a good time, shot them in four different locations, with three different outfits in just an hour and a half, it was a blast!

So yes, professional photography is a luxury, but it’s also an experience! A photoshoot can make a regular day turn into a special day! You’ll end up with pictures to remember that particular date forever, and even if it’s not the biggest occasion of your life, it’s still worth having memories of.


CLICK HERE for more information and pricing on our Photo Sessions.

South Lake Tahoe Proposal & Engagement Session

I don’t know how, but California seriously continues to impress me. I’ve moved here a year ago and it seems like there is an infinite amount of things to do and see. When Tanner reached out to me about proposing to his girlfriend at Lake Tahoe I couldn’t be more excited. Stephan had been there before but I hadn’t, and we’ve been talking about making a trip there for a while but, you know, life.

We woke up around 6 am, made tons of coffee and started our drive to South Lake Tahoe. We got there just in time for a picnic in front of the lake and to head up to the proposal spot. Tanner and Hannah were coming all the way from Chicago and he wanted to propose at the Observation Deck because he knew she really wanted to go up the Gondola. He figured it would probably have an amazing view and be perfect for the big moment. But just a little detail: none of us had been up there before.

So Stephan and I went up an hour before and found out right away that the deck did have a gorgeous view, but it was crowded and not intimate at all. So we continued to walk and found a little hiking path just below the deck that was gold. Empty, quiet and with basically the same views from the deck.

I texted Tanner the directions to the spot and pictures of it and he loved it! We captured their sweet proposal, full of laughter and smiles, and then did an engagement session right after. I have to say, there is really nothing like taking pictures after a proposal. I mean, they had just got engaged, were so genuinely happy and plus, it was their first day of their vacation in Lake Tahoe, and also first time seeing the mountains! The joy was real, and it shows in the photos.


Thinking about asking the big question and getting it all documented?

Contact us and we’ll make it happen!

A Real Adventurous Elopement - in BRAZIL!

Para ler o texto em português, CLIQUE AQUI.

“It’s funny how we create expectations on important events in our life. Since I was little, I always dreamed of a perfect wedding, a princess dress, and a huge party with elaborate and impeccable decoration. But life always proves that no dream or thought can create something better than what it was supposed to happen. I couldn’t imagine it was going to be like this, because I could never imagine that it could have been so perfect. The only thing I got it right is that it would be with the most amazing man in the world.”

These are words from our adventurous bride Erika. I have been struggling to write something that can do justice to what spending 3 days with Marcelo and Erika documenting their intimate wedding journey was like. But she said it all and her words couldn’t have been more truthful to the whole experience.

They went through a lot a week before the wedding, had to do a million things and continue to work on top of that. They arrived late at night in the city we were sleeping in and still had to organize our bags and all the food for our trip. We had to wake up really early the next day, and the weather forecast was predicting rain for the rest of the week. Anyone else could’ve complained about all these things and more. But not them.

At 6am the next day I stumbled on to Erika’s smiling face in the bathroom, putting her contacts on and brushing her teeth, beyond excited. She sat on the floor, made her bouquet and wrote her vows while Marcelo’s uncle, bless his heart, made us coffee. We started our hike at about 10am and five hours, some rain and some sunshine later, we arrived at the hut we were gonna sleep in.

Marcelo announced to all the other hikers that he was getting married at the top of the mountain the next day, at sunrise, and whoever wanted to wake up was invited. After a poor night of sleep, being woken up by someone snoring crazy loud, we were all up and ready to go by 5 am no problem!

There wasn’t going to be an epic sunrise, and we knew that. But that didn’t bother any of us. Still wearing winter clothes, hiking gear and headlamps they hugged each other one last time before the ceremony and went their separate ways to get ready. The sun lit them through the fog and, at the top of the mountain, barefoot, cold and happy, they spoke some of the prettiest words I’ve heard. With impeccable timing, the rain waited for the end of the ceremony and for us to take pictures to come pouring down, blessing their marriage.

By the time we got back to the hut, all the hikers were up and outside cheering the newlyweds. They were received with applause and genuine hugs from people that they met the night before. Everyone wanted a picture with them and the energy that filled that space was like no other. I have to say, only in Brazil you get to celebrate your intimate mountain elopement with people that you’ve never met before, and that were as excited about your wedding as you.

Erika didn’t have a big party. No fancy dinner or crazy decoration. But she had the wedding she wanted to have. Their wedding was the first one ever at Pedra do Sino. They couldn’t stop smiling, and we couldn’t either.


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Thinking about eloping?

We would love to come along.