arches national park elopement
Most of the couples I’m lucky enough to photograph are not from Moab. I can’t say for certain, but I would imagine that this might be different for photographers in larger, more populated areas. I rarely get to meet couples in person before their big day. Instead, we usually get to hop on a phone call or FaceTime (hello, awkward me in front of my computer’s camera!). Ashley, Victor, and I didn’t have the chance to meet before their elopement in Arches National Park, so the first time I met them was in the parking lot of the visitors center, just under an hour before they were scheduled to say “I do”.
We hopped in our cars and headed a short ways up into the park. The weather had been iffy that week, just raining a little, but I’ll always shoot in any kind of weather. Rain, snow, I’ll take it. I often love how the desert looks in weather other than our typical sunshine and blue skies. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up in southern California and will take sunshine over pretty much anything else, but when it comes to photography I genuinely love pushing myself creatively, trying to see landscapes I’ve hiked through and explored literally hundreds of times in a new light (or lack thereof). So anytime I have a wedding or couples session booked and it’s looking like there’s going to be some weather, I’m stoked.
The clouds were thick and hung low throughout the ceremony, creating a beautiful, soft light the entire time. After their intimate gathering with just close friends and family, the three of us headed further into the park to take some portraits of just the two of them. We visited balanced rock and guess what? NO ONE WAS THERE! Anyone who had been to Arches National Park knows that that is a rarity, to say the least. We stopped just for a few minutes, but it was long enough to witness the sun peek it’s little face out through the clouds. From there we headed to the windows section, one of my favorite spots in Arches, to finish up the evening taking pictures beneath those magical frames.
But I have to say, my favorite part of Ashley and Victor’s wedding weekend was the bridal session they scheduled the day after their wedding. I LOVE that couples are starting to carve out more time for these sessions. It allows us to explore a different area, you end up with tons more photos in a different location, plus you get an excuse to wear that gorgeous dress at least one more time.
Dead Horse Point did what it is notorious for doing – it showed off all that gorgeous, golden desert light, filling the canyons just as the sun started to dip down below the horizon. The photos of the two of them bathed in that golden hour light are some of my favorites to date. I can’t thank the two of them enough for asking me in for the weekend to capture such a beautiful celebration of their love, and the beginning of their adventurous life together. Thank you! And hey, happy holidays to you and yours. xo