Sunrise Yosemite Elopement

So somehow I got to be close friends with some of the most amazing people in the world. Not to mention some of the most talented people in the world as well. In July I was given the opportunity to shoot another unforgettable elopement with my lady, Anni Graham.

This little elopement in Yosemite turned out to be one of the most breathtaking experiences I have ever had, when really we were all very worried it was going to be ruined from the incredible heavy smoke that had filled the valley. So much so, it closed down the entire park. So on a whim, and with Anni’s years of expertise in Yosemite, we made the last minute decisions to head to Tuolumne Pines at 4am to catch the sunrise for Christina and Greg’s first look.

There were definitely tears while we all took in the sunrise over the water like we had never seen the sun rise before. The rest of the weekend was filled with mariachi bands, german lederhosen, unicorn masks, and so much more. To say the least, the smoke didn’t even have a chance on making this wedding anything less than what it was, dang special.

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Arizona Cliffside Vow Renewal

Just so you know, before every client meeting, every shoot, every wedding, I get so incredibly nervous to the point where I can’t even think straight and am about 99% sure I am going to vomit. It has nothing to do with our clients, it has everything to do with me, and I can’t help it.

The reason I am telling you all this unnecessary information about me, is because this time around was different. And I’m not just saying that. Something about Cody & Erin is different.

We met Cody and Erin for the first time in Flagstaff, Arizona. Cody, Erin, & Erin’s mom, Theresa, planned to meet up with Cole and I as we were passing through on our road trip home to California. When Erin and I first began talking over email she told me her and Cody had been married for a year and were just really looking to celebrate their first anniversary by going all out and doing a little couple’s shoot out at Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona. (Mind you, this was going all out since they were coming from Kansas City, MO) After arriving in Arizona, meeting Cody & Erin at an Airbnb, Cole and I slowly began to uncover some major key points about this weekend that we were so blindsided by. We found out that the main reason why we were here and why they were going all out is because of an insanely devastating experience they had, and every photographer’s nightmare for their clients. Cody and Erin after hiring a photographer for their wedding, because of many reasons, found themselves with almost no good/keepable photos from their most important day. Including not even receiving what was most important to Erin, a photo of her and her mom on her wedding day. Insane.

So Cole and I had a mission. Step one, have a kick ass time. Step Two, get a photo of Erin and her mom. Step Three, to try and give these two incredible people absolutely everything they deserve. And that’s exactly what we did.

Let me just say this. Our weekend in Arizona with these three was unforgettable. Not ONCE did I feel pressured, or nervous, or sick. I felt totally at peace like our purpose was to be there, with them, right in that moment, giving them this gift that they so deserved.

We enjoyed a dip in Lake Powell over some guacamole and big waves almost taking away all our belongings, followed by a sweet and peaceful night on the side of the canyon where Erin & Cody renewed their vows to each other at dusk. We ended the night with sparklers, in honor of a sparkler run they had had at their wedding a year before, and quietly watching the stars as their first dance song played and tears streamed down our faces.

This is what we live for. This is why we do what we do.

Erin & Cody, you guys touched our hearts, big time. We feel so blessed to call you guys forever friends.

We love you, and cannot wait to meet baby Callow come this December.

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