How to Get the Best Photos from Your Elopement

couple eloping at lake in Colorado mountains

If you’ve made the super brave decision to buck tradition and have an epic elopement somewhere wild you’re probably putting a lot of thought into some very important things – and one of those things is likely how to get the best elopement photos. While I remind every couple I work with that this day is about so much more than photos, I also understand that having killer photos to help you remember the day and share with the folks that couldn’t be there is really important. Believe me, I get it! With that in mind, here are some tips for getting the best elopement photos from your big day!

1. Plan your elopement around sunrise or sunset

This one is HUGE. Good photography is all about good light and the best light for photos happens that the beginning and end of the day. I always recommend that my couples plan their day around having good light for the most important photos. For some couples that means saying their vows right as the sun rises or sets and for others it means exploring and taking epic photos during those times – whatever is most important to you in terms of photos is what should be during that time! While some “bad” light is hard to avoid for all day elopements, don’t plan on having the entirety of your day take place when the sun is super high. Need help figuring out when this is or how to plan a day around it? Ask your photographer! Coming up with awesome elopement timelines is what we are here for!

2. Go heavier on the makeup

Makeup generally photographs much lighter than it looks in real life. I am admittedly NOT a makeup person and felt like I had a ton of makeup on when my husband and I got married – but you can barely see it in photos. While the most important thing is for you to be comfortable on that day, if you are open to doing heavier makeup by all means GO FOR IT. What may feel like too much in real life will probably look perfect in photos. If you’re not sure how to do this or need some help I’d recommend hiring a pro. They’re the experts! They’re also really good at doing hair and makeup that will LAST all day, even through a hike!

bride doing makeup for elopement

3. Choose your photographer wisely

Every photographer has a different style, personality, and skillset and they bring all of those things to your elopement! When choosing a photographer pick one whose vibe, editing style, and photos you love. Some photographers are more oriented towards serious, intimate photos while others have couples laughing through their entire elopement. What kind of couple are you and what kind of photos do you want? Having a good idea of who you are as a couple is a great place to start! For my couples, they often tell me they want candid photos of couples who look like they’re able to really enjoy their day and have a blast so that’s what we go for!

couple enjoying sunset at Colorado elopement

4. Try to relax

I know this is easier said than done but being relaxed is really one of the keys to getting the best elopement photos. If you are feeling super stiff and uncomfortable it will show in your photos (this is also one of the reasons its super important to choose a photographer who you feel comfortable with!!)! Take a deep breath (and maybe a shot or two) and remember why you’re here – because the two of you are getting married and that is freaking awesome. Don’t take yourself too seriously – and remember to have fun! This is an adventure, not a photo shoot.

first dance on mountain top at Colorado elopement

5. Trust your photographer

You picked this person for a reason and the best thing you can do is put your trust in them. Chances are they know what they’re doing and how to help you get the best elopement photos possible. If you have questions (about anything! from timeline to your dress to what to do with your hands …), ASK THEM! That’s what they are there for! The more you can trust their advice and suggestions the better off you (and your photos!) will be!

Need more elopement inspiration and advice? Here are more tips!

Full Day Elopements: What are they and why would you want one?

Wedding Traditions to Include in Your Elopement (if you want!)

A Guide to Eloping in Iceland


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Adventure elopement photographers photo of bride and groom walking through mountains at misty Colorado elopement.



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