Shannon and Josh kick off their National Park tour by eloping in Yosemite

It’s easy to dream. And often times it’s less easy to make those dreams a reality.

I remember my first conversation with Josh and Shannon. It kicked off with them telling me about their dream to hike around all of the National Parks together. If starting the dream in Yosemite wasn’t enough, try eloping there as well to kick off the tour! Hailing from Illinois, Josh and Shannon have never been to Yosemite before. As their photographer and guide for the day, I was psyched and honored to show them Yosemite and some of my favorite places.

There are a number of approaches that I’ve witnessed over the years of documenting couple’s wedding day. 100% of the time, the approach that seems to yield the greatest of experiences are those that are intentionally open-ended. Where there is minimal planning and exploration is top priority. From my experience, when you loosen your grip on the perfectly-planned, opportunity arises. This almost sounds like an arguable equation for adventure :)

It was also awesome to witness Shannon overcome her fear of heights for the sake of a handful of images that they’d have to look back on forever. Images amongst granite cliffs showcasing the reality and true scale of all things Yosemite. Congrats Josh and Shannon!

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When road trips turn into elopements. Aspen, Colorado.

If you are Tarik and Marisa your sense of adventure is a mix of the open road, being in the mountains and welcoming an open ended agenda. When they decided to elope on a road trip across the West, they purposefully decided to leave the door open to whatever the western landscape had in store for them.  With this sort of surrender to what is immediately around you, the world is your oyster! Even if it happens to be on the day you tie the knot.

We met up on a dirt road just on the outskirts of Aspen, Colorado and rallied our trucks towards the brightest aspen groves we could find. You can never go wrong being in the Rockies, especially during the fall when the colors are raging! Tarik and Marisa got ready in an abandoned cabin and chased each other across hillsides to the backdrop of 14,000 foot peaks. They also officiated their own ceremony and signed their wedding license on the tailgate of their truck. It was an honor to sign it as their witness! Their wedding day story encompasses so much more but we’ll let the photos tell that part.

From my perspective it was awesome watching this day take shape. Our first conversation was basically along the lines of, “We want to elope somewhere rad with a little bit of adventure in the mix. Can you help us with that?” Without hesitation I was in! I love jumping on board with couples. I love the process of taking a super open ended idea and partnering with couples to make their adventure based elopement a reality.

Cheers Tarik and Marisa!

Enjoy Life.

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