as anyone that knows me will tell you, I love surprises. so when Sarah contacted me and told me that she and Seth were on an extended road trip, that they had just gotten engaged, and that they wanted to have their engagements taken in moab before any of their family or friends even knew, I was beyond excited for them. they were totally up for the adventure of driving about 45 minutes outside of town to one of my favorite hiking trails in the area. they were one of those couples I had wished I could've spent a lot more time with. come back, you two! in the meantime, congratulations on your upcoming wedding! and thank you for walking around barefoot in the desert with me. xo
any couple that is willing to trust me enough to follow me down a dirt road long before the sun comes up (and comes dressed to the nines!) is my kind of pair. amber and cody had planned a weekend getaway to moab for their engagement session last fall and because of our schedules we decided to go with a sunrise session at one of the best canyon views around moab. going through these photos again has me longing for those warm early mornings in the desert, and gets me excited about scheduling more sunrise sessions! who's in?
p.s. thank you amber & cody for being so dang wonderful. and congratulations on your upcoming wedding!
one of the great aspects of being an outdoor wedding photographer is that i get to be outside during sunset almost every single night during the busy season. desert sunsets (and sunrises!) never disappoint, but you don't ever know exactly what you're going to get. jake & mikayla's early october wedding last fall at dead horse point started out perfect - a beautifully sunny late afternoon ceremony, all of their close friends and family gathering along the canyon edge. a lot of tears were shed during the ceremony, making it really hard not to do the same behind the camera. immediately following the ceremony a little wind started to pick up, gradually increasing in intensity, when suddenly the entire canyon became draped in a rosy pink and orange sherbet hue, colors i don't think i've ever seen in the 10 years i've lived in moab. i did my usual squeal when i see incredible light, and we hurried away from the crowds for just a moment to snap a few shots of these two, newly married and crazy in love. the unpredictable nature of planning a wedding can be really unnerving, but i absolutely love it. you never know what you're going to get on your wedding day, but you can be sure that if you plan to be in the desert, something epic will happen. :) thank you mikayla & jake. lots of love to you both!
location: dead horse point state park, moab, utah
florals: intertwined floral
there are so many gorgeous and unique spots to get married in and around moab, many of which I've photographed more than one wedding at (which I love!), but it's always exciting to have the opportunity to capture a wedding in a new location. I had visited this place a handful of times because a popular mountain biking trail runs right by the front door of the yurt, but I had never imagined just how stunning a celebration would be in this meadow high above moab in the la sal mountains. kyle and liz live in northern utah, but moab holds a special place in both their hearts. they wanted to get married outdoors, in the mountains, in a location that could handle all their amazing friends and family. with a large field nearby for everyone to camp in, and a view that trumps most, the yurt was the perfect spot.
I looooved liz's vintage gown, and their ceremony that was both a celebration of their love for each other and their gratitude for the people there to witness it all. if you're thinking of getting married in moab but want to go somewhere a little different, high above the red rock, I'd absolutely recommend these yurts.
location: talking mountain yurts
some sessions are just so easy and comfortable that you sort of forget you're even shooting. maddy and jake's session was just like that. they are both moab locals so i had seen them a bit around town and we had recently grabbed a drink at eddie's to chat about their upcoming wedding this year (!), but this was the first time that we were able to just chat about whatever and enjoy the stunning beauty of our own backyard. these two are so very genuine, i cannot wait to capture their wedding day later this year! xo
keri & carter's outdoor mountain wedding at whispering oaks ranch was so incredibly fun. these two are some of the kindest and most welcoming people i've ever met, and they definitely know how to have a good time. keri is a florist and has a keen eye for gorgeous little details (check out the rose petal lined aisle!), so the pavilion looked amazing. their pup was there, too, sneaking his way next to them during the ceremony. i love dogs, so any time a couple brings their dog to a session or a wedding, you can be sure you're going to end up with a lot of photos of them!
there was champagne and delicious food (all cooked in dutch ovens!), some tears and a lot of laughter, and oh the dancing. that dance floor was packed from the moment their friends and family could get themselves out there. keri and her friends even did a little choreographed number to madonna. my cheeks were hurting from smiling the entire evening, so needless to say, their day was perfect. cheers to you both, i wish you a lifetime of even more laughter and dancing, good runs and tight lines. :) congratulations!
location: whispering oaks ranch, moab, utah
i cannot believe i haven't shared this session yet! this year i will be better at blogging all of these incredible couples in a timely manner. but back to colby and jazmin - these two were an absolute dream to photograph. they were so down to earth and definitely shared my same sarcastic sense of humor. we spent some time exploring a gorgeous little spot in dead horse point state park, tucked away from the crowds that head straight to the main overlook. we talked about tattoos (i LOVED theirs), work, and their upcoming wedding in hawaii. this session was everything i love about photography - incredible golden sunset light and a rad couple that was amazing to spend time with outside. happy first week of the year all!
i loved everything about amanda and travis's wedding day. a small, intimate ceremony with close family and friends; a relaxed reception in town; and the most spectacular location for them to say their "i do's". they were married under sand dune arch in arches national park on a perfect day in september. usually i write a lot more, but i think these photos speak for themselves: these two truly love each other, and i was lucky enough to capture that pure happiness for them this fall. thank you! happy new year all.
i've photographed quite a few proposals now, but every time i get that initial e-mail in my inbox or excited voicemail, i let out a little squeal. i love shooting these! they take a lot of planning and logistics, but there's always a bit that's left unplanned - you never know how they're both going to react when the moment finally hits - and that's my favorite part. it's possibly my favorite part about being a photographer, capturing genuine emotion for couples to relive long after the moment has passed.
brent contacted me early in the fall and we started scheming. he had a few locations in mind, and together we narrowed it down to mesa arch in canyonlands national park. this is the place to be at sunrise, so it was no surprise that there were photographers lined up in front of the arch long before the sun came up. i told brent to bring his soon-to-be-fiance to a little spot just out of view of the arch (but still with an amazing view) so that they'd have a little privacy. they watched the sun come up together, and i excitedly waited for brent to drop down on one knee. he popped the question at the perfect moment, the sun had just come up over the mountains and the desert was aglow in that burnt orange early morning light. pure magic!
we had a little engagement session afterward and got to chatting a bit. i remember walking away that morning wishing we had had more time to hang out, but i might be heading to florida some time next year so get ready for a phone call, arifa and brent!
everything about andrew and ashley's day i loved. they brought their adorable pup, bowser, all the way from new york city to join them at whispering oaks ranch this summer. there was no stress, the dancing was amazing, and her dress was maybe my favorite from the entire season. a friend of theirs even brought a drone so they could get some cool aerial shots of the entire crew! i love seeing how different each couple's day is, and theirs was entirely their own. congratulations andrew & ashley! i hope the bagel business is good in nyc. :)
location: whispering oaks ranch, moab, utah
hair & makeup: morgi's hair therapy
even though it's not the best business practice to blog so infrequently, i have loved the chance to relive these weddings a few months later. brooke + milo's wedding at whispering oaks ranch here in the la sal mountains above moab, utah was nothing short of spectacular. i have spent quite a lot of time up at whispering oaks photographing weddings and theirs was the first that had the ceremony set up on the west side of the pavilion, with a gorgeous floral teepee as their altar. brooke didn't want any of the "getting ready" shots because she'd rather i captured more of the reception (you'll see why in a minute) so the first time i saw her that day was when she was walking down the aisle. spoiler alert: i'm a huge sucker for flowers, so when i saw her wearing a flower crown and carrying a desert-hued bouquet, i was beyond excited!
brooke and milo have a well-crafted, artistic eye for detail. i loved the natural yet elegant feel of their reception. you see, milo is a chef, and he created the menu for their entire wedding, so the dinner and sharing of great conversation and even better food was something you could tell every single guest was looking forward to. once i saw the spread of food, i could see why. their cocktail hour included a meat and cheese platter, two tables long (including cheetos, of course!). with the mountains glowing in the distance, it was the perfect setting for a cocktail to celebrate these two incredible humans. after hors d'oeuvres, guests were seated and bottles of champagne were passed around to each table. milo shared some loving words of gratitude and then the bottles started to pop - i must say, there are few sounds more celebratory than a room full of laughter and champagne bottles being opened. that definitely set the tone for the rest of the evening. their friends and family dined on slow-roasted lamb and whole baby potatoes cooked in the fat drippings, salmon and a gorgeous heirloom tomato salad...i could go on and on and on. i don't typically post so many photos of the food, but this was an exception for sure.
the night ended with the best dance party i had seen in a very long time (including a choreographed dance by brooke and her dad!), a testament to how thrilled everyone was to celebrate these two. there was incredible cake of course, and a gorgeous star-filled sky to top it all off. thank you, brooke and milo, for being so kind and generous. and congratulations!!!
location: whispering oaks ranch, moab, utah
drrrream wedding right here. rachel and james were in the middle of their road trip and decided that would be the perfect time to elope. just the two of them, no big complicated plans or long lists of guests, just them (and myself and the videographer, leslie allred, to document it all, of course). they chose a gorgeous summer morning, and were totally up for meeting early, before the crowds really hit the park.
i think what i loved most about rachel and james' wedding was how uniquely them it was. they knew exactly the kind of day they wanted, and they knew that the photos were really important to them so they allowed for plenty of time before and after the ceremony. their first look was a dream (i mean, i'm pretty sure james' face made me cry when he first saw her!), and rachel looked like dreamiest bride ever while reading her vows under the arch before the ceremony.
after the "i dos" these two were totally up for anything, crawling over rocks, dancing on top of boulders, and snuggling up in tight slot canyons. they were so immersed in each other and i loved every minute i got to spend with them. they had been keeping a journal of their story together, each separately answering a daily question and writing down their answers together. that particular day their question was, "what is new in your relationship today?" how perfect is that?!
thank you for being open to sharing your wedding day with me, rachel & james. cheers to you guys and all the adventures yet to come!!
location: sand dune arch, arches national park