emily + ben / dead horse point engagements

 moab engagement photographer

dead horse point engagement photographer

There are a lot of reasons why I love dead horse point state park. For one, I am convinced it is the best place to watch the sun go down anywhere around Moab. The way the sun falls on the canyons and river below is unlike anything I have ever seen. You can sit there and just watch the curtains of light get longer and longer as the sun lowers, all the while you are trying hard not to blink because you know it’ll be gone before you know it. Second, I love that this park is not nearly as busy as its national park neighbors, Arches and Canyonlands. The crowds that do tend to show up for sunset each night tend to stick to one area, so it’s easy enough to walk down the trail and find a little solitude and tons of epic views.


When Emily and Ben reached out about wanting to take their engagement photos while out on a climbing road trip around Moab this past fall, I knew we’d be fast friends. Back in the day, I used to climb. A lot. It was all I thought about and it was how I spent every bit of my free time. I miss it desperately, and am trying to figure out how to sneak it back into my life, but for now it’s fun to live vicariously through couples like these two who rented a van and spent time at my favorite place in the whole world – Indian Creek.

 

We started up highway 313, stopping at a new spot to explore a little, catch some different views, and get to know each other a bit. I could tell right from the start that these two were going to be a total breeze to shoot. All they did was laugh and love on each other, and totally put up with my ridiculous sounds when the light did its thing. Thank you! I sometimes get so stinkin’ excited about light that I squeal a little. I can’t control it, and I think some other photographers might know what I’m talking about. The desert in the fall is just too good!

 

We made our way up to Dead Horse Point for sunset, and it definitely did not disappoint. Wandering along the trail that circumnavigates the mesa top, we found little nooks and crannies that were away from the crowds but covered in crazy good light. I knew they were after my own heart when they whipped out an adorable mini bottle of Woodford Reserve. We sipped the good stuff and talked about climbing, dogs, different camping set ups (they had just bought a Scamp, we just got a van), and life in general. I had so much fun with these two. I just hope they come back sooner than later so we can get out and play!


On a different note, you may notice that I have made a few changes around here. I revamped my website, updated some things, changed some others, and I couldn’t be more excited about it all. I’ll still be making a few more tweaks, but please take a look around and let me know what you think!

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abbey + bell / grand teton national park engagement photographer

 grand teton engagement photographer

grand teton national park engagement photographer

okay. something must be wrong. i finished editing abbey + bell’s crazy beautiful engagement photos from grand teton national park today, i delivered the gallery to them, and now i’m blogging it. all in one day. has this every happened?! turning a new leaf over here people, and i’m pretty dang excited about it.

i met these two lovebirds at a wedding i shot in moab over the summer at whispering oaks ranch (hi morgan + tim!). that was, by far, one of the funnest (it’s a word) weddings i’d ever been to, as a guest or as a photographer. that crew knows how to celebrate with their friends, and definitely knows how to throw a dance party. when abbey first contacted me about shooting her engagement photos in one of their favorite places, grand teton national park, i was actually in the tetons on a trip with my little family - hiking, fishing, camping, exploring. i tried really hard to not check my e-mail while we were away, but when i saw her inquiry come through i responded asap. of course i wanted to come back to the most beautiful mountains around to hang out with these two!

i drove up to jackson, wyoming a day ahead of time so i could scout some new locations. i had a pretty good idea of where i wanted to go, but i wasn’t sure what the weather would be like or the condition of the trails. any time i travel for a shoot i always arrive with at least one full day to scout. i’m a planner, so i like to make sure i have all my bases covered. plus, scouting is just hiking and exploring, which i love, so it’s a win win!

we weren’t quite sure what the weather had in mind for us that day, but these two were totally up for anything. rain? great. clouds? awesome! snow? ok! we hiked out to a gorgeous lake where practically no one was - the perks of going for it when the weather isn’t “perfect”. we hung out near the lake for a bit, then walked through the craziest grove of trees, nearly all of which were missing their leaves. it was eerie and gorgeous at the same time. we hopped in the car and drove to one of the many pull outs in grand teton national park, where the view is insane in every direction. the sun popped out for a quick glow at the very end of their session so we got a little bit of everything, and i absolutely love how their photos turned out. congratulations abbey + bel, and cheers to all the adventures yet to come! xo

p.s. we’ll be headed up to the tetons again this winter to SKI! good luck to me and my new ski legs. if you’re thinking of getting married in the tetons next year, or if you want to have “just because” photos taken, let me know. i’ll drive back up to visit those mountains again in heartbeat!

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camila + jeremy / arches national park wedding

 arches national park wedding

arches national park wedding

camila and jeremy were married on a beautiful, cloudy day back in march (yes, that's how far behind i am on blogging this season). they kept their wedding day simple and intimate, inviting only close family and friends, and choosing sand dune arch in arches national park. sand dune is a gorgeous frame for a ceremony, and the cool sand at your feet is a welcome change from the sharp and spiky vegetation just outside this little canyon.

after exchanging their vows and taking a few family photos, we spent a few hours winding our way out of the park, stopping at a few locations along the way. camila was an absolutely gorgeous bride, and her smile was totally contagious. happy 4+ month anniversary you two!

location: sand dune arch, arches national park

 

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sarah + colin / capitol reef elopement

 capitol reef elopement

capitol reef elopement

when sarah first contacted me she said a few key words: "national park" and "intimate ceremony". from there, everything else was a breeze. i was greeted by their close family at the parking area for one of the best lookouts in all of capitol reef national park (one of the most spectacular, underrated parks in all of utah). everyone looked amazing, of course, and we made our way to the cliffside spot sarah & colin had already picked out. they had been exploring the area for a few days already, so they knew exactly where they wanted to go for their ceremony and photos afterward. we explored at the mouth of a canyon, an orchard (so much green in a sea of red!), and did a little rock scrambling. we ended up back at their ceremony site just after the sun went down, and took some of my favorite photos from our entire time together. moab is similar to capitol reef in that your eye mostly sees varying shaded of red and orange sandstone, but what sets capitol reef apart are all the other hues - the pink and greens and blues that weave in and out of the cliffs. and everything becomes so much more vibrant just after the sun dips down past the horizon.

i would LOVE to return to this park asap. so if you're thinking you want to get married in a national park, but maybe are willing to travel a little off the beaten path to avoid the crowds, this is the park. :) congratulations sarah & colin, thank you for asking me to be there!

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maddy + spencer / dead horse point proposal

dead horse point proposal

i love that couples have started to hire photographers to capture their wedding proposals. i've shot about a half a dozen now, and every time they are so exciting! i get butterflies in my stomach right before someone gets down on one knee to pop the question, and i giddily run up to the couple (after they're done canoodling, of course) to shout congratulations. ya, i get a bit excited. spencer's proposal to maddy was no different. dead horse point at sunset was the perfect back drop for their cliffside picnic. their home is chicago, but they were on vacation out west, checking out all the beautiful national parks that the moab area has to offer. happy wedding planning to these two! thanks for letting me capture it all. :)

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emily + chris / dead horse point engagements

 dead horse point wedding

dead horse point engagements

seeing as how these two are getting married this weekend (!!!), i figured it was probably time to get their engagements from this spring up on the blog. i swear, one of these days i'll catch up on blogging!

if i ever met a couple that was absolutely in love, no question, it would be emily + chris. they were so at ease during our time together, dancing around, laughing uncontrollably, and snuggling up without any direction from me whatsoever. chris brought a cowboy hat along, so i knew we'd be fast friends. disclaimer: i love country music. not only that, but they're both dog lovers. if you follow me on social media you might know that we recently added a puppy to our family. i wasn't able to bring him along for our photos, so chris and emily came over to our place in the morning for muffins (with bacon!), coffee, and a puppy walk. it was just like hanging with old friends.

they're getting married this weekend in the mountains above salt lake city, and i cannot wait to get up there to capture it all! i've been spending a lot of time in the mountains lately, escaping the heat and the hordes of people that come to moab in the summer, so i'm really looking forward to seeing these two again on their big day. xo

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tifanny / dead horse point portraits

 dead horse point photographer

dead horse point portraits

every so often i get an inquiry for solo portraits. 90% of the time i’m photographing couples for their engagement photos at canyonlands national park, or their elopement at dead horse point, or their wedding with all their family and friends at sorrel river ranch or whispering oaks. but sometimes i get an e-mail from a solo traveller that wants to document their journey better than a lot of selfies on their phones will. they usually have found me on instagram @emilyklarerphotography, and can connect with the landscape in the way that i have. i get giddy when i receive inquiries like this. maybe this is a little ambitious of a thought, but i almost always have the thought, “we’re going to be friends”. any woman (it’s always been women so far) is a hero to me who is willing to step out of her comfort zone, travel solo, explore the desert in all its majesty on their own, and reach out to a total stranger (hi!) to ask them to photograph them when they’re probably feeling a bit vulnerable.

 

tifanny is a true wanderluster at heart, and our time together watching the sun dip down below the horizon went by way too fast. come back soon, tifanny! 

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sorcha + brandon / dead horse point engagements

 moab wedding photographer

dead horse point + corona arch engagements

spending time with sorcha and brandon was like spending time with old friends. when she initially contacted me, she explained that they had spent some time out in the desert before and were avid canyoneers. that of course piqued my interest and we started going back and forth about different options. after lots of deliberation we decided to split their session into two so they could have a wide variety of engagement photos: a sunset session at corona arch, and a sunrise session at dead horse point. 

i loved this plan because, although i spend a ton of time at dead horse point state park shooting elopements and small weddings, i don't get to go up there very often for sunrise. i wouldn't exactly say i'm a morning person, but for sunrise sessions with epic canyon views with rad people? coffee mug is full and i'm ready to go bright eyed and bushy tailed. :)

sorcha & brandon spent some time camping around moab, exploring arches national park and other sights, before we got together for our first session. sorcha is an incredible photographer (check out her work here!) so it was fun to chat about photo and the madness that ensues every morning at mesa arch. they spent the night at our place, coming over after a long day of hiking and exploring. we shared tacos and drinks and talked about the outdoor industry and trips we all wanted to go on. we turned in early, stoked for the sunrise and the next adventure.

i won't say much more, because i. think the photos speak loud and clear: the sunrise was gorgeous, and these two are made for each other. 

xo

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rachel + jamie / arches national park wedding

 arches national park wedding

arches national park wedding

in one of Rachel's first e-mails to me she described where she and her now husband, Jamie, are from, and how they came to fall in love with the the outdoors together, especially this little town of moab. she knew she wanted their ceremony location to be at delicate arch, but she was open to everything else. i knew i liked her right away, the way she described all the places they'd travelled together, but this was what really struck me:

“we want a small, simple ceremony. having it in a venue like this is US and it is what WE are about. so capturing the beauty and magic of the place and event is what we hope for. :)”

YES. so much YES. that is exactly what i hope to do for couples, capture the magic of the place and the connection of the two individuals in it. they wanted to make the hike up to delicate in their full wedding attire, both because they knew it’d be something they’d always remember, and also because the walk wouldn’t be easy, but the view at the top would be one hundred percent worth it. an apt metaphor for relationships I’d say.

when the day finally came this past march i picked Rachel up in town where she was getting her hair done by the amazingly talented Lindsey Knowles Vaccaro (check her out if you are looking for a hair stylist!). Lindsey did a fabulous job, as always, so Rachel and i hugged and hopped in my car to go meet Jamie at double arch for their first look.

afterward, hiking boots and all, we made the trek up to delicate arch, receiving tons of “oh my gosh are you getting married now?!” and “you look amazing!” comments. i love this about weddings: they are centered around pure joy, and it felt like the two of them were sharing that elation with everyone we passed along the way.

when we got to the top we took a moment to take in the view. no matter how many times i’ve hiked up to that famous arch, it still leaves me in awe when i turn that final corner. i could tell it did the same to Rachel and Jamie, which made me love them even more.

Rachel told me that she’d really like to have their short ceremony directly under the arch. i told her that i was absolutely up for it, but in all honesty i was a bit nervous! if you’ve been to delicate during the high season then you know there’s literally a line of people in the bowl, waiting to have their photo taken beneath it. i was worried that folks would be rude and try to hurry them along, which is definitely not something you want on your wedding day.

we set all of our bags down nearby and got ready to get in line. but the thing was...there wasn’t a line. for some reason at that very moment everyone sort of stepped away. the two of them walked out to meet Christy, their officiant, beneath the arch all by themselves. they had a short and beautiful exchange of vows, taking in the wonder and appreciating the place they were in. and THEN! when it was finally time to make it official, Christy raised her voice and announced to the 50 or 60 people who were watching that these two were now man and wife and would Jamie please kiss his bride. the crowd cheered and I got to witness one of the most unique ceremonies i’d ever seen!

thank you, Rachel and Jamie, for sharing your day with me. if there's one thing i learned from you two it's that true love undoubtedly exists. i can't wait to hear about the adventures in store for you both! xo

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arches national park elopement adventure wedding delicate arch

shelby + justin / dead horse point portraits

dead horse point anniversary session

i absolutely love cloudy, moody days in the desert for couples sessions. i think it adds a sort of depth you can't really get when the sun is sitting high up in a bright blue sky. shelby contacted me last year about capturing some portraits of she and her husband for their trip out to moab to celebrate their anniversary. any time i get an inquiry for a session in the off-season i'm stoked (less crowds!), so i was really excited to hear that they'd be making their way out to the desert from arkansas in february. 

we met up at dead horse about an hour before sunset and there was hardly anyone there. we chatted about travel and the desert, and about dogs, of course. these two have two pups really similar to ours so there was a lot of sharing of iphone puppy photos. shelby & justin are so obviously made for each other, they were really comfortable being in front of the camera, and definitely knew how to make each other smile. if i ever make it out your way, you can count on me swinging by to meet your pups, and spend more time with you two of course!

i also wanted to include some really kind words shelby sent to me in an e-mail after they received their gallery. this meant so much more knowing that they have their photos taken together often, at least once a year:

"These are incredible!! Justin and I both agreed that was the best photography experience we have ever had!!"

thank you, and happy (really belated) anniversary!

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dead horse point moab utah engagement photographer
dead horse point moab utah engagement photographer
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dead horse point moab utah engagement photographer
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dead horse point moab utah engagement photographer
dead horse point moab utah engagement photographer
dead horse point moab utah engagement photographer
dead horse point moab utah engagement photographer
dead horse point moab utah engagement photographer
dead horse point moab utah engagement photographer
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dead horse point moab utah engagement photographer
dead horse point moab utah engagement photographer
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dead horse point moab utah engagement photographer
dead horse point moab utah engagement photographer
dead horse point moab utah engagement photographer
dead horse point moab utah engagement photographer
dead horse point moab utah engagement photographer

fallon + bashaun / bonneville salt flats engagements

bonneville salt flats engagements

Ok. So let’s just start off by saying that I had no idea what to expect when I headed to Salt Lake City for a photo session with Fallon and Bashaun. I had always wanted to visit the Bonneville salt flats, and had been dying to book a session with a couple that was willing to make the drive and run around the flats with me, but I don’t think I could’ve dreamed of a more perfect pair for this adventure than these two!

It’s important to note as well that this was back in late January/early February, so it wasn’t exactly balmy out. We met at the parking area for the salt flats and gave big hugs (I always hug). They were super excited for their photos and I couldn’t wait to get out on the flats and see what the light would be like out there. We headed out and found the perfect spot with no one around – I think the cold weather scared a lot of people off! Fallon told me that she had a few different outfits (love that!) but when she came out in her first dress, a gorgeous yellow floral print that fit her perfectly, I got SO excited! I love when couples showcase their style and bring a few different outfits.

We spent an hour or so running around, getting to know each other, and watching the sun lower until it finally peeked beneath the clouds. Bashaun is a professional dancer for the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company in Salt Lake City, so you absolutely have to scroll through all these photos so that you get to the end and the dance party that ensued when I put a little Justin Timberlake on. 

Thank you, Fallon + Bashaun. Your love is something to be admired, and I hope we can get together again very soon!

Also, who wants to have their couples session out at the salt flats? I’m dying to go back!

salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
salt flats salt lake city utah engagement photographer
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salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah
salt lake city photographer elopement salt flats utah

sarah + seth / fisher towers engagements

moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers

fisher towers engagements

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

moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers
moab wedding photographer engagement session utah fisher towers

amber + cody / moab engagements

moab wedding photographer adventure engagements utah

moab engagements

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!

Moab wedding photographer utah
Moab wedding photographer utah
Moab wedding photographer utah
Moab wedding photographer utah
Moab wedding photographer utah
Moab wedding photographer utah
Moab wedding photographer utah
Moab wedding photographer utah
Moab wedding photographer utah
Moab wedding photographer utah
Moab wedding photographer utah
Moab wedding photographer utah
Moab wedding photographer utah
Moab wedding photographer utah
Moab wedding photographer utah
Moab wedding photographer utah
moab wedding photographer utah
moab wedding photographer utah
moab wedding photographer utah
moab wedding photographer utah
moab wedding photographer utah
moab wedding photographer utah
moab wedding photographer utah
moab wedding photographer utah
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Moab wedding photographer utah engagements
Moab wedding photographer utah engagements
Moab wedding photographer utah engagements
Moab wedding photographer utah engagements
Moab wedding photographer utah engagements
Moab wedding photographer utah engagements
Moab wedding photographer utah engagements
Moab wedding photographer utah engagements
Moab wedding photographer utah engagements
Moab wedding photographer utah engagements
Moab wedding photographer utah engagements
Moab wedding photographer utah engagements
Moab wedding photographer utah engagements
Moab wedding photographer utah engagements
Moab wedding photographer utah engagements
Moab wedding photographer utah engagements
Moab wedding photographer utah engagements
Moab wedding photographer utah engagements