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  • Amberlei Franklin

How To Photograph Your Own Elopement (Hello DIY Brides)

Ok, so let me start out by saying photographing your own Elopement requires two things (1) You should like your own photography and understand that you're wearing two hats at this point (2) You shouldn't be on a schedule or timeline because everything takes longer than you'd anticipate - but it can be done!

My fiance' and I were recently on a road trip from San Francisco, CA to Savannah, GA and the day before we left he asked me if I wanted to Elope while in Vegas. This sounded too fun and spontaneous to pass up so I said "YES"! Even as a Photographer, I knew I wanted an amazing Photographer to capture this special event for our family however doing so on such a short notice was seeming impossible. The quotes I was receiving were $1,600-$2,000 per HOUR.... yes, per hour... I could literally puke thinking that this is the cost being pitched to me as something that seemed appropriate. Typical Weddings and Elopements can range from $500 - $5,000 for a full days service, one hour would never be worth $2,000 of hard earned money. So I quickly decided I needed to do this myself. I realize every bride isn't a Professional Photographer by trade, however I fully believe any bride can do exactly what I did when in a pinch and I'm going to share how I did it.

Step 1: Focus on the details! Even an Elopement can be a lot of fun when pulling the entire look together, so shoot the details and include them in your album later. This will add to your "getting ready" time as you'll be trying to balance both, but it can be done. Your details include accessories, outfits, vows, and extra fun pieces you will wear or hold.

Step 2: Plan your shots! I would highly recommend finding inspiration from all of your favorite bridal resources (Hello Pinterest) to decide your poses, angles, and lighting you'll reach to achieve.

Step 3: Gather your gear! Ensure your batteries are charged, grab a tripod, and plan your locations for where you'll want photos with your partner before, during, and after the ceremony. We Eloped at "A Little White Wedding Chapel" in Las Vegas, NV. I knew I did not want to set a photo timer and go back/forth during our short ceremony, so I set the camera to "video" mode and clicked record. I jumped into the Pink Cadillac and after the ceremony, I was able to take "stills" from the video to capture the images I chose to keep.

pink cadillac elopement

Step 4: Have fun! Weddings and Elopements can be whatever you choose for them to be. There are tons of elements you can choose to include or avoid, and at the end of the day, the most important part is sharing your life with the person you chose.

While photographing your own Elopement or Wedding can save you a lot of money, it can also add to your stress for the day. Ideally, you should try to find a Photographer who is able to meet your style + budget. However, if you can't find just the right person, remember you're fully capable of doing it yourself too! Just be sure to add in the extra time into your day for photos and most of all, still ENJOY THE DAY! Cheers friends!


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