infographic stating documenting elopements and small weddings featuring carrie ann doyle

Carrie Ann Doyle has made a name for herself in the niche of photographing elopements and small weddings. Living only 12 miles from one of America’s most picturesque national parks, Carrie Ann Doyle is uniquely positioned to capture the kind of ‘adventure’ wedding photography only seen in magazines. Her first venture into elopement photography at the Glacier National Park not only gained a feature on Huffington Post Weddings but was also used in the park's wedding advertising. With over a decade of experience and a recent focus on elopement weddings, Carrie is the go-to expert in her field. So, who better than Carrie to provide us with tips on how to successfully photograph elopements and small weddings?

Elopement Checklist: Featuring Wedding Photographer Carrie Ann Doyle

According to Carrie, the term ‘elopement’ doesn’t quite mean what it used to. “I would say 95% of my elopement couples are just choosing to have a more private wedding ceremony just for two in a place they love rather than ‘running away in secret’ to get married.”

1. Know The Area

Elopements and Small Weddings

“Even if it’s a new location, come prepared. I scout out the area in advance to know how much I can access, what amazing angles I can get, and what the lighting is like in certain areas at that time of day.”

By taking the time to scout different locations, you can facilitate a smooth and flawless elopement photography session. You'll have the opportunity to visualize the best angles and compositions, understand how the light changes throughout the day, and even spot unique features of the location that can add a special touch to your photos. Furthermore, being familiar with the location provides an added layer of confidence and professionalism. It enables you to guide the couple effortlessly around the site, ensuring a relaxed and enjoyable experience for them. By doing so, you help create a comfortable atmosphere that allows their genuine emotions to shine through in the photos.

Related Read: The Importance Of Location Scouting In Wedding Photography

2. Follow The Rules

infographic stating understand the dos and donts of the location ahead of time to avoid last minute issues

“Since many elopements take place in national parks, state parks, and preservation areas, it’s important to know your boundaries for the safety of your couple as well as respecting the area.”

Ensure you thoroughly review any guidelines for preservation areas or rules provided by the park authorities. This may include restrictions on where you can take photographs or constraints on what equipment you can carry to the site. Understanding these dos and don'ts ahead of time can help you avoid any unexpected issues on the big day and ensure that you're fully prepared. By respecting these boundaries, you can ensure a serene and uninterrupted private ceremony for the couple. With thoughtful planning and preparation, your couple can have a beautiful private wedding ceremony for two set against the backdrop of nature's splendor, resulting in a truly unforgettable experience.

3. Don’t Scale Down Your Attention

couple in wedding clothes at sunset

elopements and small weddings like the largest wedding you have ever booked and nothing less. Most of my couples are seeking nature’s beauty and adventure; however, this day means just as much to them as the couple planning the largest wedding possible. My elopement couples get just as much attention as any other wedding I book.”

Eloping vs wedding: Is one better than the other? It’s not a competition, really. It all comes down to what suits the couple best. And choosing to elope rather than having a traditional wedding can be equally enchanting and magical. Once the couple has decided on their perfect elopement ceremony, all that’s left to do is make it memorable in the way you photograph their special day as an elopement photographer.

Read More: The Ultimate Guide To Adventure Elopement Photography

4. Be A Tour Guide As Much As A Photographer

Carrie Ann Doyle Elopement Weddings ShootDotEdit

“Elopement couples are often looking for a lengthy experience in the area they choose to get married. They will often spend a week or more taking in all of the area’s activities and adventures. Providing help with the full experience will make them cherish their wedding adventure even more.”

Being a tour guide and photographer for an elopement couple can be one of the most rewarding experiences. You can help your couple figure out what they want and help them find the perfect location for their elopement ceremony. Once you've found the perfect spot, it's time to help them make their day unforgettable. 

5. Come Prepared For Anything

infographic stating equip yourself with first aid training and proper safety gear to handle unexpected situations

elopements and small weddings taking place off the beaten path and often in the rugged terrain of nature, it’s important to be prepared and keep your couples safe. Having wilderness first aid training and proper safety gear is always wise when you shoot out in the elements.”

Knowing the basic procedures for handling emergencies or injuries can make all the difference in an unexpected situation. Additionally, investing in appropriate safety gear like sturdy footwear, weatherproof clothing, and a well-stocked first aid kit is non-negotiable. This will not only ensure your safety but also enable you to guide your couples effectively, ensuring they feel secure and comfortable throughout the shoot.

Further Read: Photographing Couples In A Forest: Inspiration By ShootDotEdit Customers

Elopements, with their unique charm and excitement, provide a canvas for exceptional photography. The guidelines provided here are based on years of experience and are designed to help you create beautiful keepsakes for your clients. By embracing Carrie's expert advice, you'll be well-prepared to capture the magic of upcoming elopements and small weddings. To check out more of Carrie Ann Doyle’s work, visit her website or follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

At ShootDotEdit, we are committed to helping you grow your wedding photography business. And to help you with that, we lessen your post-production workload with our professional photo editing services that match your style. To learn more about how we can help, check out our pricing plans.

1 comment

  • Xfinite Radio

    Your blog is great really enjoyed viewing it!

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