Dreamy Elopement in Zion National Park // Rachel & Weston

The idea of being an elopement/ wedding photographer always seemed so thrilling to me. Between the client experience and delivering images, I found such a strong will to be creative. It was where I felt most alive.

I didn’t always do this for a living. I jumped unsteadily from clerical desk to reception work for years when I lived in California. Hopped back on the stability train in the corporate world of Walmart and Sams Club when I moved to Arkansas, but no matter what, I always fell short of completing my to do list as well as feeling fulfilled at the end of the day. I knew no matter how big that paycheck was, I wasn’t happy.

Rewind to my first camera. 8th Grade. My dad let me use his film Canon AE-1 and I learned everything from panning, dark room etiquette, to depth of field. You know, all the fun stuff. I may have snuck in a few portraits of my pets back then too when asked to turn in a “subject matter”. So there you go, the first year of my life where I played with a camera and to be honest, I never set it down.

Fastforward to a few years after high school, adulting and someone in my office mentions “can’t afford a wedding photog”, so here I am minding my business, thinking to myself, ” well I know how to work a camera and my boyfriend just bought my first dslr, so clearly I’m good for the job”. Low and behold, I was shooting my first wedding at the Orange County Mining Company in Orange, CA for $400.00. Yup. I remember being nervous. What had I done? Did I overstep my own boundaries and will I let them down?

I have these images to this day and while I feel the need to call them to apologize for my then editing, I know back then….it was everything and probably still is everything to them. To be honest, it was everything to me. I knew that it was going to take one, just one couple to help me launch.

I knew nothing about the business world. I was 21 years old. Partying like a rockstar & having the time of my life with $400 in my pocket haha.

Skip a few years & a whole story…. & Here I am. 33 years old, and I can officially add traveling to Zion National Park last year to my list of work history. When I stood on a cliffside, realizing I was paid to travel, photograph & to be present for someones intimate elopement…I knew I made it. That was all it took. The inhale and exhale on the top of a canyon, after having traveled for 4 days and adventuring around town. This is it. This is my job.

So thank you to Alex & Brian….my first wedding, for helping me get here. I can never repay you.

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