C and B Decided to forego their traditional wedding plans and elope in Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona.
Sometimes plans change, and that’s okay. C and B realized what was most important to them was their personal relationship and they decided to elope. While they still plan to have a celebration of their marriage with friends and family, the adventurous ceremony among the Red Rocks and rushing water of Oak Creek seemed to fit the couple perfectly.
Every now and then we get to play the part of wedding planner!
From the ceremony site to the photo locations, C and B were gracious enough to entrust us with picking the perfect time and place. They knew they wanted to get married by the creek because C (the bride)’s parents also got married at Oak Creek and they wanted to pay special tribute to her mother who is no longer with them. Asking your photographer to help pick an elopement spot is a GREAT idea. It’s our job to find and capture beautiful places, and if your photographer is as adventurous and dedicated as we are, then they will absolutely know a great spot or two… or three.. or four…!
The Couple only made one location request. A stop at Dairy Queen!
What is now dairy queen in Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona, was once a restaurant and bar where the bride’s parents had their reception. It’s an ongoing family joke that C’s parents got married at Dairy Queen. In honor of C and B, friends and family who could not be at the wedding got dairy queen and sent snapshots to couple of their blizzards.
The Father of the bride was the only witness and he brought his super sweet Polaroid camera to document the day.
We spent the rest of the evening exploring Oak Creek Canyon together as I led them to a hidden waterfall.
Many toasts were had with their favorite local Mother Road beer in place of the traditional wedding champagne.
C and B are from Alaska… and weren’t afraid of a little cold water
This is an EXPERIENCE that nobody will ever forget. To me, that’s what your wedding day is all about. Unforgettable memories with the person you love.
I’d like to take a few lines to thank two vendors that consistently make these magical elopements happen.
The owners bought this car as a fixer upper when they first got married and through 20 years of hard work, caring attention and dedication, they restored it to the beautiful state you see it in today. The car has been with them for 20 years and it has seen them in great times and hard times. It’s gone with them to each place they have lived across the country. It is a symbol of their enduring and persevering love, but also representative of their never ending spirit of adventure. The couple has put hours of hard work and dedication into the car, and in return, it gives them joy and excitement. Marriage isn’t always a leisurely drive, but it is a worthwhile one. Along your journey, as the miles pass by, your marriage will require maintenance and occasionally repair, but the payoff is always worth it.
The view of the San Francisco Peaks overlooking Mormon Lake makes this one of my favorite locations to shoot weddings. 100s of elk can often be seen grazing and drinking near the lake below.
Interested in a Mormon Lake Wedding? Here is the venue info
A non-traditional wedding venue in the heart of Omaha.
A recital hall, a coffee shop, and the coolest green vintage piano I have ever seen, made this the perfect location for an Omaha wedding. Plenty of space and modern amenities, in a central location.
The primarily indoor school of music, has space for hundreds of guests and convenient parking. With beautiful stained glass and pianos a’plenty this venue is a great local for music lovers and those that need a large indoor venue.
If you haven’t found an Omaha wedding venue yet, let’s talk about it! Even if you don’t choose us for your photos, we’d love to help.
Midwest winters can be brutal, when everything in Omaha is brown and freezing, where do you go for engagement photos? Mulhall’s!!
Mulhall’s Omaha Engagement
Mulhall’s Omaha is a staple of the city: well known for its expansive array of plants and festive holiday displays. They also LOVE photographers and are very permissive about photography in the gardens, and why not? Free advertising of their beautiful greenhouses and displays!
K and C were such a joy to shoot and completely in love. They were elated by the idea of getting some green in their life in the middle of a harsh Omaha winter.
K and C get their picture taken professionally often and it’s a really sublime experience to work with a couple that likes memorializing their love through photography
Don’t wait for winter to be over to do your engagement photos!
Statistically speaking, most people get engaged around the holidays between thanksgiving and New Years, but if you get engaged in Omaha, your choices for engagement photography are slim unless you are willing to wait for the Spring thaw.
Like all sessions, we shot this one entirely on analog film. After shooting digital for years, I discovered analog film and became enamored with the look and depth of the film. I’ve been shooting medium format and 35mm for professional work ever since.
To it’s credit, digital photography has put cameras in the hands of many aspiring photographers, myself included. It’s made it easy for a generation to become adept at capturing images by providing an inexpensive and consequence free way to take thousands of photos. With the ability to shoot thousands of high resolution photos an hour and then effortlessly apply dramatic filters to them in editing, why would anyone “revert” back to film?
There are thousands of people doing just this, and for a variety of reasons, but here are my big ones.
The film “look”
Organic grain, depth, and beautiful colors
If you have spent any time speaking with other photographers or happen to be in photography facebook groups you will often see terms like “filmlike” thrown around to describe a certain editing style. Companies that sell “filters” or presets, often use this term to describe their products. The true look of film is something I have always desired to emulate, and I too have participated in this dialogue. Eventually, I came to what should have been an easy realization, I CAN SHOOT ACTUAL FILM, and do it with professional results. And, if I have my second shooter shooting digital, I have an incredibly accurate reference to edit the digital files with.
The film experience
All film and hybrid film photographers will say that they shoot differently when they are shooting film and it is TRUTH. Before I switched to film, I found myself shooting dozens of frames of the same pose, same angle, and same subject. I was getting stuck shooting things that didn’t require me to shoot them 27 times because it was digital and I could rapid fire off dozens of shots a minute with no repercussions. While that ability can have its advantages, it can lead to monotony and a very impersonal experience. With film, every frame counts and it causes you to think, to move and to connect with your subject in a deeper way. Film makes me be present in every moment, and that awareness translates into my photography.
Film provides a consistent and beautiful pallet every time. When I choose my film stock (usually Kodak Portra 400 for weddings) I know exactly what the end result will look like if I expose the film in a certain way. I know I’m getting beautiful natural skin tones and painting like backgrounds with just enough edge to catch the eye. With digital photography its easy to go wild with editing and you see the results on instagram daily. Unnatural skin tones or scenery that looks like the person is on an alien planet. It can be eye catching, hip, and creative, but at the end of the day, styles change and those images are likely to look dated in just a few years.
For more Flagstaff wedding photography, Omaha wedding photography, or engagement photography on film:
Finding a photographer to take your photos is only half the battle if you want to get the BEST photos you’ve ever had. Whether its wedding photos, engagement photos, or family photos: there are certain things you can do that can dramatically enhance the quality of your photos. While a great photographer should help guide you along every step of the way to get you some spectacular photos, there are some things to consider ahead of your photo session.
Here are three ways to prepare for your photo session
For some, getting their photo taken is a chore or worse. Some people simply DON’T like getting their photo taken. If you or your spouse is one of these people it can make for lackluster photos. In order to combat some of these fears or insecurities, being supportive and understanding is vital. If someone feels they have been dragged to a photo session, it WILL translate to the photos. Before booking your photographer, make absolutely certain your partner is comfortable.
Picking a photographer should be a team effort, even if one partner does a majority of the research. Line up your best three picks and ask your partner which they prefer and why. Once a selection has been made, go through a few photos on instagram or their website and ask your partner if they like that posing style or would feel comfortable doing those things. For something as monumental as a wedding, MEET your photographer ahead of time and see if they are someone you or your partner jive with.
Preparing for the Weather
I live and work mostly in Flagstaff, Arizona at an elevation of above 7000ft. Photographing in the mountains, I have learned to be prepared for ANYTHING. It can go from sunny and fifty degrees to bitter cold and snowing in less than an hour. Bring multiple sets of clothing and layers. Shivering cold is not necessarily a great look for the camera!
If it is projected to be rainy/snowy/overcast DO NOT DESPAIR. Unless having a sunny bluebird day as the backdrop for your photos is a requirement, your photographer should be prepared to work in different lighting scenarios and weather. Unique weather conditions can make for some of the most breathtaking photos!
What you wear to a photo shoot is ultimately up to you, and I would never recommend wearing anything that doesn’t suit your personality. That being said, there are certain things to avoid. Bright fluorescent colored shirts, jackets, or tops can reflect undesirable color onto your face and skin. Wearing a neon green shirt will likely result in a green tinge to you or your partners face especially in brightly lit situations. Neutral colors are best, like grays and browns but muted greens, blues, reds, and oranges generally do not cast color.
“Bright fluorescent colored shirts, jackets, or tops can reflect undesirable color onto your face and skin”
Another clothing choice to avoid is closely knitted patterns or tight stripes. In a photo, these can cause an effect called moire. Tight knit patterns when captured by a camera can sometimes produce an image that looks like it is “moving” or “bending”. There are things a photographer can do to reduce this effect after the image is captured, but sometimes it is too severe to fix.
Don’t stress! You will do awesome!
Photo sessions can seem foreign and anxiety inducing to those that aren’t often in front of the camera, but they don’t have to be! With a little forethought and the right photographer, you should enjoy the experience as much as the photos you get afterwards.
Grain and Veil Photo Co.
If you’d like to view more Flagstaff weddings and engagments head to our blog
A couple that adventures together, stays together…
It wouldn’t make sense for R and D to have their engagement photos taken anywhere besides the gorgeous outdoor setting of Flagstaff, Arizona. Both R and D work and play in the outdoor industry and are adventurers at heart.
Aspen Corner and Snowbowl engagements…
are a perfect example of why couples choose to plant their love and decide to grow together in Flagstaff. The shimmering aspens and rust colored ferns transform this outdoor playground into a picture perfect jewel of Northern Arizona. Those of us that live here are so lucky!
So in love and it shows!
Thank you R and D for letting me be a part of your love story and I can’t wait to photograph you adventurous Northern Arizona wedding in the Kaibab Forest.