If life is a treasure hunt you have already done the hardest part: You found a jewel of a partner to share the rest of your life with. You both have a unique style and personal traditions and are super passionate about each other. You share a love of the outdoors and meaningful experiences, and you have decided to celebrate this love with an elopement focused on just the two of you.
Now, as you start to plan for your celebration, the treasure hunt continues. Finding the best Colorado elopement photographer can take your celebration from sweet, to down right jaw dropping.
Below you will find tips and tricks for finding the perfect Colorado elopement photographer for you. Remember, your style, values and goals for this momentous occasion are important. Let’s find you the photographer of your dreams.
Simply put… an elopement is a day specially crafted for you to celebrate your love for each other. Generally, these are smaller, more intimate ceremonies where you put your traditions and values at the forefront, instead of feeling bound to society’s traditions.
Elopements are ideal for couples who value experiences (affectionately known by me as “my Amores”). You live an intentional life full of meaning and are looking for a new and creative way to express your love story. Finally, they want to have damn good photos from the best Colorado Elopement photographer to last a lifetime.
Below you will find tips and tricks for finding the best Colorado Elopement Photographer for you. Together, we will walk through the steps necessary to understand your elopement style, the photographer search, and the red flags and major kudos of Colorado Elopement photographers.
As a Colorado Elopement photographer myself, I know the questions and characteristics that will take your elopement to the next level of wonderful, and how the right photographer can be a serious treasure. Let the hunt begin!
Playdates with dogs and wildflower hikes aside, here are a few of my favorite things:
1. A fun style
2. Inclusive values
3. Meaningful experiences
It goes without saying, it takes more than just a good price and friendly personality when it comes to finding the perfect Colorado elopement photographer. Let’s take some time to really understand what you are looking for in a photographer. Then, find someone who fits this style perfectly.
I encourage all of my Amores to write down adjectives that describe their style. Adventurous? Intimate? Extreme? Are there specific activities you want to do? Certain traditions you would like to see incorporated?
Do you want to do a first hike, instead of a first dance? How about a swim after your first kiss? Do you want to say “I do” from a helicopter? What feels like it’d be a great way to celebrate your day? I’ve got a helpful blog post to help you learn more about what activities you can experience on your day.
If you are uncertain of what your style is, don’t worry! The right Colorado elopement photographer will help you figure that out. Sit down with your partner and come up with general answers to the following questions. Soon, we will find photographers that match the style you have in mind:
1. Ideal season or weather.
2. Location or region (Brekenridge, Rocky Mountain National Park, Sand Dunes, etc.)
3. What type of photography you are drawn to (natural, airy, moody, highly stylized, etc.)
Couples who are interested in elopement generally have a grounded understanding of their values and what is important to them. Because of this, prioritizing what values you would like to see integrated into your big day is crucial. After all, this may be the biggest day of your life! You want to be surrounded by those who share similar ideals and respect your beliefs.
Now, create a list of values you would like to see in your Colorado Elopement photographer.
Values to Consider:
1. Leave no trace & environmentally conscious
2. LGBTQ+ inclusive
3. What they post on their social media about their couples and themselves.
As a naturally empathetic person, the vibe of those I surround myself with is incredibly important. Write down the type of Colorado elopement photographer you believe you and your partner would mesh with. Keep in mind, this will be a highly emotional day for everyone involved! Take the tone and vibe of your elopement into account when choosing an elopement photographer.
Do you see yourself being more comfortable with a photographer that is energetic or more laid back? Extroverted or introverted? Does their experience level matter to you?
Now is also the time to be honest about what you would like a Colorado elopement photographer to take on for your elopement. Would you like to have a photographer who can take on a lot of the planning process and relieve some stress? Do you prefer a more “hands off” approach to the elopement? What about a photographer that is up for hikes or other physical challenges?
Nailing down these preferences ahead of time will help you when you take the time to choose who you reach out to. It can also prevent you from getting “seduced” by photographers with really awesome photos, but lacking the values or vibes that are important to make your elopement as meaningful as possible.
We have created a map for our Colorado elopement photographer treasure hunt. Now, let’s walk through the search, the assessment, and the reviews to find a Colorado Elopement Photographer that is right for you.
Now is the time to create your “favorites list.” This will be a list of photographers you find on Instagram, Google, and Pinterest that made you do a happy dance and say, “Holy moly, I want that to be me!”
Get specific on the styles of elopement photography that interest you. Is it moody and passionate? Playful and fun? Light and airy? Add that to your Google Search! Furthermore, if you know exactly where you want to elope, add that phrase to your search, such as “Colorado Sand Dunes Elopement Photographer.”
Check out their blogs! Look at posts recapping recent weddings. Are they consistently awesome, do they appeal to you? My personal favorite search term? (I thought you would never ask.) Adventure elopement photographer. It covers a wide range of outdoor adventures, and can produce some of the most creative and high quality results.
Resources like WanderingWeddings, Junebug Weddings and LooksLikeFilm have directories of elopement photographers that can be beneficial. Check out these photographers, and see who else Google or Instagram suggests for you.
What you will be left with is a list of real jewels that match your elopement style. Next steps… assessing these jewels.
Now is the time to take your treasure map (aka as the list of ideals and non-negotiables for your Colorado elopement photographer) and see what photographers on your “favorites” list align.
Now that you have a better understanding of your elopement needs, let’s see what package your Colorado Elopement photographer provides.
Vendors often break down their Colorado Elopement Packages in this way:
1. Time – how much time does their package include? (Generally 4 hour, 6 hour, 8 hour, and “extended” day, which is over 8 hours.)
2. Extras – such as planning, guidance, and wedding albums
As my Amores, these items should be on your radar for evaluating the packages:
1. How well do you jive with the photographer?
2. How much time will you need for the activities you have planned?
3. Do you need the guidance of a planner, or want the option for a wedding album?
4. Budget (more on this below.)
If assessing elopement packages feels overwhelming, don’t fear! I’ve written all about it here, so I can walk my Amores through, step by step.
Evaluating costs, and how they are presented is the last step in our evaluation phase. Is your photographer transparent with their costs? Most photographers have a starting price.This is because there’s a lot of variation within elopements. Most likely, they’ll send you a more specific pricing page once you inquire and tell them a little bit about the day you envision.
A low price tag may mean this photographer is newer to their career, or they may not be putting as much time into the photography process. This rule *does not always apply,* but you should consider why their prices are comparatively lower than the average.
Expensive photographers are fine if they can justify their price tag through proven experiences. Experienced Colorado Elopement photographers with an extensive process could be the perfect fit for you. But keep in mind, just because they are expensive, does not mean they match your style and elopement goal.
Ultimately, this is one of the most important days of your lives. Spending a little bit more than you originally budgeted for a perfect day that really captures the passion and love you share, may be one of the best decisions you make.
The last leg of our treasure hunting journey is visiting the reviews.What are customers saying? See if the customers are addressing the values that you care most about.
Are these Colorado Elopement photographers active on social media? What’s their vibe? What are they posting and how does it relate to you?
Once you have a fairly good idea about the photographer you are interested in, it is time to set up a call. While some questions will be asked directly to the photographer, other answers can be deduced through their body language, demeanor and tone. Pay attention to how the photographer interacts with you. Are they interested in your story? Are they asking questions about you, your personality, and your partner? Are they genuinely interested in finding out what your ideal day looks like?
While you get a sense of the personality of a potential photographer. I recommend coming prepared with a list of questions so you can ensure you have all your bases covered.
• Do you provide elopement planning guidance and assistance?
• What’s your experience level?
• Why do you want to shoot with me?
• How do you get to know us and tailor the day to me and my partner?
• How do you envision our day?
• Do you stand at a distance and capture the day, or guide us throughout with posing and positioning?
• How will you make us comfortable when we are feeling nervous?
• What happens if there is inclement weather?
• What happens if our original plans fall through?
• What romantic comedy makes you cry?
All my Type A personalities, this is your time to shine. Write down what stuck out to you and what may have rubbed you the wrong way as you speak to the photographers. As your list is getting increasingly shorter, you are well on your way to finding the treasure that is your Colorado elopement photographer!
Let’s be honest: there are a lot of photographers out there who would love your business because well, quite frankly, you are pretty dang awesome. With so many to choose from, what should stand out as something to be wary of? Conversely, what awards a Colorado Elopement photographer more brownie points as you hunt for your perfect match?
Keeping the following in mind will help to lead you to a photographer that will help you create a beautiful memory for generations to come.
The number one thing to run away from, for all photographers, universally: Someone who is not interested in you. Your story, journey and goals should be the forefront of any photographer worth hiring!
This being said, someone who cares about your journey and your story will often align on other forefronts: such as your values and your vision for the big day. There are too many photographers out there to settle for someone who doesn’t want to make your day as special as possible, and make you feel comfortable in the process. (This being said, don’t ask an indoor photographer to go on a five mile hike. Find those hiking photographers! We exist.)
Ensure that your photographer is not simply going to take you to the same place as everyone else. Colorado is a majestic playground of places to elope: there can (and will!) be unique places for your and your partner to tie the knot.
Sure your family member or friend may be an excellent photographer, but mixing business and the personal can be tricky. It also may lead to awkward questions and requests. Be careful if you go down this route.
Furthermore, I would be wary of offers to shoot an elopement for free. This is an indication that they are building their portfolio and don’t have experience in either shooting elopements in general, or in that specific area. Because of this, they may not fully capture the day to the standards that you desire.
All photographers should collect a non-refundable retainer that reserves the date for you. If for some reason an elopement doesn’t happen, the retainer covers the lost potential income that the photographer could have had if they had booked another couple.
Retainers vary with each photographer. Some ask for up to 50%, some for a very small amount. Some break their payments into plans to cover planning and guidance as time goes on. Ask about the price breakdown, and be wary of anyone who requires payment in full upfront. To learn more about elopement pricing, check this out.
We can’t forget giving kudos to those who deserve it! A few extra brownie points to photographers who are able to do the following:
Things change, rain clouds roll in, or you need more photography time than you initially had scheduled. Look for a Colorado Elopement photographer that is willing to be flexible with your session and your plans. Are they willing to upgrade your elopement package if you are having too much fun twirling a top of a mountain? Do they have another plan in their back pocket in case a blizzard rolls in?
No matter how much we plan for big things like elopements, flexibility is a very appealing characteristic of an ideal Colorado elopement photographer. Find someone who can go with the flow, while ensuring your special day stays a priority.
You know that feeling when you get to put your comfy pants on at the end of a long day? That’s the feeling your Colorado elopement photographer should bring to you.
If you have found a partner that sets your heart a flutter, and a photographer that puts your heart at ease, then you, my friend, have found a true treasure.
Hi there! I’m Adam. If what you have read here resonates with you, and you want to find out why I may be the best Colorado elopement photographer for you, reach out to me for a free consultation. I can help you find the best elopement package and share all my best ideas for your perfect day.
With a little planning you can ensure that the photographer you choose wants to highlight your story, and capture your journey through the photographs. You deserve an incredible day, and there is nothing I love more than helping you tell the story of your love.