Bride and groom kissing next to lake

How to Find the Best Elopement Photographer

Photography, Weddings

Are you looking for an elopement photographer to tell the story of your special day?  Even though elopements are technically spontaneous, you’ll be better off doing some planning, and this includes finding a great photographer who completely understands your vision. 

Consider Each Piece of the Puzzle 


If you’ve just decided to elope, you’re probably feeling a little spontaneous, and of course, this is what creates so much excitement!  

Long gone are the days when you’d ditch your family and ride off into the sunset. Today’s elopement weddings are more about privacy and adventure than “running away.” 

At any rate, you’ll want to make sure all pieces are in place as you plan for the day, and that they all can realistically fit together with the elopement photographer. Here are the key areas you’ll want to coordinate: 

  • Indoor or outdoor 
  • Deposits and bookings 
  • Officiant
  • Accommodations 
  • Special circumstances (eg: COVID-19) 
  • After party 
  • Guests 
  • Meals and cake 
  • Clothes and gear 
  • Hair and makeup
  • Special equipment 
  • Rings
  • Transportation 
  • Accommodations 
  • Decor and favors 

A great elopement photographer will ensure that you have your privacy but are still able to share your story perfectly through images that will last a lifetime. 

Make Sure Your Own Vision Matches Your Photographers

Elopement photographers come in all types and sizes.  Some will come with you on a journey, be involved in the planning, and spend all day with you. Others will be more (or less) into adventure weddings. Some love to travel and will find any excuse to go to an exotic new location with a couple. Others offer hourly rates, but may not capture “the big picture” (aka your love story) quite as well as the next. 

When searching for the perfect elopement photographer, take a look at portfolios, then get on the phone and ask them about details like: 

  • Lighting 
  • Composition 
  • Landscapes 
  • Directing 
  • Lenses 
  • Angles 
  • Nature features 
  • Outdoor skills and safety (if applicable) 
  • Experience

You should be able to discover a lot on their website, but it never hurts to ask, because you never know what kind of unique ideas or special packages they might have up their sleeve! 

Budget & Pricing

Every elopement photographer will probably tell you not to skimp out and cut costs when it comes to the photos. Obviously, we’re a little biased! In all honesty, this is the part of your wedding that will last the longest, and will probably be the most cherished. When it comes to pricing, there’s a huge range, from a full-day 8-hour wedding package to a local, hourly rate, and remember that while an elopement wedding can save money, flying out a special photographer to a destination wedding will cost you. Plus, not everyone has the equipment and expertise to travel with you on intensive adventures. Try to establish a reasonable budget at the outset and stick to that, you won’t regret it. Check out my tips for wedding planning on a budget

Be Considerate of the Overall Timeline 

Elopements are typically a little last-minute, and elopement photographers should be prepared to jump in without too much planning. But if it’s very last minute and peak season, people will be booked, especially the best ones. So, it’s imperative that you understand your overall timeline, not just your “day-of” needs, and explain this in detail while you’re shopping around. 

For instance, maybe you’ve only planned the actual elopement, but you add on a post-party at a later date. Ideally, you’ll want the same photographer to ensure consistency. 

In addition, if you are planning a destination wedding, make sure that they have the right equipment, licensing, resources, and expertise to shoot in that specific location. 

Get Clear on Packages & Products

Most elopement photographers will offer packages that end up being similar to a regular wedding package, but offers can range from a few simple prints to a whole album and multimedia offerings. Think about what is most important to you, considering aspects such as: 

  • Film 
  • Digital 
  • Video 
  • Framing 
  • Albums 
  • Storage 

A great elopement photographer will work with you to find a package based on your needs and budget.  

Personality Fit & Communication Style 

If you don’t mesh personality-wise, this will be reflected in the finished work, and since you probably will look back on these photos for the rest of your life, it’s not a mistake you want to make! 

In addition, you may end up spending a whole day or several sessions with this person, so make sure it’s someone you get along with. 

That being said, you may not want to hire your best friend (as great as they may be) as a little bit of objectivity can be extremely useful. 

After all, you want them to concentrate on their job during the day and not get distracted by all the excitement of their friend’s wedding! 

Hire an Elopement Photographer Today 


If you’re planning a wedding — even a simple one — there’s plenty to think about! 

A great wedding photographer should be able to ask you the right questions to determine whether or not you might be a good fit with them. 

If you already have an elopement plan or you’re just thinking about it, feel free to reach out. I specialize in wedding photos, lifestyle photos,  family portraits, headshots, and more.

Contact me today and view my portfolio and services here

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