Every now and then a couple comes along that blows your mind. Their kindness and thoughtfulness, their story, their passion, their love…it all just works in such a magical way. When Shelly called me and said she wanted to get married up at Horseshoe Bend in a little elopement ceremony with just Joe and her parents, I couldn’t wait. When she shared with me more of her story and how they had gotten to this point, I knew this was something extra special that doesn’t come along too often.
I was so excited about it that I told my three buddies in my text group, and immediately Jay Worsley offered to film it. He’d always wanted to shoot something like an elopement up there, and so I told Shelly about what Jay wanted to do and she was ALL-IN. And our buddy Jason Williams joined as well to help out with shooting, filming and being the baddest assistant ever.
The day was amazing. But for Shelly it started down in Phoenix at 5:30am with Pooja from Makiaj Beauty for hair and makeup. Which was spectacular by the way, Pooja ia amazing! Then they made the four hour drive up to Page and got to the hotel just in time to change super fast into wedding outfits, quickly do a first look and then get to Antelope Canyon for portraits. Our guide Tana was genius and incredible to watch, stopping all the onlookers from snapping photos of our bride and groom. She cleared people out and gave us room to work. Heaps of praises for her!
From there it was lunch and JUMBO margaritas at El Tapatio. They were a little TOO jumbo, but they were delicious! A short break after and we hit Horseshoe Bend for sunset.
The actual elopement was simple and beautiful. To have your own father perform the ceremony and your mother be a witness, it was incredibly moving. The vows, the words from her dad was perfection. You can hear them below in Jay’s video. We found a little spot and people were nice enough to keep their distance so we could have as much privacy as you can with 100’s of people everywhere.
Not many words left to describe this day. Shelly and Joe, thanks for trusting us and including us in such a huge moment of your life. And for all the love after, tagging us, creating graphics to share our websites and just being so complimentary. It goes without saying that we don’t get that kind of showering of praises too often!
And last, but not least…thank you for the cupcakes again. I would love another one right now please.
But in the meantime…here is a little look at their day, with lots more photos still to edit! And please, when you are done with the photos, watch Jay’s film embedded at the bottom. It’s incredible.
This has been a roller coaster week of emotions, lack of sleep and total exhaustion. From Phoenix to Texas and then to northern Arizona for two photoshoots. Feelings of helplessness and pain as a friend left this earth way too early, to a day later witnessing two people promise to share their lives together at one of the most beautiful places in Arizona. A day later spending time with another couple celebrating a 30th birthday at Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.
It was stormy up there last night…incredibly windy and rain was coming. Our session ended before it got dark, which allowed me some time to myself. The sky was gorgeous, the clouds beautiful. This photos has what looks like a raggedy shelf cloud approaching my position.
I stayed there awhile, soaking it up, enjoying the spot with only a few people around. I even took a few portraits of two random couples and texted them the images just because after this week, I am inspired to try and be a better person and love people as much as I can.
A few weeks ago I ventured north to Page, Arizona, to meet up with Thomas and Becky, just two days after they got hitched in Las Vegas! We hit Antelope Canyon first, drank margaritas and then enjoyed sunset at Horseshoe Bend, followed up with a bit of the Milky Way an hour after dark.
Such a blast of a day, it was fantastic visiting Lower Antelope for the first time (Thanks Mike Mezeul for the tip!) and then scoring a stunning sunset to end things, and to have the clouds clear out just in time for the stars to go nuts was perfection.
Hope you enjoy!
Back in mid-January, my buddies Jason Williams, Andrew Fleming and Jay Worsley joined me for a road trip through Arizona in a rented motorhome. We dubbed the trip “LOST//DISCOVERED” to embrace the idea that we were getting away from our daily, hectic lives and finding something we’d misplaced…whatever it was. Our love of nature, our creativity, a bond with God…
We get so wrapped up in our jobs, kids, families and lives in general…trips like this are ways to experience something different. Something new. To discover who we are. Build friendships. Clear your head. Re-energize.
This road trip was roughly 1300 miles through essentially the top-right quarter of Arizona. We headed north early one morning to photograph sunrise at Sunset Point, and then from there the trip was on. We hit Grand Falls, Horseshoe Bend, Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly and the White Mountains.
This short film is just a look back at that trip and what we saw. Being the storm-chaser that I am, it was incredibly awesome to capture a winter storm front rolling around eastern Arizona. In fact, it almost looked like a dust storm rolling in…thus we kept yelling out “SNOWBOOB!” because of just the incredible sight of it. I personally have never witnessed something like that.
Hope you enjoy this quick look at our trip and the places we saw.
And on March 9th, Jay Worsley will release his own film from the trip…which is a beautiful, 16-minute documentary style story about what we discovered along the way.
Tomorrow (Tuesday, March 2nd), we’ll be having a release party for Jay’s film and you can find out more info here.
Photographed on: Canon 5D III’s, various lenses, Dynamic Perception Stage Zero.
Music: KINGS by Ryan Taubert (through The Music Bed)
When Kevin and Angelynn emailed me and asked if we could take some photos up at Antelope Canyon and then Horseshoe Bend, I kind of freaked out. I mean…the logistics of doing a shoot in Antelope Canyon was probably tough, not to mention all the hordes of tourists who’d be in the background of every photo.
But as it happened…mid-December is chilly. Cold even. Not a favorite time of year for tours of the Canyon. We lucked out there.
So Kevin and Angelynn flew all the way from Malaysia to do this. And they asked me to be the one to capture everything for them. I was humbled. That’s such a long ways to go with a ton of planning to get just right. But of everyone they could have found, they chose me. What an honor. And some pressure too!
I met them up at their hotel in Page and we basically just went from there. In Malaysia, these are called “pre-wedding photos”…not really engagement photos. The bride-to-be wears a wedding dress, which is different than what we do here in the United States. And can you imagine covering all the ground we do below wearing a wedding dress? Angelynn was amazing…she wore a jacket because of the cold, would toss it off in a moment’s notice for photos, and then trudge up hills and down while holding the dress up out of the dirt.
HUGE thanks to Antelope Canyon Tours for being so accommodating and amazing. They even remembered me from the year before when I visited.
Finally, thank you Angelynn and Kevin so much for having me do this. It was a ton of fun, and an amazing experience. Good luck in your marriage!