Photographers have one of the best responsibilities in the world, which is to capture the wonderful moments of everyone around them. They have the chance to work their magic and help their clients and subjects look their best, capture their moments to showcase their emotions and happiness as not what these moments should look like, but what these moments mean to their clients. That said, the job of a wedding photographer is far from easy. From setting up a timeline to being there for every monumental moment, they have many things to do on their photo assignment. And when you’re an elopement photographer, you will have to take extraordinary measures to do so.

Elopement Photographer: What to expect from your elopement photo assignment?

As an elopement photographer, you will have the opportunity to take photos of a couple at their best. But for that, you’ll need to know what is expected of you as elopement photographers. So, first things first, know those elopement ceremonies are usually held outdoors. What’s more, expect the elopement destination to be a location far away.

You may travel with the couple or reach the destination at different times, but more on this a little later. Another thing to know is that the couple may ask for your opinions, and ask you to take control of their elopement ceremony. Lastly, what you need to remember is that elopement ceremonies are different from weddings because elopement ceremonies are not as intricately planned as regular weddings. And this is why, you should be prepared to be creative, and work with pretty much everything you can find in your surroundings. And that brings us to your photo assignment prep. Before you leave, remember to pack everything you may need. From creative props to some external photo gear to help you out.

Elopement Photography: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need! 

Now that you know what can be expected out of you, it is time for the guide to help you to capture the true essence of your elopement photo assignment. The following guide will help you not only to prepare for the photoshoot but will also help you to take stellar photos of your clients.

This section will be divided into two parts, first, we’ll go over a few things you need to do before the day of your elopement photo shoot and the second section will be about the things you need to consider on the day of your elopement photo assignment.


Before The Day of Elopement Photo Shoot 


  1. Get to Know Your Clients

Elopement and adventure elopement photographers should make it a point to get to know their clients first. The moment your clients get in touch with you, try getting to know them, how they feel about their elopement, where they’re planning to have the ceremony, and more. To ensure that you do a good job with your photo assignment, you will need to understand what your clients are expecting or looking for from their photo shoot.

Note: There’s a chance that your clients won’t have photos for you to look through. Some clients may have a few photos for you to look through and understand what they need. But for the most part, you will have to rely on words and communication to understand what they’re looking for. Always remember that the first step towards a successful and stunning photo assignment is to capture the emotions your clients want you to.

And for the couples who are tired of planning a wedding they do not want, be sure to help them. Most couples will not only ask about your opinion but will also welcome your opinions. However, you don’t need to be an elopement planner for them, unless they ask for your help.


  1. Ask About the Location 

Once you understand what your clients need from you, the next step is to understand the location. There are two reasons to do so. The first reason is to understand the area and what you’ll need to bring. And the second reason is to help you visualize the ceremony and the elopement. This will help you get started with the poses you’d want the couple to try and help you plan the photo shoot better. That said, always remember to ask what the plan is. Chances are, the couple already has a working plan in place. Knowledge of their timeline will be of great help to you.


  1. Ask About the Details and Transportation 

The next thing to ask, after the first two points, is to ensure that you have all bits and pieces of information for the elopement. Once you have the bigger details, remember to smoothen out the details of the plan. Make sure you ask about transportation and the dates. Ask them if you’d travel with them or if you will travel separately. Lastly, ensure you know who is paying for your travel. Before you visit the elopement destination, always ensure that you have all the details about travel, accommodation and of the expenses, you’ll cover and what your clients will cover.


Here’s What To Do on the Day of Elopement Photo Shoot 


  1. Plan Your Timeline Around the Best Light 

What you need to keep in mind is that most elopements happen outdoors. Since the entire day will be spent outdoors, you should try to capture the best moments of the couple during the best time of the day. Obviously, golden hour photography is the best choice. So, be sure to get some shots of your couple around the same time. If your couple has some guests, be sure to capture them as well.

Note: If the couple is looking to tie the knot at any other time than the golden hour, then you should consider gearing up for the specific period of time the couple is looking to tie the knot in. Additionally, when you’re prepping for the elopement assignment, remember to pack photography gear to help you take photos at any time of the day.


  1. Landscapes Are Important

Most of the elopement ceremonies happen outdoors, which is why elopements are very charming and make space for some amazing photos. So, it only makes sense for you to capture the surroundings as well. When you’re in the middle of an elopement photo assignment, one of the best elopement photography tips is to make the surrounding landscape a part of your photo shoot. You should look into different areas, and spaces that can be used for a great photo background.

This means you’ll have to be quick and impeccably good with location scouting. So, when you get to the location where the couple will have their ceremony, ensure that you take a quick sweep of the area. Make a note of hills, mountains, creeks, cliffs, and rivers. These areas will add a magnificent touch to your photo shoot sessions.

Also, don’t be afraid of trying something new and something different. Even when you’re going over the planned poses for the couple and their guests, you should take a quick look around whenever you get a chance to make the most of the time of the day you’re taking photos in and of the location.

Another way to take amazing landscape photos is to take silhouettes. Landscape silhouettes are exceptionally flattering, and will give your subjects something to hang up on the walls of their home or share on their social media. Another way to include the beautiful landscape in wedding photos is by using “double exposure” photography. You can use double-exposure photography to capture the serene beauty of the landscapes along with the couple. What’s more, you can merge two photos of the couple in different poses to make it look cinematically dramatic.


  1. Be Attentive to your Stance

A great elopement photographer tip is to always be aware of yourself and your stance. The first and foremost thing to keep in mind is to ensure that you’re paying attention to what the couple wants. The primary aim of an elopement is to have something that makes sense to them. And this is why you should consider taking shots of the couple that make “sense to them.” Do not forget that.

Another tip to have great photos of the couple is to maintain your stance, literally. You should avoid shooting from a higher elevation unless it is a creative take on the surroundings and the couple. But if you’re taking romantic photos of the couple, then you should try to settle on lower angles. Crouching down or taking photos from the lower angles helps you make the couple look bigger. Also, it will help you create a space for the couple, separate from the surroundings. In other words, don’t let the landscape overshadow the couple and their photos.


  1. Be Patient 

Another thing to keep in mind is that since the photo shoot is all about the couple and what they want, there’s a chance you will have to go through many different poses. You should practice patience and take your time to go through different kinds of poses so that they can easily choose the ones they like and want to pose.

Always remember that the photo shoot is for the couple. Since the day is a memorable experience, ensure that you help them find the poses they like and want in their photos. Being patient with different poses and going over them will help you create something truly memorable for them. Always remember, patience during the photo assignment will help you take photos that the couple will look through and reminisce about the memories of the day.


  1. Find your Balance 

If you’re looking for elopement photography ideas and ways to take better photos, then you need to remember the smaller bits and bobs, which are easier to forget. Although elopement photography demands focus on the landscape, it also demands you to be balanced. In other words, it means that you should not be focusing too much on the surroundings. Find a healthy balance between the landscape photos and the couple photos.

What we mean is, do not let the photos with tremendous charms of the landscape be more than the couple’s photos. The next thing to keep in mind is shooting wide is appreciated. But remember to not get carried away and start shooting too wide. A very wide photo will make your couple look smaller. So, in other words, fiddle with your camera. If you want a wider shot, go for it. However, remember to keep the couple in focus. Remember to pack the right camera lens for the photo shoot.

Lastly, when it comes to finding the right balance with your photo shoot, remember to keep your eyes open. Be on the lookout for areas where you can make the couple pop out!


  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Use Different Props 

You should consider using props. From flowers to smoke bombs, don’t be afraid to use different things to add charms to your photos. However, the point to remember here is that you need to see if the couple enjoys these ideas. If not, you should move on to the next pose or idea.  

Using props can help you enhance the portraits of the couple and their guests. It is never a bad idea to bring some props. With elopement wedding photography, remember that the rules of traditional wedding photography do not apply. Your subjects will probably like to take different types of photos and shots, which is why talking to tell in the initial stages is important.

You can use some creative props, create some props yourself or even use something as simple as a ball or a bunch of balloons to add charms to the elopement photos!


  1. Lastly, Follow the “No Trace Left Behind” Rule 

This last point has nothing to do with the photo session, but with what comes after. When you’re done with your photo session and assignment, make sure to clean up after yourself. Remember to leave the area, space, and location as though you weren’t even there.

Elopement photography is all about ensuring your clients are not only having a good time but are also enjoying posing for the camera! Be sure to explore different areas, poses, and angles to create timeless memories! The guide above will help you prepare for an elopement photo assignment. However, the actual photo assignment will differ from couple to couple.

Join Our Community

We have more than 2000 members around the world

Join Community

Follow Us

Get the latest news and photo inspiration.