More Van Anything Best of 2018 | Intimate Weddings + Elopements + Adventure Sessions
BEST OF 2018 | INTIMATE WEDDINGS + ELOPEMENTS + ADVENTURE SESSIONS
ADVENTURE WEDDING + ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHERS
Shooting adventurous elopements, intimate weddings, and working with all the lovely clients we did this year was beyond what we could have ever expected. Thanks to every one of you special lovebirds, and a lot of hard work—we were able to work everywhere from the fjords of Norway, to the deserts of Moab and Sedona, to the Yosemite Valley. It’s been an absolute honor to make new friends from all over the US and the World in pursuit of our passions. So before we talk about our year in review, we just wanted to thank each and every one of you for working with us + following our journey around the West.
12:30 AM, BLM Land outside of Moab, Utah
It was our first official night in the van. After traveling from Colorado, we were happy to set up camp somewhere very familiar to us. Our desert home away from home. But in the middle of the night, as we were about to fall asleep—we heard the scratches of a field mouse getting into our stash of oreos. And if you don’t know Jaclyn very well, oreos are the one, essential ingredient to a good life. We opened up the van in the middle of the desert, removing things from the van one by one until we discovered the field mouse hiding in our trash drawer. We’re still not sure how it got in the van—or how the damn thing got out. But there we were in the pitch black thinking to ourselves, “What the hell did we just get ourselves into?”
The next few days were rocky, no pun intended. Jeep Week and some competitive campers ended up taking our campsite multiple nights. At one point, we shared a single campsite with a small RV rig and some tent campers. But it was all worth it for our first sunrise session of the year. After escaping Jeep Week, we struggled to call a place home for early Spring. It wasn’t until a week into van-life that we stumbled across a dirt cheap campground outside of St.George/Zion. We got comfortable, got work done, and really started to build a brand new lifestyle from scratch.
If you had told me a couple of years ago what I would do in 2018, I’m not sure I would believe you. I thought I’d be doing Peace Corps in rural South America, or on my way to PhD at some university. Living in a van in Utah? It never would have crossed my mind. But when we took our month long road trip together, we fell in love with van-life. Coming across van-dwellers while we worked and lived in Grand Teton National Park only further solidified our future plans together.
We didn’t own new cars. We didn’t own a home. We didn’t have a bunch of expensive stuff to sell. Yet alone any sort of savings from a 9-5 job. There was literally no momentum to help us build our van + business. In fact, with the struggles we had, it almost seemed like the world constantly wanted to remind us: “Yeah, that’s not a good idea.”
But with great thanks to our close and rock solid friends Becky & Jake, we were able to build our van and get on the road.
29 Sessions | 5 National Parks | 8 States | 2 Countries | 22,979 miles
We were fortunate enough to visit our close friends in Denver before hitting the road. We stayed with Jackie and Casey on our first road trip together, and it was a good, safe start to our new life. We look up to Jackie and Casey a lot. They are some of the kindest, and most talented travel-hosts we’ve ever met. Homemade granola yogurt bowls are the standard in their household—and we cannot thank them enough for believing in our lifestyle and supporting us as much as they have.
We visited with family in Idaho (Boise is one of our favorite places out West, by the way). We’ve slept overnight in one of our bride’s driveways in Nevada. And we’ve had homemade soup with clients after a cold, snowy session up in the Utah mountains. We’ve had so many kind gestures from clients, friends, and family this year—we have no idea how we got so lucky to deserve you guys.
We photographed couples in the wildflowers of the Utah mountains, the coasts of Oregon, all over the deserts of Moab and Sedona, the sweeping landscapes of the Grand Tetons, in Yosemite a few times, and even got lucky enough to land a destination elopement in Norway! It’s been such a rewarding experience to not only visit the places we love the most out West, but to work in these epic places on such a frequent basis. Our work load was a lot more than we expected this year, and there wasn’t much separation between our personal lives and our business. We hope to slow down in 2019 and spend our time more deliberately with each other, and with all of our clients.
With all of the clients we got, we worked hard for each one. We scouted locations, we helped each one plan out their perfect day, and we witnessed two people in love say their vows in some pretty epic vistas. We woke up at 3:30am for sunrise sessions. We hiked back in the dark with couples after the last drop of sunlight dipped below the horizon. We had great conversations with each couple learning about their lives, their love, and what brought them to each place. After shooting traditional weddings for years, working with our clients in the great outdoors just spoke more to who we are as a couple. The emotions and experience of each elopement + intimate wedding stays with us to this day. It’s such an incredible job to get to plan elopements for amazing couples in these amazing National Parks. We cannot say enough about how fulfilling it is to combine our love for nature + documenting elopements/intimate weddings into one job. When it’s just the two of you and your intimate friends + family, your photographers become a bigger part of your day. We’re not just in the backdrop snapping photos. We’re a part of it, and usually a big part in the planning process. People put a lot of trust in our knowledge of the great outdoors and intimate, meaningful locations across the West. We’re the people you hike with after your first look. We’re the people passing you the champagne. The ones you share stories with. The ones who pass you a headlamp. It makes our work a lot more meaningful for us, and in turn, we think it makes the photos you get to keep more meaningful too.
While we’ve looked in the past of 2018, we can’t help but look at the map and see where we are going in 2019. It’s going to be amazing with revisiting locations we love and finding new locations to explore.
What would this blog be without some New Year Resolutions?!
What we want to work on in 2019:
Have a more cohesive travel schedule.
Work more often in fewer places. While we loved working literally anywhere, we’d like to focus on working in certain states + National Parks for 2019 and beyond.
Stick with around 30 clients because it’s a good balance.
Watch more sunrises and sunsets together just the two of us.
Fix problems with the van and give her some more TLC.
Visit more of the PNW and maybe even a few new countries.
Share more BTS in the van because people seem to like that!
Thank you for reading this long post and for following along with our adventures. We hope 2019 will be just as awesome. Cheers to the past, the present, and the future!