What is Elopement Photography: The Hottest Trend in Weddings

What is elopement photography
An elopement photo of a couple at the top of the rock

Are you tired of the same old wedding photos? Do you dream of exchanging vows in a breathtaking and intimate setting that truly reflects a unique love story? Consider elopement photography!

This growing trend offers couples the chance to break free from traditional wedding photography and exchange vows in a stunning location of their choice.

Whether you’re a couple, an individual interested in elopement photography, or a photographer looking to expand your skills, this is for you!

What is Elopement Photography?

What does elopement mean in photography? Elopement photography is all about creating a personal and romantic experience in a breathtaking location of a couple’s choice.

Whether the couple is looking to elope on a mountaintop, in a forest, or on a beach, elopement photography provides a way to document their love story in a way that feels authentic to their unique style.

What are the Purpose and Benefits of Elopement Photography?

Showing true feelings for wedding couples while holding hands
A moment that captures the true feeling of caring for each other

The purpose of elopement photography is to capture the raw, unfiltered moments of a couple’s intimate and unique wedding experience.

Here are some major benefits that couples can gain from elopement photography.

  • Ability to choose a location that truly reflects the couple’s personality and style
  • Opportunity to have a more relaxed and stress-free wedding day
  • Create a collection of images that tell the couple’s love story in a way that is authentic and meaningful

With elopement photography, couples can break free from tradition and create a wedding experience that truly speaks to their hearts.

Elopement Photography vs. Traditional Wedding Photography

As a photographer, I’ve noticed significant differences between elopement photography and traditional wedding photography.

Elopement PhotographyTraditional Wedding Photography
Focus on intimate and unique momentsFocus on staged group shots and posed portraits
Offbeat, scenic, and remote locations such as mountains, forests, and beachesVenues such as churches, hotels, and event spaces
Relaxed and stress-freeCan be stressful due to a large guest list and strict schedules
More affordable due to fewer hours of coverage and fewer guests to photographMay be more expensive due to the need for more coverage and the inclusion of a larger guest list
Candid, adventurous, and focused on the couple’s emotions and connectionFormal, posed, and centered around family and guests
Types that can be considered include elopements, destination weddings, intimate weddings, adventure weddingsTraditional weddings, big weddings, cultural weddings, religious weddings, etc. commonly use this type.
Elopement photography vs. traditional wedding photography

How do Elopement Photographers Work?

Given the unique nature of elopement photography, it’s important to know how to effectively communicate with your photographer or clients to achieve the desired results.

Let me tell you how I work with my clients when it comes to elopement photography.

What to Expect During an Elopement Photography Session

When a couple makes an appointment for an elopement photography session, they can expect a more intimate and relaxed experience compared to traditional wedding photography.

An elopement photographer will work closely with you to choose the perfect location and capture the essence of your unique love story.

During the session, the photographer will provide guidance and direction to ensure that you feel comfortable and natural in front of the camera, resulting in stunning and authentic photos.

How to Choose an Elopement Photographer

Choosing the right elopement photographer is a crucial step in ensuring that you have a successful and enjoyable experience.

Before hiring your photographer, consider the following tips,

  • Look for a photographer who specializes in elopements and adventure photography
  • Remember to check out their portfolio
  • Finding whether their style aligns with your vision for your wedding photos

Besides, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation or ask for references to ensure that you feel confident and comfortable with your choice.

What is the Difference between an Elopement and a Wedding Photographer?

Here are the major differences between an elopement photographer vs. a wedding photographer.

Elopement PhotographerWedding Photographer
Focus on capturing the intimate moments of the couple’s elopement dayCovers the entire wedding day, including pre-wedding preparations, ceremony, reception, and everything in between
Can shoot in a wider range of locations, including adventurous and unconventional settingsOften limited to shooting in traditional wedding venues or locations
Often leans towards a more candid and photojournalistic style, capturing the natural emotions and intimacy of the coupleMay use a mix of candid and posed shots, and can incorporate a variety of styles depending on the couple’s preferences
May involve hiking or traveling to remote locations, and requires the ability to work in outdoor environmentsTypically involves shooting in more controlled environments and doesn’t require the same level of physical fitness or outdoor expertise
An elopement photographer vs. a wedding photographer

In addition to the details in the table, you may also watch the following video to understand the difference between these two types.

Benefits of Working with a Team of Photographers

Working with a team of photographers can offer several benefits for your elopement photography session.

  • Provide a wider range of perspectives and styles, as well as allow for greater coverage of your wedding day
  • Can be ensured that every important moment is captured, even if unexpected situations arise

However, when working with a team of photographers, communication, and coordination are key to ensuring a seamless and stress-free experience.

How to Incorporate Elopement Photography Elements for the Best Results

Elopement photo of a couple
An elopement photograph of a couple

If you want to capture the intimacy, adventure, and beauty of love, then a few elements come together.

1.      Location Selection

Location is a key element of elopement photography. It sets the stage for the couple’s love story and can enhance the overall mood of the photographs.

Think about the couple’s tastes, preferences, and personalities when choosing a spot for elopement photos.

Some popular options include natural landscapes such as mountains, forests, beaches, or even urban settings like city streets or rooftops.

The location should provide a backdrop that complements the couple’s story and sets the tone for the photographs.

2.      Style and Storytelling Techniques

Elopement photography aims to tell a story of the couple’s love and connection, and this is achieved through the style and storytelling techniques used by the photographer.

So, use a documentary or photojournalistic approach, capturing candid moments and emotions, while others may focus on creating more artistic and stylized images.

The storytelling techniques may involve incorporating props, poses, and creative compositions to convey the couple’s story and personality.

3.      Lighting and Weather Considerations

Lighting and weather can have a significant impact on the outcome of elopement photographs.

There is a need to consider the time of day, weather conditions, and the direction of light to create the desired effect.

Cloudy or overcast weather can provide soft and diffused light, while harsh sunlight may require the use of additional lighting equipment to balance the exposure.

Besides, preparing for inclement weather and having contingency plans in place will be useful to avoid disruption to the shoot.

4.      Equipment and Gear Recommendations

Elopement photography requires specialized equipment and gear to capture high-quality images in a variety of settings.

Some essential items include a high-quality camera with a variety of lenses, additional lighting equipment, and a sturdy tripod for stability.

Depending on the location and conditions, photographers may also need to bring extra batteries, memory cards, and protective gear for their equipment.

Remember to invest in reliable and durable equipment to ensure the capture of the best possible images.

Behind the Scenes of Elopement Photography

Have you ever wondered what goes into capturing those breathtaking elopement photos? Well, let’s take a peek behind the scenes of elopement photography.

A Typical Day in the Field

A typical day in the field for an elopement photographer starts with an early morning hike or travel to the location.

Once they arrive, they will scout the area for potential shooting spots and evaluate the lighting conditions. Most of the time they may be familiar with that place.

Throughout the day, the photographer will capture a variety of shots, including portraits of the couple, candid moments, and scenic landscapes.

They may also work with other vendors, such as a videographer or wedding planner, to ensure a smooth and successful elopement photography session.

Finding Inspiration for Unique and Creative Photos

Elopement photographers are always looking for ways to create unique and creative photos that capture the essence of the couple and their love story.

They may draw inspiration from the natural surroundings, the couple’s personalities and interests, or their artistic vision.

To create the desired impact, they might try various camera perspectives, lighting setups, and editing strategies.

Choosing the Location for an Elopement

Elopement photographers may work with the couple to choose a location that is meaningful to them, or they may suggest a location based on their experience and knowledge of the area.

They will also take into consideration the time of year, weather conditions, and accessibility of the location to ensure the safety and comfort of everyone involved.

However, couples have the chance to choose the location they want.

Besides, the following video shows behind the scenes at a full elopement photo shoot.


Elopement photography is a unique and growing trend in the world of wedding photography.

It offers couples the opportunity to break free from traditional wedding expectations and create a more intimate, personalized, and adventurous experience.

By understanding the differences between elopement photography and traditional wedding photography, choosing the right photographer, and following some helpful tips and tricks, you can create stunning and memorable photos that capture the true essence of your love story.