Looking back, last year was full of many great elopements, engagements, weddings, and family photography sessions, as well some personal trips I’d been wanting to check off my list for a long time – a birthday trip exploring the coast at Palos Verdes, an anniversary trip to the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Antelope Canyon
, and a spontaneous fall trip to Yosemite National Park
. Looking forward, here’s my wish list of lots of places I want to visit and photograph and some goals I have for my photography business this year! Are any of these on your list too? If so, let’s get together and plan an adventure
First off – places in California I want to visit that I either haven’t been to before or haven’t been to in a long time. I would absolutely love to photograph elopements or engagement sessions at Big Sur
along the coast, Vasquez Rocks
about an hour north of LA, and Sequoia National Park
a few hours east. All of these places have different scenery – oceanside cliffs, golden desert rock formations, and giant green trees – but all fill me with wonder whenever I see photos of them. I’m hoping I can find some adventurers in love to hire me for photos at any of these locations but they’re all close enough that I could also do weekend getaways and some travel photography
! And I’ve been talking about doing a Big Sur elopement inspiration shoot with some other talented vendors as well.
Next up for my 2018 photography goals is to photograph a National Park elopement! I spent a lot of time putting my parks pass to good use last year and want to keep exploring more this year. Did you know that California has the most National Parks out of all the states, with nine to choose from? Joshua Tree National Park
is one of my favorite places, and Yosemite
was absolutely gorgeous. I’d love to go back to either of them, or any of the other parks, to capture a couple’s destination elopement adventure in these beautiful settings.
One of the cool things about Joshua Tree
is that you can get married in the national park
itself, but there are also a ton of nearby venues, hotels, and Air BnB houses if you are looking for a place to host a wedding weekend or a reception after your ceremony. Some of my favorite looking venues that would be perfect for a desert destination elopement or wedding are RimRock Ranch
, The Inn at the Ruin
, 29 Palms Inn
, The Desert Lily
, Sacred Sands
, Cactus Moon Retreat
, The Joshua Tree Inn
, Mojave Sands
, Pipes Canyon Lodge
, Joshua Tree Cabins
, Rock Reach House
, Echo Ranch House
, Casa Joshua Tree
, and the Moorten Botanical Garden
and ACE Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs
. So many amazing choices, and I’d love to be a part of any celebrations at any of them!
There are also other locations I’ve been to for personal vacations and have many fond memories of, and think they would be perfect for destination elopements, outdoor weddings, or engagement sessions. Cabins and tents make for a chic glamping elopement at El Capitan Canyon
near Santa Barbara. And Idyllwild, south of Palm Springs but a mile up a mountain, has a more woodsy, almost Pacific NorthWest, look and feel with lots of climbing, hiking, camping, and cabin options, like the peaceful and adorable Quiet Creek Inn
A few other places on my California elopement venues wish list are Great Spirits Ranch
in Malibu, Sacred Mountain Ranch
in Julian, and Wayfarers Chapel
in Rancho Palos Verdes. I visited Wayfarers Chapel last spring and it was such a beautiful and unique building – lots of glass and modern metal that let in light and incredible views of the trees and ocean. It feels like you are outside even when you’re standing inside. The grounds are also amazing and there’s a beach and park right across the street that would make for scenic portraits after a ceremony in the chapel.
Another goal for this year is to hold one or two days of mini-sessions in the spring, and maybe in the fall as well. Mini-sessions are shorter portrait sessions, back-to-back on the same day, all in one lovely outdoor location. They are perfect for those who might not be ready to book a full one-hour portrait session but are looking for a quick and fun way to get family, newborn, maternity, engagement, anniversary, or head shot photos. I’ll be announcing the date and locations for these 20 minute portrait packages in the next month, so keep an eye out on my social media or email me if you want to reserve a slot!
And last but not least for my somewhat-lengthy goals for 2018 is to start selling stock photography of my nature and travel images. Because I’ve been a lot of amazing places and seen a lot of beautiful things and sharing some of those images with wider audiences while possibly funding my future trips seems like a great next step!
So that’s my list! What are your goals for this year? Do any of them line up with mine? If you’re eloping, recently got engaged, or want to document new milestones in your family, let’s connect and cross some adventures off our lists together!