The bride and groom were dressed to the nines for their wedding and stood on a ledge above hundreds of meter drop as the sun went down behind them. As the wedding business continues to grow, some couples are ditching the expensive and stressful traditional weddings in favor of smaller ceremonies that are more in line with their lives and values.
The word “elopement,” which used to make people think of shame and running away, is now a popular way for couples to get married. It gives them a wedding to remember without all the fuss of a big ceremony. No seating plans, no flower girls, and no fancy matching outfits for the wedding party. Elopements go against the norm, but there’s one thing these daring couples aren’t willing to give up? The best photos in the world.
We talked to Elopement Photographer Tori Ware, who is one of the photographers who make up Adventure Instead, a trio of photographers who are taking the elopement industry by storm talk about what it’s like to break away from the traditional wedding photography path and make a living in her own way.
What does “elopement photography” mean?
An elopement is a wedding that is small on purpose, personal, meaningful, and real. It is a true reflection of the couple’s relationship, and the day is really all about them. It’s about getting rid of all the stress, pressure, and obligation that come with weddings. When a couple elopes, they are free to make their commitment to each other in any way and place they want. Elopement photography is taking pictures of this unique way to get married.
Two other photographers work with you.
You work with two other elopement photographer Maddie Mae and Amber, who are also amazing, inspiring, and passionate. By working together, we can give our couples so much more. So many more great ideas can be turned into real things. We work together to grow and improve this business and the elopement industry as a whole. We share ideas, push each other, and support each other. Teams are awesome!
Before you got into elopement photography, how did you feel about photography?
Before I started taking pictures of elopements, I took pictures of weddings. Before that, I took pictures of fashion. I quit fashion because I didn’t like the way of life that came with it. I wanted to be in the mountains, hiking, backpacking, and exploring. I didn’t want to work in a big, busy city where it was hard to breathe. I fell in love with taking pictures of couples, which led me to start taking pictures of weddings. Finally, I found my passion in capturing elopements.
How do you make sure your clients feel comfortable?
We’re all introverts, so we know what it’s like to feel uncomfortable in front of a camera. In all honesty, it takes a lot of courage for a couple to show up, be themselves, and connect in front of a camera. One of the best parts of my job is putting a couple’s mind at ease about photos and making them feel like they can be themselves. It starts with me being who I am and making a space where my couples can do the same. Their day isn’t a photo shoot, and I don’t put them in awkward poses or give them weird prompts to make them act a certain way. Instead, I let them be themselves.
how they naturally get along and do things to make those beautiful moments happen. I don’t just guess how they are as a couple. Instead, I ask them how they normally walk together and have them do it. I didn’t pose them like props on their wedding day. Instead, I let them make real memories. Because, in the end, their elopement day isn’t about me or my portfolio. It’s about them and the memories they make.