Being a professional elopement photographer is my dream career. I work with the best couples, I travel to the most beautiful places, and I have freedom to chase all my other passions.
While I’m endlessly grateful, the transition to professional photography as a career forever changes photography as a hobby. There’s something so special about photography in the hobby stage.
Do I still love photography? Of course!
Am I still so passionate about the art? Obviously!
But now photography is WORK. There’s no method or for-fun session that will change that.
I remember wondering if pro photographers took me seriously in the early days when I was an amateur. As a pro now, I can say that hobbyist photographers should be celebrated. They’re in a beautiful stage of the photography journey and it’s precious. As a pro now, I can confidently say that photography is to be enjoyed by all, of all levels.
When I started photography in 2012, I was inspired by Ansel Adams. His work from the early to mid 1900s is equally impressive today despite significant advances in camera equipment. After receiving a roll of Ilford film as a gift, I got the idea to capture scenery on black and white film. Not only would it be a “for fun” only project, but it would take me back to my hobby days when I only photographed wildlife and landscapes.
A goal of this project was intention. It’s easy to just take any and all photos with a digital camera. Film requires thought and planning. There’s only 36 exposures and a several week wait to even see if they turned out.
If you know me, you won’t be surprised that I started this project with a spreadsheet. I picked epic places in the Oregon, Washington, and Idaho that are special to me. I photographed the locations during ideal lighting which meant visiting them for myself rather than for work.
I can’t even begin to explain how refreshing this project was. These images will always hold a special place in my heart and I will be pursuing many more passion projects in the future.
Thank you to Darkslide Film Lab for always taking amazing care of my film!
If you want to see my film work for elopements, check out this blog!
I bought the Canon Elan II on eBay for $35. Emily at Darkslide recommended this camera to me because it has newer focusing technology and fits Canon EF lenses I already have. I love this camera because you clearly get the film look, equipment that performs great, an interface very similar to DSLR cameras, and it’s lower cost than many other SLR film cameras.
Hi there! I’m Miki (the one who wrote this) and I’m an elopement photographer specializing in the Oregon Coast. The couples I work with opt for a non-traditional, epic wedding days usually with just the two of them (and yes, I shoot a roll of film for all elopements). If you love the Oregon Coast and a traditional wedding just doesn’t feel right to you, check out these other resources (you might just find the wedding of your dreams).