I love photographing people. It's not only because of the epic photographs we capture on mountain tops (though that is exciting). It's not because of the real life candid and documentary approach we use to grab those moments of real emotion. For me, it's about the experience and adventure of doing it together. I enjoy challenging and encouraging my couples to get the best out of them. We are a team and we work together while having fun. If you’re interested in hearing more about my work and style, please contact me and we can schedule a time to chat briefly to get to know you. I would love to meet you.
Meet Charleton Churchill
Hi and welcome. I am a wedding and adventure elopement photographer based near Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park, but my work takes me everywhere around the world, even weddings at Mt. Everest. The passion of what I do should be evident as you view my website and Instagram. I work hard full-time to produce high quality images for my couples, shooting nearly forty weddings in a year and last year 2021, I photographed 56 weddings and elopements. I've been shooting weddings since 2008. Additionally, my intention is to capture the beauty and awesomeness of my couples and their wedding day, just as I do climbing high peaks around the world. Learning the camera came in the training field of dangerous high altitude mountains, like Alaska’s Denali and Mt. Everest. It was my aim to capture the intimidation and awe of what I saw and felt when mountaineering. I love simplicity and sophistication at the same time.
I love simplicity and sophistication at the same time.
In terms of style, I infuse a mixture of documenting a couples story naturally and candidly, yet with a creative approach, directing couples for good lighting and epic photos. My wedding couples love the natural feel to my photography, and I have a way of working with couples to bring out their best. You can read my reviews on the knot to hear what couples have shared about my approach. Much of how I document a wedding day is built around organic and candid moments, recording the laughter, tears, humor, the quite moments, the prayers, and expressions of your special day. We love to photograph kids, your families, grandma and grandpa who have been married 50+ years as an example, and whom are dancing together on the dance floor. We attempt to document the special moments.
However, when it comes to the bride and groom’s alone time, every photographer has some involvement in directing, including us. We hear couples tell us repeatedly they are not photogenic, nor good at posing. It’s okay, we’re not looking for posers. Many of these same couples are featured on my website, my blog, in national and local wedding magazines, and on front covers of wedding magazines. To that end, we have a great balance of capturing your wedding day as it unfolds, as well as directing you in the most lovely and creative way.
Tell me about yourself
Most of my life has gravitated towards the creative and artistic interactions, from acting, bands and to photography. I also love reading (Philosophy, History, Photography, Business, autobiographies, and the Bible) and I have a library in my home. Most importantly, I value the rugged man who died for me, Jesus. Because of Him, I’m a different man today, and I wouldn’t be who I am today without Him. I'm a thankful guy who came from having very little.
I'm also a driven visionary who works hard. I love working with people, truly, and I value relationships. I’m easy and relaxed to work with on your wedding day, yet I am focused. Enduring -30 f temperatures on mountain summits leading teams for extended days has taught me about commitment and pushing onto greatness. All of who I am spills over into my style, pushes me to be the best and strive for greatness and creativity in my photography.
Yes, I travel often throughout California, out of state, out of country, and I am available for a limited amount of destination weddings per year internationally. I have a passport and travel often. The most requested wedding locations with my couples is Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Hawaii, Alaska, and the Grand Tetons area. I photograph both normal backyard or city weddings as well as adventure elopements. Please contact me for more information. I have many ideas for weddings and epic adventure elopements.
My Gear Bag
I use all the best gear necessary for my style. Canon, Sony, and Nikon cameras have been used professionally in my work, but Nikon gear fits my style and low light performance, which is why I made the switch in 2011. I have and use much of the best cameras and lenses. I’m constantly upgrading, along with backup cameras, flashes, Profoto strobes, all the best and latest software and fastest hardware, macbook pro, iMacs, ipad, iphone, iwhatever, and other assistance to get the best images.
Reservations & Bookings
If you’re interested in booking me, please contact me and we can setup a time to talk briefly. A signed agreement and retainer reserves your date, and I cannot hold any dates without them. I welcome check, cash, Venmo, Zelle, etc., but I also accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express.
It is important that we are a good fit. You deserve the best, and we want to make sure that we are the right choice for you. I would absolutely love to meet you and hear about your wedding elopement. Fill out the form on the contact page. I will get back to you as soon as possible because I’m fast like that.
Ali & Nick
Yosemite National Park Elopement
at Glacier Point
As my first wedding anniversary approaches, I find myself looking back at the photos from that day. They are stunning, and I have Charleton to thank for that. I don’t think there is anything I could say about his photographs that you can’t see for yourself. The photos are beautiful, pieces that carry the spirit of Ansel Adams within them. Charleton is not simply a wedding photographer, he is an artist with the magnificent ability to capture “a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space” in a single photo. What I can tell you, is my experience working with Charleton. My husband and I are horrible at being photographed, but Charleton was patient and offered us the guidance we needed. Even though he was with us for six hours, his presence was never imposing. He was a great conversationalist at times and gave us the space we needed at others, all the while taking amazing photographs. Working with Charleton is like spending time with a friend you’ve known your entire life, and once you’re finished you cannot help but consider this man your friend, your very, very talented friend. Charleton’s greatest endorsement came from my husband who loathes human interaction and was not initially happy that I booked a photographer for six hours. After our experience, my husband said Charleton was great and now he can’t stop talking about rehiring him for anniversary photos! Every couple cares deeply about their wedding photos and wants the best photographer they can find; Charleton offers that, and it is my belief that Charleton is the one photographer that cares about your photos even more than you do. It is his art, the image that drives him, not your check.
Chelsie and Josh
Big Sur Elopement in California
My husband and I had the honor of having Mr. Churchill be our adventure wedding photographer. Our experience with Mr Churchill was complete bliss from the beginning. He was always quick to respond to all emails and communications. He made us feel completely comfortable, and was able to capture our wedding day in the most magical way, that went above and beyond our expectation. The level of expertise and vision Mr. Churchill provides is out of this world. We were honored to have him be apart of our special day.
Brent and Emily Montana Glacier National Park Elopement
We hired Charleton for our adventure wedding hike through Glacier National Park in Montana. I found him on Instagram and was immediately mesmerized by his work . He is famous for his Everest wedding, but it was his session in Norway that snapped my attention. He exceeded all of my very high expectations. Most importantly, he is a dear, kind man, who we all consider a friend following our time with him. We have 4 adult children who hiked with us that day - 16 miles, 10 hours - so we got to know one another well. If you have any question on his photography, look at his instagram. You will not find colors captured the same by others. We interviewed other "adventure photographers" before hiring Charleton, but in the end it was the color and the raw moments he captured that put him ahead of anyone else. If you are doing an actual adventure session - meaning one that requires some grit and work - he IS the expert in this area
Kaitlin and Evan
Lake Tahoe Wedding
Charleton absolutely blew us away with his incredible eye and ability to capture our moments! He did an absolutely incredible job not only on the wedding day but in making our engagement shoot special and a ton of fun. He was a pleasure to work with in the fun up, always understanding of the pressure we had from all the various vendors and by far among the easiest to work with. He's an awesome guy to boot! Highly recommend, you can trust him with such an important job.
Charleton is absolutely amazing! He has a great eye for bringing out the surrounding natural beauty in every single setting. His shots are unique and overwhelmingly beautiful. Charleton shot for my husband's sister's wedding and immediately after seeing her pictures we decided to book him for both our engagement shoot and wedding. He was actually the first vendor we booked for our wedding, having him be a part of our big day was that much of a priority for us. His work speaks for itself, but what the pictures don't show is the amount of great energy and love Charleton also brings to the shoot/big day. He makes you feel like a rockstar and pushes the envelope for location and approach of each picture. Couldn't recommend him enough, every minute you receive from Charleton is professional, genuine and of the utmost quality.
Named Among the Top 100 Wedding Photographers in the United States and Canada