Yosemite Elopement Adventure with Liz and Travis | Yosemite Wedding Photographer | Adventure Elopement Photographer

Yosemite Adventure Elopement

Wedding Couple Travis & Liz
Yosemite National Park, CA.
Adventure Wedding Photographer Charleton Churchill

epic mountain couple wedding photos camping on ledge with headlamps at taft point yosemite photographed by Yosemite wedding photographer Charleton Churchill

The Beginning

Adventurous couple, Travis and Liz, reached out to me wanting to elope with small number of family in Yosemite. They wanted something epic and unique. They were willing to camp out in a tent overnight. Both were willing to hike whatever miles to get dreamy photos. Further, Travis and Liz were willing to do whatever it took for the best adventure wedding photos. And because they were committed to try anything, they gained quite a few images that I’m proud to share here.

Just before sunset, they hiked to Taft Point with an intimate number of people for a short elopement ceremony. The booked me for two days, so after their ceremony, I was to meet up with them to hike, explore, and capture their love together as a wedding couple around Yosemite. And it seems like the longer I guide couples around adventurous destinations, the more crazy stories I collect along the way. Yes, I will explain later.

Adventuring in Yosemite

As we started our journey, I wanted to attempt something with my couple that nobody had done before in the park. First, it would take more time, and second, more logistics in planning the shot. It had been in my head for a while. It was a massive cliff face where I would have to get to the other side of the canyon for the image. So we did it. I have included the image below as a vertical if you want to view from a desktop.

Later, after discussing which waterfalls were actually flowing this time of year and getting input from locals, we decided on one. Our couple threw their backpacks on and hiked in their wedding attire like beasts. They are involved in quite a few athletic circles. When we arrived, the waterfall was slim, but I was planning on it and I brought the appropriate lenses to get more oomph out of the images. The images turned out better than I expected.

Accident at Taft Point

Later on that day, our plan was to head up to Taft point for sunset photos on Glacier Point road. We decided to forgo it until the following evening. I had some new ideas I wanted to try out on my couple that would require hiking back in the dark. The following morning, we got word that a couple fell to their death from Taft Point (which is where we were originally supposed to be when that happened). Had we followed through with our plans to take photos at Taft Point until after dark, we might have been a part of a rescue situation. That would be have been very emotional.

After experiencing the massive 7.8 earthquake on Mt. Everest back in 2015 which killed nearly 10,000 people and caused emotional trauma to my adventure wedding couple, I’m thinking it would have been not good for us to be there when it happened. It’s not something a wedding couple should experience for their wedding memories, unless there was an opportunity to save a life. It was sad enough just hearing about it in the park. With my couples, we are always promoting safety. At Taft Point, you can stand 10-15 feet away and still get that cliff photo without having to stand at the edge.

Exploring Photos at Yosemite

That being said about safety, you have to know your boundaries and the people around you on your journey. Travis and Liz are both adventurers and great people to be with on the trail. We had good conversation and I trust their judgement. We captured a few images that required more thought, safety, and communication, so we played it safe.

On the short way down the 4-mile panorama trail, off to the side of the canyon, before sunrise, I was hiking. I saw a guy with a wing-suit who was just about to base jump. I scared him as I came through the bushes. He thought I was someone else, as I learned it’s illegal to base jump in Yosemite. As he jumped, I got a few images.

The last part of the day, we headed up to both Sentinel Dome and Taft Point for some image during sunset, which was amazing! By the time the sun had dipped and it got dark, everyone had left except us. We were excited to experiment with a new idea for a photo (or maybe I was; I think by this time, we were a little tired and hungry). Plus the joy of hiking back in the dark and stars above us.

As I left in my Tacoma, I saw Travis and Liz pulled over on the side of the narrow road ahead. I stopped in the middle of the road, rolled down my window, and asked if everything was okay. They smiled and said they were just sitting and staring at the rise of the full moon together through the mountains. And that was coolest end to my time with them.

Please leave a comment below and say hello! Let me know you visited.

Piper’s Angels

Lastly, Travis and Liz are amazing, not only because they are good people, but because they started a non-profit organization called Pipers Angels Foundation, with a mission to support and improve the lives of families in the cystic fibrosis community. They want to make a huge difference in the lives of those who are living with CF day to day. Why? Because you need to hear his story on Tedx. Their daughter’s name is Piper. Listen here in the first three minutes and you’ll be hooked.  If you would like more information on how you can get involved or would like to donate to the cause, you can go here:  www.pipersangels.org


Yosemite Wedding Photographer | Adventure Elopement Photography | Charleton Churchill wedding couple romantic walk holding hands down yosemite valley road during the fall season in wedding dress with bouquet windy cold day during wedding photos in national parkelopement couple in yosemite on grainite during a windy day in the valley viewyosemite couple holding in the wind with wedding gown in the fallepic wedding dress photo in the wind at yosemite morning stylish couplefall season wedding photos in Yosemite with wedding couple in the leaves during Octoberyosemite fall color wedding photosfall color elopement wedding bride and groom in yosemite national park in the yellow orange leavesbride and groom crossing the yosemite river hopping rocksadventuring couple hiking down steep mountains in yosemite with packpacks and a bouquet for wedding photosAdventure elopement Photographer in Yosemite National Park | Bridalveil Falls |waterfalls in yosemite national park with eloping couple as bridalveil falls and yosemite fallsepic landscape photos in yosemite with granite rock everywhere and married couple hiking elopement couple in the park of yosemite down slippery granite rock in wedding attirehiking down to the water falls in the fall time for bride and groom hiker photosepic yosemite adventure couple near waterall for photographyadventure elopement photographer charleton churchill captures couple in the yosemite waterfall while groom smilesbride photos in yosemite with watefall behind hergroom photos with nikon lens and camera with stylish groom wear on granite rockmassive rock waterfalls in yosemite with wedding bride and groom in water composition after a hike to the fallscouple hiking in yosemite national park with adventure photographer Charleton Churchillvalley view trees and rock with elopement couple up close and personalel capitan rock with married couple in the valley field together holding each otherfall color wedding photos in yosemite with the sun shinging through the treessunset wedding photo inspiration photos with sun glaring through the weeds and trees in yosemite valleyintimate up close image with couple during intimate wedding photoswater reflection photos at the yosemite bridgesunset photos in yosemite with a prophoto b2 light and an alpen glow off the mountains of half dome and el capitanprofoto b2 light and landscape photos in yosemite adventure couplecouple taking a romantic walk along the granite rock of yosemite valley in the october fall season

Below are the images where I photographed the wing-suit base jumper just as he was jumping as I explained above. This is illegal in Yosemite National Park.

wing suit base jumper stranger in yosemitebase jumper in wing suit in the national parkwing suiter jumping off cliffepic adventure wedding photo of half dome and wedding couple in a blanket at yosemite national parkwedding couple in a brown blanket with half-dome in the backgroundGlacier Point Yosemite Elopement Photographer | Mountain wedding photographycreative places to photograph in yosemite glacier point during sunrise sentinel dome wedding couple hiking around in wedding attirecold wedding fall photos of couples hiking on trail for an elopement at a National park in USAfashionable wedding photo in the wilderness on top of granite rock and old tree overlooking viewelopement adventurous couple hiking in the wildernessyosemite wedding couple hiking near sunset on taft point and sentinel dome with wedding dress and stylish suitromantic warm sunset photos in yosemite for top elopement photographer travis suit and bride liz stand on the trail rock at taft point after hiking in a wedding dresstaft point sunset elopement photos in yosemite in stylish wedding dressthe top epic wedding photos of couple on a cliff at taft point for eloping in the mountainsTaft point adventure elopement photographer | Yosemite Wedding Photography | Charleton Churchillbeautiful sunset of adenture wedding couple at point overlooking view in the coldAdventure mountain wedding Photographer | Elopement weddings in National Parks | Charleton Churchillcamping wedding photos with couples wearing headlamp over cliff at yosemite's taft point


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West Shore Cafe Wedding | Lake Tahoe Photographer

West Shore Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe Wedding Photographer

Alex and Michael married in Lake Tahoe. With just a few family members and close friends gathered at the West Shore Cafe, it was elegant and personal. As you’ll see, it was beautifully designed and planned very well. They found me through another couple I had photographed for a winter adventure shoot in Alaska a few years back. As a result, they requested some type of Tahoe adventure with their wedding package, which is always good. So, a few days before their wedding date, we ventured around south Lake Tahoe for some hiking and adventurous photos together. We did the lake thing, no doubt, but then we traveled into some rugged locations I had explored earlier this year. I had only been there a few times with a few other couples; however, it was a different part of the mountain. We attempted one difficult area, but it wasn’t working out. So we discovered a new location and photographed there instead. Bonus.

That’s the intrinsic character about Tahoe and the mountains surrounding it; there’s always some place different on the trail to capture a couple uniquely.


After their rugged adventure session, we connected a few days later at West Shore Cafe. The West Shore is actually a gorgeous wedding venue that books up well in advance, and is one of Lake Tahoe’s only private lakefront venues. That is where Alex and Michael celebrated their vows together for an intimate ceremony. There was a total 16 people including Alex and Michael.


The West Shore also has delicious food where you can indulge on their private dock to enjoy the views. Our couple gathered with close family for a private reception. They had one large table allowing for 16 seats enclosed by beautiful awning and drapery, floral arrangements, and lights. The wedding was beautifully decorated with the coordination of Nicole from Sikora Events. The table decor was by Theoni Collection, party rentals by Celebrations, linens by La Tavola, and florals by Natasha Kolenko, which all made the lovely evening perfect.

I’m honored to have been part of an amazing intimate wedding, a good family, and a wonderful team to partner with in accomplishing excellence. Congratulations to Alex and Michael.


lake tahoe adventure photographer session on granite mountain peak for epic wedding photosfront of the west shore cafe in homewood californiathe dock of lake tahoe in West shore with red umbrellas for shadefeather arm wedding gown hanging from light in west shore inn reflection of bride in window with tahoe makekup artistjimmy choo wedding shoes hanging from wooden cabin benchcreatively backlit bride near window in tahoe with boats in backgroundbrothers before the wedding day ceremony at tahoebrother putting his bow-tie ongroom michael with his black suit bow-tie outfit at the cafe and innclassic black and white images of mother assisting bride with her wedding gownclassic and fashionable bw bridal images in lake tahoebride getting veil on in reflection of the mirrormother putting shoes on for daughter the bride in cafe inn roomsoft palette wedding decor with bride and groom cards custom made and a mountain logosilhouette of bride in hotel overlooking lake tahoe at the west shore cafestylish groom portraits on day of intimate wedding in tuxbouqet with groomfine art beautiful bridal portraits in lush green backdrop and moody with white bouquetfirst look of an emotional fathertears of happiness by father in tux with his daughterbride is tearfully happy to see her father connectedfirst look of the groom happy groom getting emotional on wedding day at the look of his bridebride emotionally happy at the first time seeing her fiancebride and groom portraits out on lake tahoe dock of west shore cafecouples creative wedding photos out on the west shore cafe dock with the venue behind themwest shore cafe small wedding ceremony setup and decor with white flowers and tahoe's lakeceremony charirs in tahoe with flowersfather walking daughter down aisle on lush venueemotional groom on the lake during a ceremony of vows and close intimate familyfather giving her bride away in tahoebride laughing during ceremony with veil onhappy family at west shore intimate ceremonyengaged family during ceremonyhappy mother of groom getting tearful during wedding ceremonyceremony at tahoe's wedding venue west shore lush green flowers and plants decorated all around ceremony archthe kiss photo during the ceremony real weddings and candids of couple after the ceremonyfamily portraits after the ceremony with natural lightlake tahoe wedding couple portraits with a profoto light on the deep blue lake even when it's cloudy.wedding couple just married on lake tahoe at west shore cafecouples portraits in tahoefun whimsical wedding couple on mountain venue of lake tahoe at sunset golden hour


Alex and Michael’s Tahoe Adventure Photo Session:

Here are some images from their adventure photo session just a few days prior to their wedding. An adventure session usually involves anywhere from four hours to a few days of hiking and photos in places that are epic in nature. For Alex and Michael, these next images were mostly from the later day session with wedding attire up in Lake Tahoe. I took them to a location where there were less crowds, plenty of epic views, and a great outdoor adventurous experience.

epic lake tahoe wedding photographer capturing couple with wind blowing veil creativelylake tahoe wedding photographer from west shore cafe capturing couple on blue lake during sunset desolation wildernesstahoe intimate wedding portraits on mountain top overlooking blue lakeadventure wedding couple on granite of rugged mountain top exploring photos together during sunsetcouples session during lake tahoe adventure elopement photographycouple hiking in wedding dress and tuxedo on granite rock of tahoe mountainslake tahoe mountain wedding and adventure elopement photographerblue sky mountain top landscape photos with elopement couple hiking off trailtahoe adventure wedding photographer capturing couple hiking on summit with a red backpack in wedding dress and a tuxsunrise on lake tahoe morning adventure couples session before wedding day of south lake tahoe

Back at the West Shore Cafe

epic clouds and sailboat on tahoe lake reception at West Shore Cafe with table decor and awning with linen hanging and flowers on lawnstylish wedding decor at reception of outdoor intimate wedding couple with table for 16 gueststable decor and plates for sixteen at outdoor tahoe wedding venueplates and customized cards, boxes, and elegant design on tablewhite outdoor furniture for reception at homewood, ca wedding venuewedding cake and creative 3D seating chart for weddingcandids of reception toasts surrounded by close family and linens with white flowerscheers and toasts with smiles around a small wedding venuecapturing emotions of happiness with couple in celebration of marriagetoasts as they all clink of glasses togethereveryone seated at the table for sixteen under an awning while the band plays jazzcandids of close family under the awning cutting the cake at west shorecreatively lit awning with drapes and linens, chairs, and table design and decor romantic for the evening eye candycreative bride and groom night photo under lit awning in lake tahoe at the west shore cafe






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The Hideout Wedding Photographer – Tahoe Wedding Photography at Kirkwood

The Hideout Wedding Photographer with Aaron and Kelly.
Lake Tahoe Wedding Photography
by Adventure Wedding Photographer Charleton Churchill


Kelly and Aaron married at The Hideout in Kirkwood, a secluded wedding venue out near Lake Tahoe and Kirkwood Mountain Resort. It was without saying an adventurous and epic wedding, yet full of beautiful candid moments where emotion was alive. They had me for the full day and gave me freedom and time to create art for them. I was by myself as a photographer for this wedding as I am most weddings and elopements, not even a videographer. They booked for the adventure couples session on a different day, which was equally amazing. However, all the images below are from the wedding day only.

With outdoorsy guests, many hiked the Sierra Nevada trails, adventured the local alpine lakes, and camped out in tents for the week, off and on property. They celebrated their beloved couple together like a close-knot family. The had wilderness Olympics for all their guests, morning yoga, and other activities to keep the week going.


Kelly and Aaron are a wonderful couple, very graceful, and hospitable. They are true adventurers who truly love the outdoors. I was told by the couple that Kelly the bride most of her life only slept in tents or camped out when traveling, rather than choosing a hotel. For example, her family would travel to San Francisco and go out of their way to camp outside the city, rather than take the convenient route to book a hotel for the evening. Even for this wedding week, they went rugged. It’s pretty inspiring actually.

I have other beautiful weddings to blog, but I wanted to share this sooner because I have not blogged a Hideout wedding before. Many couples have requested me for this mountain venue, but I have never booked anyone. Either I was booked on their date or the budget was limited, so I’m excited to finally share a Hideout wedding.

Congratulations to Kelly and Aaron on their wedding day. Please leave a comment and also share this if you enjoy this wedding. Thank you.
Camera gear by Nikon Photography gear, Nikon Mirrorless Z7 and D850.  Lighting by Profoto USA – B1 Lights.


Adventure Wedding Photographer: Charleton Churchill
Venue: The Hideout Venue
Wedding Event Planners: Blue Sky Events
Hair/Makeup: Tahoe Weddings a Go Go, Sonia Quillan
Catering: WRP BBQ and Catering
Rentals: Party Smart Rentals

wedding couple under the milky way, stars and crescent moon

Couples sometimes ask me for star photos, but it works better when there is less light pollution (city lights) and you are higher up in the mountains. If the moon is full also, it washes out the stars. Here I photographed the moon before it went down and combined them into one image just like a double exposure.

the hideout wedding photographer Tahoe

secluded backroad bigfoot crossing sign on treefamous bear hideout sign on hwy 88alpine lake below kirkwoodtent camper lodging for elopements and weddingsbridal dress hanging from a woodsy lodge doorturquoise mountain bridal boots with tahoe weddings a go gotahoe weddings a go go putting on makeup and doing up hairmakeup by weddings a go gogroomsmen in western saloon drinking beargroom putting on suit in saloon gathered by friendslaughter from bay area groom putting on tiestylish groom with a blue suit and pocket watchgroomsmen guys casual portrait in hideout saloonflourists behind the scenes putting together flowersthe hideout bride fitting into her dressnostalgic bride image getting ready at the hideout lodgebeautiful wedding dress bw imagecabin room where bride is getting ready with girls up hwy 88 bridal photos at the hideout cabin in private roomthe hideout bridefirst look at the ceremony site of the mountain elopement venue in tahoecandid photos of tahoe wedding couple in forest wildernesshwy 88 wedding couple with blue styled suitromantic wedding photos in national forest up hwy88beautiful love in the woods of northern california bride and groom with red and blue flowers after first look in kirkwoodkirkwood bride kissing groomclassic black and white wedding photo in the mountainsup highway 88 elopement photographerkirkwood wedding photographer up hwy88 with profoto light b1 with a blue lakethe hideout wedding photos on the lake front of the cabin with a profoto lightinside the cabin of the hideout lodge wedding photoshideout wedding couple photos on the cabin creative ruggedwedding photographer at the hideout cabinwoodsy hideout couple in cabin near fireplacefine art mountain rugged wedding bride and groom on porch of cabinreflective creative mountain photographybridal partybridal party photo on the cabin deckfriends the couplecasual bridesmaids and friendshideout ceremony site on wooded chairs on the green with blue skiescandid photosmore candids of friends of the adventure couplecandid moment with the groom and little kidbride looking at her father before the ceremonyringbearer walking down aisle bride and father walking down aisle of mountain wedding in the national forest near kirkwoodfather walking his daughter the bride down the aisle of the hideoutgroom's expression plus the supreme court judge of Alaskaa wedding ceremony at the Hideout tahoe venuereadings during ceremonyhideout ceremony kirkwood ca.rugged woodsy ceremony mountain outdoor wedding ceremony on homemade wooden benches at the hideoutbridal vowsgroom vowstahoe bride and groom are married in the mountainstent campers wedding site up hwy 88 with couple in lovehideout group photo heart shaped at venueBlue sky wedding planning and decor at the reception with green trees plate settingstable decor by the blue sky eventsfriends photo from schoolcustomimzed earthy cups for coupleentrance of the couple out of barn on hideout propertycouple shares a thank you speech toast near trees of venuehideout's barn lodge hosting a classy casual receptionhwy88 wedding photos on 40 acres of forest landtahoe wedding sunset photos south of Kirkwood Ski Resortepic portrait of groom romantically holding bride on mountain summitmarried couple hiking in wedding attire over granite rockepic hideout wedding photos overlooking the alpine lakewhimsical just married couple during sunset at the hideout lodgebeautiful romantic lake couple just married near the cabinThe Hideout Wedding Photographer Wedding Photographer at the Hideout Lodge the top wedding photographer at the Hideout tahoebride and groom mountain tahoe portraitstoasts and laughter during forest receptionsurprise laughter after a toast givenclose friend roasting groomcheers to the couple creative first dance in the hideout barn with lightingbride and groom's first dance in the outdoor barnclose familiy dance of father and brideemotional moment between bride and father dancemother and groom dancefun groom and mother swing dance while laughingoutside lighting for remaining guests who are mingling.late night guests surrounding the couple for last dance in the barnthis is the last dance of the evening iconic wedding sparkler exit at the Hideout kirkwoodwedding couple under the milky way, stars and crescent moon


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Charleton Churchill is an Wedding and Adventure Elopement Photographer who inspired the adventure wedding movement with hiking couples wearing backpacks & rugged mountain boots in their wedding attire from Mt. Everest in 2015 & 2017.


Named Among the Top 100 Wedding Photographers in the United States and Canada


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