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Adventure Engagement Photography Session

Yosemite National Park
Charleton Churchill

Being an adventure wedding photographer takes me to many top wedding destinations around the world. However, none of them compares to the calls I often receive for weddings, elopements, engagement sessions, and adventure sessions in Yosemite National Park. It’s because of the many trails, lookouts, back country locations, epic cliffs, rivers, waterfalls, wildlife, and so much more available for the backdrops of photos.

Let’s put it this way, I never get bored. I have hiked half-dome’s 16 mile trail over forty times and have been around all of Yosemite, backpacking, camping and hiking, as well as photographing many couples. It never gets old. My Dad used to work in Yosemite National Park full-time and he galvanized in me a love for the outdoors and mountain life.

For this trip, I returned with my first engaged couple of 2018 for their adventure engagement session. Matt and Bailey were both excited to have their session at this specific National Park and with their dog, Dave. Not only do they love the outdoors, but Yosemite is special to them and their families. They go camping every year there.

This adventure session symbolizes their perfect wedding story, which I am honored to photograph. We hit it off on the phone our mutual love for the mountains and Yosemite. When Bailey asked me how to prepare for an engagement photo session, I began discussing outfit options, color, and style, which is really important for me. They both came prepared and wore stylish outfits that complimented the scene and each other.

On top of that, the weather was perfect giving us a beautiful sunset at the end of the day. I have quite a few couples coming to Yosemite this 2018 year for photos, and it’s good to start off the year with a bang. Congratulations Matt and Bailey.

 

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I traveled to Iceland last year to photograph Mai and Kenny’s adventure engagement session. Being there as a photographer was a like a kid in a candy store; there was so much to hike and explore. We landed in Reykjavik and met at the Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls to start our adventurous couple’s photo shoot. We traveled together and photographed some of the top locations in Iceland from the glacial lagoon of Jokulsarlon to the black sandy beach of Reynisfjara with the most epic sights. After we finished our travel, I went back to the hotel. I was up until around 2a.m. still taking photos looking around, learning about the area. I went out to photograph the sky, and I saw green lights after I captured a few images. Even though it was cloudy and somewhat rainy, I saw a glimpse of the northern lights, Aurora Borealis. I texted Mai and asked if she would be up for a drive to the Jokulsarlon lagoon for a northern lights epic photo about 30 minutes away? She got Kenny and we drove about 30 minutes to the glacial lagoon for a few night photos. It was pitch dark in this new area we’d never been. We starting hearing noises in the water moving around the glaciers with icebergs everywhere, not sure what creature was roaming around us, but I’m not going to lie, it was a little scary. We were in the dark somewhere we had never visited in the daylight. Additionally, we were the only ones there at 2:30a.m., but it was no doubt adventurous.

After the engagement session ended, I left and traveled to as many destinations as I could hike and explore in the next few days. I traveled off-road in my tiny rental Toyota Yaris, and hiked near the Skaftafell Ice-caves at Vatnajokull National Park where they filmed Batman scenes at the glacier. I then drove to Gullfoss waterfalls at midnight, very slippery and dangerous in November. I caught myself on a few slips. After that, I headed for dinner at the local hostel for pizza, enjoyed a nice sleep.

I traveled north for hours visiting different areas of interest, eating a restaurants where it was oddly quiet, talking to locals around the areas. On my way back in the later evening, I pulled off to a side road leading to the beach. As I approached the beach, my car got stuck, felt like my car was stuck in quick sand.  I was in black sand with water everywhere, I took a wrong road. I kept peeling out, reverse, drive, back and forth, moving my wheels. Turn the car off, collect my thoughts. It was pitch dark again. I figured I would probably sleep in my car until morning and wait for help or maybe find help that evening by walking back to the main road. There was also another car with the lights out that I passed, not sure if anyone was in it. So I decided to get back in my car and attempt again to get out, this time, bouncing the car, quickly going from reverse to drive while moving the front wheels, rocking it to get out, and finally, my car jumped out of the sand, and back I was on the road.

After my travel, I headed back to the airport, stopped by the famous Blue Lagoon, where I enjoyed a nice relaxing dip in the massive hot springs, a facial mud-wrap, and dinner. My hope is to photograph a wedding or elopement there soon, and when and if I do, I will be returning to the Blue Lagoon.

For now, enjoy some of the images from Mai and Kenny’s adventure engagement session.

Skogafoss waterfall for adventure engagement shoot with Charleton churchill Skogafoss waterfalls adventure photos with wedding couple at Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach engagement adventure photos at Iceland Black Sand Beach Reynisfjara creative iceland wedding photography during the sunset sunset at Reynisfjara with engagded adventure couple standing on the Black Sand open roads of iceland skogafoss waterfall by Charleton Churchill skogafoss waterfall trailhead on a hike with an engaged couple to marry romantic wedding photos at Iceland Reynisfjara, black sandy beach and red dress creative iceland wedding couple photos at Beach with black sand ocean beach shot at Reynisfjara with avdventure wedding photographer on Iceland diamond beach ice up close icebergs floating at iceland diamond beach sunset photos of engaged couple in Iceland at beach with black sand called Reynisfjara Iceland Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis with wedding couple on adventure shoot photography

ABOVE: We drove together at 2a.m. to get an image in the dark with the northern lights peering in the sky. We scored this image because the rest of the week, it was raining,…the Aurora Borealis never returned. There was a guy I was talking to at the hotel 30 minutes away who was like,…”I’ll wait until tomorrow night when it’s more clear.” Well, that never came, he missed his opportunity.

  • Katie Rebman - That red dress against the black is phenomenal!July 24, 2017 – 8:32 pmReplyCancel

    • Charleton Churchill - yes, the red dress definitely pops in the darker sand, thanks.July 25, 2017 – 8:57 am

  • Katie Rebman - That red dress against the black is phenomenal!July 24, 2017 – 8:32 pmReplyCancel

  • Jenn lewis - Charleston, these images are incredible. Your work always leaves me in awe.July 25, 2017 – 12:07 pmReplyCancel

  • Aleksandar - Oh my God ! Superb …July 29, 2017 – 12:29 amReplyCancel

  • Tocoi - Your work is truly amazing!!!!!August 14, 2017 – 8:06 pmReplyCancel