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Tag Archives: Yosemite Wedding 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

 

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Below are the images where I photographed the wing-suit base jumper just as he was jumping as I explained above.

wing suit base jumper stranger in yosemite base jumper in wing suit in the national park wing suiter jumping off cliff epic adventure wedding photo of half dome and wedding couple in a blanket at yosemite national park wedding couple in a brown blanket with half-dome in the background top epic adventure wedding photos in yosemite with couple over cliff and half dome in the background by yosemite wedding photographer charleton churchill creative places to photograph in yosemite glacier point during sunrise sentinel dome wedding couple hiking around in wedding attire cold wedding fall photos of couples hiking on trail for an elopement at a National park in USA fashionable wedding photo in the wilderness on top of granite rock and old tree overlooking view elopement adventurous couple hiking in the wilderness yosemite wedding couple hiking near sunset on taft point and sentinel dome with wedding dress and stylish suit romantic 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 dress taft point sunset elopement photos in yosemite in stylish wedding dress the top epic wedding photos of couple on a cliff at taft point for eloping in the mountains epic mountain wedding photo of elopement couple on taft point cliff during sunset after hiking trail in the evening beautiful sunset of adenture wedding couple at point overlooking view in the cold hiking wedding couple in yosemite by charleton churchill adventure elopement photographer camping wedding photos with couples wearing headlamp over cliff at yosemite

  • Steffani Abercrombie - Truly amazing! The images took my breath away! I imagine it was even more so for you and the couple. Great job.December 1, 2018 – 10:40 pmReplyCancel

    • Charleton Churchill - Thank you Steffani, great to hear from you neighbor, hope you’re all doing well.December 3, 2018 – 12:31 pm

  • Lora Ward - EVERY single one!December 2, 2018 – 6:30 amReplyCancel

    • Charleton Churchill - Thank you Lora, great to hear from you, much appreciated!December 3, 2018 – 12:31 pm

  • Tim - Such a GREAT collection man!!!December 2, 2018 – 4:26 pmReplyCancel

    • Charleton Churchill - Thanks Tim, you’re the man! We need do some hiking later this winter in the Sierra Nevadas sometime if you have winter camping clothes.December 3, 2018 – 12:30 pm

  • Jerrie Anne Salvato - These are amazing Charleton!! Makes me want to get married again and book you for an adventure wedding ?. So proud of you.December 3, 2018 – 11:16 pmReplyCancel

    • Charleton Churchill - THank you Jerrie, it’s been a long time,hope you’re doing well, thank you for stopping by!December 4, 2018 – 12:04 pm

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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