Unveiling the Art of Elopement Photography
May 8, 2023
Photos courtesy of
Capturing the essence of love in breathtaking settings, elopement photography has become a cherished art form. For couples seeking a unique and intimate way to say “I do” away from home, the expertise of elopement photographers is invaluable. We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jeff Hall and Bre Jane, two accomplished elopement photographers who have been capturing love stories in extraordinary locations. They graciously shared their insights, experiences, and expert advice for couples planning to elope. From choosing the perfect destination to capturing authentic moments, Jeff and Bre offer invaluable guidance to ensure that your elopement becomes an unforgettable celebration of love and adventure.
Vendors: Photographer: Jeff Hall Photography; Dress Designer: Casa Blanca Bridal; Floral Designer: Ling’s Moment; Location: Yosemite National Park
DID: What are the main things you think a couple should look for in an elopement photographer?
Jeff Hall: One of the biggest things I think couples should look for is someone that can get all the shots they are looking for, but also a photographer that can break them out of their shell and take photos that they might not be comfortable with. Like Yosemite, some of the ledges can be very scary but the photo can be absolutely breathtaking, having a photographer that has your back and safety of course.
DID: What sort of logistics do you have to keep in mind when planning a shot list for a couple?
Jeff Hall: I always want to know what my couples are looking for as places and what they want for a background. I love to show what I have done and examples and get a feel of what excites them. I also shoot two hours before sunset but have to take into account how mountains and canyons affect that. If there are multiple locations and hiking involved, then we need to add that to the time.
DID: Are you seeing a rise in the popularity of couples choosing to have unique elopement over a larger wedding? If so, what aspects of eloping do you think are most compelling?
Jeff Hall: I am! When Covid happened, I feel like it brought couples out of their comfort zones to look at other options. The possibilities are numerous! Having an elopement experience is something you will never forget.
Vendors: Photography: Bre Jane Photography; Videography: Zeb Films; Creative Collective: Zeb & Jane; Planning: BAE Events; Florals: Betty Flowers Santorini; Beauty: Bridenificent; Model: Julia Afanesenko; Paper Goods: Wild Sage Calligraphy; Dress: Claire Pettibone
DID: What are some of the most popular destinations for elopements, and how do you help couples choose the right location for their special day?
Bre Jane: I am based in Maui, Hawaii, which is an incredibly popular destination for elopements. The fact that I have lived here for almost a decade allows me to know all the special locations as well as honor the sacred areas of the island. I always ask my couples what is most important to them, where is their happy place, if they prefer the beach or the mountains as well as how adventurous they want to get, and of course if they prefer morning or sunset – once I have these answers, I give them my suggestions and let them choose the spot that speaks to them most!
DID: How do you work with couples to create a unique and personalized elopement experience that reflects their personalities and preferences?
Bre Jane: I always like to get to know my couples’ interests and passions, how they met, and what they love to do together. If they’re people who like to relax, I’ll often incorporate a picnic or something where they can really chill out together. If they love champagne, I always make sure to pop a bottle and bring beautiful glasses. I tend to attract a lot of creative couples, so if they enjoy literature or photography, I’ll ask them to bring their favorite books or cameras and incorporate them as props into the shoot.
Vendors: Photography: Bre Jane Photography; Videography: Zeb Films; Helicopter: Outbound Heli; Creative Collective: Zeb & Jane
DID: Can you share some examples of particularly memorable elopement shoots you’ve done, and what made them stand out for you?
Bre Jane: Every couple is so unique that each one stands out from the other quite vividly in my mind. I must say that I had a couple elope via helicopter at a glacier in Knik, Alaska, where the bride wore a beautiful black gown and they just did everything they wanted – even bringing a cake to cut! It was so unique and adventurous and we lucked out with the perfect weather conditions and a brand new glacial pool with piercing blue water that had just shown up a few days prior so it was all very memorable.
DID: What are some common misconceptions about elopements, and how do you help couples navigate these expectations to create a day that is truly their own?
Bre Jane: I think some people think that because they are eloping, the moments throughout the day won’t go by fast. But, ultimately, every wedding tends to fly by for the couple. I always opt for more time with them and take breaks to let them really enjoy the present moment. I used to be a yoga and meditation teacher, so it’s important for me to bring people back to their centers and enjoy each other. The best part about being a photographer is being able to freeze these moments in time for them to look back on for generations.