2017 in review | van life all over the west

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2017 in review | van life all over the west


2017 in review | van lifing + desert hiking + hottub soaking + mountain climbing | the hearnes


Miles Driven: 55,000+

International Borders Crossed: 3

Coldest Night: 4 degrees F in June Lake, CA

Hottest Day: 117 degrees F in Las Vegas, NV

Feet of Rope Callen Jugged: 7500+

Miles We Hiked: 50+

Highest Elevation: 14,203' above sea level. Mt. Belford, Colorado

Lowest Elevation: 282' below sea level. Death Valley NP, California

Sunsets at Taft Point in Yosemite: 8

Sunrises at Glacier Point in Yosemite: 14



74,536 Minutes of Music (via 2017wrapped.com)

Top Artists: Jose Gonzalez, Bon Iver, HalfNoise, Radical Face // Top Songs: Here Now (Madness) - Hillsong United, We Will Not Be Shaken - Bethel Music, Coast - Halfnoise, Ghost Towns - Radical Face, Welcome Home Son - Radical Face // Top Genre: Indie Folk

 14 States

Texas / New Mexico / Arizona / California / Nevada / Utah / Colorado / Wyoming / Idaho / Montana / Alberta (Canada) / British Columbia (Canada) / Washington / Oregon

 16 National Parks + Monuments

Joshua Tree / Death Valley / Zion / Canyonlands / Arches / Glacier / Banff (Canada) / Yoho (Canada) / Jasper (Canada) / Sequoia / Yosemite / Olympic / Mount Rainier / Bears Ears / Mojave / Big Bend

6 State Parks

Redwood Basin / Valley of Fire / McKinney Falls / Montana de Oro / Dead Horse Point / Pedernales Falls


Holy cow. I knew this blog post was going to the the hardest to write of my 2017 Year-In-Review series (see our Best-Of Weddings + Elopements and Best-of Adventure Sessions), but I honestly don't even know where to start. This year has been beyond amazing. One thing I enjoyed doing in my 2016 Year-In-Review post was linking back to instagram posts throughout the year, since that's my millennial form of a journal, so I'll be doing the same here. I also want to note that the photos are not in chronological order. That would have been way too complicated :) So, without further adieu, here we go:

JANUARY

2017 started out with a drive from Texas to California without much of a plan, but somewhere in New Mexico I was scrolling through instagram and noticed Jordan Cannon was planning a climbing trip to Potrero Chico in Mexico and despite us never meeting him in person, Callen got his number and Facetimed him out of the blue to ask if he could tag along. Cal admitted he knew almost nothing about multi-pitch expeditions, but he had a bit of video experience and was down to help in anyway possible if it meant getting a taste of his big-wall videography dreams. Jordan agreed and a plan was set. The boys ended up flying out of TJ, just south of San Diego, and I spent the week exploring a new city with Charlie. Callen got to go on his first big wall and I got to jump at skydive San Diego and climb with some new friends -- win/win!

Once they got back, we headed to the Arizona desert for some general exploration of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and then up to Sedona for an engagement session, which we dubbed Snow-Dona for obvious reasons. I'll never forget the night we spent in the camper while it snowed all around us, brushing our teeth in the car and spitting in Charlie's water bowl, jet-boiling mashed potatoes in the front seat...yeah, I don't miss camper life. After that, we looped through Joshua Tree National Park and the Mojave desert on our way to San Jose for Seleney + Diego's elopement.

blog posts: San Diego // Arizona Desert // Mojave Desert

FEBRUARY

We started February with what ended up being one of the most memorable days of the year. We woke up in the middle of nowhere on a dry lake bed surrounded by complete emptiness. After spotting a lake in the far distance, we decided to take the day off and play all day. No driving, no work, no logistics. Just exploring. So we parked the camper and ran around in the shallow water, getting stuck in mud and riding our bikes in circles in search of firewood and other treasures. It was the kind of day we dreamt about when we hit the road for the first time and I really hope to have more like it in 2018. 

After that, we went through Nevada for no reason other than to stay warm, and up the east side of California toward Lake Tahoe for an engagement session. We then headed down to June Mountain where Jordan was working for the season and spent a few days playing on the east side with him. Callen snowboarded with Jordan while Charlie and I explored the frozen lakes and then we all camped in the Von's parking lot together before Cal and I headed for Yosemite for, you guessed it, another engagement session. We got to play in Yosemite quite a bit, and shoot some photos for adidas Terrex while we soaked in our favorite season in the valley.

blog posts: Joshua Tree // Charlie's 8th Birthday // Valley of Fire // Jordan Free to Climb // Eastern Sierra // Yosemite

MARCH

I'm realizing why we were SO TIRED...we kept going back and forth! Because apparently, after Yosemite we went back to Joshua Tree for some highline antics with our buddies Kim + Ryan. Fun fact - this trip is when we started talking to them about shooting their wedding, which ended up being the most epic thing ever. Okay but honestly - March was a complete blur. We had a really really bad few days of being sick and waking up to ticks in our camper (WORST NIGHTMARE) and after a night in a Motel 6 we drove from LA to San Antonio, Texas on a 24-hour push straight home (yes, we're insane) to trade in our subaru for a van and build out our dream home.

While Callen slaved hours over the van, building it in merely three weeks, I caught up on work and dreamed big for our business. While Callen was wiring solar panels until 2am, I was right inside converting our business from Abbi Hearne Photography to The Hearnes Adventure Photography. During those weeks, I launched @thehearnes instagram account and re-vamped our brand to represent the two of us. March wasn't a very glamorous month, but it was extremely influential and I'll never forget it!

blog posts: FAQs // Our Van Build 

APRIL

April started off with my birthday - a super fun day of skydiving at my home dropzone in Houston (also the day Callen decided he wanted to learn to skydive, and got his license a month later). After a quick stop in Austin for a "Van Open House" we headed west back to Moab for a chill few weeks of exploring our favorite desert and getting used to van life. We shot an epic acro yoga engagement session with Sylvan + Michelle, watched buddies jump off cliffs, and took some photos for Clif Bar.

From Moab, we set out on a quest across the remote desert to finally meet up with our friends Bri + Keith Madia (and their adorable pups Bucket and Dagwood), spent Easter weekend in the prettiest "church" we've ever seen, and fell in love with new corners of the Utah desert. We tested the van out on some steep mountain roads and earned it the name Henry, after the Henry Mountains. We found something way more valuable than a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow and explored a new national park and tried new things in an old favorite. We made friends with fellow road-lifers, The Foxes, and they took some amazing photos of us with our van in Moab.

blog posts: Bri + Keith Free To // Van Tour

MAY

May started with a road trip to Oregon through NorCal exploring some gorgeous new wilderness and shooting a snowy engagement session near Mt Hood. We met my brother in Smith Rock for some climbing then explored Bend, Oregon for the first time (and bought our first packraft!!). Before long, we headed back to Moab for a few weeks and experienced a freak snowstorm above the canyonlands. I took my favorite photo of all time during one of our last sunsets in town before heading out to Yosemite to begin our first official busy season since starting this business. May ended with our first Yosemite wedding of the year, a gorgeous sunrise elopement at Glacier Point.

blog posts: Wild Sol Retreats

JUNE

June was an amazing month, but it was also much harder than we anticipated. As I mentioned, it was our first really busy month, and our first time experiencing Yosemite in the summer since we were kids, so the massive amounts of tourists and 100 degree days really took a toll on us. That being said, we still managed to have a lot of play time! I got to hang out on a slackline thousands of feet in the air at Taft Point and Callen got to climb El Cap with Jordan, and he learned to skydive!

After wrapping up a busy Yosemite stint, we headed to the other side of the mountains to relax and soak in some money hot springs, even though the air temp was as hot as the water. It turns out that was just the beginning of a hot month because we were somehow dumb enough to head deeper into the desert in the middle of the summer. We drove through Death Valley National Park and it was 108 degrees at 8am. We had to put window shades over Charlie so the A/C would hit him and the sun wouldn't (we also soaked a neck scarf with cold water for him every few hours). By the time we got to Vegas, is was 117 degrees and we were really feeling it. Moab made for some miserable nights (and days) until we finally gave in and crashed on our buddies floor with their swamp cooler blasting (thank you Sylvan and Michelle). Finally, we escaped to Crested Butte, Colorado for what ended up being one of our favorite weddings of the year and some much-needed cooler temps

blog posts: Climbing El Cap with Jordan

JULY

We started July off right - hiking a 14er with our newly-made friends Megan + Nate Kantor (who we're meeting up with in Patagonia in a few weeks!!) and getting completely worked (I couldn't move for days). Then we headed to the desert (another lesson learned - avoid Utah June-August) for a super fun Ruffwear shoot with Bri + Keith and a few fun Moab shoots and skydives before pointing our sails north for the mountains with hopes of cooler temps and a relaxing summer break. I got real about van life again (those desert temps took a toll on us) but was quickly rejuvenated by the beauty that was CANADA.

We spent a few relaxing weeks exploring our favorite portion of the rocky mountains before somehow being insane enough for a "quick" trip down to Salt Lake City for Outdoor Retailer! It was so fun and really eye-opening. We ended July back in Montana for a wedding, cursing the heat and running away from wildfires. Thankfully, the first day of August brought literal Mecca... 

AUGUST

I'm not exaggerating when I say the first day of August brought Mecca. We found ourselves driving from Montana to California and ended up at the best collection of hot springs we've ever experienced. Don't ask where these are because I'm not about to risk losing them to the social media machine. Xoxo. Callen reflected on 1-ish year of road life in a rare, thoughtful caption

The chilling didn't last long...August was the start of the three craziest months of our lives. From the springs, we drove straight to California for a wedding and engagement session near Lake Tahoe, followed by a weekend in Yosemite that included three sunset sessions and one 14 hour wedding day that started at sunrise. It was wild, but we still managed to enjoy our time in the park a bit. As if that wasn't wild enough, we then drove to Portland where I flew to Vegas for less than 24 hours to shoot Megan + Zach's elopement (which included four hours of driving to Zion for portraits! Worth it!) because the next gig was just north of Portland three days later. I gave a much-deserved shoutout to all of Charlie's babysitters keeping us sane during this wild season.

The wedding north of Portland was amazing, followed by a road trip up to Mount Rainier National Park for a day-after session, but here's where it gets borderline clinically insane. After wrapping up the sunset session in Mount Rainier (yes, just one week after the Yosemite weekend, are you keeping up?), we drove 6 hours straight through the night to Smith Rock State Park in Oregon to catch the solar eclipse!!! It was exhausting and maybe reckless, but being in the path of totality was 1000% worth it

SEPTEMBER

I'd like to say we got to rest after that, but you'll soon learn we didn't really rest again until we got back to Texas for the holidays. Hence my 2018 goal being work less and play more :) We headed back up to Mount Rainier for a stunning elopement and then to Seattle to meet up with my parents and brother for a little family vacation. I got to take some photos of my parents for their 36th Anniversary and they're probably my favorite photos I took all year! After their trip, we shot a gorgeous Ruby Beach wedding and then made our way to Moab for a few weeks (we were really missing our desert!) of dreamy fall temps and lots of play time (well, and work too of course). Those two weeks in Moab were a blast.

OCTOBER

A few shoots, an elopement, some skydives, a lot of dirt roads, and a couple of desert towers later, we were en route back to Yosemite for a solid month of work and play. But not before a gorgeous fall elopement in Telluride, stopping in some classic favorite spots, and doing an epic elopement session at Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon. We made it to Yosemite in time for a really fun week that consisted of 3 elopements, one intimate wedding and 3 sessions in 5 days - oh, and Callen climbed El Cap in a day ;) We got to start getting to know the Yosemite climbing community a little better, putting down more friendship roots in our most frequented location. We spent a few days enjoying Yosemite as visitors (not working) and cheated van life by chilling in my cousin's cabin in the woods for a solid week. 

NOVEMBER

By mid-November we finally made it back to Moab (after a stop in Alabama Hills for an engagement session) for a few weeks of monkey shenanigans, the most epic wedding of our life, and a few days of desert relaxing. The highlight of November was most definitely Kim + Ryan's spacenet wedding weekend, which started with a gorgeous stormy first look in the desert, and consisted of two days on the net.

After their wedding we soaked in a few more days climbing and enjoying the desert with our buddies before heading back to Austin on Thanksgiving day for a wedding that weekend. We got to my parents house at 9:45pm to a full Thanksgiving meal prepared just for us by my angel of a mama. November ended in a state of relaxation with a light at the end of a wild (amazing) year.

DECEMBER

While we did have two sessions, December was a month off for the most part. That being said, I'm never really *not* working, so I used the month to catch up, re-assess my goals, processes, and pricing, and of course...launch a workshop that sold out TWICE in two days. What the what. I also shared about why I don't give out locations on instagram. We did manage to skydive at my home drop zone (first time for Callen! so fun!), celebrate our three year anniversary, visit our friends in The Woodlands, go to Big Bend National Park with my family, celebrate Christmas, and do a stay-cation in San Antonio with Callen's entire family. 

blog posts: Best of 2017 Weddings + Elopements, Best of 2017 Adventure Sessions

Honestly, writing back through each month really helped me understand why we were so tired come December. We're already formatting our travel schedule much smarter for 2018, so there is less back-and-forth and less cross-country treks each month. Overall, we are so insanely thankful for every client that brought us into their sweet moments in amazing places. We truly have the most incredible job! 

This was our first full year on the road and it's pretty mind-blowing how much happened. It was jam-packed full of adventures. It was the best and hardest year yet, but the good most definitely outweighs the bad. We are thankful for the places we've discovered, the friends we've made, the success we've had, and the opportunity to really go for it and see a massive pay off.


I asked Callen to write a paragraph for me from his perspective of this year, here is what he said:

Alright tbh if you asked me how life on the road was going at some point in 2017 I likely responded with the following “I am exhausted, its been a blur, I’ve been in 5 states this week, I just want a private bathroom, the complaints go on…” And it really was a difficult year for me. As the primary driver (99% of miles driven this year) I basically worked part time as a trucker, part time as a photographer, and full-time managing vanlife, Charlie, and helping Abbi with the business in various ways. Yes, we were in epic places this year, but it was often difficult for me to mentally transition between “work” mode, and “play” mode. There were times that it all just felt like work, the road-tripping, the camping, etc was all just facilitating our accomplishment of the next gig and that tore me up. Work-life balance in a nomadic lifestyle is quite the complicated matter. At least for me it has been. All this said, 2017 was the best year of my life. The numerous friends made, experiences lived, and goals accomplished seem too good to be true. 365 days well spent. I’m thankful for Abbi, our families, friends, and all the outdoor gear gear hiding in various regions of the van… Cheers to 2018 and hopefully a  more sustainable balance in the madness of VANLIFE.


Lastly, want to give a huge shout out to every home that hosted us and gave us a warm bed, hot shower, and oftentimes even delicious meals. My cousins in Ripon, California because our pit stop before every Yosemite stint and we seriously can't imagine what we'd do without them. Robert and Ginny (and Bekah, Theresa, Katy, and Yohan), thank you for receiving our packages, keeping "our" room available, cooking countless incredible meals, letting us crash your family gatherings, and of course...putting up with Charlie. Also, my brother Ben and his roommates in Eugene, Michelle + Sylvan in Moab (that backyard spot is sweeeeeet), Megan + Zach in Reno, Michael Tyler in Denver, Cole + Camille in Durango, Amy in Las Vegas, Paul + Mina in Whitefish, Austin + Morgan in Malibu, Andres + Katie in Venice, and gosh - if we've forgotten anyone please tell me!! We are so beyond thankful for the community of people we've made on the road, spanning across the entire western US supporting us and cheering us on. We love you guys and actually couldn't do this without you. If you made it all the way to the bottom of this post - you deserve an award! Please comment so I can thank you! I appreciate you reading our ramblings and supporting us. Here's to 2018! 

The Hearnes Adventure Photography is run by Abbi and Callen Hearne, a husband & wife wedding photography team with an emphasis on adventure. They live on the road as full-time nomads in their big white van, allowing them to serve a large portion of the western US including California, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming. They believe love is the greatest adventure and strive to create photos that are epic, romantic, true, and timeless.

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the hearnes best of 2017 » adventure sessions

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the hearnes best of 2017 » adventure sessions


Best of 2017 // Adventure Sessions // Western US Adventure Wedding + Elopement Photographer // Engagements, Anniversaries, couples in love!


We absolutely love doing this annual round-up! It's so fun to go back through the year, pick out some of our best work, and put together all the random stats. This year, we decided to do three installments: Weddings + Elopements, Adventure Sessions, and Our Personal Adventures. This is the second one! See our Best of 2017 Weddings + Elopements Round-Up HereOur 2016 Round Ups can be found here: 2016 Weddings, Sessions, Couples in Love and 2016 In Review (Personal Adventures)


» AT A GLANCE

20 Weddings // 16 Elopements // 51 Adventure Sessions

» ON THE JOB

9 States // 7 National Parks // 5 State Parks

» ADVENTURE SESSIONS AS SEEN ON

Junebug Weddings (X2) // Outside magazine // Rangefinder mag // Lookslikefilm (X2) (X3)

» ADVENTURE SESSION AWARDS (AS DETERMINED BY US)

Best Weather: 40+ mph winds in the Utah desert // Most Memorable: Married 36 Years // Best Surprise: Mid-Session Proposal // Most Playful: Vanlife in Yosemite // Most Refreshing: Lake Powell Adventure // Best New Friends: Bri + Keith + the dogs // Most Epic and Scary: Acro Yoga on a Cliff // Coldest Session: Snow on Lake Tahoe // Coolest Setting: Antelope Canyon // MVP Dog: Jack


When I was adding up numbers for our year-in-review blog posts (here's our weddings + elopements one if you missed it), everything seemed pretty normal until I added up the amount of adventure sessions we shot. 51. FIFTY ONE. No wonder we're so tired!!! Goodness gracious, it was an amazing year. We have adventured with so many amazing couples, made so many silly jokes, cracked beers, and danced in the wilderness so many times! I am so thankful for every engagement session, anniversary session, or just-because session that we got to do. Taking photos of couples in love - especially in the places they love - will never get old. From the Utah desert to the rainforests of Washington and everywhere in between, we had a blast with every person that stepped in front of our cameras.

When we first hit the road, we were really focused on booking weddings knowing that adventure sessions would come naturally. For most photographers, a majority of their sessions are engagements with their upcoming wedding couples or the occasional anniversary with a past couple. It's actually pretty different for us! While we do get the privilege of doing engagements for some of our wedding couples, we actually end up doing a lot of destination engagement sessions for couples that have or will have a different wedding photographer. The thing is, not every couple wants to or can elope somewhere crazy epic and forgo all the big wedding festivities, so a lot of our session couples are people having a more traditional wedding back home, but traveling out to the wilderness for an adventure session with us before hand!

If you're engaged and like the look of our photos and the adventure behind what we do, but you know you want a bigger wedding that includes most of your community, doing a destination engagement session with us is a great option! You'll be able to be your full selves, and get engagement photos that really showcase your personality, without having to give up the traditional wedding day you might want. Another rad option that a few of our couples have done is booking a post-wedding adventure session. If you're road tripping through the western US (or anywhere else in the world -- we have our passports ready!) for your honeymoon and want to do some epic wedding portraits together, pack your wedding clothes and we can go on an adventure!

All that being said, we still have a lot of our wedding couples that choose to do an adventure session separate from their wedding day. Doing an engagement session with us before your wedding or elopement day is a great way to get comfortable with us, get to know how we work, and for us to get to know how you two interact. Wedding days are almost always more relaxed and easy-going when our couple has already done a photo session with us! We've also had a few couples choose to do a day-after session when they know their wedding day might have a packed timeline or a lot of guests, which means less time for portraits. For example, Jena + Kyler got married in one of the most gorgeous settings ever but still decided to do a day-after session at Mount Rainier National Park with us because they wanted epic wedding photos on the mountain. Knowing we had a session the next day meant we could stress less about wedding-day portraits with them and even though we still did quite a few, they got a lot of time with their guests and never felt like they were missing out on the party!

We absolutely love adventure sessions and hope 2018 will be filled with more of the same goodness we had in 2017! If you're considering an adventure session, let's get in touch and make something awesome happen. We give 2 hours for each session, which allows for a lot of fun, exploring, and of course, a lot of really amazing photos!

The Hearnes Adventure Photography is run by Abbi and Callen Hearne, a husband & wife wedding photography team with an emphasis on adventure. They live on the road as full-time nomads in their big white van, allowing them to serve a large portion of the western US including California, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming. They believe love is the greatest adventure and strive to create photos that are epic, romantic, true, and timeless.

30 Comments

the hearnes best of 2017 » weddings + elopements

128 Comments

the hearnes best of 2017 » weddings + elopements


Best of 2017 // Weddings + Elopements // Western US Adventure Wedding + Elopement Photographer


We absolutely love doing this annual round-up! It's so fun to go back through the year, pick out some of our best work, and put together all the random stats. This year, we decided to do three installments: Weddings + Elopements, Adventure Sessions, and Our Personal Adventures. This is the first one! Our 2016 Round Ups can be found here: 2016 Weddings, Sessions, Couples in Love and 2016 In Review (Personal Adventures)


» AT A GLANCE

20 Weddings // 16 Elopements // 51 Adventure Sessions

» ON THE JOB

9 States // 7 National Parks // 5 State Parks

» AS SEEN ON

Junebug Weddings (x2)(X3)(X4)(x5) // Utah's KSL News // Wedding Chicks // Rangefinder mag // Lookslikefilm (x2)(X3)(x4)(x5)(X6)(X7)(X8)(X9)(X10)(x11)(X12)(X13)(x14)(X15)(x16)(X17)(X18)(X19) // Huffington post (X2)(X3)(X4) // Brazil's Folha De S. Paulo

» HEARNE WEDDING AWARDS (as determined by us)

Highest Elevation Wedding: 10,162' above sea level // Most Extreme Wedding: Spacenet 400' above a canyon // Shortest Time between Booking + Wedding Date (under three weeks), Best Lighting, Most 'liked' on Social Media: Cliff-Side Yosemite Elopement // Craziest Lighting: Mount Rainier Intimate Wedding // Most Day-Of Traveling (two flights, four states, three time zones in 24 hours): Vegas Elopement + Zion Hike-In Portrait Session // Craziest Weather: Foggy Sequoia National Park Elopement or Rainy Lake Tahoe Wedding Day // Best Venue: Treehouse Wedding (Built by Father of the Bride)

I honestly don't even know where to start - 2017 has completely blown us away. When we started shooting weddings a few years ago, we never could've imagined it would look like this one day! We hit the road full time last September with three weddings booked (all in 2016!) and a lot of hope. We figured we'd go for it, see how things would play out, and hope for the best. I remember my goals for 2017 being something like "shoot a Yosemite wedding" and "book at least 5 weddings and 10 sessions out of Texas (our home state)." I am honestly in awe...I nearly lost count of Yosemite weddings we shot (and way more that we booked! 2018 is already filling up!) and after going back over our numbers I was blown away to see we shot 51 adventure sessions this year! No wonder we were so tried by the time December rolled around ;) In 2018, I plan to set more clear goals and dream a little bigger, but not in the ways you might think. But first - let's see some favorite photos!

From California to Colorado, Arizona to Washington, and just about everywhere in between, I'm honestly still in awe of all the amazing places our clients chose to take us. This year we have fallen more in love with our favorite places like Yosemite National Park and Moab, Utah, and discovered new favorites like Mount Rainier National Park and the Sawtooths in Idaho. In our adventures we've made new friends, formed deep bonds, and grown communities around us everywhere we go. We've learned to rely on others and allow their kindness to host us, even when we feel like dirty scrubs. We've driven new roads, explored new states, and lowered our camping standards greatly (a lot of nights spent in smelly truck stops). Some of my favorite memories from this year were camping in the middle of nowhere, waking up with nothing on the agenda, and simply exploring these hidden pockets of the american west with our little family. Of course, other great memories are from the incredible weddings we're invited into. I'll tell some more favorite wedding memories below!

We really saw it all this year. Rainstorms, nosey tourists, scary moments, sweet moments, lots of tears (mostly good), a bride with a stomach bug (yep, but she laughs about it now!), BASE-jumping flower girls, muddy dresses, and a lot more. The awesome part of our job as adventure elopement photographers is how intimate and low-stress our wedding days are. The little things that might ruin a big event actually become fun details of our couples' sacred day together. Oftentimes, our couples have chosen to invite literally no one and spend the day with just each other. The fact that we get to be included in that is no small honor. No matter how many times we do this, I never forget how amazing it is to be the witnesses of these moments and to be tasked with the job of telling their story to everyone who wasn't there. Sometimes during a ceremony, I'll take a shot and think to myself "I'm capturing this moment that no one else but me will experience" and it just blows my mind. What a job!!

In 2018, we will be really zeroing in on those small-scale, intimate wedding days and elopements. We have absolutely loved all of our big weddings, but the more we travel and explore the more we feel drawn to smaller wedding days with less man-made details. We are so thankful for the opportunity to create a niche of our own and really build our skillset around it. We'll also be aiming to book less than we did in 2017. While we loved every single couple we worked with, we found ourselves feeling tired and worn-down a little more often than we were comfortable with. We've chosen the difficult life of living on the road so we can reap it's benefits - exploration, family time, and more opportunities to pour ourselves into our favorite activities.

As much as we love our job, we still want to take time to ourselves and we've found that the more we get to explore and adventure on our own, the better job we do with weddings and sessions! This will mean turning down more inquiries, which breaks my heart, but I know it's for the betterment of ourselves and our current client's experiences! If you're hoping to work with us in 2018, I would highly reccomend reaching out ASAP to begin that conversation! We are aiming to remain open to last-minute elopements and sessions throughout the year as we loved a lot of the ones we booked last year, so keep in mind that flexibility with location and willingness to elope or adventure in new or special places with us is a great way to secure your booking :)

Scroll down to see some of our goals for 2018!

2018 GOALS

Book Less » By booking less full weddings (we've already reached our limit of 3) and a few less adventure sessions (51 was A LOT), we will be opening ourselves to an even better client experience. We are so passionate about our relationship with each and every client, we want every single person we work with to know we love them and we want to really get to know them. I'm convinced the amazing relationships we form with our couples are a huge reason we take such amazing photos, so I want to hone in on that even more in 2018.

Play More » Here's the thing. Do you want to know why we're so psyched all the time? Why we love Moab so much? How we find all these amazing locations? It's because we love to play. We spend our free time exploring, hiking, biking, rafting, skydiving and climbing all over these places! We didn't get to know Yosemite by shooting weddings there, we got to know it by PLAYING there. We also know we perform way better and deliver a much better experience if we've taken the time to enjoy ourselves instead of work all the time!

Follow the Unbeaten Path » As much as we love iconic locations and major destinations, we want to try to shoot more weddings, elopements, and sessions in lesser-known areas. There are a lot of reasons for this, but I'll list the three main ones: 1. Environmental Impact - It's obvious the more people go to a place, the more worn-down the place becomes! We are hoping to reduce our own footprint (literally) by exploring new places and drawing less attention to the already crowded places. 2. Client Experience - Have you ever tried to have a sweet moment with your partner only to feel super uncomfortable because there are 4 tourists taking photos of you and 25 other tourists watching? Some of our clients have. Unfortunately, that's just the reality of some locations, but we want to work harder in 2018 to find gorgeous, intimate locations so our clients can enjoy each other with only our camera in their face ;) 3. Creativity - This one is probably the most obvious, but it's honestly hard to be creative with every couple when we are in the same location 4 times in one week. Don't get me wrong, these places are different every time (weather, lighting, etc), but I always find myself pushing more creative boundaries in new places or when I've had a long break between shooting in one place more than once.

Automate More » Okay, this one might get boring to non-entrepreneurs, but the truth is I hate when I'm spending time doing something when I know a computer or assistant couple do it for me. In 2018, I want to hone in on my tasks and figure out which ones I can outsource. Obviously a lot of things will still be done by me, but there are a few random tasks that can definitely be taken off my plate! The less time I spend behind the computer, the more I get to play (see above!)

Be a Better Wife, Daughter, Friend, Human » This one should be obvious, but honestly in 2017 I was a really good photographer, businesswoman + entrepreneur, but the other things mostly took second-priority. I realize that's how it goes when you start a business (or in our case, drastically change it and grow it), so I'm glad my people stuck with me while we skyrocketed to success, but now that we're where we are, I want to focus more on the other aspects of my life. I want to spend more time with Callen (QUALITY time), more time calling friends and family, and more time enjoying myself and others without thinking about or talking about business. Any tips for overcoming workaholism are greatly appreciated!

Keep Growing, Learning, and Improving » Scaling back booking numbers doesn't mean we're going to stop pouring our all into this business, it simply means we'll do a better job of pouring ourselves into what matters! We absolutely love this job and are so thankful (and amazed) by his past year. Next year we will aim to work smarter, make more money (skydiving ain't cheap), and make our clients even happier than ever. I never want to think I know it all and I'll never stop growing and improving. One of my favorite pieces of advice I've received as a skydiver is to learn something new with every single jump. I believe in applying that to all that I do, so in 2018 I hope to learn something new with every adventure session and wedding we shoot.

If you made it to the bottom of this, you're an angel. Please comment on this post so I can thank you!! There is no way we could do what we're doing without the support of our online community. Every follow, comment, like, share, and late night spent browsing the website means the world to us - it literally gets us to where we are now (what a time to be alive!). We are so appreciative of you. I know it sounds silly, but I honestly feel like we have a little family of online buddies that love us and when I'm sitting in the van in the middle of nowhere feeling a little lonely, it's awesome to feel connected to all of you. 2017 was a wild year and I know 2018 will still blow me away. I can't wait to see where it takes us!


The Hearnes Adventure Photography is run by Abbi and Callen Hearne, a husband & wife wedding photography team with an emphasis on adventure. They live on the road as full-time nomads in their big white van, allowing them to serve a large portion of the western US including California, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming. They believe love is the greatest adventure and strive to create photos that are epic, romantic, true, and timeless.

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spacenet wedding over a canyon in moab | utah adventure wedding photographer

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spacenet wedding over a canyon in moab | utah adventure wedding photographer


kim + ryan's wedding 400 feet above the moab desert | adventurous spacenet elopement | galia lahav bride | moab, utah intimate wedding photographer


kim + ryan got married on a space net 400 feet above the desert near Moab, Utah. their story has taken the world by storm! you can find a news story about their wedding here. to see their pre-wedding day first look and bridal session, click heresee more from their wedding here.

I honestly don't know where to begin with Kim + Ryan's Moab wedding, but I'll start with this: it's pretty obvious the wedding was epic, amazing, and crazy, but I hope that you take your time looking through these photos to see beyond the shock-factor because this wedding is a very accurate representation of nearly every reason we've fallen so deeply in love with Moab. I found myself feeling emotional multiple times throughout this weekend and while editing the photos not only because of my love for Kim + Ryan, but also my love for this community. The way everyone came together, put forth their talents, pitched in, and did everything in their power to pull this off honestly amazes me. Kim, the bride, is an absolutely visionary. She dreams big and comes up with huge, incredible ideas. Ryan, her groom, is a do-er. He makes things happen and has a blast problem-solving to figure it all out. They make an amazing team, which was definitely evident throughout the entire wedding planning process. 

Kim and Ryan fell in love in Moab at this high-lining festival, GGBY, a few years ago and got engaged on the net at the festival last year (see our photos from GGBY 2016 here), so it only felt right to get married on the net the day before the official festival started. They worked closely with Andy Lewis, the best man and inventor/creative mastermind behind the space net, to plan a real wedding ceremony on the net 400 feet above the canyon. After throwing around a lot of ideas, they decided they'd use the original net and add an "aisle" so they could walk out to it. One of the things Kim loves about the festival is the amount of things going on in the relatively condensed space, so she wanted to encourage that vibe during their ceremony. Three of their friends (linked below) preformed aerial stunts below the net on silks, while a few friends did acro-yoga on the cliff edges, a friend painted the event live in the desert, a friend played flute, another blew giant bubbles nearby, some friends walked high-lines and some just hung in the dead airspace to watch the ceremony. Friends flew over in paragliders while some played instruments on the cliffs. As they ended there ceremony, exchanging "Hell Yeahs" instead of "I Dos," 10 BASE jumper "flower girls" lined along the cliff edges in tutus and jumped off one-by-one, releasing 5,000 flower petals that had been packed in their parachutes. Kim wore the most gorgeous Galia Lahav dress and a custom matching veil, which made her look like a total goddess in the typically rugged desert environment. 

The entire wedding was an awesome show, all while remaining intimate and true to Kim + Ryan. These two are so charismatic, and Kim is a mix between bad-ass desert dirtbag and hot-as-hell glam queen, while Ryan looks at her like she hung the moon. This wedding day is an amazing reflection of their personalities and I honestly hope it inspires more couples to ditch the status quo and plan a wedding day that infuses their passions, hobbies, interests, and personalities into every detail. Kim and Ryan will forever be able to look back on this day knowing it was 100% them. Their family + friends that were present got to learn more about them, which is something I would hope for any couple that chooses to have guests at their wedding. The thing is, you don't have to listen to anything the wedding industry (or your family + friends) tell you to do. Other than a few legal steps, you should plan your wedding in whatever way YOU want and make sure it represents YOU. We're all for throwing tradition to the wind and planning a unique wedding.


If you're considering eloping somewhere unique, Moab is honestly the best place. We spend a majority of our nomadic life here, exploring every corner of the desert around Canyonlands and Arches National Parks, Bears Ears National Monument, and the BLM lands in between. We have an always-growing list of perfect places for cliff-side intimate weddings, adventurous hike-in elopements, and stunning portraits all over the Utah desert.

Moab, Utah Elopement Photographers: The Hearnes Adventure Photography

Bride + Groom: Kimberly Weglin and Ryan Jenks

Bride's Dress + Veil: Lily Rose by Galia Lahav and custom Galia Lahav veil

Bridal Store: Kinsley James Couture Bridal

Spacenet Venue + Construction: "Sketchy" Andy Lewis

Bridesmaids Flowers, Planning, Paper goods, Hand-Written Signs, Styling: Kimberly Weglin (the bride)

Bride's Bouquet: The Faux Bouquets

Bride's Hair: Kate Victoria

Ombre Groom + Groomsmen Tuxes: Generation Tux

Videographer: Scott Rogers

Aerialists: Liz Thomas, Caroline Dignes, and Aleta French

BASE Jumpers: Danny Weiland, David Laffargue, Joe Nesbitt, Jimmy Peterson, J.P. Sutjak, Scotty Bob, Nick Williamson, Taz, and Andi Greyling

Location: BLM Desert near Moab, Utah

The Hearnes Adventure Photography is run by Abbi and Callen Hearne, a husband & wife wedding photography team with an emphasis on adventure. They live on the road as full-time nomads in their big white van, allowing them to serve a large portion of the western US including California, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming. They believe love is the greatest adventure and strive to create photos that are epic, romantic, true, and timeless.

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