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arches national park elopement session | moab adventure wedding photographers

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arches national park elopement session | moab adventure wedding photographers

Arches National Park | Moab, Utah

the hearnes » adventure elopement photographers


Erin + Matt’s adventure wedding session in Arches National Park before their las vegas elopement

One of the first things I always ask couples after they inquire is "If your friends described you two as a couple, what would they say?". This helps me figure out who it is we're talking to. When Erin responded with "Quirky, silly, and easy going" it was true and gave me the perfect intro into getting to know them. Erin told me her and Matt met at a party and hit it off talking about their love of muppets. She came off as so down to earth, living in a city, wanting to explore, down to fly across the country. She found me from a She Explores podcast and reach out from there which I am SO GLAD they did out because they were so much fun!

Erin let us know of their plans to elope to Vegas and have their wedding officiated by Elvis (sidenote, but important, their dog's name is Presley). They talked with us about shooting at Red Rocks but then jumped at the opportunity to come up to Moab! That's just the type of couple they are. Down for anything, wanting to explore, goof around, and take not being serious very seriously.

We decided to meet up in town and chill in our camper as we talked about where exactly we'd go. I smiled when they walked up in their outfits (leather jackets, rad boots... she even had a crown) and knew we were in for a fun shoot. The weather was super chilly, but it meant we got to shoot in some snow! The whole thing was just so fun and relaxed. They were so happy to be there and explore. The vibe was more like shooting a little party for two than a session as we walked around some of my favorite arches in Arches National Park.

The day got better as it started to snow a little bit which I'm a big fan of (big snowflakes in the desert, yes please!!). They were super playful with each other and pretty much did their own thing with very little direction. Erin and Matt were so natural with each other. I got the feeling that they are the type of people who would act the exact same - dancing, playing, laughing - even if I weren't there taking pictures.

Like I said, we went to one of my favorite arches in the park (with over 2,000 to choose from, that's saying a lot). I loved how her crown looked with the arches. The day was pretty overcast, but the clouds were moving quickly, so light snuck through the arches here and there, and when it was covered up we got some rad shots that captured the vastness of arches.

Matt was so fun to watch as he followed Erin around, lifted her, gave her little kisses and spun around with her in his arms. You couldn't even tell it was cold out with how much they were running around (granted, they're from Philadelphia and used to cold temps)... but we did end up getting pretty chilly, so we decided to hike back to the camper and head to another spot for sunset.

On the hike back we saw our friend Travis who we'd spent Thanksgiving with and had stuck it out in Moab with us since then. One of our favorite parts about Moab is the community we have here, the constant coming and going of friends to explore, climb, eat, and hang with. A lot of our couples end up coming back to hang out. No matter if it's the heat of summer, a perfect fall day, or sub-freezing nights, we love how this desert brings people during all seasons and feels more like a neighborhood these days.

We ended the night shooting sunset at a lookout before driving back to town. Matt and Erin were so much fun to get to know. They were so authentic and true to themselves, just fun to be around. Erin talked about how she wouldn't mind running away in a van, and I could honestly see them loving it - but I could see them loving anything as long as they were with each other.


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, allowing them to serve a large portion of the western US. You can typically find them in Moab, Utah or Yosemite National Park, California, with side-quests to Patagonia and Alaska. They believe love is the greatest adventure and strive to create photos that are epic, romantic, true, and timeless.

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moab engagement session skiing in the mountains | adventure elopement photographer

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moab engagement session skiing in the mountains | adventure elopement photographer

Moab, Utah

the hearnes » adventure elopement photographers


adventure engagement session with devyn + adam | cross country skiing in the mountains near moab | adventure elopement photographer

The first time Callen and I ever came to Moab, it was not quite love at first sight. We made the mistake of coming in August at the height of tourist season and one of the hottest months of the year. It was 100 degrees when we went to bed at 11pm and 114 at the hottest time of the day. We were enchanted by the desert, but exhausted after a 30 mile backpacking trip earlier in the week and cursed the heat. Once we got home from that trip, we decided to give Moab another chance in the fall. This was possibly one of the most formative decisions we’ve made, as that return trip completely changed our views and made us fall head over heels in love with Moab, Utah. Not only were we able to explore so much more of the desert in the perfect October temps, but we also got a tip from a local to head into the mountains nearby for the fall colors. We, like many Moab newbies, didn’t think of it as a mountain town and were pretty surprised by the suggestion, but a ton of our favorite spots and hikes have been suggestions from locals, so we spent the day driving through the mountains with our jaws on the floor. The fall colors amazed us (we both grew up in Texas where fall is more of a fantasy used by stores to sell merchandise than an actual change in outside weather) and we were completely blown away to find beautiful mountains just outside of the desert we’d fallen so in love with. On that first trip, we wandered far and wide and found ourselves a dreamy little meadow with a perfect mountain on the horizon. We pulled out our still-new Pendleton Blanket (my favorite wedding present) and sat in the field taking it all in. Sometimes I wish I could go back to that day and tell my past self how much this place would change me, that I’d one day consider it home, and it would be the source of so many amazing adventures, life changing experiences, and deep friendships…which brings me to: Devyn and Adam!

We met these two almost a year ago. They live in their van too, and we had some mutual friends so Devyn slid into my instagram DM’s and basically told me we were going to be friends now :) She invited us to their van for a home cooked meal, which we pretty much never turn down, and the rest is history! Honestly though, we connected with these two right out of the gate, talking about everything from rock climbing to skiing to having real jobs on the road to more rock climbing. Devyn made us incredible quinoa bowls with so many delicious ingredients and my standard for van meals have skyrocketed since (seriously, this girl does things like marinading steak and has her own spice rack IN A VAN, unreal). We spent the next two weeks hanging out nearly every day whether it was parking next to each other at the best spot in Moab for work days or going climbing or car-hiking a new dirt road. Devyn’s encouragement got me stoked on climbing in a way I haven’t experienced before, which has become a common theme in our friendship (see: ski photos in this blog post!!). When the time came to say goodbye and head different directions from Moab, we promised to get back together later in the fall when the desert returned to reasonable temps. (Although, bonus, our paths crossed for a few days in Yosemite!!). 

This fall in Moab was one of the best seasons of my life, so full of adventure and wonderful days off between really fun elopement + adventure session gigs. 2018 was a really good year of friendship for us, when our communities really began to grow out here on the road, and it felt like this fall was a beautiful culmination of that when a lot of our people found themselves in Moab. We had some great adventure days with Devyn and Adam and we got to introduce them to a lot of our friends that came through, as well as my family that came to town for Thanksgiving! As the season was coming to an end, we began thinking of a last adventure we’d do together before feeling Moab for the winter. I remembered these little huts in the mountains that you could ski out to and casually mentioned it to Devyn. She loved the idea, and before I knew it she was texting me price estimates and asking if we were in. Once I confirmed we could make it happen a few hours later, Devyn revealed she’d already booked it the day before — she knew we were going to do it! We originally chose the easy hut that was a shorter distance but some plans changed with the company and they moved us to the farther hut. I was a little worried considering I’d never XC skied in my life, but…the new hut happened to be just steps away from that meadow Callen and I found way back when we fell in love with Moab, and the idea of finding myself in that meadow covered in snow was enough to motivate me! 

The adventure itself was such a blast - we recruited more friends and Callen and I managed to pick up some old skis at the used gear shop in town (Moab Gear Trader — highly reccomend!) the night before. We skied 4 miles out to the yurt, arrived before sunset, and Devyn made us some delicious stew while we snacked on charcuterie and champagne (remember what I said about Devyn’s food making skills!). We all crashed around 9pm, waking up every few hours to stoke the fire and keep our little yurt warm. The following morning, we woke up to over a foot of fresh snow!!! Which was absolutely beautiful, but it also meant our 4 miles back “down” was breaking trail the entire time, and ended up being even harder than going up! I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have made it there or back without Devyn’s constant encouragement (and her handing me energy gummies when she could tell my morale was depleting). I am so thankful for these friends, so incredibly thankful for this adventure, and so stoked for their wedding later this year!! We did a more “normal” engagement session with them in Moab that I’ll blog later, but it was super fun to take these photos of them in their element, wearing their brightly colored ski clothes, and cozied up in the yurt in their base layers. It was especially cool for me when we walked out to that same beloved meadow that Cal and I found so many years ago and watched the fiery sunset on the horizon as the storm blew in. 


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, allowing them to serve a large portion of the western US. You can typically find them in Moab, Utah or Yosemite National Park, California, with side-quests to Patagonia and Alaska. They believe love is the greatest adventure and strive to create photos that are epic, romantic, true, and timeless.

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grand teton national park engagement session | jackson hole adventure wedding photographer

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grand teton national park engagement session | jackson hole adventure wedding photographer

Grand Teton National Park | Jackson, Wyoming

the hearnes » adventure elopement photographers


Cat + Shaw’s adventure engagement session in grand teton national park | jackson hole winter elopement inspiration

Our last adventure engagement session of 2018 couldn't have been better. This year had us all over the world exploring new places, but we were stoked when Cat and Shaw's inquiry opened up the opportunity to come back to the Tetons. We'd passed through Wyoming earlier in the summer and thought how wonderful it would be to go back in the winter! Cat told us in her first email how they'd met - working at a restaurant in Los Angeles - and how quickly (literally headed to Joshua Tree three days after meeting) they became adventure buddies. She said she'd grown up in Colorado and would love to do engagement photos in either the Rockies or the Tetons as those two ranges were special in their relationship after they'd made hiking trips through both.

Cat told me they were moving to Idaho for Shaw's schooling but were flexible with their schedule, especially in the December-January winter break time. I suggested Jackson and they were immediately down. Thus began the dream adventure engagement shoot to end 2018!

If you've never been there, Jackson, Wyoming is a pretty fantastic experience. At the Jackson airport, they start you off on the right foot by (are you kidding me?) handing you a mimosa as soon as you land. This place gets me. The town is nestled up right next to Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole Ski Resort but has plenty to offer in a perfect little downtown decked out in antlers and natural wood everywhere. We had a little downtime before meeting up with Cat and Shaw, so I headed into town unwind and check out the all the little shops as Callen snowboarded a little bit at Jackson Hole. Eventually, I settled into a nice coffee shop until we'd all meet up for dinner.

As soon as Cat and Shaw walked in we connected. We talked about the National Parks we love (Cat is working on a public lands book!), our dogs, and vanlife, which Cat has been doing for a while now! We talked about the timeline for their adventure session the next day. We'd planned on doing an afternoon shoot but the weather coming in looked to be a bit more socked in than we'd like, so I suggested a sunrise session alongside a little warning that it would be extremely cold. Thankfully (as is always the case with our adventurous couples) they were totally down! After dinner, I headed back to our room to relax and get ready as Callen cheerfully invited himself to hang in the hot tub at Cat and Shaw's hotel (note to future couples - he loves everyone but the way to Callen's heart forever is through beta on a good hot spring/tub).

The forecast for the next morning was seven degrees, but it upon arrival to our location just inside Grand Teton National Park it ended up being an even zero. Honestly, it was bone chilling, but the thin line between sufferfest and type two fun is dependant upon what else is going on. What we had going on this morning was a super happy couple and the most amazing sunrise we could have asked for. The sky was lighting up perfectly as we got out of our cars, the morning light just starting to settle on the summits of the Tetons. Cat and Shaw were so pumped, their stoke made me forget the cold whenever I brought the camera up to my eye. I felt the cold return over and over whenever I stopped shooting. Callen and I were bundled up (read, still very cold), Cat had fleece leggings under her dress (our #1 rec for brides adventuring in cold weather), and Shaw in a wool suit was happy when we told him he could forgo the dress shoes and keep on his puffy slippers. We did jumping jacks to keep our blood flowing and only shot for about twenty minutes before Cat and Shaw needed to blast the heat and warm up for a bit in their car.

Then the morning blue sky and soft whites started to light up with vibrant oranges and pinks. We headed back out for another quick but epic session. This is where a magnificent sunrise became one of the most amazing we've ever gotten to shoot. The light washed over the south face of the Tetons, the mountain bases still in shadows, the sky a unique baby blue you only get in the coldest winter months. The air froze as we breathed in and left our lungs in thick clouds. Shaw kept Cat warm with big hugs between running around in the snow. The Tetons are one of the most stunning and iconic backdrops you could hope for and since Cat has a love for landscape photography, I made sure to back up and get a few extra wide open shots - even snagging a pano which turned out so rad.

As soon as the best light faded we rushed back to our cars to warm up and drove to town for breakfast and coffee. It was probably a good half hour before we really felt warm again and we all laughed about how cold we had been, but I'd already peeked some of the pictures and was so stoked on them. We talked and decided to head back out in the afternoon for the second half of the session. Callen used the break to snag a few more runs at the resort, and I used it to stay warm.

We met up in a location outside the National Park so the dogs could run around. The weather had rolled in which made me so happy we'd gotten out in the morning, but also glad we came back out to shoot and capture Cat and Shaw in their element, playing in the snow, sweater-clad cuddling their puppies and holding hands. The temperature was about twenty degrees warmer which we were all stoked on, but it could have been -20 and I have no doubt that Cat and Shaw would still have been smiling and happy. They were such troopers - their personality and lifestyle, ambitions and adventurous attitude; it's all what we love about our couples and why we become quick friends.

We ended the day as the sun set and headed back into town for pizza. We met up with our new friend, Erin, another adventure wedding photographer who lives here full time and talked about how amazing Jackson is. We wished we had more time in here and definitely want to come back in the spring, but I can't lie - I was also excited to head back to Texas for slightly (much) warmer temps and time with family for the holidays.

I ended up showing Cat and Shaw a little sneak of their photos, and we all agreed that the early wake-up, cold weather, jumping jacks and breathing hot air into our hands to stay warm was 100% worth it! This session was a perfect little sendoff to 2018 and has us stoked to come back to Wyoming for more adventure elopements and weddings in the future! Happy 2019 to all the future adventure brides and grooms out there!


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, allowing them to serve a large portion of the western US. You can typically find them in Moab, Utah or Yosemite National Park, California, with side-quests to Patagonia and Alaska. They believe love is the greatest adventure and strive to create photos that are epic, romantic, true, and timeless.

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adventurous glacier engagement session | alaska destination elopement photographer

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adventurous glacier engagement session | alaska destination elopement photographer

Girdwood, Alaska

the hearnes » adventure elopement photographers


ashley + matt's adventurous glacier engagement session | alaska destination elopement inspiration | girdwood + alyeska

At this point in our lives as adventure elopement + intimate wedding photographers its hard to imagine falling in love with a destination the way we have with Yosemite and Moab, but that's what happened when we arrived in Alaska. Honestly, this place lives up to the hype. We thought we'd hit the mecca in Patagonia, but it turns out this world is all full of surprises. Among the massive landscape of Alaska are ice fields, glaciers, fjords, and gigantic mountains, altogether showing adventure takes on its purest form here. These amazing landscapes are why Alaska is a dream destination for adventurous couples, but those who are drawn here have to be up to the task at hand. With all the anticipation of the shoot, we were so excited when we finally met Ashley and Matt for dinner (because when the sun sets at midnight, you can meet up for dinner before your shoot). Alyeska and Girdwood themselves are fantastic to take engagement photos, but the surrounding area has a crazy amount of beautiful places to shoot.

After traveling all the way from Michigan, Ashley and Matt were wide-eyed and excited to get going. We scouted a route out before and drove over to Byron Glacier to hike around (safely... it can get dicey pretty quick out there, and there are plenty of tours to take if you want to get on the glacier itself). As we hiked up to the glacier, Ashley told us a bit of their wedding plans, about when they met in high school when they were fifteen years old, and how they have been together ever since. We bonded over our love of Parks and Rec, our dogs, and stories about our families. As we walked, I needed to take a step back at what was happening. Amazing people and places like this constantly make me like I have the best job in the world, but what I love most about these moments in these places is how they are just a part of a something bigger – a tiny permanence amidst a gigantic one. I always imagine people's lives back home - Ashley and Matt's friends and families thousands of miles away in Michigan, their puppies, and the coffee shops and college campus where their love has grown right up until this point. Then I think of right here and now, creating these crazy memories in Alaska, and I realize why photography is so amazing – we're really just folding the corners of our favorite pages, making little dog-eared creases to go back to when we want or need to later on.

Honestly, I have to pinch myself when I think of this moment for what it is - an exclamation point in the middle of a paragraph those pages, altogether telling a great story. I love soaking it all in, but also remembering how there's so much more to come after this, and how something as ordinary as two high schoolers falling in love their sophomore year can lead to such a great adventure!! Big places like Alaska with histories and futures full of adventure make it easy to think of love this way. It's just so rad to play a little part in the telling of their story.

Ashley and Matt fit right in as they climbed around the toe of the glacier and then exploring the crazy ice formations. I love how our couples are down to wear boots, hike, and get their dresses and pants a little dirty – Ashley and Matt are no exception. Matt was also super chill when it came to the hike and all the obstacles, but mostly his attention was on his fiance and the amazing scenery all around us. They were an easy couple to get along with, as one moment we'd be laughing like kids as we slid around and the next staring up in awe at the grandeur of this creeping monument of ice.

Then things got seriously amazing. We shot a ton of beautiful pictures around the area leading up to the glacier, but then we saw a delicate ice arch just across a river. The opportunity – even though it promised freezing cold toes – was too good to pass up!! We took off our shoes and waded across the shallow river which didn't take too long, but it was still freezing cold - definitely type two fun. But the pictures and memory of the adventure were entirely worth it.

This session put all of our hopes for Alaska to work and ended up exceeding any thoughts we had. The photos were amazing and captured this couple's love for adventure, nature, and each other perfectly!! Seriously, this trip made me want to come back for sooooo many more engagements and elopements up in Alaska! It's been on our mind ever since we left since we feel like we barely tapped into the potential up here. Callen and I talked about it, and we're definitely hoping to book a lot more wedding + elopement photography gigs up here in Alaska next summer.

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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