Moab, Utah

the hearnes » adventure elopement photographers

chris + cassie pre-wedding session in moab | utah desert bridals | adventure elopement photographer

You know that episode of The Office (if you know us, you know The Office/Parks and Rec references happen pretty much daily) where Jim and Pam get married? We find out at the end of the episode - after their actual ceremony - they already got officially married at Niagra Falls. They did it because it's what made sense to them. So many of our couple have tweaks to their day to make it completely theirs. Helping them with their vision and making sure our couples get to explore the options which make the happiest is a passion of ours.

This was exactly what happened with Cassie and Chris and how we came to shoot what we dubbed the "Jim and Pam" session. After meeting through a mutual friend, we knew pretty quickly we'd be great buds. We ended up shooting their engagement photos in Yosemite and from there, Cassie and I talked about the possibility of shooting in Moab. She loved the idea of desert photos, but they also wanted a bigger ceremony in Colorado for all the people who mean so much to them to come and celebrate. So, when I mentioned a first look session in Moab, she was totally in!

Honestly, it couldn't have been better. Cassie and Chris got to be where they loved, with the person they loved, and also celebrate with the people they loved. It was kind of like mashing up Ben Wyatt's proposal to Leslie Knope (what, you didn't think I was serious about the P&R references?) where she had him pause so she could remember every moment AND the Halpert's intimate moments in Niagra falls AND how unique to them April and Andy Dwyer's living room wedding was AND Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt's Town Hall wedding where you really make sure your best people are involved. Charlie even played the roll of Jeremy Jam, getting in the way of their photos in a plea for my attention 😑

When we met up in Moab, Cassie changed into her stunning Galia Lahav dress in the camper (which we laughed about as Callen was still vacuuming up the glitter a couple of days later). Then, because Cassie was an absolute trooper with her super heavy dress, we hiked up to a beautiful little spot overlooking my favorite valley for some photos. Chris was glowing at the site of his bride, and it was such a relaxed time. With no particular agenda, we wandered around the red rocks, took time to laugh, and did some fun shots with Cassie's AMAZING Galia Lahav veil. We need to stop and talk about this veil - a perfect mix of a fabric crafted by angels and worthy of a desert goddess, basically the Ann Perkins of veils. Seriously though, I love long veils in nature, and this was one of my favorites ever.

The best part of shooting their engagement and wedding photos in California, Utah, and Colorado was watching Cassie slow things down.  Wedding days are amazing and for some, the movement and motion of the day is part of the fun, but that pace wasn't what Cassie and Chris wanted most. So these moments in Yosemite for engagement pics and Moab with Chirs in his suit and Cassie in her stunning Galia Lahav dress among the desert towers in Moab was perfect for them. On their wedding day in Colorado, Chris and Cassie got to focus on the day itself, the friends, and the little moments they could take their time with because they had most of their photos done days before. 

Cassie talked about how doing things this way melted a lot of her wedding day stress. After getting most of her photos done, she just focused on the moments she really wanted to with her friends and family. Plus, we got to have them all to ourselves on this day in Moab ;) These two are now stuck with having us as friends for a lifetime, which made me all the more happy to do this for them.

At the end of the day in Moab, we went to some food trucks for pizza, Thai food, and donuts. We sat there eating all this crazy food (perks of being an adult) before heading out with friends to party. I couldn't help but think about how worth it all this is, how lucky I am to have people like this in my life - people who will travel a thousand miles to climb granite and deserts, who will get their dress dusty and want to hang late into the night, who will make sure to include everyone they love without giving up any wild dream they have. It's so worth it.

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.