Moab, Utah

the hearnes » adventure elopement photographers

eliza + justen's sunrise adventure wedding session | moab, utah elopement photographer

Oh my goodness, I could go on and on and on about these two. Eliza and Justen are two of the most incredible people we’ve ever met. We had so much fun getting to know them over the course of a year planning their wedding, and then finally hanging out with them on this wonderful weekend in Moab. We’ve been coming to Moab for almost 5 years now, and I’ll never forget the first time we discovered the La Sal Mountains. It was our second time coming to Moab, and after a miserable camping experience in the middle of the summer on our first visit, it was a bit of a redemption trip. We rolled into Moab in mid October and were immediately smitten. Gone were the hot summer days. The cottonwoods were turning yellow, the days were in the 70s and the nights cooled off enough to make a fire and wear our favorite jackets. I don’t remember who recommended it, but we ended up driving up into the La Sal mountains and when we caught our first glimpse of the golden aspen trees, we couldn’t believe our eyes. Growning up in Texas, fall isn’t really a season, it’s more of a changing of retail store fronts, and sipping “fall” drinks while wishing it’d cool down to 80 outside. We’d never seen leaves change colors like this, and the mornings would greet us with chilly fog the was from our wildest dreams. Since that trip, we’ve agreed the La Sals are one of the greatest gems in Moab, so when Eliza reached out to me about photographing their intimate wedding at an adorable little venue in the La Sal Mountains, I was stoked! Sitting high above Moab, this sweet little spot is temperate even in the middle of summer. Eliza and Justen’s wedding was in August, and despite the high temps down in Moab, their wedding day in the mountains was perfect. Warm enough to be comfortable in a dress, but then it cooled off at night and made for a perfect open-air venue.

In addition to the gorgeous mountains surrounding their venue, Eliza had mentioned they still wanted to have photos in the desert because Moab meant so much to them, so we decided to do a day-after session in Castle Valley. We absolutely love when our couples want to do day-after sessions, it’s such a great way to wind down from their wedding and have some time to themselves before going back to “normal life.” That being said, when Eliza and Justen said they were down for sunrise, we were a little shocked! I’m not sure they slept at all, but these two showed up to their day after session on time, at the crack of dawn, looking just amazing as they did the day before (we, on the other hand, probably looked like we’d been hit by a train but thats why we’re behind the camera 😂). I made Eliza some hot coffee on the jet boil and we set out on the trail to explore Castle Valley and soak in the gorgeous Moab desert. As we hiked, we watched the sun come up behind the mesas and turn everything around us golden, which really made Justen’s epic minty blue suit pop! They brought their dog, Cooper, along as well and we all talked about how much we love Moab, how much fun their wedding was, and how thankful we were to be in the desert together on such a beautiful day. By the end of their hike, Eliza’s dress has a gorgeous orange ombré from the Moab dirt, and we joked designers should pay us to make their wedding dresses look this rad :) I honestly didn’t want the day to end, but I’m so stoked we’ve found such great friends in these two and have no doubts we’ll be hanging out in the Moab desert again soon!

If you like the idea of eloping, but still want a more traditional wedding, doing an adventure session with us in your wedding clothes might be a good option! We love when we get to do adventurous wedding portraits for our couples, even if they get married elsewhere! This would be such a fun way to plan an epic honeymoon and get more rad photos in your wedding attire. We’ve photographed a lot of weddings and elopements in Utah (especially Moab!) and we work directly with the National Parks, Forest Service, BLM, and other public lands groups to pick beautiful places that are unique without causing damage to the land. If you’d like to elope in Moab, or schedule an adventure session with us in the Utah desert, you can reach out via our contact form and rest assured we will suggest amazing places and make sure we don’t have a negative impact on the public lands.

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.