jeep wedding in canyonlands National Park | moab elopement photographer


jeep wedding in canyonlands National Park | moab elopement photographer

Alley and Jacob traveled to Moab, Utah for their adventure elopement wedding last fall. They invited their parents to join for their intimate ceremony in Canyonlands National Park and then rented a jeep so they could explore more of the 4x4 roads around Moab. Alley’s Chantel Lauren wedding dress perfectly complimented the desert environment around her!


austin woman magazine: life of a nomadic adventure wedding photographer


austin woman magazine: life of a nomadic adventure wedding photographer

Abbi Hearne’s Interview with Austin Woman Magazine

I was recently interviewed for Austin Woman Magazine and wanted to share the article here as well! If you live in Austin and want to make my day, go find a copy (it’s the February 2019 issue) in the wild and send me a photo!!

Here is a link to the online magazine feature.


Delicate sketches of Half Dome and Castle Valley nestled in flowers mark Abbi Hearne’s arms, so when she looks down, she’ll always be home.

After living and working as adventure wedding photographers on the road since 2016 with their dog, Hearne and her husband, Callen, traded their apartment in Texas for national parks.

“Now, as we arrive in the valley of Yosemite or into town at Moab, [Utah,] we kind of feel like a breath of fresh air, like we’re coming home,” Hearne says. “[Yosemite] is one of those places that there’s no way a photograph could do it justice.”

Her pictures get pretty close. The couple’s Instagram is a gallery of majestic vistas, each picture more stunning than the last. The more likes and followers they accumulate, the more sessions get booked. In 2018, they shot 40 elopements and intimate weddings and 20 adventure sessions with couples.

Because of the high demand, the couple now has full control of their travel schedule, making clients come to them instead of the other way around. This year, they’ll be in Zion National Park, Utah, Yosemite and Alaska. Hearne is the head photographer, communicating with couples ahead of time, planning the elopements and directing the shoots; her husband gets the secondary shots, capturing all the nonessential, fun pictures Hearne says often end up being couples’ favorites; their dog, Charlie, is moral support.

While it might seem like they’ve made it, Hearne is quick to remind fans their story is not one of overnight success. Their rig is outfitted with running water, a stove, an oven and a refrigerator, luxuries they did not experience when they started out in a van. They didn’t crisscross the country and climb cliffs and shower in community centers for likes on Instagram; a deep passion for nature and preserving national parks fuels them.

“I love Moab way more than I love my job,” Hearne says. “If I had a moment of thinking what I’m doing here is hurting the place more than it’s helping it, then it’s 100 percent not worth it to me.”

As the adventure-photography community has grown, Hearne fears the consequences of photographers determined to get the perfect Instagram photo, regardless of the cost. It weighs on her, one question always lingering in the back of her mind: Am I destroying these places by making them trendy?

elopement in arches national park

The rise of social media has made national parks more popular, but often at the expense of their preservation. A video by Vox about the effects of geotagging shows the significant jump in Google search terms related to national parks in the past few years. Once obscure gems of nature, sites like Horseshoe Bend are reduced to squares, littering Instagram feeds and fueling a growing obsession with parks that aren’t equipped for the increase in visitors.

“Digital popularity is physically changing the landscape,” the Vox narrator says.

From additional security concerns to waste left behind to visitors unknowingly hurting the local ecosystems, social media is taking its toll on the parks. Wandering off the trail in search of the perfect picture can leave a permanent trace. Cryptobiotic crust lines the desert surfaces found in many parks, protecting the soil and retaining nutrients of the land. According to the National Park Service, it only takes the weight of a hiker or vehicle to crush the fragile soil crust, which can take as long as seven years to regrow.

Hearne often challenges fellow photographers to consider these risks before booking shoots in locations they’ve never visited.

“If the only reason you’d go somewhere is because you’ve booked a gig there, it’s time to step back and ask yourself why you want that booking,” she wrote in a recent Instagram caption. “Is it because adventure elopements are trendy right now? Is it for Instagram likes? So you feel like you’ve reached a certain status in the photography industry? All of these motivations are empty. If you actually feel drawn to adventure, just go for it. Stop saying you need someone to elope somewhere so you have a reason to go.”

Hearne regularly levies her digital platform to defend the parks and keep their safety at the forefront of her followers’ minds. In 2017, when President Donald Trump announced the reduction of two national monuments, she took to social media. More recently, she addressed the government shutdown numerous times via posts and stories.

Unlike the Obama administration, which kept parks closed during the government shutdown, the Trump administration chose to leave them open. While both decisions were met with controversy, leaving the parks open without supervision might have more dangerous long-term effects. Human waste and trash accumulated quickly in the under-regulated sites as visitors poured in during the 35-day shutdown, taking advantage of no park fees. Joshua Tree National Park was the subject of online outrage when articles circulated that damage done to the Joshua trees could take centuries to heal.

While the government reopened, Hearne’s dilemma remains. What is her role in protecting the parks?

“It’s an interesting time in the outdoors where we’re figuring out how to handle the amount of people coming out to see them and let them be loved without being destroyed,” Hearne says.

Besides promoting perseveration and education on Instagram, Hearne supports organizations that advocate for the parks and fellow adventure photographers who are just as passionate about protecting their adoptive homes. She hopes a guide on how to visit national parks and practice sustainability will be in the works soon.

“I love what we do and I love having a rad portfolio, but that is not my No. 1 priority,” she says.

Her heart—and portfolio—will always follow the parks first and social media second. While she enjoys working with all her clients, Hearne says she connects best with couples that “deeply desire adventure on their wedding day.”

black wedding dress elopement in moab utah

Among her most memorable shoots of 2018 was a 4 a.m. hike in 20-degree weather to capture sunrise pictures for an elopement.

“If the couple is down, we’re down,” Hearne says of herself and her photographer husband, even when that means freezing temperatures, early mornings and intense hikes. True to her Instagram bio, she’s always “sharing the good, the bad, and doing [her]best to keep it real.”

Hearne says they don’t plan to live on the road forever, but for now, she’s soaking it in.

“One day, there’s going to come a time when we’re going to have the things we miss and we’re going to miss the things we have,” she says.

As for the question that haunts her—Is she destroying the very thing she loves most?—her answer cuts through the noise of online outrage and social-media trends and spurs her to action.

“Having power to influence people to do good,” she says, “is more effective than stepping back and doing nothing.”

patagonia adventure wedding photographer

Thank you SO MUCH to Courtney Runn of Austin Woman Magazine for this incredible feature and opportunity! I am so honored and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy as soon as we get home from Switzerland!


moab engagement session skiing in the mountains | adventure elopement photographer


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.


yosemite wedding first look and portraits | national park elopement photographer


yosemite wedding first look and portraits | national park elopement photographer

Yosemite National Park, California

the hearnes » adventure elopement photographers

heidi + gordon’s first look + wedding portraits in yosemite national park | sunrise at glacier point and sunset at taft point | adventure elopement photographer

We love it when our couples have a tie to the place they decide to have their adventure wedding pictures taken. In the past, we’ve had a couple choose to elope in Zion National Park because they met on a hike there, or road trip together through Moab, and they want their adventure wedding or engagement to take place there. However, when Heidi and Gordon reached out, they told us about their connection which goes back longer than any we'd ever heard of before.

Shooting their adventure wedding in Yosemite brought with it a sense of depth, history even, as the attachment goes back over 148 years ago! Her family had settled here, among the first to do so, in 1870.  For perspective, this means they were neighbors with John Muir, who lived here from 1868-1874. Her Great Great Grandpa Mcauley built the trail which connects the valley to Glacier Point and lived here well before the park even had boundaries (which happened in 1889). We joked about how this was Yosemite's "Royal Wedding" which would make Heidi the Princess of Yosemite, but seriously, her connection to this place was absolutely amazing.

We shot in the park at sunrise and sunset, Gordon and Heidi walking among the very granite her family had for generations. At Glacier Point, she pointed out a plaque with her Great Great Grandfather’s name on it, commemorating all he'd done for this park. Gordon and Heidi held hands, walking to the edges where he started the tradition (which lasted nearly 100 years before ending in 1968) of the Yosemite Firefall. We snapped some shots of them silhouetted above the valley. I imagined the silhouette of her ancestor, pushing glowing embers off the cliff in the same golden light, letting them fall for the spectators below.

They brought their beautiful German Shepherd, Chelsea, along for some portraits (Yep! Yosemite has a couple of dog-friendly places!), and we took our time strolling around the upper valley before their wedding the next day. The ceremony was set to be an intimate little wedding in the Yosemite Chapel where her uncle had been the pastor for a few years in the 1970s (crazy we actually have to state which century that was in). I imagined the likelihood of Ansel Adam's walking around the valley with her family there, stopping in at Degnan's to grad some food prepared by her ancestors which started the iconic restaurant. Maybe he even snapped a few photos of their family back in the day or talked with one of her great grandparents, asking what it was like before his first trips to the valley in the early 20th century.

Gordon also has a connection to Yosemite, having grown up visiting and even through-hiking while doing the PCT with his friend (best man). He had no idea on those initial visits he'd one day be "marrying into" the Yosemite lineage. Obviously, this was all just special because it was Gordon and Heidi's wedding day, their love, the personification of their personalities, interest, and style in one day, but the weight of it all was undeniable.

With a connection like this, I imagine some far-off day in the future, Heidi and Gordon's Great Great Grandson maybe walking with his girlfriend, dropping down to a knee and proposing, or maybe holding his fiance's hand as they get married here. Someone will write about their wedding and talk about how much this place has meant to his family over the past 250 years. And they'll put in one of the photos from today and underneath will be a little caption that simply reads "They were engaged right where this photo of his Great Great Grandparents Gordon and Heidi had was taken, the day before their wedding, on September 6, 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, 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.