In early 2022, Fawn and Dustin reached out to me to see if I was available to photograph their wedding in Yosemite National Park during the summer.
This was one of those moments where I immediately thought, “Yes. I will make myself available no matter what.” Growing up, I’ve been to Yosemite a handful of times, from family trips and friend’s camping trips – I am somewhat familiar with the park, but definitely not a pro. It’s been a bucket item for me to photograph in the park. And to be honest, I was a little nervous.
There are so many photographers who tackle Yosemite each year. Photographers who know the ins and outs. So I am thankful that Fawn and Dustin chose to work with me! As a photographer there’s a few things you need to work in the park. You’ll need a reservation and a permit.
Enter, the best couple in the world: Fawn and Dustin. When I expressed to them that I would love to photograph their wedding, but I had never shot in Yosemite before, they told me, “That’s okay, we’ve never gotten married in Yosemite before, so it’s new for all of us!”.
Note to self, work with couples who are cool and understanding. They made the planning process just so much more fun.
Fawn and Dustin are the ultimate planners, they helped me understand what I needed from a permit side and planned out the locations that mattered most to them for photos.
Fawn and Dustin pulled up to their ceremony in their camper van! Yes, these two have hearts filled with adventure and during the pandemic. They picked up a camper van which allowed them to explore parks like Yosemite.
They settled on the Valley View Pullout for their ceremony site. This location was right next to the water and had Half Dome in the backdrop.
With their friend from college as their officiant, they exchanged beautiful vows and said I do in front of a small group of family, friends and their pup! After the ceremony, we spent time exploring the park. We took photos in front of the Chapel, and Cooks Meadow.
We had the Tunnel View on our list to explore, but being August – there were a few fires nearby the park that caused heavy smoke, making views hard to capture.
This was a great learning for me, if you’re getting married in Yosemite in the Summer – you should know that there’s a high chance of fires. To combat this, the smoke is heavier in the morning but clears out around noon. But come noon – it can be the hottest point of the day. And nobody wants to be fully dressed in 90 degrees. So if you get the opportunity, come back into the park for sunset. The sun drops late in the park, it’s less crowded, it’s not as hot and of course the smoke has cleared.
The biggest congratulations to Fawn and Dustin! Thank you for trusting me as your photographer. I wish you both all the best!
Looking for an elopement photographer? I’d love to chat! Contact me today to see if we’d be the right fit.