What Inspired Me to Become a PNW Elopement Photographer
Get to know Stacy – the adventurer behind the lens and the PNW Elopement Photographer behind Outshined Photography
Hello, beautiful couples, adventurers, wedding planners, and nature lovers! In case we have not met yet, my name is Stacy, and I am a PNW elopement photographer and the gal behind Outshined Photography. I love helping couples tell their story by planning and photographing their elopement in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
In honor of spring, and in anticipation of the wildflowers and golden sunsets that come with warmer weather, I figured it was time you got to know me a little better! From rocket scientist to PNW Elopement photographer, I will give you some insight into who I am, what I love, and how elopement photography and planning became my passion.
So grab a cup of coffee (or a margarita, my personal favorite) and get to know the PNW elopement photographer behind Outshined Photography.
“Who is Stacy?”
Wife, daughter, engineer, adventurer, and PNW Elopement Photographer – I am all of those things! They say our childhood informs our adulthood, and this seems especially true for my journey. At the age of 6, my parents took me on a trip to Florida and we visited Cape Canaveral Space Force Center (now called Kennedy Space Center). I immediately fell in love with space. The love of exploring the unknown eventually led me to work on space vehicles and satellites at Lockheed Martin Space in Denver for over 20 years!
Along with my love of space, my love for adventures and travel also started very early. My family loves to travel internationally, and I got to visit Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy before I was out of high school. That type of upbringing created a woman inspired by beauty and driven by a deep love for exploring all our world has to offer.
“How long have you been into photography?”
I’ve had a camera for as long as I can remember. My parents have photographs hanging in their home that I took when I was in my early teens from our travels across the United States and internationally. I was the person at family holidays who always took the photos – I guess there has always been a photographer in me!
As an adult, I was finally able to afford a real DSLR camera. I took it on all of my travels and captured my favorite landscapes or scenes. After I moved to Washington State, I transitioned away from my full-time engineering job and began to take my camera on hikes. When I shared those images on social media, I received so much positive feedback from people…many of them perfect strangers! This feedback inspired me to develop my photography skills more seriously.
I would spend hours sitting next to a waterfall working on settings to get a long exposure just the way I wanted. Or, I would spend time walking along trails and capturing a range of compositions from the smallest wildflower to the widest mountainscapes. Between YouTube and trial and error, I learned how to create images with a unique composition that draws people in.
“Why Elopement Photography?”
Not many people have a specific moment they knew they wanted to be a PNW Elopement Photographer – but I sure do! I was photographing a sunset at Ruby Beach on the Washington Coast. A man asked me to use his camera to photograph him proposing to his girlfriend and I excitedly accepted.
As I photographed the proposal, I was crying happy tears behind the camera. It was such an emotional and inspirational experience, and I talked about it every day for a long time. I soon learned that if I wanted, I could make being a PNW Elopement Photographer into a career. Then, I attended a multi-day workshop where I got to photograph multiple couples in a variety of settings and felt so inspired by the work. I soon determined that being a PNW Elopement Photographer was something I wanted to pursue full time.
More than anything, elopement photography incorporates two of my favorite things: helping people start their journey in love, and doing so in nature. From wildflower meadows to snow-capped mountains, being a PNW Elopement Photographer feels like exploring and adventuring in my own backyard.
“Did you elope?”
I sure did! I tied the knot with my husband on September 8, 2002, in Chief Hosa, Colorado, amongst the incredible Rocky Mountains with our closest family and friends. We wanted to be in nature and the cabin in the mountains was a great location to feel close to natural beauty. We started our ceremony with “Beautiful Day” by U2 and after the ceremony, we went inside and danced to “It’s Your Love” by Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.
I still remember when we hired our wedding photographer. At the time, digital photography was very new. We weren’t sure about the technology, so all of our photos were taken with a film camera (oh, how the times have changed!)
“What is on the bucket list of a PNW Elopement Photographer?”
I have been fortunate enough to do some epic things in my life, including taking a hot air balloon ride over the Nile River in Egypt, snorkeling with a bright green eel in Tahiti, hiking “The Wave” along the Arizona/Utah border and ziplining in the rainforest canopy in Costa Rica. But of course, my adventurous spirit isn’t ready to settle down just yet. My bucket list includes:
- Seeing the Northern Lights in Norway
- Watching wild animals run across the African safari
- Swimming with a whale shark
(Adventure elopement opportunities, anyone?)
“What is your favorite part of an Elopement Day?”
After all of those years being an engineer and project manager – making sure the day runs smoothly and planning every detail comes naturally to me. And while I do love the planning aspect of a wedding – it’s not my favorite part.
Being a PNW elopement photographer, my favorite part of any couples’ big day is when the couple is completely present, smiling from ear to ear and holding each other without a care in the world. This is the moment when they realize that they get to be with each other for the rest of their lives. It’s a magical thing to be a part of.
I’m so happy to meet you.
Whether we have met before or this is your first time learning about Outshined Photography, I am so glad you are here. If you have other burning questions or would like to learn more about the elopement process – reach out at any time!
I love sharing my journey with others, and I hope it gives you some ideas about eloping in the PNW. More than anything, I hope it inspires you to go after your dreams, and get outside to play, get dirty, and witness the beauty around you.