Storytelling with Photographs: How I Make Your Elopement Come Alive as an Elopement Storyteller
Creating memorable photos is more than getting the “perfect shot”. It’s understanding the art of storytelling with photographs.
When I meet my couples for the first time, one of the first things I tell them is that I tell a story with the photos I take. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that is exactly why I call myself an elopement storyteller. When couples revisit their elopement photos years down the road, I want them to not only remember the setting of their special day, but how they were feeling and what they were experiencing.
Candid images that evoke emotion and documenting the intimate details that make your love story truly unique are my favorite ways to engage in storytelling with photographs. Here is how I integrate the sacred practice of storytelling with photographs into every elopement.
Storytelling with Photographs: Understanding Narrative Photography
If you scroll on Wikipedia long enough, you will run into the page called “narrative photography.” I love this page because it describes exactly how I feel when photographing elopements, and summarizes my goals of storytelling. Narrative photography invites the viewer to wonder about the emotions and the journeys of the characters we see in the image.
These photos give subtle hints to the viewer that there is more to the story than what initially meets the eye. For example, one can look at elopement photographs and come to the obvious conclusion that this couple just got married.
However, candid moments encourage the viewer to search for deeper meaning. These photos say, “There was more than familiarity between the couple, there was comfort. You can see this from the smile lines on the groom’s face, and the gentle touch the bride gave her groom when she thought no one was watching.” These photos don’t just state the obvious; they tell a story.
The Power of Adventure in Storytelling with Photographs
Because of my love for storytelling photography, it is no wonder that adventure elopements are my all-time favorite thing to photograph. It is during these adventures we learn so much from the couple by simply seeing the location where they decide to say “I do.”
I encourage couples to imagine the story their photographs will tell when choosing a place to elope. What feeling do you want the photos to leave you with? Choose a terrain that matches this feeling.
Additionally, storytelling with photographs provides couples the opportunity to remember specific details from their day. Not only do you want to recall what you wore or special touches that you added to your bouquet or outfit, but how you were feeling in the moment. The candid, emotion-filled photos that narrative photography provides create memories that are more than staged fanfare of your celebration. It is an intimate look at your love story.
Curious about storytelling photography for your elopement? Consider these examples of how photographs can help tell the story of your big day:
For this bride, getting ready to say “I do,” didn’t look like pristine high heels in a fancy hotel room. Instead, it looked like pulling up hiking socks and tying up her boots before allowing the white dress to gently fall to her ankles. Her hair was ready and her makeup perfect, but she was ready to encounter an adventure like never before.
One thing I will always remember is the smell of the cold and fresh pine needles as this bride and groom had their first look. The steps out of the cabin and the crunch of trail under her hiking boots let our anxious groom know his bride had arrived.
There is something nearly whimsical about saying I do in the Pacific Northwest forest, and I felt it keenly during this elopement. It invigorates all of the senses and makes you keenly aware that this moment is special. This is a moment that beckons love in ways that only nature can.
Blue hour is when the lanterns come out and reality sinks in: this is not the first adventure but the first adventure together as one. And from this day forward, these two will never be alone.
The Unspoken Power of Storytelling with Photographs
If you are a couple preparing to elope, chances are your relationship is deeper than the darkest lake and higher than any mountain you have ever climbed. To capture a love story like this, narrative photography and storytelling with photographs provide a more natural way to capture the raw emotion and pivotal moments of your celebration.
If you would like to learn how we can work together to create storytelling photographs that will move your heart and soul, reach out. I can’t wait to help you document more than pictures, but the story of your love.