Being around Ellen and Quinn feels like pure happiness. For the first time ever I had the hardest time taking a few serious portraits because they are just so happy and playful together. And you know what? That’s exactly how their first look should be. I genuinely enjoyed every single moment of being around these two. Everything from their teary eyed first look to laughing and tossing the other over their shoulders and spinning around just felt like pure love. Scroll down and check out their smiley selves in one of my favorite corners of the mountains.
In the weeks before their wedding, Liza and Aj had a first look together at Cactus and Tropicals in Salt Lake City, Utah. Since they would soon be married in Red Butte Gardens Arboretum, the greenhouse was very fitting for a similar vibe that still offered quite a bit of variety. We started with a first look near the colorful potted plants until their family brought their dogs for some quick family portraits of the four of them. Their dogs had darling floral collars made by the talented Mayflowers Floral Design (something I highly recommend if your pups are in the wedding) and they did so well by their side. It’s becoming a common trend for couples to bring their dogs to their weddings and portrait sessions and it’s something we’ve really grown to love. They’re part of your family too, why not bring all your loved ones to celebrate with you?
A few weeks before their Moab wedding I met Rachel and James at the Great Salt Lake for pre-wedding portraits. She had two separate gowns for her wedding day, both with completely different styles. She went for a gorgeous boho look for these with her reception gown and it was absolutely gorgeous. It was a nice chance for some variety and to let her hair down and have a completely different look from the wedding. I’ll always love when couples opt to take portraits before or after the wedding day.
About a week before their wedding, I had the chance to photograph Sheerin and Austin experience their first look in the exact same place they’d soon be married. The day was pretty unforgettable with heavy rainstorms just beforehand and blue skies emerging right as we met together on the grounds. Because of the weather though we had almost the entire grounds to ourselves with hardly any onlookers or crowds. These two were able to enjoy their first look in front of the Salt Lake City Temple as privately as we could dream of which was amazing. I really enjoyed how they prioritized their time to really enjoy their first look, slow things down and create some quality portraits in their favorite spots free of any rush or stress. This free’d up time on their wedding day allowing them to be with loved ones more and experience the day without hours of portraits. If you’re considering a first look, day after session, or completely taking your wedding portraits on another date then I strongly recommend it.
One of my favorite moments during our time together happened toward the end. They wanted some candid portraits in Austin’s Cadillac so we pulled up on the hillside overlooking the Salt Lake City Temple and surrounding area, they hopped on the back and cozied up together watching the sunset. Then afterward they invited me to take a drive with them downtown before taking me to my car and riding off together. Words pretty much fail me to describe just how fun loving these two are to not only each other but everyone around them. They truly made me feel like more than just their photographer in those moments, and it’s a feeling I’ll always appreciate. They’re genuinely good people and I’m already thrilled to share their wedding here soon.
Shortly after their wedding at Louland Falls, Brenda and Zach dressed in their wedding clothes for a day after session in some of their wedding clothes. Doing so allowed them to have more time on their wedding day for family portraits and to have more time eating with loved ones. We were able to catch the beautiful sunset colors that came from the valley onto Parley’s Canyon around us, and we were able to slow things down and take significantly more portraits.
These two are an incredible couple who we’re so happy to have met. They treated us like friends and family from the beginning and were so great to be around. Thanks so much, you two!
Photography: Elisha Braithwaite | Venue: Louland Falls, Utah | Hair/Makeup: Bride | Gowns: Handmade in Vietnam
Before Katie and Rex’s wedding they really wanted to see one another for the first time in the mountains. So just a few weeks before the wedding these two dressed up and made their way up Little Cottonwood Canyon to the wildflowers in Albion Basin. We drove up the dirt road until we found a secluded area with white flowers and towering trees where these two walked into the field as saw one another. Their reaction couldn’t have been more loving and completely in the moment, which set such a nice tone for the rest of their portraits to follow.
I’ve genuinely had the greatest time being around them and feeling inspired by how endlessly happy their love is. They were more than happy to walk through knee deep flowers, climb boulders for higher views and run through the wildflowers well after the sun set over the mountains. Thank you so much for bringing all of yourselves to this session, being open to feel together and be in the moment. You both have this deeply beautiful love that I’ll never quite forget and quite honestly, never want to.
A few weeks before their actual wedding day, Shay and Ryan got dressed in their wedding clothes and traveled through the canyon for their formals. They chose one of my personal favorite places of the woods in Big Cottonwood Canyon, It’s generally dark and secluded and covered in densely thick green trees. When we started we even had one gorgeous lone white flower that subtly grew next to them.
Something I loved about these two was how they opted out of doing a first look. For them personally they wanted to drive up the canyon and be together from beginning to finish through this experience. When couples make these choices because it’s what they deeply want, not what others say must happen, that makes me so happy for them. Everything should always be communicated and chosen together and the fact that these two were connected to make this decision was great. They have such a great love and I genuinely enjoyed being with them. They’re two people who I could photograph over and over and still feel inspired.
Thanks for coming up here you two and for letting me create some portraiture that quickly ended up being some of my favorite.
Photography: Elisha Braithwaite | Location: Jordan Pines in Big Cottonwood Canyon