Eloping couple in Maui

Why I Became an Elopement Photographer

love stories,
info & tips,
& my personal travels. 

Here you will find

Katie Iredale

February 25, 2020

Hi, I’m Katie Iredale! I’m an intimate wedding and adventurous elopement photographer based in Southern California.

female photographer standing in front of plants

my logo
I am so stoked to finally be able to share my new brand with you all. I hope it makes you feel the way it makes me feel: excited, comfortable, peaceful, and inspired. After a few years in business, I have decided to niche down and specialize in being an intimate wedding and elopement photographer. Let me tell you why.
 
When I started this business back in 2017, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. What has transpired in just a few years goes to show that we are capable of so much rapid expansion if we don’t confine ourselves to the walls of our comfort zones. Eliminate the glass ceiling and discover what is possible.
 
In the first couple of years of my photography business, I photographed just about everything under the sun. Events at the Boys & Girls Club, extended group family sessions, newborns, home births, branding, lifestyle, maternity, product shoots… And of course couples, weddings, and elopements. You name it, I’ve shot it. I was under the assumption that to be a great photographer, I needed to be great at shooting everything. I thought I needed to be the go-to photographer, no matter what your needs were.
 
Obviously I quickly discovered that was not the case, and before I knew it I was photographing mainly couples, whether it be sessions or weddings/elopements. I love working with couples. Being an intimate wedding and elopement photographer brings me so much freedom and joy. There’s something really special about it – It’s definitely a privilege to be able to document special milestones in peoples lives, big and small.
 
What has become painstakingly clear to me is that I feel the most alive when I am out in nature. It’s pretty difficult to not be present when out amongst it. The great forces of the Earth inspire me; there’s no doubt for me that there’s a power greater than myself. There’s something to be said about the huge vast bodies of crystal turquoise water, red clay canyons, stone arches, 2000 ft+ waterfalls, what seems like millions of pine trees on humongous snow covered mountains… It’s all beyond extraordinary, and a profound sense of freedom accompanies the great outdoors.
 
All that being said, you can probably understand how my desire to photograph weddings indoors has diminished over time. Now, please don’t get me wrong. I love weddings. I love gorgeous floral decor, the flawless look of fancy table settings and napkins with guest name tags so carefully set, a dope DJ and open bar… I love it all. Heck, beyond the fancy/beautiful factor, I can appreciate the comfortable & regulated temperatures, clean bathrooms, and delicious & available food around every corner… All things you can’t find when you’re way out in nature haha! But the point is, I am not “against” big weddings, and I will continue to take a few on each year… Because they’re fun.
 
What I don’t love about big weddings is (what can often become) the essence of them.

 

They become…

 

About the guests.
About the parents.
About the open bar.
About the napkin colors.
About the bridesmaids dresses.
About the timeline.
About the random confusing traditions.
About the drama.
About the expectations.
 
And not always, but more often than not…

 

They become…

 
Less about the couple.
Less about the marriage.
Less about the love.
Less about the beautiful commitment.
Less about the things that actually mean something to the couple.
Less about enjoyment.
Less about being present.

 

And the more big weddings I photographed, the more I realized that I could never see myself having one.

 

I wouldn’t want to be the center of attention.
I wouldn’t enjoy having to adhere to a rigid timeline someone else made, telling me how to spend my wedding day.
I wouldn’t want to participate in random traditions that don’t mean a single thing to me, just because it’s what you do at weddings.
I wouldn’t want to throw a party that would produce an average of 400-600 pounds of waste in one day.
I wouldn’t want to spend an average of $38,000.00 on one night that will fly by so fast I might not even remember it.

 

And if I feel that way…. There’s got to be SO MANY couples out there that feel the exact same way! Some people want big, fun, extravagant traditional weddings, and others want quiet, intimate, untraditional, adventurous experiences on the day they get married. There is no wrong way to get married, but there is a right way and it’s totally different for each couple.

 

All of this continued to weigh on me, intensified by hearing things like:

 

“Katie are we supposed to say hi to everyone here?”
“We just want it to be over already.”
“Let’s just say we’re counting down the seconds to our honeymoon.”
“Half the people here are my mom’s friends. This is really for her.”
“We wish we could just sneak out the back door.”
“I can’t believe we spent our savings on an open bar and dinner for 150 people.”

 

You get the point.

 

So.

What happened?

 

I took a trip. I did lots of deep reflecting. I invested $2,400.00 in an educational elopement course. I watched over 30 hours of videos educating me about small weddings, elopements, and adventurous elopements. I listened to countless podcasts and books on Audible about business and “finding my why”. I invested in a graphic designer and a web designer. And I made the choice to pivot.

 

I made the choice to pivot my business, niche down, and specialize.
I knew it felt right in my heart to specialize in small, intimate weddings and adventurous elopements.
 
Imagine getting married on your honeymoon.
Imagine getting married on a mountain top, or under a waterfall.
Imagine spending the week/(end) out in your favorite place, maybe with your closest friends and family.
Imagine your wedding day as an experience.
Imagine that anything is possible.
Imagine that there are no rules.
Imagine dreaming up your perfect day and get married in the middle of it.
Imagine having zero waste on your wedding day.
Imagine your wedding being intimate, intentional, and unforgettable.

 

Can you imagine?

 

I’m here to help couples create their dream wedding day.
I’m here to connect couples to vendors anywhere in the world.
I’m here to create custom location guides for each couple based on their desires.
I’m here to build timelines that allow for presence and maximum enjoyment.
I’m here to show couples that it’s possible to have a wedding day that looks exactly how they want it to look.

 

Without any stress.
Without any regret.
Without any drama.
Without any rushing.

 

And so, my new and improved brand, Katie Iredale Photography is ready to embark on this journey and explore this beautiful world with the amazing couples who resonate with why I do what I do and want to do what I do.
 
Now, get up and go outside. Close your eyes. Breathe in that fresh air.
Or, GET IN TOUCH NOW!
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love stories,
info & tips,
& my personal travels. 

Here you will find