As the saying goes… Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all. Adventure elopements are a fun and intimate way for a couple to get married, but it can be challenging for a photographer. I normally carry around 20lbs of equipment on me at a wedding, so figuring out how to pare that equipment down and get it up to the top of the mountain on skis all while protecting it from snow, temperature and the possibility of falling was an adventure in itself.
Claudia and Aaron chose to get married at the top of Peak 7 at Breckenridge during ski season. Aaron is one heck of a lucky guy to find a lovely bride that would want to get married on the top of a mountain. I am an avid skier, I love a challenge and you can’t beat the views from the top of the mountain for a ceremony. I spent the morning skiing and trying to scout the best place for them to exchange their vows. I settled on spot with a warming hut and a beautiful deck, that on a clear day, would’ve had extraordinary views. We had a cloudy, snowy day, so the couple and the ceremony had to be center stage for the photographs. Our officiant from Mountain Do, met us at the warming hut. The ceremony was meaningful, well written and concise as it was very cold out, a mere 11 degrees. Afterwards, we all celebrated with drinks at the base. We had such a fantastic time!
As a photographer, there were several things I had to keep in mind for an outdoor wedding in eleven degrees with the possibility of snow. Camera batteries and any battery really, will not last nearly as long in the cold as it will in normal temperatures. I purchased two additional camera batteries and carried them on my body to keep them warm. I did notice my battery life was cut extremely short, so I was glad I had the extra security of my backups.
As I said, earlier, I had to pare down my normal equipment so I could be mobile on my skies and make it up the lifts. I carried a messenger camera bag with a camera body and a few lenses and had two cameras on my harness along with a few additional lenses. It was still a lot of equipment, but I’m comfortable enough on my skies that I thought I could pull it off. I also carried a waterproof cover for my bag and my equipment, just in case the snow started. I ended up shooting with zoom lenses, because it did snow and changing the lenses wasn’t going to be possible. I normally prefer prime lenses for weddings, but because of the circumstances it wasn’t possible to use them.
Finally, I had to keep in mind that extreme temperature changes can cause condensation in the camera body and the lens, which will cause the camera to lock up. Instead of following everyone into the warming hut, I had to stay outside with my equipment to keep the cameras at the same temperature. After we were finished shooting outside, I bagged my cameras so that the condensation would happen on the bag and not the camera. Then after going inside, I pulled out the camera that was in my bag staying warm. It still took about 10 minutes for that camera to warm up enough to work properly.
This was a fun shoot where I got to do two of the things I love most, photography and skiing. Even though there were extra things to consider for this particular shoot, the day was amazing for Claudia and Aaron and we got some unforgettable shots of their special day. I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment or contact me directly if you want more details on shooting adventure elopements!
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