elopement-day must haves for every photographer
So, you wanna shoot some epic and adventurous stuff (like an elopement or an outdoorsy couple?), here are a list of must-have items so you can be prepared!
I'm including links to certain specific items that I personally use and am obsessed with. These are NOT affiliate links. These companies don't even know I exist. I will receive exactly $0 from linking them. <3
SHOES - You need GOOD shoes to hike. That's nothing new. Opt for comfy and up for the kind of weather and terrain you'll be dealing with. I personally LOVE my Teva boots. They grip, are totally weather/water proof, and durable to hike around the jagged rocks along the Irish coast. All big wins. (P.S. Don't wait until the day of to break in new shoes. Just don't.)
GEAR - This is a big fat DUH, but check and quadruple check that you are packing the gear you'll use - nothing more, nothing less (gotta stay light!). A body or two, a lens or two, extra memory cards. You can also have a few extra items and leave them in your car just in case (like a battery charger). Don't. Bring. Everything. Just the essentials.
CHAPSTICK - Bring a pack. All the kissing in front of the camera can quickly chap your couples' lips -- and that isn't comfy or sexy. One for you, one for your clients. Trust me.
GLOVES - Temps can drop in a second, so having some warm gloves on hand is a necessity. I recently shot an elopement that turned out significantly colder than I'd anticipated (like 20 degrees colder). I was completely embarrassed because I didn't have decent gloves on hand (only my husband's HUGE, bright red Atlanta Falcons gloves that were impossible to shoot in). Within 10 minutes of preparing for their ceremony, my hands were bright red, raw, and painful. Very luckily, the groom happened to be a videographer who had camera (and smart phone) friendly gloves on him that he kindly let me borrow. That is a really lame mistake that I won't make again. Even if it isn't cold, wind can get pretty wild really fast, so make sure you're prepared!
UMBRELLA/RAIN COVERS - Grab one or two clear umbrellas. Stash them in your car and just keep them there so you can grab them if you think you'll need them. I also keep one of these handy covers rolled up and tucked away in my bag. (Just don't let your cat get ahold of it because they aren't chew-proof--at least that's what I'm told...)
TINY TOWEL - You can get little towels from REI and keep one in your bag (it'll be really light and take up very little space) so you can wipe off your gear. I also like to have one or two in my car for me and my couples in case we get soaked in a waterfall or something.
SPARE CLOTHES/SOCKS - These stay in my car just in case I need them because I am prone to slipping into rivers and all that - ha! So rather than I have to drive hours home all soggy, I keep a stash of dry clothes for the trip home! It is also handy in case you get to your location and realize it's colder/hotter than you'd anticipated. Having a couple extra articles of clothing can be a huge help (Remember that super cold elopement I mentioned above? Well, fortunately my husband keeps a closet's worth of jackets and hats in his car because otherwise I'd have frozen... Seriously, just learn from my mistakes!)
And last, but most certainly NOT least:
BAG - Hiking, climbing, wading, hopping, running -- all of that is pretty typical for an adventurous elopement, no matter where you are. You absolutely must have a bag that can keep your gear safe through all of that in all the elements and not kill your back. I used to carry around a messenger bag but I quickly realized that it was not cut out for hiking around. I found myself losing my balance on rocks, falling into sinking sand, because of a lack of balance (Fortunately it was just my shoes and jeans that got covered). Find a bag cut out for adventure. It's WELL WORTH the investment. My bag of choice is made by Vinta. (I'll post more about that later because my bag is basically my baby--my very favorite piece of gear that I have.)