Top 10 Must-Have Shot List for Your Non-Traditional Elopement

Feb 2, 2023

As an elopment photographer, I understand the importance of capturing the unique and personal moments of your special day. Elopements & Micro-Weddings offer the opportunity for a more relaxed and personal celebration, and these unique shots will help tell the story of your day.

Here’s my top 10 must-have shot list for your non-traditional elopement.

  1. Getting Ready Shots

Capture the excitement and anticipation of the day with preparation shots. This could include your partner getting dressed, putting on jewelry, and applying makeup. It could also include groomsmen playing cornhole, bridesmaids at brunch, or a pre-wedding swim. Best rule about elopements is that there are no rules. Do what you want.

  1. First Touch/First Look

A first touch is a private moment between the couple before the ceremony where they hold hands and exchange letters, or intimate vows between each other without seeing one another in a more traditional way. This shot will capture their emotions and connection before the ceremony. You can also do a first look. Gaining popularity, a first look is a great way to get a real reaction without the pressure of everyone looking at you. It allows you to have a special moment with just you and your soon to be spouse…and a strategically placed photographer.

  1. Ceremony Setup Shots

Before the ceremony, take some time to capture the setup and details, including the location, flowers, and any special decor. seeing the transformation of the location is a beautiful thing and rarely appreciated because you typically aren’t around when the magic happens.

  1. Ceremony Shots

During the ceremony, make sure to capture the vows, the exchange of rings, and any special moments that happen during the ceremony. Photos of the congregation during the ceremony in a very candid way helps capture the emotion and energy of the day.

  1. Adventure Portraits

After the ceremony, take some time for adventure portraits that showcase your unique location. Whether it’s hiking to a remote location or exploring a city, these shots will show the fun and excitement of the day. Find a coffee shop, take photos in an alley, jump into a pond…This is one of the more unique ways to let your personality shine through your photos.

  1. Detail shots

Capture all the details of the day, including the rings, flowers, and any special touches that make the day unique. The little pieces of personality that you may not notice on the day of your wedding will be moments cherished looking back years from now.

  1. Intimate moments

Make sure to capture the intimate moments between you and your partner, such as a kiss, hug, or dance. These shots will show the love and connection between you on this special day. The subtle glances between, the whispers of laughter during a serious moment. Highlighting Real as opposed to making a Highlight Reel will make the biggest difference when remembering the moment.

  1. Reception Shots

This is when the fun really starts. Let loose and let the photographer in on the party. Whether it’s dancing, keg stands, shots, or a food fight, don’t be afraid to be yourselves and let the memories be made. Some of the most amazing photos come from the reception and celebration of the couple by their friends and family.

  1. Night Shots

Capture the magic of the night with shots of the stars, the moon, and any nighttime festivities. Use direct flash, get the editorial look. Use the shadows to make moody and cinematic shots that you’ll keep for a lifetime. Just because the sun goes down, doesn’t mean you have to stop creating memories.

  1. The Exit

Last but not least, make sure to capture the exit, whether it’s a sparkler send-off or a quiet goodbye as you have your “last dance”, be sure you take a moment to soak in the celebration and send yourself off in style.



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