This is about so much more than photography. This is about love. experiences. connection. storytelling. intimacy. memories. authenticity. courage. independence. adventure.
I never really attended a wedding until I started photographing them. I'll never forget the first time I shot a wedding with another local photographer. At the time, I was photographing everything I could and was so freaking excited for this wedding because photographing couples was *hands down* my favorite thing to capture.
I prepared myself as best as I knew how but was still so nervous. I had a dream about the wedding two days prior about how amazing it was going to be. In my dream, everyone was so happy. There was no *bridezillas*, no *obnoxious drunk uncles*, no *uncle bobs* with their cameras sticking out of the aisle during the ceremony. Everything was stress-free and perfect. A day full of love and laughter; A day as I had always imagined it would be.
Little did I know, how naive I was then. I blame it on the fact that I had never attended a wedding so I had no clue what I signed up for. I mean.. I loved photographing couples.. so a big wedding couldn't be so bad, right?
From the moment I arrived, I felt like I was in room full of people watching the New York Stock Exchange while playing telephone. People were asking the bride questions she didn't know the answer to, looking for missing family members, redialing family members who were late like they their life depended on it.
It was pure chaos.
I had a day of timeline I was intended to follow but that was useless after the first 15 minutes I arrived. I was overwhelmed and confused as I tried to help direct and guide people on what was supposed to be happening, all while this being my first wedding.
Though I was a little frazzled, I normalized the chaos by telling myself: "every wedding starts out a little hectic, after the ceremony things will mellow out and that's when the fun will start and everyone will be chill and happy." I mean, it's their wedding day after all, right?
The good news is I survived the ceremony and first half of the day. But once it was time for family photos, I was running around like a parent chasing a bunch of toddlers as they hid in clothing racks at a department store. The night continued on as the couple barely had time to eat, as they were being pulled in every direction on what was next on the schedule, all while the couple made their way from guest to guest like a round of speed dating. By the end of the wedding, the couple had spent less than a total of 2 hours actually together.
When I went home, I was mentally exhausted. What I imagined to be one of the happiest days of a couples life, turned out to be the most stressful and anxiety inducing events I have witnessed. As I sent the photos to the main photographer, I was not even excited to go through them. All of the joy and anticipation I had felt prior to the wedding was gone. When I looked through my memory cards, I recalled every moment of chaos I had witnessed. I didn't understand how I could love photographing couples so much yet weddings were *at this point* my least favorite thing ever.
Was I missing something?
a rare photo of me at one of the last big weddings I did.
After the first wedding, I ended up shooting a handful more with other photographers and eventually shooting them myself. I told myself that people get married all the time, not every wedding will be as crazy as the first one. As I continued to photograph big weddings for a little over a year, I started becoming more and more involved in the wedding industry; attending workshops and education when I started hearing about photographers who only photograph elopements and intimate weddings. My understanding of elopements was very basic at the time and assumed it meant getting married spontaneously and having a photographer take photographs somewhere cool afterwards.
At the time, my basic understanding of eloping sounded more enjoyable than what I was already doing and I started to educate myself, so that I could start photographing these kind of weddings.
As I became more and more familiarized with eloping, I was dreaming up these wanderlust filled adventures with two people madly in love. Then one day, it all just clicked.
I did a lot of thinking, a lot of writing and hell of a lot of brainstorming.
These big weddings weren't for me. It wasn't only the stress and chaos of the day, it went way beyond that.
It was so many aspects of the day. The way the day had to be on a strict schedule. The hundreds of guests. The speed dating conversations that weren't meaningful. The pressure of inviting people because you invited someone else. The money wasted on people you didn't have real relationships with. Being pulled in every direction on a day that was meant to be about your love. Endless to-do lists. Buying a 2nd bouquet for the sake of tradition, just to throw it in a crowd. Having to be sociable and put on a smile amidst the craziness because everyone is watching. The pressure from family to do things a certain way. Doing things that you don't value because it's the norm. The lack of intimacy and connection. Topping it off with little amount of time you actually spend with the love of your life; the person you're going to spend the rest of your life with.
The day you get married is meant to be a joy-filled and stress-free day with the love of your life. It's a day where you should be able to spend the day however you choose to. Surrounded by the things that you value. Doing what makes you happy with the person you love most. It's the day you shouldn't feel pressure to do things you don't want to do. A day that is 100% entirely and authentically yours.
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The moment I began specializing in elopements, my life changed. I was able to not only do something I was passionate about but something I was able to thrive in and utilize my strengths to empower and support couples to have a once in a lifetime experience uniquely focused on their love.
I've spent my life living on the west coast but my thirst for travel and adventure has always remained. Every opportunity I've had in life to experience something different, I've grasped onto with excitement.
Every day we face opportunities for adventure.
Growing up, I've always had a mentality fueled by emotion and balanced by analysis. I find the beauty in intimacy, in experiences, in connection and in love.
This is why I love elopements.
This is where my passion fuels from. Where my ability to serve my couples thrives. I want to show the world how beautiful and meaningful an elopement wholly focused around celebrating your connection and love while taking a leap into this new chapter of your life can be.
hey! I'm oshen
no nonsense support
> I help build the foundation of your elopement by understanding you both as a couple and individuals.
> Through streamlined processes and actionable steps, I learn about your vision and reasons for eloping so I know how to best serve you. You'll get access to resources, guides, questionnaires and more.
> I believe communication is essential to having an incredible experience. Sometimes couples want pinterest worthy locations however want something completely secluded and easily accessible. Sometimes we can make this happen and other times, it's not realistic. Being 100% transparent about expectations is important in giving you the best damn experience you could dream up. Being trusted as your photographer and guide is an incredible honor and thus, communication and transparency are the values my business stands on.
> Every love story is unique and elopements are never a one size fits all, which is why I handcraft each elopement from start to finish, truly giving you a one of a kind experience.
> Many couples choose to elope in places they've never been; My priority is to ensure your elopement is laid out for you, so you can focus on your love. This includes location scouting, being the expert on the weather and climate for your dream landscape, permitting requirements, and location specific marriage requirements.
> The 411 on all the good local stuff! From restaurants to activities you've been dying to try. I curate location based favorites so you'll be adventuring like a local, exploring all the hidden gems.
> You'll receive support and guidance from a photographer who truly understands the values behind elopements and how to make your elopement dreams a reality.
> You name it, I got you covered.
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