Not only is Big Sur a beautiful place to elope, it also looks fantastic on 35mm film. Big Sur has long been one of my favourite parts of California. The rugged coastline, sea mist and my goodness the smell all combine to make this place magical.

Like many couples, Reanna & Ethan had different wedding plans. An elopement in Big Sur was far from plan A! This turned out to be a day perfect for them in every way. Flying over from the east coast, they’d done a reverse honeymoon. After a road trip down from Seattle, it was time to get married.

We met the day before the autumn equinox, on a foggy afternoon in Garrapata State Park. After practicing the handfasting, I married them in a short and sweet ceremony. It was so cute each time passing hikers stopped to congratulate them.

As soon as they married, the shoes came off and the wild came out. That afternoon we spent a happy few hours exploring Big Sur. We ran to the top of a viewpoint overlooking the whole coast. We climbed stairs, and rocks. Then I took them to my favourite beach. Of course we made sure to follow the principals of Leave No Trace. You can read more about that here.


Don’t my couple look like a surf advert from the 1950s? I was aiming for Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game video. Despite the freezing cold water, what they created far surpassed anything I’d hoped for. It was such a blast running through the waves and playing in the sand. I’m sure you can see this Big Sur elopement was perfect for the 35mm film.

If you’re thinking of eloping in Big Sur, do it! It’s close to Carmel and Monterey, and you can explore the beauty all the way south towards Santa Barbara. For a perfect elopement, I’d look into the following places:

Post Ranch Inn
Glen Oak Big Sur
Ventana Big Sur

Film stock:
Most of the colour images shot on Kodak Portra 160 and Portra 400.
All black and white images Ilford HP5.





everything looks better on analog



So impressive that you did all of this with film! I especially love the photo of their hands covered in sand along with their wedding rings, and the photos of them playing in the ocean. well done!!

Film is so awesome! I love the grainy aspect of the photos for this elopement!

Beautiful session and it’s just so lovely to see that film is still so strong. Love those tones!

Awesome! I’d love to do a whole shoot in film but wouldn’t be brave enough I don’t think! I’m starting to use my pentax 67 a little though which I love. What camera did you use?

Film is so intimidating at weddings! But actually very forgiving 🙂 the b/w Beach shots were shot on an Olympus stylus. I used a Canon 3 for the others. Having the auto focus is a huge bonus! I’ve my eye on the pentax 645n though, its too hard to use the ancient medium formats i do have at weddings!

These images are gorgeous! I especially love the images from when they are playing on the beach 🙂

Love these~!~. The sand with their rings is marvelous – they must be so pleased. Film is the best.

Looks so fun! Love that they got in the water

Everything about this couple, their story, and their epic big sur elopement screams unconventional. I think capturing it on film just adds to that effect, and you did such a wonderful job!

Wow! These are so amazinG! I love that you used film to capture this gorgeous wedding! Incredible work.


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