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David & KiaraRed Rock Canyon Styled ElopementRed Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, NV

Human connection is the underlying theme of my work. Meeting new people and becoming a part of their story is what keeps this creative fire burning for me. But I’m guilty of hiding behind my camera far too often. I wanted to make a video to show you my purpose is more than just “clicking a button.” In June, I finally wrestled my fear of being on camera and reached out to Andrew Abajian to bring my vision to life.

We planned together for months, postponed, and eventually settled on the Las Vegas desert in December. I tracked down a beautiful bohemian gown by Rue de Seine, courtesy of the Dress Theory, and contacted Wild Orchid Florist to create a unique bouquet. All that was missing was a couple to model for the film…kind of an important detail. Silly me waited less than a month before our shoot date to find someone. I posted a model call on one of my favorite Facebook photography groups and Kiara responded first.

David and Kiara really eloped in Joshua Tree a week before our film date, and were already planning to honeymoon in Palm Springs. I didn’t want to impose work on newlyweds on their frickin’ HONEYMOON, but Kiara insisted they would rather be do something creative together. Honestly, everything works out the way it does for a reason because I couldn’t have asked for a better, real couple to photograph. They were high on those post-nuptial-lovey-dovey feels. Plus, Kiara’s Aussie accent rocks.

And there’s more of a backstory with these two. I’m lucky to call these amazing humans my friends…and we can all thank Flickr for that. Six years ago, Kiara and David inspired me to start my own 365 day self-portrait project on Flickr. It was a challenge, but I wouldn’t be the photographer I am today if I didn’t get through the project. They pretty much invented the conceptual self-portrait movement on Flickr and it’s also where they met. Their love story is one for the books- you can read all about it on David’s blog here. Seriously, if you’ve ever doubted if true love is really out there, go read it right now.

Andrew and I invited them to stay with us at our cozy Airbnb. We stayed up late the night before to catch up on life, then woke up at the crack of dawn to start hair and make up. Just after sunrise, we made our way to Red Rock Canyon. The morning was spent exploring the nooks and crannies of the canyon until the light outside became too harsh. We took a midday rest to drink David’s delicious coffee, record my voiceover, and eat pizza. Then it was off to the dry lake bed in Boulder for the most spectacular desert sunset.

This is a day I’ll never forget and I can’t thank this talented team of people enough. If you haven’t already, make sure to go watch the final film on my about page. Enjoy!

Styled elopement at Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas by Paige NelsonStyled elopement at Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas by Paige NelsonStyled elopement at Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Dry Lake Bed in Boulder Nevada by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Dry Lake Bed in Boulder Nevada by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Dry Lake Bed in Boulder Nevada by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Dry Lake Bed in Boulder Nevada by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Dry Lake Bed in Boulder Nevada by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Dry Lake Bed in Boulder Nevada by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Dry Lake Bed in Boulder Nevada by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Dry Lake Bed in Boulder Nevada by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Dry Lake Bed in Boulder Nevada by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Dry Lake Bed in Boulder Nevada by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Dry Lake Bed in Boulder Nevada by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Dry Lake Bed in Boulder Nevada by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Dry Lake Bed in Boulder Nevada by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Dry Lake Bed in Boulder Nevada by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Dry Lake Bed in Boulder Nevada by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Dry Lake Bed in Boulder Nevada by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Dry Lake Bed in Boulder Nevada by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Dry Lake Bed in Boulder Nevada by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Dry Lake Bed in Boulder Nevada by Paige Nelson Styled elopement at Dry Lake Bed in Boulder Nevada by Paige Nelson

 

And a few behind the scenes images from our day…

Hair & Make up: Mariah, Mobile Beauty Team Las Vegas // Bridal Shop: The Dress Theory, San Diego // Dress Designer: Raven Gown, Rue de Seine: 2017 Love Spell Collection // Florals: Wild Orchid Florist // Videography: Andrew Abajian

  • Lindsey said:

    Beautiful post. Your words, photography and blog posts never fall short of amazing and I love the music. It's such a nice touch! I need to learn how to add music to my page 🙀

    • Thanks so much Lindsey, that means a lot! And I would be happy to help you the next time we hang out if you'd like! <3