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oudoir simply means a
woman's bedroom. When it comes to photography however, it means something a little deeper. Boudoir Photography is loving your body and who you are in your skin at this point in your life. It is feeling free and beautiful to be you, for you, and no body else! Our boudoir sessions are classy and more empowering than sexual. We are capturing the art work that your body is, no matter what shape, size, or shade.
May 12, 2022
Sarah and David hold their family above all else. So rather than taking time away from enjoying their wedding day with their family, they decided to schedule their husband and wife portraits for sunrise at Cathedral Rock in Sedona, Arizona.
We have to keep the details of Sarah and David’s vibrant, family-oriented, and travel-themed wedding day at Chateau Luxe a secret until it is published in Brides and Weddings Magazine. I can, however, share with you their epic post-wedding session below!
This post is going to go a bit differently than you are used to! Since we have to keep their wedding day love story under wraps, I thought I would share how we planned and prepared for their sunrise Cathedral Rock elopement/portrait session!
Sarah and David knew from the get-go they wanted to do their portraits in Sedona. We chose the date well before their wedding day, and made sure that we communicated every step of the way! These are the steps I took to make sure our session was a success!
Before the session, we hiked up Cathedral Rock with all of our gear. The key is to do the hike at the exact same time you plan on doing it the day of your session. This helped us identify where we might fall behind and if we need to start the hike earlier to be able to start just before sunrise.
Different styles of photography can lend to different styles of shooting. I am a natural light photographer with a bright and airy, but bold pop that captures real life in a magical way. This means that I needed even lighting in the background and no harsh light on their faces. In order to get some of these shots, I had to start shooting before the sun came up over the mountain. Then, I would be able to turn my couple around and shoot toward the sun as the sun peaked through Cathedral Rock.
When we were finished at Cathedral Rock, we wanted to head down to Secret Slide Rock so that Cathedral Rock was in the background. So on our practice day, we did just that and saw the lighting and scoped out locations ahead of time.
Just like on a wedding day, you want to create a timeline so that you can stay on track. Unfortunately, I had a little too much fun up on top of Cathedral Rock and by the time we got to the bottom at Secret Slide Rock, the sun was very harsh. We made it work, but if I would have stuck to my timeline, our second location would have been even more successful.
This is what our tentative timeline looked like!
4:15 am: Meet at Trailhead, Purchase Pass, & Hike Up
5:00 am: Change into Wedding Attire
5:15 am: Start Shooting to the West
5:40 am: Start Shooting to the East to get that Glow
5:50 am: Change into Hiking Gear / Shoot Details
6:00 am: Hike Down
6:30 am: Head to Secret Slide Rock Trail
7:00 am: Walk 10 Minutes down the trail to spot
7:10 am: Start Shooting to the East with Cathedral Rock in the Background
7:30 am: Wrap Up!
There are also amazing spots you can stop on the way down for photos, that aren’t too far from the top. If you aren’t in a huge wedding gown, you could probably just stay in your attire for a bit and shoot in different locations!
You must have hiking boots to make this hike successfully. There are times when you need to use all four limbs to climb, crawl, and pull yourself up onto the next landing. Keep your gear packed safely in a bookbag so that you can use your arms as needed. This is by no means an easy hike. It is labeled as hard on every trail website you can find, but it is not an impossible hike. Keep your weight forward, take your time, stop for breaks as needed, and make sure you plan for enough time to ascend to the top without having to rush. There is absolutely no room for a large dress to squeeze thru during this hike! Don’t try to wear your attire up the mountain, it won’t work and if it does, you will be covered in red dust!
Photography & Videography Packing List: I did not pack light for this session. I had the following gear and I used every single piece of it!
Bride & Groom Packing List:
The sheets came in handy when Sarah was changing into her wedding gown. One sheet was used to place down on the red rocks so that her dress could freely touch the ground and we could place these down without them getting dirty. The second sheet was for coverage, just in case she needed it when changing.
Regardless of whether you hike up at sunrise or sunset, you are going to be doing part of your hike in the dark. Even though your eyes can certainly adjust without additional light, we recommend taking a flashlight of some kind so that you can see the deep drop-offs (mostly near the parking lot) and the trail markings! They are quite difficult to see without a flashlight.
Although it is possible, we didn’t even contemplate doing the session at sunset. The number of people that started flooding in as we were hiking down was unbelievable. The parking lot was jammed packed and there were people everywhere. I can’t imagine having to share the space with so many people just to get there at sunset.
We also enjoyed hiking up in the dark because it was still cool! Even at 55 degrees, we were down to shorts and tanks within the first ten minutes of hiking, and it was delightful! The coyotes were out and playing, the stars were a spectacular view, and we were ALL ALONE!
The parking lot isn’t open Thursday-Sunday at Cathedral Rock Trailhead. Please be sure to check out the trail information before planning your own session or elopement! Regardless, this hike is worth the views and so worth the photographs! A Sunrise Cathedral Rock Elopement just might be on my bucket list as a vow renewal! Michael?!?!
Check out another epic session at the Grand Canyon.
Locations: Arizona, Maryland, Pennsylvania
Beautiful. Amazing scenery.
Thank you, Kathleen!
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