Colorful & Creative Wedding Photographer in California & Beyond | Los Angeles + San Francisco Elopement Photographer
Whether you’re eloping, planning a full-weekend wedding, or taking engagement photos, here are a few ways to have un-boring, colorful, and artsy wedding photos | Kathryn Cooper Weddings – California Elopement Photographer
With so many couples eloping in their backyards, nearby cities, or small venues in light of COVID-19, it can be tricky to make your dream elopement come alive. As a California elopement photographer who is also dealing with all the wildfires, heat, and smoke-filled skies, I know it’s nearly impossible to stay sane when everyone’s on Wedding Plan D at this point. Typically, I photograph nationwide—but instead of being mostly in New York, 80% of my work this year has been in California due to safety, quarantine rules, and…you know, 2020.
That said, no matter where you are located, my suggestions as a California elopement photographer for making your elopement more colorful are to incorporate art, flowers, design, and sculpture wherever possible. This means everything from murals to construction paper to flowers!
How? Here are a few of my examples.
If you’re in a major city, you probably have an arts district or graffiti area. Even the wonderful Boise, Idaho has incredible graffiti—so don’t think your area doesn’t! Does this mean you have to go into back alleys and go dumpster diving? Well, no, but if that’s your thing…go ahead I guess?
Anyhow. If you find your area’s arts district with legal graffiti, commissioned murals, or cool painted walls, you’re golden. Unsure where this is? Ask a local wedding planner, your favorite neighborhood wedding photographer (yep, that’s me…), or Google.
Specific places I love for colorful graffiti:
If you’re in downtown Los Angeles, you’ll find an incredible arts district that you can stroll around any day of the week. There are hundreds of cool, colorful walls there that will get you amazing photos. I’m an SF & LA elopement photographer who has photographed couples all around there, and there’s always more to discover! Also, you’ll find some crazy sculptures near Palm Springs and Joshua Tree–though it takes a bit of work to get to them.
In San Francisco, you’ll find amazing graffiti throughout Oakland (look up!), and in SF on Haight Street, 24th Street, Lilac Alley, and more. Check out this online graffiti guide of San Francisco if you’re curious to see more.
Celebrating in Mexico? There should be no problem finding color anywhere in the country. Common buildings avoid the pale dullness that’s so common in North American suburbs, and instead paint their homes and apartments vibrant colors everywhere. There are murals galore, so basically…every district is an arts district. Merida, Oaxaca City, Mexico City, Guanajuato…there are so many colors, amazing homes, murals, and street art. The same goes for several countries around the world.
On the flip side, if you’re having a South Asian wedding, your job may be the opposite. There are sometimes so many colors in Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi weddings that I typically have to find a rather muted background!
Miami, Brooklyn, Portland and even smaller areas like Nantucket Island and small towns in Vermont feature artists and awesome graffiti. Not sure? Try a sculpture park or offbeat museum.
Can’t find any of that? If your photographer gets creative, she/he can use many different tools to get a more unique look. Paper, prisms, and tubes make for cool props in the right hands. As a creative wedding photographer, you better believe I have an awesome toolbox full of these things! They’re there to enhance my couples’ photos, and clients say again and again how cool the images are.
At the very least, your photographer can use some carefully-placed colorful flowers, streamers, or balloons to make magic. Or a petal toss for a romantic feel!
Or, take this shot, which I took in Los Angeles. I used a piece of paper for this effect. Seriously—a single piece of paper. This is not to brag in the least–it’s just to show that to be a creative wedding photographer, you just need to figure out how to use what you have (or make it). And if you’re a client looking for a photographer, search through portfolios for something nontraditional that strikes your fancy!
And when in doubt, a sunset ads incredible colors to your wedding day photos. If you have some rain or storms, chances are the sunset will be amazing. Hire a California elopement photographer who knows when and where to get the best sunset shots, and even if you see the light fading, your photographer can make magic (e.g. things look different in camera vs what the human eye can see).
If you shy away from muted palettes and love color like I do, we’ll get along! Plus, you can STILL have an amazing elopement or adventure session in incredible nature. My aesthetic is adventure-filled, candid, bold, and colorful whether we’re photographing indoors, in a city, or at Yosemite. Let’s go do this!!
Kathryn Cooper Weddings | California LGBT Wedding Photographer | San Francisco Elopement Photographer