Stephan & Adriana, California Elopement Photographers | Best of 2022

California Elopement Photographers

It’s that time of the year! To look back and reflect on what 2022 meant for us as a couple, as people, and as your California Elopement Photographers.

It’s hard to talk about 2022 without mentioning 2021. Last year was amazing, but we came out of it knowing we needed to make some major changes.

With so many weddings postponed due to the pandemic, and many more couples wanting to elope, we shot more weddings than ever last year! 47 to be exact. And I’m not counting engagement sessions, adventure sessions, anniversary sessions, etc (I haven’t actually counted those yet, haha).

Just in September and October, we shot 21 weddings. All over California. All while we were buying and moving to our first home in California so we could live closer to Yosemite.

So to say 2021 was eventful is an understatement.

We entered 2022 knowing we had to focus on our work-life balance a lot more. Otherwise, our business wouldn’t be sustainable.

So here’s what changed:

  • we paid close attention to where we were booking weddings, so we wouldn’t be driving an insane amount of miles all in the same week
  • said “no” a lot more (which was so hard at times)
  • we stopped coaching figure skating, which was super bittersweet and heartbreaking, but we knew we needed to focus our lives a little bit more
  • and yes, we raised our prices and put a limit on how many weddings we would shoot per month

The results were almost instant, no kidding.

We had more energy, we were less backed up with editing, and we had more TIME. Time to give each couple the attention they deserve while planning their elopement.

But we also had more time to do yoga, work out, hang out with family, drive to Yosemite FOR FUN, etc.

Making this many changes was not easy. But it was necessary – and worth it.

California Elopement Photographers
California Elopement Photographers
Images from our last trip to Yosemite in 2022, just to play in the snow and see all of this beauty

This year we:

  • had the pleasure of meeting 34 different couples and documenting their day
  • went to Yosemite nearly 40 times (including our own personal adventures)
  • knocked down what seemed like an infinite amount of home improvement projects
  • traveled to Brazil twice to see my family and friends
  • went scuba diving in Oahu, Hawaii, and Roatan, Honduras
  • listed and rented our own home on Airbnb for the summer (very challenging, but so cool)
  • ended up in a CNBC article

But, most importantly, we didn’t feel burned out.

This was, in fact, our main goal for this year. We owed that to ourselves and especially to our couples and clients.

I’m truly happy with what we’ve accomplished.

I’m also incredibly grateful for this job.

A job that has allowed us flexibility, and to work with something we’re both passionate about. A job that keeps putting amazing people from all over the US and the world in our paths.

I’m writing this blog from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – my home. Where we get to spend quality time with my family and friends. This job is the reason why.

I’m very grateful for that – and if you’ve been part of our story in any way – I’m very grateful for you.

Some of our favorite stories from this year:

Some of our main goals for 2023:

Hike more: yes! Even though we hike plenty for work, we want to explore even more trails that we haven’t done yet. We want to have more options to take couples on unbeaten paths, but we also want to explore more of this world for ourselves. In 2022 we hiked 3 out of the 5 places we had on our list. Once our busy season begins, we do run out of time. So this year we’re hoping to hike more before April!

Travel: I (Adriana) want to reach 50 countries. I’m currently at 48 and this has been a goal of mine for a long time now. Stephan has 76, and he’s dying to get to 80, haha! It seems like a silly goal, I know. We’ve been to so many places, why this rush just for a number? I get it. But at the same time, having this goal has pushed us to plan and go to places that have been on our list for far too long. It’s something that pushes us to take time off and to spend the money we have no doubt it’s simply worth spending.

Improve: I really want to improve our workflow. To make things more streamlined and easier – both for us and our clients. There are a couple of things I need to do for this to happen, and I have just been putting this off for the past couple of years. It’s time!!!

Scuba Dive: this is ALWAYS on our list! We try to make at least 1 scuba diving trip per year. Scuba diving is a passion we both share, but it has become more than that. Scuba diving is our therapy. There’s nothing else in the world that makes you lose the sense of space and time. When we’re down there, nothing else matters, and we have to be completely present. It’s also the type of activity you can’t look up on google. You never have any idea of what you’ll see. You just have to… dive. I could talk about it on and on, but you get it. We just love it!

Well, what a year it has been!

And if you’ve made it this far, thank you so much! And a special thank you to all of those who have crossed our paths. We’re going into year 5 as California Elopement Photographers knowing this is the best job in the world, and that none of the things we’ve accomplished would be possible without you guys!


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