Before I was an adventure elopement and outdoor wedding photographer, I was an adventurer. I was so passionate about the transformative power of nature’s playground that I went to work in the outdoor industry, creating content for social media because I wanted to inspire EVERYONE to go connect with the earth. I knew the impact outdoor recreation had on me and I wanted to inspire more people to get healthier, happier, and more fulfilled by exploring the natural world. I felt like the more people could reconnect and #rewild, the better off humanity would be.
I became a photographer because I wanted to help our planet. After all, historically photography has been a vital tool in environmental protection. Unfortunately, I was good at what I did, and so were other photographers and online content contributors. In the time I ran social media for Helly Hansen and Eddie Bauer, the outdoors went viral. Before I knew it, some of my most cherished wild places became overpopulated, and their delicate ecosystems devastated by human impact. It has been heartbreaking to watch, and even more heartbreaking to know that nature photographers like myself have been part of the problem.
Today, I’m excited, because there’s a new solution. A new movement among nature photographers. I’m excited to announce that I have joined the #NatureFirst movement, an alliance of outdoor photographers committed to minimizing human impact in the wilderness. I’m excited to begin sharing Nature First principles, and elated to be a part of the solution. When you select your #elopementphotographer you have a choice. I encourage you to choose someone who can demonstrate not just their commitment to capturing incredible moments in nature, but also their commitment to protecting the beautiful areas you will visit together. Regardless of who you choose, be sure to ask your photographer if they have signed on to Nature First. Choosing a member of Nature First is your chance to do your part in the preserving public lands and wild places.
NATURE FIRST PRINCIPLES OVERVIEW
Nature First is built on seven core principles that help communicate how each of us can enjoy nature photography responsibly. The Seven Principles of Nature First Photography were developed to help educate and guide both professional and recreational photographers in sustainable, minimal impact practices that will help preserve nature’s beautiful locations. #naturefirst
THE NATURE FIRST PRINCIPLES
Prioritize the well-being of nature over photography.
Educate yourself about the places you photograph.
Reflect on the possible impact of your actions.
Use discretion if sharing locations.
Know and follow rules and regulations.
Always follow Leave No Trace principles and strive to leave places better than you found them.
Actively promote and educate others about these principles