Your Small Wedding + Elopement Photographer

And Your Professional Third Wheel and Elopement Advocate

Fort Collins elopement photographer

Your Elopement Day Is Too Important To Have A Photographer Around Who Doesn't Genuinely Care

Hey, I'm Sheena: Your Resident Over-Carer

The day I flipped the switch and decided to make my wedding about us as a couple and who we authentically were is the same day my entire view on the wedding industry shifted. In that moment, I realized that no one other than myself and my partner had the right to define what our wedding day should look like. 

Our choice to ditch our big wedding and elope allowed us to bring that to life, and I’m a firm believer that eloping can do that for you, too. I deeply care about your elopement. I’m fully invested, because I’ve lived this experience, too. I’m with you, friend.

Oh Hey, Sheena Here

Outdoorsy Nerd + Dog Mom Extraordinaire

I’m Sheena, an elopement photographer based out of Fort Collins, CO. Camping, winding mountain roads, national park hopping, and the sound of dirt beneath my hiking boots are my love language. If you can’t tell, I’m an enneagram 2. If you ask me what my favorite part of this job is, I’d probably say it’s the joy I hear in my couples’ voices when they have that “aha moment” that they can have their wedding their way. That giddy, over-the-moon excitement? That’s my “why.”

I’ve been in your shoes, planning a large traditional wedding that didn’t feel like me…and then making the bold decision to plan an elopement in one of my favorite national parks instead. I know what it feels like to feel pressured to have a wedding that didn’t feel like my vibe. That’s why I’m here: to help you make that bold decision too and be there for you when you make that exciting jump. Heck, I even host a podcast about planing your own elopement, because I don’t believe in leaving you to fend for yourself in this process. I want to help.

Get To Know Me!

A Few Little Fun Facts About Yours Truly...

Believe It Or Not...I Didn't Always Love The Camera

Hold up. A photographer who wasn't always obsessed with photos? What's that about?

I’m not that photographer with the typical story about growing up and getting my first camera and being hooked. I’m actually the photographer who spent most of her childhood running away from people taking my picture. 

Let’s just say that my dad is shutter-obsessed, and he tried documenting basically every aspect of my childhood he could. And I remember hating that with a passion. I get it now, sure. But what I understand even more is the perspective of the people who are nervous about a camera being near them. I get it, because that’s me too. And I promise, it doesn’t have to be awkward or uncomfortable. Having your photo taken can actually be a lot of fun. Take it from someone who now actually goes out of her way to document her life.

Yes, I adore photography, but the camera is not my everything. You wanna know what my core purpose really is? It’s you. It’s your experience. Your adventurous love story. Your determination to break from tradition and elope. 

I Believe A Day Hiking In The Mountains Is Always A Day Well Spent

Personally, I don’t believe in photographing outdoors elopements simply for the beautiful views (although, I do love a good alpine lake or mountain overlook). And I don’t do it for the sake of being trendy. I do this because I know how special these outdoors spaces are for my couples. I believe in chasing that amazing feeling you get when you work your way up a trail in the Rockies in the dark to eventually see it magically light up when the sun hits the tips of the mountains at sunrise. And I do this so my couples can have that feeling on their day. I want you to experience THAT freedom during your elopement…not feel confined to some stale, indoor wedding venue.

I Believe The Outdoors Are For Everyone

Believe it or not, I wasn’t always the outdoorsy type. In fact, I was a total city girl for a large part of my life. But the outdoors quite literally changed my life for the better. Mountains became the place I escaped to when I needed to find peace and a sense of self. And at some point, I traded in my high heels for hiking boots, and I never looked back. I believe the outdoors can and should be approachable for everyone, It’s okay if you’re just getting into hiking and maybe don’t know where to start. We’ve all been there at some point, and I want to meet you where you’re at.

If There’s A Puddle On The Trail, You Can Bet Your Bottom Dollar I’ll Splash Around In It

Life’s about finding the joy in the small things, because the small joys in life can add up to something great (confession: this is a lesson I’ve learned from watching my dog be amazed by all the little things in life). And this is the same mentality I apply to photographing my couples’ elopements: find joy in the little things you want, whether or not they follow traditions. Those small things? Those are the ones you will remember.

If I Could Bottle Up The Smell Of A Campfire And Wear It Every Day, I Would

Ya girl just can’t get enough of the outdoors. I’m a curiosity-chasing, mountain-hiking dork who’s pretty much always itching to plan my next camping trip. Favorite one so far? Our 22 hour trek from CO to Jasper up in Canada (with stops in Banff, Glacier, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton National Parks). Ask me about it, and I’ll pretty much talk your head off. An odometer with a crazy high number of miles on it is a badge of honor in my book, and trust me when I say that our car has earned that badge.

Why Do I Specialize In Small Weddings + Elopements?

Because I've Been In Your Shoes With My Own Elopement

And I Know How Absurd The Pressure Of The Wedding Industry Is

I don’t just throw around the term “adventurous elopement photographer.” I make it a point of living that life. When I’m not shooting tiny mountain weddings, you can find me hiking the Rocky Mountains and the high desert with my husband Ed, and our pup Zari (scroll on down to the bottom if you’d like to see some photos of us in our element in the outdoors).

But beyond my love for the outdoors, I know what it’s like to feel like the wedding industry didn’t get me. I distinctly remember how crappy it felt when I kept getting told what my wedding day “should” look like, when all I wanted was a simple, adventurous day with a minimal guest list and maximum outdoors time. I literally spent a YEAR planning a large, traditional wedding I knew I didn’t want to have. And I spent most of that time dreading the whole process, until we finally took the dive and had the type of wedding we’d really been dreaming of: an elopement.

Ever since then, I told myself that I wouldn’t let any other couples feel the way I felt. You shouldn’t ever have to feel like your day is something you want to “get over with.” This day should be fun, and it should most definitely feel like “you”. There’s nothing I’m more passionate about than helping you have that day: your wedding, your way. Together we can start a movement and redefine elopements.

October 28, 2016

Sheena + Ed Get Engaged In Seattle

Ed proposes to me on a crisp fall afternoon in Seattle, Washington.

October 28, 2016

October 29, 2016

They Fly To Atlanta, GA

We begin planning a big traditional wedding, all the while dreaming of a more low key, adventurous day.

October 29, 2016

December 2017

The Colorado Move

Ed and I pick up our lives and move to Colorado to live amongst the mountains. We take this as a perfect opportunity to ditch our traditional wedding and plan an elopement instead.

December 2017

September 14, 2018

Our Colorado Elopement

After a few months of re-routing our plans, we elope at our favorite national park in Colorado: Great Sand Dunes. Only our parents and siblings are in attendance, and Ed’s childhood best friend officiates.

September 14, 2018

Background image of us at our elopement taken by Heather Wall

Publications + Features

I’ve been lucky enough to have had my photography work featured and published internationally, from wedding publications, news sites, various feature pages and brands. Here’s a quick list of some of the places my work has been showcased:

Women's Health

Yahoo!

Brides

PopSugar

Green Wedding Shoes

Rocky Mountain Bride

Wandering Weddings

News24

Looks Like Film

Fox News

Colorado Nature Babes

Washington National Parks Fund

One Fab Day

White Magazine

Adored Bride

Ivy + Aster

Basic Invite

Denver Botanic Gardens

Beloved Stories

Visit Colorado

Shoot + Share Top 100

The Portrait Project

Pendleton Woolen Mills EU

BRASH Coffee

Tacari Weddings

Martin Thornburg

Shoot + Share Finalist

Judy And Madeleine

Leave No Trace Aware Photographer badge

I Am A Certified Leave No Trace Aware Photographer

I’m a firm believer that the places where I photograph elopements are more than just wedding backdrops; these locations are incredible ecosystems and homes to so many amazing animals and plant life. For that reason, I don’t just photograph in these places for the way they look. I also ensure that I’m an advocate for these special spots, too. Not only does leaving no trace help others enjoy these outdoors places long after we’re gone, but the LNT principles allow you to go back and visit your elopement location decades from now, knowing it’ll be just as beautiful as it was the day you said your vows.

Sheena Shahangian Photography LLC

Empowering You To Have Your Adventure Elopement, Your Way

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Colorado elopement photographers + adventure wedding photographers

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