There is nothing dreamier than heading back down the mountain after a sunset elopement and taking in the sparkling night sky with the love of your life. And honestly, stargazing is one of my all time favorite activities to include during elopements. If you want to learn how to include stargazing in your elopement, I’ve got you covered.
I’ve been shooting the night sky for as long as I can remember. Over the years I’ve been able to learn through trial and error what works and what doesn’t for stargazing during elopements. And let me tell you, there was a lot of error along the way. But because of my love for the stars and perseverance to learn how to capture them perfectly, I’ve basically got it all down to a science. Here are my best tips for how to include stargazing in your elopement, flawlessly capturing the beauty of a diamond sky.
First things first, there are so many factors to consider when you are planning for a night of astrophotography. And let’s be honest, taking perfectly clear, radiantly sparkling photos of the stars is challenging. One of the reasons why is because the stars change positions and before you head out, it’s wise to know where they will be in the sky. If you want to capture the magical moon and Milky Way, it’s helpful to know where it will rise and fall in the landscape.
There are several ways you can figure out the placement of the stars on a particular night. And thanks to technology, there are also so many amazing apps out there to help you plan! Having an app or even a website can help you track the night sky so much easier. You’re not out there playing guessing games with the stars.
My favorite apps include:
There is absolutely nothing worse than wanting to include stargazing during your elopement only to find out it’s going to be cloudy. While we can’t always predict the weather, my best tip is to plan in advance. If you’re flexible, or willing to extend your elopement, you could plan for the day before or after to get those beautiful nighttime shots.
However, sometimes you just don’t have that kind of time, and you want to be ultra prepared. My next tip is to pick a season, month, and location that doesn’t get cloudy as often. For example, late winter early spring is an excellent time for seeing the Milky Way light up the night sky. However, you probably want to avoid the PNW where it’s often rainy and cloudy. Deserts, such as Arizona and Utah, are excellent places for stargazing because they don’t get too much rain.
We all know about pollution clogging up our atmospheres and damaging the earth. But have you ever heard of light pollution? Light pollution is what happens where there are too many lights around so you can’t see the stars in the sky. This tends to happen in bigger cities because the lights never really go out there there. When you want to plan for a night of stargazing, it’s best to pick a place that has little to no light pollution.
Like I mentioned above, the desert is an excellent place for this because there aren’t a lot of houses, buildings, and skyscrapers around. I also love shooting stars in the mountains, specifically Colorado (of course). There is little to no light pollution when you’re away from the city, but you also get the shadows of evergreens and mountain peaks giving you a little extra magic in your photos.
My last tip for including stargazing in your elopement is to hire a photographer who is well-versed in astrophotography. A photographer who knows what they’re doing will make all the difference for your starry photos. They’ve been around the block a time or two, got it down to a science, and can produce insanely beautiful, sparkling photos. It’s not easy taking pictures of the stars, but when you have a photographer who knows what they’re doing, it’s so worth it.
I’ve been taking photos of the night sky so as long as I can remember. It’s one of my all-time biggest passions, and I want you to have those magical moments, too. If you want to include stargazing during your elopement, contact me today and let’s plan your starry elopement.
P.s. if you’re a photographer who wants to learn how to shoot the stars, check out my Foolproof Guide to Astrophotography to help you learn all of my tips and tricks!