Brightwood Photography » Santa Barbara + Los Angeles wedding photographer documenting adventurous love stories near mountains, lakes, and forests. This world is beautiful, so let's get out there and have an adventure.


Murphy’s Law – “If anything can go wrong, it will.”

Less than a week before heading up to Big Sur, I received this message from Stephanie, “I got some news from our officiant this morning that there is a big fire going on in big sur. Not sure how this will effect us.” To fill you in, they had just flown from Chicago to San Diego that day and were planning on making their way up the coast for a mini getaway.

Little did I know, a massive fire had sparked the night before and was quickly making its way through the dense brush up in the more populated area of the park. The day before leaving, I called the ranger station to double check everything and it turned out the fire was still active around the small road we needed to use. At least there was a 6 hour drive to figure out plan B.

Once I arrived in Carmel the next afternoon, I headed south down Highway 1 on the lookout for any beaches that looked awesome. After a few quick stops, skidding on dirt roads, and a lot of indecision, I found an area with a trail to the beach.

We finally met up that night, walked around Carmel, and almost got lost finding a tiny tapas restaurant. Dinner was perfect. This was the first time I’d talked with Steph and Mike in person, so it was great to learn more about them and build our friendship. After dinner, they headed back to the hotel and I drove about 20 minutes north to a campground. That was the first time I’d camped by myself before a wedding and it was amazing. To all fellow photographers – Waking up to warm sunlight, reading “Love Does” at a picnic table, and snacking on trail mix is the perfect way to unwind before a day of shooting.

Now that you know the back story to this beautiful day, I’ll stop talking and let the photos guide you through the rest of their adventure.


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