I wasn’t sure how well a wedding photo session would work in Arizona this time of year as the monsoon rains are so unpredictable. As unpredictable as they are, the monsoon season in Arizona can offer amazing photographic possibilities for Grand Canyon elopement photos. Using the sun as your light source clouds often can affect the quality of light that we have available in portraiture and a fast moving storm can offer lots of quick changing differences and opportunities with light including how the light is rendered on Grand Canyon itself.
I started talking to Kathleen long before she was married and although she planned a wedding on the East Coast, she envisioned some photos of her and her fiancÃ©, Gabriel, in the Grand Canyon. We spoke over email for a bit before a final date was decided and thee couple came to the canyon in the peak of the monsoon season. I was excited and a bit nervous about shooting during the monsoon. I think this is the first portrait that I took at Grand Canyon during monsoon weather.
I arrived half an hour early to Yavapai Point where I was set to meet Kathleen and Gabriel. It was drizzling when I arrived and quickly clouded over and I was instantaneously soaked. I went back to the car and text Kathleen still about 15 minutes out from this location. It was impossible to shoot there currently and it rained harder while I sat in my car waiting for them to arrive.
Once the couple arrived the rain slowed to a drizzle we decided to walk out to the edge to get a better look. To my surprise much of the storm had cleared leaving a clear path for the sun to break through, from the looks of it, for at least 20 minutes. I was excited but it was still raining and Kathleen had her hair done. Nevertheless, the two changed in the car and by the time that they did, the rain stopped completely,
We took a walk along the rim from the Yavapai Geology Museum and headed west. There was enough brightness to take some photos at at times the canyon was well lit too, never lasting too long before getting clouded over or before giving way to another temple in the distance well lit through a break in the clouds. It was outstanding, but there were many visitors around, paying attention and hooting and yelling their congratulations to the newly wed couple.
The sun got lost behind the clouds again making the canyon dark and muted so I decided to take that opportunity to get to a different view before the sun popped through again. I had Kathleen and Gabriel follow me out to Duck on a Rock, an unmarked location off of 64 East or Desert View Drive. We walked around the point which was nice and quiet for the most point devoid of visitors. Kathleen and Gabriel were able to experience the canyon in the intimate way that I do, as a local, and we made these really amazing images.