The Most Popular Bend of All

Horseshoe Bend Wedding Photos

I remember when “the bend”, as I affectionately call it, was no more than an unsuspecting dirt patch off the side of the road. Only a little brown sign, no bigger than a sheet of standard paper, displaying two hiking stick figures marked its existence.

I’d stop there on my way north or back and as beautiful as it is, it never took all that much of my attention. Flash forward about 10 years and this place is a total zoo of people. I’m just not quite sure how I feel about it anymore.

I get these inquiries for Horseshoe Bend wedding photos and proposal shots. I sure don’t do a lot to try to sell it, steering clients toward Grand Canyon instead.

Nothing about working here is easy. Sure it’s easier than a backcountry elopement, but I’m not sure the reward is as grand. There are so many people here today but that’s almost the least of the challenge.

In order to get any part of the bend you have to get up really close to the edge and higher up. I use a step ladder actually. Then you need a wide angel but if you go too wide for people, they looks squished. No matter what you have to be right up on top of your clients and it’s hard to eliminate distortion. I used a 20-35mm and a fixed 28mm lens for these to avoid maximum distortions but still be a wide angle. Without people as the focal point, that might not matter as much. My favorite lens is an 85mm….. guess what’s not coming out of my bag on this shoot 😞

It’s hard to know if clients will be able to stand here. I think this is far scarier than standing on any of the edges at Grand Canyon and at the canyon being this close isn’t necessary.

Never mind photographer but what about the nature experience? Is this what you consider getting out in nature? Standing shoulder to shoulder with a lot of other people staring at the same place in awe.

Maybe a bit of a downer but I have some mixed feelings on working in places like these for sure. I’m not sure what to say when I get requests for Horseshoe Bend wedding photos. Still, I think it looks magical in these photos as you can’t see all of the people, and believe me there were so many. I wish I did a video of that. Sigh. Enjoy these photos while I rant and contemplate stewardship and the wilderness experience.

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