An interview with Anni Graham: Travel Wedding + Elopement Photographer
How did you get into photography, has it always been a passion of yours?
I have always been drawn to the visual aesthetic, but it wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I discovered photography. I haven’t been able to put down a camera since, and that was 10 years ago!
I know many artists are guided by a motto: do you have one?
“There is more in you than you think.” – Kurt Hahn. As an artist it is so easy to be relentlessly self-critical and it can really crush your creativity. This reminds me to believe that I am capable of anything and the only person stopping me is myself.
Was there a photograph or specific inspiration that made you realize that this was the career for you?
I have folders and folders of inspiring images and stories, I’m not sure I could choose just one. I think seeing adventurers travelling and living life exactly how they want to be made it feel possible to break the 9-5 mold of life. I mean honestly, my parents did not live in the 9-5 mold, so maybe they were the first ones who broke the barriers of expectation and planted the seed in me that I am best when I am doing something I am inspired by.
Do you you offer any advice to brides when photographing a wedding?
I try to creative an environment of fun and excitement, and try and help brides focus on how they are feeling in that very moment. I give less advice and more encouragement, and tell them how beautiful they look because come on it’s every girls dream to be their best on their wedding day! A little ego boost and enthusiasm goes a long way! When you feel good, you look good, and your true self comes out – and that’s what I want to capture.
How would you describe your own photographic style?
I would describe it as kind of moody, carefree and emotional. I love having fun with my couples and getting them to play with each other as much as possible, but also capturing those little details and emotional moments.
Are there any photographers or artists who have inspired you as a professional?
I think Danelle Bohane’s work is so inspiring. Her use of light is absolutely incredible. She did a wedding for a family friend in the desert in India last year and I literally couldn’t sleep after seeing all the images. I stayed up for hours just pouring over every image over and over again feeling everything from that weekend and dreaming of becoming a destination wedding photographer.
Are you the kind of photographer who just blends in and shoots or do you take time to set up for pics?
I definitely like to stay behind the scenes as much as possible. I pack light on my gear so I can be mobile and blend in and get those unposed, in-between moments.
Do you shoot in digital or film format?
Digital, but I mess around with a little film too.
Please share a particularly funny or rewarding experience you’ve had on the job as a wedding/professional photographer.
This year I had the opportunity to travel to Japan to photograph a beautiful wedding for two lovers who live in Dubai. They were so incredibly kind, and treated my husband and I like close friends before we had even met them. We spent the whole weekend with them, getting to know their family and friends, and felt so involved and connected by the end of the experience, and just solidified even how important and transformative it is to spend time with my couples. We came home from this rewarding experience feeling so excited and motivated to do this incredible thing I get to call a job.
Do you have a website or online portfolio for our brides to check out?
www.annigraham.com and instagram is @annigraham
To see the gowns featured, see the Aurora here and the Lizzy here.
Our brides are almost always more relaxed, and are usually quite vocal about not wanting all the extra fluff that goes in to a wedding. For this reason, naturally we are seeing that many of our brides-to-be are skipping traditional weddings altogether, and instead choosing to elope. This however does not mean they are looking less beautiful, or sacrificing those styling and details, that makes for the most killer wedding photographs. On a side note…if you are a bride to be, who has become so overwhelmed with the stress and expense of the ‘traditional’ wedding, we ask that you consider not skipping out on the details…super important, because the photos are a part of the memories you will have forever.
We have seen so many well-documented elopements, that we have fallen in love with eloping. Eloping in the sense of just the couple running off to some exotic destination, or eloping with closest friends and family in tow. It never fail that we hear the complaints very often in our fittings, usually the dear mother, who is disappointed that important people will be left out. So, if the situation allows then by all means, we love the idea of eloping with your tightest group of your gang with you. And remember you’re most likely considering an elopement because you are looking to peel away traditions and expectations, so ultimately you have to do what feels right for you and your other half.
One of the major reasons why elopements tug at our heartstrings is the location. In business, location is everything…everything, and we’d say it is the same with elopements…it is everythang!! Emphasis placed on the thang:-) This is the time when you get to choose anywhere you love, that place that is ultra special to you as a couple. We hear from couples frequently who tells us that this place was monumental and a connecting piece of their love story.
This effortlessly stunning couple – Malia and Derrik – chose the most captivating location ever, and it goes perfect with their relaxed bohemian style. We are in awe of the beauty of the White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. Isn’t nature the perfect canvas?
As we look at the photos we can’t help but notice the moments of peace, and intimacy and can only imagine this day was so special to them, and one they’ll remember forever.
This couple decided to elope after they went through their spreadsheet (yes, you read that right, a spreadsheet) and saw the dizzying number of guests they had to invite if they planned a traditional wedding. They knew that a large midwestern wedding was not their vibe, and instead decided to choose a place they have never been. We love that they went with one of our favorite wedding mantras…”if it doesn’t feel right, then throw it out”.
Malia & Derrik’s elopement was captured by the incredibly talented husband & wife photographer team – The Colagrossis. Here are sentiments from the photographers themselves: “These two wanted a place unique, surreal, quiet and elusive. The guidelines for White Sands weddings severely limits decoration – fresh flowers and greens are not allowed and candles are useless against the high winds and blowing gypsum minerals. The best part about White Sands is the sunset. When the sky turns pink and the white dunes turn blue – it is almost impossible to know which way is up!” Excerpted from Green Wedding Shoes Blog, where it was recently featured.
Malia is wearing the very dreamy boho wedding 2-piece dress, the Alana and Fiona skirt. This is sold together, but is also offered as separates.
To see a complete listing of our simple yet refined bohemian wedding dresses, visit this link.
Malia you were a beautiful boho bride, and thank you for sharing your day with us.
We would love to hear your thoughts on the subject of eloping. Drop us a comment below.
Photography: The Colagrossis
Venue: White Sands National Monument
Florals: Be Married
Styling: Fixx Salon
Dreamy Dreamers & Lovers bride showcasing the popular Adelaide stretch lace bohemian gown on their wedding day. The Adelaide is offered exclusively through our website. For clients not local to California, there is a home try-on available. This service is available to brides-to-be located in the U.S, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
This gown was designed specifically for the brides-to-be who would classify themselves as laid-back, bohemian, non-traditional or free spirited.
It is the most comfortable dress you’ll ever wear. Available in three colors, there is a shade for everyone.
This breathtaking wedding currently featured on Green Wedding Shoes is a dream. The California wedding took place in an almond orchard, at springtime when the almond trees were in full bloom. This is a bohemian wedding dream. When we first saw the photos it literally knocked us off of our feet. We love the intimate feel, the bohemian touches, and the all out rustic elegant feel of Whitney and Zak’s wedding.
Whitney is wearing our Arabelle bohemian wedding dress, customized / made-to-measure. It is beyond stunning on her, and she is a seriously sensational bride.
According to the bride, the wedding took 2.5 months to plan, and it was a definite hit, as everyone in the social media world has been set ablaze with all her wedding day details. We personally loved the picnic style seating, and to learn that the bride’s mother personally hand sew each of the 75 tapestry pillows, elevates to an entirely new level. This is a true inspiration wedding for any bohemian bride-to-be, there are too many details to list, but you can find the full Green Wedding Shoes feature, complete with loads of photos and behind-the-scene details at
We wish Whitney and Zak only happiness and lifelong bliss. They are such a beautiful couple!
Photographed by: Josh Gruetzmacher
My heart skipped a beat as I perused Kristin’s wedding photos from her elopement at the luxe Four Season’s Bora Bora. She looks breathtaking, and what a gorgeous couple they are. Congratulations Kristin!! You wore our Arabelle gown so beautifully. What a stunning bohemian bride. Thank you for sharing these picturesque photos with us,now I’ll be daydreaming of a vacation.
Click the link, to see the dreamers and lovers bohemian wedding dress Kristin is wearing.
Being a small company, we fully appreciate the instant feedback we receive as a result of the immediacy of the internet. This caftan bohemian lace maxi dress, was designed, hand sewn, photographed and listed on the site in a matter of about six weeks. Two months later, the feedback has been tremendous. Thanks to our lovely clients, and some fearless bohemian pinners over at pinterest, and other social sites, this dress has already been a hit. We enjoy making this dress. Click the link to see the listing page for this lace maxi dress.
It is the epitome of what bohemian chic represents, in every sense of the word. I have often write about my love for the ocean, and usually the surrounding beach city. I am rarely unhappy these days, and I attribute that to my frequent daily runs, and walks at the beach. There is magic in the waters. I often joke that if you are suffering from any ailment, rather than go the doctor, take a long walk on the beach. I don’t really mean that, but after the doctor’s visit, then the ocean should be the next stop.
The tie in with the beach and this dress, besides the obvious, that it would be perfect for a laid back bohemian beach wedding is the effortlessness. It has that air of being natural, that is natural beauty without trying too hard. You can slip this maxi dress on with untamed hair, minimal makeup, barefoot, flat sandals or booties, and you would look like a fabulous version of yourself, a bohemian goddess.
Loose fitting, it is fitted only through the bust, so when you have this dress on, you will forget you are wearing anything. The relaxed silhouette created by the generous use of fabric and the gathering creates a floaty dreamy look. The entirely sheer outer layer is lovingly handmade from a soft, and delicate embroidered stretch lace, so it is soft and luxurious on the body. When it touches your skin, it feels like a soft wind. We have had clients message us after seeing the photos about the sheerness, but, not to fear, the dress does come with a stretch liner. The standard liner is full length, but can also be made in a mini length as photographed in the photo. In the photos, we show it with a nude colored stretch slip liner. As one client clearly wrote it in her message, “I love this dress so much, but I am rather shy and could never imagine wearing it without an under-dress”. We understand that not all clients will like the sheer look.
Delicate crochet lace trim added to the neckline, the angel sleeves, and entirely down the front center seamlessly pulls the look together. It is quite fitting that a bohemian dreamy dress such as this lace caftan would have angel sleeves. They are beautiful, no-fuss and plays a starring role in the look.
I would love to hear your feedback on this dress. How would you wear it? Besides for the free spirited bohemian bride, or an a dream vacation, where would you wear it? As for me, I will most likely live in it, as it embodies everything I like my clothes to be, and it transcends me to the beach, even on a rainy day as we are having in Los Angeles today.