Melody + Noah | Destination engagement photography, sunrise in Sedona AZ

April 25, 2019
couple under blanket at winter sunrise shoot in sedona near airport

And now for something completely different! I took a trip to Sedona, Arizona departing San Francisco on Christmas day last year (2018). I have this experience now that whenever I’m visiting a gorgeous place, I’m always aware of what’s missing. A beautiful couple standing in front of me!

Melody and Noah had just got engaged when they decided they’d love to do an engagement shoot with me in the town where they live.

Airport Mesa (it doesn’t sound like it’d be a gorgeous nature spot, but it is!) was our chosen location. I’d seen the viewpoint I would have loved to shoot at – a small hill a short walk from the parking lot – the day before.

While we didn’t get a chance to go to that viewpoint on the day of (small parking lot was completely full by 6.30am, the hill was completely packed with sunrise photographers) we took advantage of the walk that we ended up having to make from a different parking lot. It was secluded and offered pretty views in both directions.

We avoided the crowded hill when we got closer and saw how packed it was, and instead chose the path less traveled and had a different grand vista all to ourselves. We walked a little way down the Airport loop trail. The area just happens to be the site of an energy vortex known as the Airport Mesa Vortex.

Throughout the shoot the sky colors were spectacular, especially before the sunrise. Shooting in unfamiliar locations is a great challenge for me as a wedding photographer, and I hadn’t scouted it at this time of the day.

A beautiful moment was when the sun began to peek over the distant mountains and we captured some particularly joyful, candid captures of Melody & Noah standing on a rock platform.

The earth-loving couple is planning to tie the knot soon in Hawaii! I couldn’t be more thrilled for them as they embark on the rest of their lives loving each other and their beloved Sedona. I’m so happy that they let me into their worlds! Despite the freezing cold (it was 27° throughout the shoot!) they were such troopers and I loved witnessing their beautiful smiles and love for each other.

This shoot was more of a fun, creative challenge than somewhere I would conceivably shoot at again, being based in San Francisco – though who knows? Maybe folks planning an Arizona elopement want to take me with them!

I do shoot destination weddings and elopements all over the Western states, nationwide and worldwide, so if you love what you see I’d love to hear from you wherever you’re thinking of tying the knot!

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Zoe Larkin is a San Francisco-based wedding photographer & fine art graduate originally from London. She specializes in photographing intimate weddings and elopements for joyful, free-thinking couples. Zoe creates raw, personal images that evoke a range of emotions, combining documentary photography with a stylized edge. Her work has been published on Offbeat Bride, Equally Wed, Catalyst Wed Co, Love Inc Mag among others. She adores simplicity, kindness & Earl Grey. Zoe is an equality-minded vendor that celebrates diversity in all its forms. She has a soft spot for destination weddings & engagements! Read more about Zoe here