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Stephan and Adriana | Yosemite Elopement Photographers : Love captured by two performers

Par Rédigé le 20/03/2021 (dernière modification le 14/03/2021)

Today we are exploring the photography world! Meeting with Adriana and Stephan Alvin, a husband and wife team and two formers professionals figure skater who succeed their transition into producing wedding photography. They are gonna talk to us about their journey and their brilliant way of considering this art.

Stephan and Adriana | Yosemite Elopement Photographers. (c) Adriana and Stephan Alvin.
Stephan and Adriana | Yosemite Elopement Photographers. (c) Adriana and Stephan Alvin.
adriana_and_stephan.mp3 adriana and stephan.mp3  (1.27 Mo)

Adriana is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Stephan is from Fresno, California.Today based in California, their story is as magical as the pictures they take. Adriana and Stephan Alvin has a unique experience - worthy of the best adventure and love romance. And what could be better than the incarnation of kindness, passion, love, hard work, authenticity, fun and dedication to photograph your big day? Because Adriana and Stephan are not just a brilliant business couple and wedding photographer. They are two artists drive by the desire of sharing all the knowledge they got from their incredible and beautiful skating career. As performer, they tour with Disney on Ice - which lead them to fall in love with each other, to perform in front of thousands of people every night for few years as well as visiting and exploring multiple countries across 5th continents.

Now, their instincts guide them to reveal the best of what they discovered in the four corners of the planet. Watching their picture, it feels like going into another world, out of time and breathe taking. Watching their pictures, we can observe the captions of sincere and natural emotions. It is truly the delivery of a deep look at the lands that em brass the couple the photographed. Snapshot that raise awareness of the beauty of the lovers that just said «yes» to each others and preservation of the flora and fauna. So they transcribe the atmosphere and the authenticity of a moment. To build lifetime memories.
Today, let's meet Adriana and Stephan. They have agreed to take part in my questions, so let’s discover a little more about those two passionate photographers. You can also find their work on:


Steve and Madison. Sunset. (c) Adriana and Stephan Alvin.
Steve and Madison. Sunset. (c) Adriana and Stephan Alvin.
- How Photography has entered your life ?
Stephan started taking pictures while he was on tour with Disney On Ice. He went from point and shoot cameras to full frames and taught himself how to take landscape photos through photography books.
After we were both retired from tour, we got married and I moved to California, but wasn’t allowed to work while waiting for my green card. While Stephan decided to go full-time and invest in his photography business, I decided to use the time I had to learn from him, as well as learn about marketing, website design, SEO, and all the things we needed to know to have a successful business.
We realized we were a really good team and decided to go all in, work together, and start our photography company.

- Why did you create Yosemite Wedding Photographers?
Well, Yosemite has a special place in our hearts, and especially in mine. When I moved from Brazil to the USA, it took me a while to feel like home. I mean, really a WHILE, it was almost a whole year of feeling out of place. When things would get hard, we would pack sandwiches and Stephan would drive me to Yosemite, even if it was just to watch the sunset. Arriving at the Park, I had this instant sense of happiness.
It seems cliché, but the outdoors, and specifically Yosemite, was my home when I felt like I didn’t have one.
We decided then to specialize in weddings and elopements in the Park and have been loving every minute of it. We help couples get married in one of our favorite places in the world and couldn’t imagine life any other way. It’s actually a lot of fun because most of our couples come from out of state, so we also get to be their tour guides. I send them recommendations on where to stay, what hikes to do, where to eat, and etc. We get to meet and connect with people from all over, and that’s one of the things we loved the most about being on tour, so we’re happy that we still get to do that in a way.

- How do you stay creative ?
Photography is weird because once you “become a photographer”, you really start seeing your everyday life a little bit different than normal people. Stephan used to do that ALL the time and, before I was a photographer, I thought he was crazy.
I think what I’m trying to say is, inspiration comes in our everyday lives.
We, of course, try to stay educated and have people in the industry that we look up to and study, but I think when it comes to creativity and being unique in what you do, that inspiration comes from within. From the smallest everyday moments, that sometimes we take it for granted.

- How do we organize yourself?
There’s a LOT that goes into being a photographer for someone’s most special day. When it comes to being an elopement photographer, communication with our couples is KEY. Sometimes couples come to us not even knowing where they want to elope, so we pick a location for them. We make sure they’re prepared for whatever hike we’re going to do, we look up sunrise and sunset times, calculate how long it will take, bring a first aid kit along, and etc. It’s definitely way more than people imagine!
As for the technical side of things, the day before the shoot we charge everything and pack our bags, triple checking everything that goes into the bags. We bring extras of everything – batteries, memory cards, and we ALWAYS have 2 cameras on us, and a couple of lenses – 4 or 5. That way, if something technical goes wrong, we’ll still be able to provide beautiful photos for our clients.
After the wedding is done, we go home, backup everything in 3 different places (again, you never know with technology), and then we do what we call “culling”, which is selecting the pictures that will get edited. For example, from a 4-hour elopement day, where we take up to 4,000 pictures, we’ll select about 300 and then we’ll edit them. Once they’re all edited, we deliver them to our couple!

- Your favorite picture ?
It’s really hard to pick just one, but I think I picked this one because I’ll never forget this couple’s story. They came all the way from Michigan to elope in Yosemite, but when they landed in California, they had no idea if that would actually be possible.
In a good 2020 fashion, the wildfires in the West caused Yosemite to close due to the horrible air quality. The Park closed just 2 weeks before their wedding day. We came up with a couple of Plans B, and C, but we were all really hoping a miracle would happen.
Well, it rained. And the air cleared. And Yosemite opened just 2 DAYS before their wedding day! We were with them from sunrise to sunset, and we were all so happy and grateful for being able to be there. It was such a great day.

- How would you define your Photography Style ?
When we photograph couples, it is a mix in between candid and directed moments. It’s super important for us that we get along and that we connect with them so, that way, they’ll be comfortable with us, and it will show in the final result!
As for our editing style, I guess I could say we don’t really have a “heavy” style. We try to get everything correct on camera, so we don’t have to alter too many things in post-production. Our biggest goal is that our photos actually reflect what the day was like, instead of trying to add some “trendy style”. It’s more important for us that we always are true to the colors.

- What can we find in your photography bag?
Oh God, a lot of stuff! 2 camera bodies, 5 lenses, 8 batteries, a couple of memory cards, 1 flash, 1 flash trigger, power bars (so we’re not starving throughout the day), water, a first-aid kit, and a portable speaker (for playing music during a session). I think that’s it?

- Lighting – Natural or Artificial?
Both! Sometimes natural lighting is just perfect, and there’s nothing that needs to be done. Sometimes it isn’t so perfect. That’s when we apply everything that we learned from Roberto Valenzuela (the master of posing and lighting), and add a little bit of artificial light (off-camera flash) to level up the photo.

- How did tour influence your current work and life?
A LOT. Traveling around the world and being in the entertainment industry really shaped us as the people we are now.
Being an elopement and adventure photographer means we are outdoors for 95% of our work. That means sometimes we have to deal with things we can’t control, like the weather, for example. Well, it’s very similar to what performing live felt like. We are quick to act under pressure, and we don’t let ourselves get disturbed by certain events and things we can’t predict or control. Instead, we just deal with it and make the best of the situation! It’s a skill that I never knew would be so important.
The fact that we traveled to a lot of places (me 47 countries and Stephan 73) allows us to connect with our clients at a deeper level. Most of our clients are also travel lovers, and we get to share our experiences with them throughout their photo session and/or wedding, and by the end of the day, we feel like we’ve been friends for ages.

- How do you manage your work life and your personal life?
Not well, haha! Honestly, it’s really hard for us to actually make a separation in between what’s work and what’s personal. Our work is a HUGE part of our personal lives, and it’s a part that we absolutely love. We decided to have our own company so we could live our lives doing what we love, and some parts of this job of ours truly don’t feel like work. And that was always our goal.
We’re super invested and passionate about what we do, so sometimes it’s 11 pm and we’re still talking about “business” and we have to tell each other – “alright, we’re done, let’s watch TV”.

- What do you like the most about each other?
Stephan and I are crazy similar in so many ways, but I think what makes us such good husband and wife team is our differences. I’m the planner. I want to plan everything and try to predict the outcome of the things that haven’t even happened yet. Stephan is the complete opposite, he’s more of “go with the flow” person. There are other examples, but I will not bore you too much. But I genuinely believe our differences are what makes us so strong together, and I love them.

- What is the next step for the photography business?
That is one of the many subjects we have in our business meetings (aka dinners). We’ve been discussing our next life step a lot lately, and I can’t tell you about it right now, but I can tell you that we’re always obsessing over it and can’t wait to make it happen!

- Any word for anyone that wants to start a photography business?
I think I rather give advice to anyone wanting to start ANY business of their own. My advice is: do it. If you’re passionate about it, do it.
Having your own business is hard work, but it’s not hard, there’s a difference there. If you’re passionate about whatever it is, you’ll have the drive to do what it takes.
There will be times when you’ll feel the burnout, when you’ll feel like everything is too complicated, and it’s too tiring. But once you remember your “why”, you’ll overcome those times - and you’ll get to spend a month in Brazil visiting your family because you make up your own schedule.

Sarah B
Parisienne | Patineuse sur glace professionnelle et aerialiste en cerceau aerien | Web Journaliste... En savoir plus sur cet auteur



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