parkys pcis photography

Planning the Perfect Elopement - Stage 1 - Dream & Brainstorm

Dear adventurous couples,

It’s great to see you back, thank you coming back!   I’m excited to share with you my step by step guide to help you plan out the most amazing and unforgettable elopement experience!  As I wrote in my previous blog, planning out the perfect elopement happens in stages. The very first stage we are going to dive into is the Dream & Brainstorm stage.  All the best plans start with a well thought out brainstorming session. One of the best things about eloping is that you can truly go to the most awe-inspiring places in the world to say your vows. 

So... if you could go anywhere in the world to get married... where would you GO?

The goal of the dreaming & brainstorming stage is to form an overall vision for your day.  Here are 3 easy brainstorming tips to get you started! 

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Find a relaxing space together.

The best way to dream & brainstorm is to sit down with your partner some place comfortable and imagine your perfect elopement day from beginning to end. Try cuddling up at home on the couch together or going for a walk.  



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Keep an open mind.

It’s important to keep an open mind during the dreaming & brainstorming stage.  Don’t let yourselves get bogged down in all the details, what’s possible or not, or what’s realistic.  Keep your ideas vague and have fun imagining all the possibilities!



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Inspiration is everywhere. 

Inspiration can come from anywhere and the sky is the limit!  To help yourself plan and get excited, try using Pinterest, Instagram, travel guides, books or a variety of interesting magazines.   


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As you are brainstorming about your epic dream elopement day, ask yourself these questions:

What is the overall intention of your day? 

Is this day just for the two of you? Do others play a role in your day? 

What does the scenery look like?

Are you in the mountains, on a cliff, on a beach or deep in redwood country?

What season is it?

Do you two like hot or cold weather better?  Do you imagine there being snow, or fall colors? 

How much time are you able to use on the trip?

 Is the elopement day part of a larger trip or combined with your honeymoon? How much time are you able to take off from work?

Will it be just the two of you or will you include others?

This is important because it will help determine any permits you will need or accessibility concerns. 

What do you want the ceremony to look like?

 Are there important cultural or religious traditions you’d like to incorporate into the ceremony?

What do you want to wear?

 A dress or suit? Something more casual?  What footwear do you need?

What activities do you see yourself doing? 

These can be activities that you enjoy doing together or ones you’ve never tried before. Hiking, climbing, stand up paddle boarding etc...

Are you starting to have a vision on what your day will look like now?  Even if your vision is a little blurry, that’s okay! It’s a great place to start!  Congratulations, you’ve got stage 1 in the developmental process!  

In my next blog, we will be going over stage 2, the research & logistics of elopement planning.  So stay tuned, it’s coming right up! 

~  Parky’s Pics Photography








Drakeford Wedding at Camp Bauer

Jeremy and Rene’ were actually neighbors in the small town of Scotia. A friend suggested that Rene try a dating site. She saw that a guy on the dating site lived in Scotia. She told him," “ I live in Scotia too. What street do you live on?” He answered, “Main Street.” Rene responded with" “I used to live on Main St." . He said, "Oh really? Where? " She answered "Across from the fish hatchery". He responded with "Rene' ?" A few months later, they decided to meet for drinks and have been together ever since.

Jeremy proposed on Christmas. Traditionally they do stockings first, but that particular year Jeremy wanted to do them last. When Rene’ pulled the ring box out of the stocking, Jeremy told her to read the tag. It said to “My fiance' “ The sentiment went right over her head. When she unwrapped it, he got down on his knee & the rest is history.

This beautiful couple loves to explore Humboldt County by fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, going on bike rides, and spending time with their two boys. No matter what they do together, they don't have to talk to connect. He is selfless, a good dad, and would do anything for his family. Rene still gets butterflies eleven years later. They are puzzle pieces that fit together perfectly.

I was blessed to capture both their engagement and their Camp Bauer wedding in Korbel (Blue Lake) California. They got ready at the Blue Lake Casino and were blessed with abundant sunshine for their picture perfect fall wedding. : )

How to Dress for Your Spring Senior Session

Throughout your four years of high school many pictures are taken, capturing fun filled moments you will remember for years to come.  Out of all the snapshots you will take and memories you will make, there’s one kodak moment that will stand out more than the rest, one that is so meaningful, it will last a lifetime.  Your senior portraits.

Senior portraits are treasured photos taken by a professional photographer, they capture the pure teenage innocence and freshness, as it’s poised on the brink of adulthood, ready to enter college or begin a career.  Because senior portraits capture such a precious moment in your life, you will want to knock this photo session out of the park! Here are some helpful tips on how to dress for your spring senior session!

Plan on bringing more than one outfit.

You should arrange to bring at least 3-4 outfits to your photo session in a variety of colors, not just your favorite hue.  When choosing which outfits you want to bring, include different styles, such as casual, semi-formal, formal or outdoors. By having a variety of styles this will give you an opportunity to get creative and allow your personality to shine through!

Professional photographers have a great eye for color and lighting, so don’t be afraid to bring an array of different hues.  Having a variety helps see what colors of your outfits stand out the most, depending on the location of your photo shoot. For example, if you are planning on having your photos taken in some of Humboldt County’s Redwood forests, wearing an outfit with a deep purple hue in contrast with some green redwood sorrel in the background can make for an exceptionally beautifully vibrant photo!

Remember to bring accessories for all of your outfits, from footwear to jewelry and hair accents.  Since several full-body images are also taken, make sure to check your socks and shoes! You will want the right shoes for the appropriate outfit and also want to make sure your socks match! You never know, that full body shot might end up being your absolute favorite pose.

Check your clothing prior to the photo shoot to make sure it isn’t spotted or faded, and be sure to transport your outfits (you can wear one when you arrive), on hangers to prevent unnecessary wrinkles.

Visual simplicity with your clothing is important.

It’s important to not bring outfits with words or designs, stripes or pictures, except possibly your school logo.  You want your face, eyes and true expression to be the focal point, not the words on your shirt.

Color is important.

Solid colors are highly recommended for most or all outfits of choice.  For outside pictures, think of spring and summer colors of sky blue, pale green, watermelon and dark peach to complement the outdoor setting.  Again, depending on the lighting and where your desired location is for your photo shoot, colors may vary.. Bringing a variety of different hues will help you and your photographer make the best selection of an outfit, for each destination location and photo op!

Help accentuate your best features with your clothing.

If you have a more slender build, spaghetti straps and short sleeves will accentuate that feature.  Turtleneck tops tend to look best on people with longer necks. If you have more of a round or square shaped face, square-neck tops will look great!  Thinner faces tend to look great with rounded-neck tops.

Be selective with the jewelry.

Try to avoid wearing attention-grabbing jewelry.  You want the photograph to accentuate your face, eyes and personality, not draw unwarranted attention to your jewelry.  Also, Jewelry can date a photograph very quickly. Classic jewelry pieces are best.

Apply natural makeup but with a little flare to it.

I know it can be tempting to get very “glam” when having pictures taken but this could very well make you look like a complete stranger in your senior portraits.   Be sure to apply some of your makeup as you normally look on a day-to-day basis. It’s important to keep “who you are” conveyed in your photos. Adding a little additional makeup to dress things up and compliment who you are, is also okay and can really tell the story of “who you are” to “who you are becoming”.  Just try to find the balance of keeping your true self in your photos.

Be comfortable and confident.

Last but not least, be comfortable and confident on the day of your shoot!  Your outfits should reflect who you are and your style. Don’t be afraid to be bold!  Feeling good about yourself is key to an amazing photo session! When we feel great about who we are, that is the energy that gets put out into the universe!  Positive, happy, confident, feel good energy gets portrayed in photographs through your smile, your body position and poses. Let your personality unfold and create snap-shots you will look back on and smile for a lifetime!