Are you planning a short-notice, small wedding or elopement?

Many couples don’t want to wait. They are planning to get married in the very near future, eloping, or rushing a small ceremony with their photographer, some close friends, and family but dispensing with or postponing the reception party. 

View WPJA photo stories from smaller weddings - WedElope | Choose love, not fear!

Hampton Roads Wedding Photographers

Wedding Photographers of Hampton Roads, Virginia

Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton, Suffolk

Hampton Roads Elopement Photographers

In recent days, some of our United States photographers have expressed their desire to accommodate couples who don’t want to wait to be married and are rushing the ceremony.

Many brides and grooms around the globe are planning to elope and deciding to reschedule their original ideas for a big event. They are getting wed on a whim, but dispensing with or postponing all else.

The WPJA has an abundance of top-ranked, documentary-style elopement photographers who are available right now who understand that some weddings can’t wait. Find yours today!

Most Recent WPJA WedElope Story Awards
July 13th, 2020
Sutro Heights Park, San Francisco Elopement Couple Portrait | The couple chose to have a small wedding ceremony
July 13th, 2020
Napoli Italy Elopement Photography | The couple is Kneeling at the church altar together
July 12th, 2020
City Hall of Pontault Combault, France Elopement Photographer | Guests gather around in the street outside the city hall where the groom waits, blindfolded for the bride

Elopement Photographers for Small Virginia Weddings

Shooting an elopement or small Hampton Roads wedding event is a wedding photojournalist’s dream: a fairly open schedule with lots of breathing space for creativity – it’s just the photographer, the couple, the officiant, and perhaps a few select companions.

Members are ready to document any secret, town hall, small, or elopement wedding, even if it is a Monday-Thursday ceremony. Search for the “Can Shoot Weddings on Short Notice!” message on the listings below.

We are anxious to create a picture story chronicling your intimate, romantic, outdoor, small wedding from beginning to end. In this sense, it is no different from any other event that we have covered. The emphasis is on documenting key moments, capturing spontaneous displays of emotion, telling your real love story, as well as creating artistic portraits and details.

Map of Wedding Photojournalists Serving Hampton Roads Couples

6 Documentary Wedding Photographers...

Heather Hughes Ostermaier was a newspaper staff photographer and has a passion for great wedding and elopement photography in VA.

After eight years as a newspaper staff photographer and a lifetime passion for photography, Heather moved into weddings full time in 2008. Her husband Rob (still a staff photographer) is often a second shooter and photographs a few on his own each year. They both LOVE to travel and currently call Virginia home so they stay around the DC, Eastern Shore, and Outer Banks area most of the time. Heather limits herself to 20-30 weddings a year (and Rob does less) so they can provide the personal attention to every couple that they are known for and artistically capture the unique moments & details that make every wedding special alongside fun and often candid portraits. True photojournalists at heart, they work unobtrusively so you can be free to enjoy the day instead of "smiling for the camera." Heather Hughes Ostermaier (formally Heather S. Hughes) has been published in USA Today, People, The Knot, and the "America 24/7" & "Virginia 24/7" books to name a few. She has captured hundreds of wedding stories since 2003. Both are graduates from Ohio University's prestigious Visual Communications program (where they met at the school's newspaper), taught at Truth with a Camera, and were accepted to attend the Eddie Adams Workshop in consecutive years. Heather was named Virginia's Small Newspaper Photographer of the Year and has won numerous awards for her lifestyle, sports, and wedding photography over the years. [Newport News Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
2999 (USD)
NC wedding and elopement photographer Neil Thurston spent several years in the action sports industry as a photographer

After studying photography at NESOP in Boston Massachusetts, Neil spent several years in the action sports industry as a photographer working with nationally recognized athletes in the snowboard, ski and motocross industries. In his personal work Neil has traveled to locations in North and South America, Eastern Europe, and North Africa, creating documentary images that tell the story of those he met along the way. Since moving to the Outer Banks of North Carolina in 2000, Neil has established himself as a nationally recognized wedding photojournalist, applying his unique experience to capture the reality, excitement, and emotion of the wedding day. [Outer Banks Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
500/hour (USD)
Northamptonshire wedding reportage by Jordanna Marston, of the UK

Hello I'm Jordanna a creative documentary wedding photographer based in Northamptonshire but merrily covering the whole of the UK, Europe and beyond. I take real pride in my work and I make no apologies for loving it so much. I am a happy, easy going character but sometimes the Italian in me rears its head so don’t be surprised if you catch me with tears in my eyes during the speeches or feeling choked up when I see you in your dress for the first time. Equally you might catch my foot tapping on the dance floor – I enjoy getting swept up by it all and I love capturing the energy in my photos. My approach to a wedding day is very much one of a documentary photographer. I, of course, shoot some family groups and a handful of portraits of the couple but I believe the majority of people connect with my work for my personality packed candids. My ideal clients are creative, fun loving, stylish and laid back. They say knickers to tradition for traditions sake and they definitely do not take themselves too seriously and they often say that, “although the photography is very important to us - we just want to have the most fun day ever.” Suits me! I thrive in seeking out fun and energy on a wedding day and my work is a lot about colour, characters, humour and Britishness. I have been shooting weddings full time for almost five years now and have shot close to 200 weddings. Although I’ve never been one to chase accolades – ultimately it is my couples’ feedback and happiness that fulfils me - I was extremely proud (and thankful) to be named one of the Rangefinder Rising Stars in 2017. It was a totally crazy feeling for me and my little business to be recognised on that sort of renowned, international photography platform...but of course very very nice too! Thought you might want to read a little about me outside of work to soooo...I live in a Victorian house on a nice leafy street with my husband and our son. There is nothing we like doing more together than exploring new places; booking random Airbnbs and getting away as often as we can. Besides from the mum/wife stuff I love chilling with my friends; painting; interior design and architecture; a good coffee table book; plotting projects on Pinterest; having a good, sweaty dance; having a laugh; bright lipsticks; instagramming; travelling; meeting new people and hearing their stories…which I guess is why I am so suited to my job. Being asked by couples to hang out with them and their families on their wedding days to take photos is just a dream come true. It’s also worth knowing that my business is run with an environmentally friendly policy at it’s heart. Most of my work is online; packaging is made from recycled materials and my gorgeous Fine Art albums are sourced locally. Obviously travel in my job is inevitable but I use public transport where possible and I run a modern, fuel efficient car. At home we recycle like mad; grow some of our own veggies; shop local and walk lots. If you like the sound of me and love my work then do get in touch – I would love to hear all about your plans and I’m sure if you go on to book me we’ll have a great time in the process. [Northamptonshire Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
2200 (GBP)
North Carolina Wedding Photographer Brooke Mayo

In addition to a fine arts degree in photography, I have trained with world-renowned portrait and dance photographers from Australia to New York City. I have recently been featured in international publications such as Grace Ormonde, Bride Magazine and the Knot and have received numerous awards from The Wedding Photojournalist Association. In 2010 I wrote a book, "Diving Doggies: A Celebration of Play Underwater" and in 2014 "Shake, Rattle and Shoot: The Business of Baby Photography." In 2018 we released a book, "Pigwrecked," photographed by Brooke Mayo and Illustrated by Candace Owens. [Outer Banks Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
3550 (USD)
Mantas Kubilinskas is a D.C.-based wedding photographer.

I’m Mantas Kubilinskas. I am a Lithuania-born, D.C.-based photographer. Photography is more than my job. It is my hobby and my passion. As a photographer, every day is like Christmas for me. I get just as excited for each session as a kid admiring his wrapped gifts on Christmas morning. Each couple brings me the opportunity for something new and amazing. I love creating and capturing those moments of passion and happiness between two people. My work is all about action, composition and emotion. My vision is to catch the excitement, solemnity, humor, love, or happiness of a moment to be remembered for years to come. Whatever you feel the day of the session, you will feel every time you look at your photographs.I do not focus too much on the details or simply going through the same-old checklist of events to document. Sometimes to catch the action and feeling behind an event you have to look at the bigger picture, shoot from a different angle, tell a joke. My photography is not about me. It’s about you, about the couples. In my sessions, I direct couples to compose beautiful, natural photos, but what I love, is making them laugh. My images expose that genuine, human happiness couples look for in their photos. It’s my favorite part of what I do. I want you to be passionate about my photography style and vision too! Enjoy my portfolios here on my website. I look forward to making you laugh, capturing your story and creating breath-taking photographs to evoke those day-of emotions all over again. [Washington DC Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
3900 (USD)
DC Wedding and travel photography by Abram Eric Landes

Hi! I am Abe, and I am an event photographer lucky enough to be working in the Washington, D.C. area. Cityscapes, rolling mountains, wineries, riversides, history, Capitol Hill... Everything is here! I find photographing weddings immensely rewarding and also challenging at the same time. There are always small and special moments happening between the big moments on the wedding day. The challenge is finding the right mix of anticipation, preparation, and luck to capture a story that not only shows the height of those huge wedding day moments, but the depth of emotion between the guests, families, and the happy couple. Plus, I like to be a fun-enabler. Photography should be fun. Weddings should be fun. And I work to make your wedding photographs fun to look at. I take this as serious business. Now, amongst posing couples in amazing light, pleasantly directing large crowds of wedding revelers, and 'enabling the fun', the vast majority of my work is captured candidly and with photojournalism in mind. This approach makes my clients look gorgeous on the biggest day of their lives and tells the story through their wedding ceremony and reception. So, based on a few of my experiences, here are things I will gladly do during your wedding day: - I will submerge my camera underwater to get photos of you scuba diving with your wedding clothes on - I will go into a barnyard pasture with a close-talking donkey and your crazy horse for a portrait session - I will help your inebriated wedding guests find their way back to the reception, despite being a few miles from said reception - I will go to the middle of Greece for your storybook wedding in a small fishing village - I will get stranded overnight literally on the side of a mountain in Colorado with your rock-climbing wedding party. Yeah, that one almost ended me... - I will let the flower girl dump her basket of petals on me during the processional - If dogs are present, I will rile them up for some unexpected memorable moments - And I will go to the very middle of China for an amazing traditional wedding ceremony in a giant city filled with delicious food. All that said, I'm excited to meet you and let's make it happen. -Abe [Washington DC Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
4200 (USD)
WPJA Communiqué: Features
Megan Hannah, of Vermont, is a wedding photographer for -
So your wedding is just around the corner and you’ve decided to elope , either because you want to do this on a budget , avoid a large wedding party, or simply to enjoy the day together with minimal distractions and as little stress as possible . They say 'all you need is love', but where exactly can you afford to trim the fat, so to speak? You want simplicity, but you also want to be properly married and, surely, to remember this occasion. Who, then, could be more important than...Read more
David Clumpner, of Montana, is a wedding photographer for
We all know that the economy can go through some hard times, and be somewhat reminiscent of past recessions. However, as people cut back on non-essential little luxuries here and there, one constant remains: weddings. People don’t tend to just stop getting married due to a poor economy, nor should they! So, in an industry that keeps on going through thick and thin, what are some things to expect for the future, and what is really necessary to still make that wedding day memorable and...Read more
Lauren Lindley, of California, is a wedding photographer for -
While some people live for the hustle and bustle of a big wedding with extravagant décor and an impossibly long guest list, others find these kinds of weddings to be too much hoopla, preferring instead something simpler and quieter, allowing for more intimacy between them and their fiancés on this special day. So how do you infuse your wedding with all the romance but none of the fuss? ALONE AT LAST Many couples these days are opting to elope rather than planning a large wedding. For the no-...Read more
Steven Herrschaft, of Hessen, is a wedding photographer for -
While some of us were fortunate enough to be born as extroverts, not everyone feels the same way. For a good chunk of the population, any number of the typical wedding day traditions can inspire anxiety and existential dread. This day is all about you, yes, but does that mean all the attention has to be on you as well? FROM VOWS TO CHITCHAT, WHICH REMAINS SACRED? Traditional weddings often require some degree of performance on the part of the couple, whether that is in the form of reciting...Read more
Renan Radici, of Rio Grande do Sul, is a wedding photographer for City - Porto Alegre, State - Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil
Traditionally speaking, often times it is the couple’s families who help pay for their wedding. However, unfortunately that’s just not possible for everyone, especially these days when the cost of weddings can quickly and easily get out of control. Some couples find themselves in the position of paying for all of their own wedding expenses, which can be quite the financial burden to take on, and about 40% of Millennials end up in this boat. So, how can you stick to your allotted...Read more
It’s no secret that these are strange times we’re going through right now, and there are many couples out there with weddings set in the near future who are left feeling uncertain and concerned about their futures. While that’s understandable, it’s also important to remember the reason you’re getting married in the first place; not for the grand celebration, but because you love each other and want to be together. REMEMBER WHAT'S IMPORTANT You’re in this position now, about to get married, for...Read more

RAVES, REVIEWS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Kitty Hawk Wedding Photography by Neil GT Photographer

Heather and Andrew

Photo by Neil Thurston

Wow! I am speechless, these photos are absoloutely amazing! Thank you so much for capturing these precious moments on our wedding day!

Laura & Bryan

Photo by Heather Hughes Ostermaier

Hi Heather! Thank you!! We are so excited to see the pictures. Thanks you so much for being a part of our day and capturing all our special moments. We will treasure these forever. Feel free to share any photos you'd like. Thank you again so much! I hope that one day our paths might cross again. Until then, I wish you and your family all the best!

Neil GT Photography Outer Banks Wedding Photographer

Teri and Michael

Photo by Neil Thurston

Thank you so incredibly much for everything! Everyone that sees our pictures says WOW! and that we just radiate happiness, and that is the perfect compliment because that's exactly how we felt and you captured it perfectly! We will cherish these photos forever. Hopefully our paths cross again one day, perhaps for family photos!

Owen and Ciara

Photo by Jordanna Marston

Jordanna, these are amazing!!! Such a stunning set of photos!! Wow, you’ve really managed to capture the whole day here! So many beautiful moments, some of which we’d even forgotten about. Thanks you so much!! We really appreciate you putting so much effort into our day, and bringing Ally with you as well. And we massively appreciate the amount of effort you’ve put into getting these all ready for us! We couldn’t be happier with how they’ve come out :) We also love how you’ve captured all the decorations and details in the venue! So nice to have some great shots of these. Thanks again for all this, it’s massively appreciated! Looking forward to sharing the photos with our families. Lots of love, O & C xx

Corley & Don

Photo by Neil Thurston

Hi Neil and Lisa, Don and I are beyond thrilled with our pictures! The quality, detail, and beauty of the pictures is just so obvious. Aside from all those things, we love that you captured the sequence of events in a photojournalistic fashion. I've gotten comments from many of my friends/family that these are the best pictures they have ever seen, and of course we are just so proud that they are our pictures. I also have to chuckle a little because you guys were such an organized but chill vendor and as a project manager myself, I know how much preparation you both did behind the scenes to make that work. We couldn't be any happier and if you ever need a reference - email, phone, whatever - please do not hesitate to call.

Hayley and Chet

Photo by Jordanna Marston

Hi Jordanna!! I'm so sorry for such a delay and I hope you're well! It's been a bit crazy (I bet all of your brides say that!!) - we had an amazing honeymoon in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, arrived home on the Monday - and then had an epic Indian wedding that weekend! Yesterday was our first day actually at home since before the wedding!! The photos are beautiful!! We are busy sharing them with family and friends and those who have seen them so far love them! There are so many moments I obviously missed because I was either upstairs or elsewhere - I now have a full picture of the day! I still can't believe what amazing weather we had - and that was the last thing on my mind! The wedding we went to last weekend was.....very different to ours! I emailed Mark last week and told him how they had 4 (!) photographers, dressed all in black with branded t-shirts and 2 videographer guys! They just got in the way! Thank you for being pretty much invisible! We are going to look into buying an album over the next few days and are going to order some prints via the gallery. Thanks so much! x Hayley

Michelle and Peter

Photo by Neil Thurston

Thank you for the amazing pictures! They are absoloutely breathtaking! You both captured every single detail of the day and every picture tells a story. You both did a phenomenal job and were such a pleasure to work with. We can't thank you enough for these amazing memories!