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 our photo stories from smaller weddings - WedElope

San Diego Wedding Photographers

Wedding Photographers of San Diego, California - Southern

Chula Vista, Oceanside, Escondido, Carlsbad, El Cajon, Vista, San Marcos, Encinitas, National City, La Mesa

San Diego 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!

Elopement Photographers for Small California - Southern Weddings

Shooting an elopement or small San Diego 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 town hall, small, justice of the peace, 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, casual, boutique, 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 San Diego Couples

11 Documentary Wedding Photographers...

Brett Butterstein is a Southern California based wedding photographer.

I grew up in New York, studied film and photography at Montana State University and spent five years as a newspaper photographer in Montana, New Mexico, and Colorado. Since 2005, I’ve been photographing weddings full time, traveling a lot and falling in love with color photography and Mexico. An old friend once said that "reality is more creative than I am." I love this! It took me a while to learn that my role as a photographer isn't about me or impressing other photographers. It's about the people and places I photograph and capturing what's real, not directed or trendy. Reality, whether pretty or not, is always the most beautiful. I don't use couples as props to win photo contests and will never tell you what to do or where to do it. I want to make art about you! [San Diego Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
3500 (USD)
San Diego, CA based wedding photographer Shaun Baker

Shaun grew up studying film and television with the dream of becoming a director. He graduated college with six production certificates and his bachelor’s degree in communications. Shortly after his college graduation, Shaun put the video camera down and picked up a DSLR. He was constantly looking for something to photograph. Something with meaning, a purpose. He shot his first wedding in 2009 and never picked up a video camera again. Shaun lived in NYC for 7 years with his wife Keri and their two dogs. They now reside in San Diego, CA. Shaun is very humble about how he makes his living and is honored everytime he is chosen to photograph a wedding. [San Diego Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
3200 (USD)
Kristina Cazares Neri, San Diego wedding photographer of Anza Foto + Film

Kristina knew she wanted to be a photographer since before she knew how a camera works. She ruined countless rolls of film as a child because she wanted to take photos but had no idea how to operate a camera. Luckily for you, her passion for photography continued on into her professional career. Her idea of a perfect day is being in a beach house in Baja with friends and family eating Mexican food and sipping on margaritas. She loves being a wife to Eric and mother to their little boy and girl, [San Diego Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
3500 (USD)
Aaron Willcox is a Socal based, non-traditional wedding photographer

Aaron has been photographing weddings for over 14 years all over the world. Over the past decade, Aaron has been able to witness the trajectory of wedding photography, where it has been, where it is headed. He is based in Carlsbad, CA where he explores with his wife and two young boys. His free time is spent building art cars for Burning Man and pushing his creative limits. His style can be described as non-traditional photojournalism focused on the genuine and true; natural human moments, nothing contrived. Specializing in same-sex weddings, aaron searches out imagery that illustrates the love and deep connection between his clients. Aaron has mastered the ability to completely disappear; providing non-intrusive yet exquisite wedding coverage. [San Diego Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
2200 (USD)
San Diego wedding photography by Shilpa Pradhan of California

I am a professional wedding photographer living in San Diego! A few years back, if someone had told me that someday I would leave my career in technology to take photos, I wouldn't have believed them. But here I am today, reinventing myself and making the most of my life in the world of light, shadow, and perspective! I have a special love for natural light, sunsets & beaches. With over 7 years of experience in working with clients from various cultures, traveling & attending numerous workshops, I capture beauty and moments in the most authentic, subtle & intimate way. My effort is to create real, sincere and fun memories for you, which will get you all nostalgic years from now. The Memories of all those emotions, atmosphere and the feeling of being loved, and being together! Do you think I might be a good fit for your photography needs? Take a look at my website, I will be honored to share your special day and look forward to creating wonderful memories for you! [San Diego Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
1800 (USD)
Southern California and Orange County wedding photography by Leo Do of Capture the Moment Studio

Being more confident standing behind the camera and creating the stories than writing, I could only help you to understand more about my philosophy about photography. I always believe photographs were a way to "freeze" cherished moments and memories. I think that they cannot be reproduced, and without a camera, they would be gone forever. So, every day, I pursue the love of photography and have learned new ways to see the world through lenses. Presently, I decided to build a milestone in my journey by offering service as a wedding documentary photographer to clients! I look forward to showing them my unique perspective in capturing their precious moments and memories as a way to preserve them for years to come. My journey continues, and I hope you will join me! [Orange County Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
2500 (USD)
Oaxaca, Mexico wedding and elopement photography by Douglas Favero

I am a Oaxaca destination wedding photographer. My first Oaxaca destination wedding came in 2008, when a Brooklyn bride, with her fiancé, from the Isthmus, came across my photographs of Spain, Morocco, California, and Oaxaca, at an art sale on Alcalá in Oaxaca. She said she loved my style and wanted me to shoot her wedding. Since I had never shot a wedding before, her coordinator, Marcela González, with whom I have collaborated on so many of the most beautiful weddings in Oaxaca since 2008, recommended I be the second shooter to the photographer they had already booked. It was a part-Jewish, part-Istmeña wedding at Casa de Los Pintores and the day was full of so much life and fun and amazing moments that I was hooked. I began investing in my education as a photographer, and in my professional equipment. Soon enough I started giving workshops in English and Spanish and served as a liaison and interpreter for iconic film photographer Mary Ellen Mark's Oaxaca photography workshops. I have exhibited in places like Casa de la Ciudad, with financial support from the Alfredo Harp Helú Foundation, and published in magazines and newspapers like The Wall Street Journal and El País, among many others. I have met the needs of discerning clientele like Casa Oaxaca, Oaxaca Film Fest, and brides from around Mexico and the US looking for something different for their destination wedding photography. So many years later, each new wedding still gives me the same thrill as the first. This is because I push myself to meet the artistic and storytelling challenges each new wedding puts before me. It would be an honor to be your photographer, and tell the story of your day in a way you will love to revisit the rest of your lives. [Oaxaca Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
2000 (USD)
LA elopement and wedding photographer Darren Hendry serves couples in CA via The Hendrys Photography.

Howdy, I'm Darren, one half of The Hendrys! I am not a typical wedding photographer, that is for certain! You could say my style is very non-traditional and pretty offbeat. My approach to shooting is simple; I’ll keep it mostly documentary (you can’t beat a good caught-off-guard expression), capture the action as it unfolds throughout the day, avoid cheesy clichés and let everyone have good old knees up without any interference from me. I’m constantly pushing myself creatively and I am incredibly passionate about telling unique stories for each couple, so I aim to go into each wedding with a clear mind and eyes wide open. If I could describe my work in four words they would be the following: Natural. Emotive. Creative. Honest. I am also a sucker for some awesome light. My journey into the world of wedding photography started back in 2011. Prior to that, I was shooting portraits, gigs and architectural stuff (I have a degree in Architecture) and was starting to get slightly bored, not to mention, my lack of creativity was failing me. I randomly put a wedding photography advert on Gumtree and secured my first booking after a few weeks! Since then I have never looked back and have been doing wedding photography full-time for almost 7 years. It sounds slightly clichéd but getting to travel the world and meet loads of new people along the way has been totally inspiring. I have also stepped out of my creative boundaries and change it up at every wedding I capture, which always helps in keeping things fresh. It’s been an awesome experience so far! [Los Angeles Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
2000 (USD)
Los Angeles is the base for California wedding photographer Maya Myers.

As a photojournalist, it is Maya’s job to be an observer and storyteller. It is her passion however for the human condition, emotions, relationships, LOVE, that draws her to photographing weddings. Based in Los Angeles, Maya balances her days between photographing weddings and projects in conjunction with local and national organizations focusing on youth advocacy. Her wedding and editorial images have been published both in Print and Web media outlets such as the New York Times, Newsweek, MSN, NBC News, Variety, SELF, Hollywood Reporter, LA Weekly, Style Me Pretty, and the Bridal Bar Blog. Maya has been photographing weddings across the US for over eight years and every year her love for it grows. [Los Angeles Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
4300 (USD)
Los Angeles, CA is home to wedding photographer Samara Manger-Weil

Samara Manger-Weil studied Cinematography & Photography at Ithaca College's Park School of Communications. She began shooting weddings alongside her father, himself an award winning WPJA photographer. At the age of sixteen she was the youngest member ever admitted to the WPJA. For the past eight years she has photographed weddings on both the east and west coast, from elaborate 200+ guest affairs to more intimate weddings held in parks, restaurants, or at city hall. [Los Angeles Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
750 (USD)
Los Angeles wedding photography by Attila Iuhasz of Southern California

I am a Los Angeles based photographer specialized in Wedding Photography, Elopement and Engagement sessions. I love nature and traveling so I will meet you anywhere in the world to photograph your destination wedding. My style is photojournalistic with an emphasis on surprising candid moments with an artistic touch. I’ve always been fascinated by photography and its ability to capture life’s richest moments; and where else do those moments manifest more abundantly other than a wedding? IT COMES FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE Thinking back at my own wedding I understand how important it is to have a photographer that captures the day in a meaningful way, someone I can trust to have eyes for everyone and everything else when I only had eyes for my bride! That is why it’s so important to me to take the time to know my clients, spend time with them beforehand to understand what is important to them and get as much information as possible about how they envision their special day so I can make sure I deliver the best wedding pictures they could ask for – beautiful memories of a beautiful day. Every wedding is unique and I pride myself for being able to make people comfortable in front of the camera so that real inner beauty can come out naturally and organically. I am emphatic and calm under pressure, I understand the emotional charge of the day and I have the professionalism and experience to be the steady ground in a whirlwind of emotions. I am a citizen of the world and I love the variety of different cultures and traditions; I know that love is a universal language and at the same time that every event is unique so it’s important to me to be flexible and adaptable, to combine the artistic vision with the practical requirements of each situation. PART OF MY PERSONALITY I recently came to accept that I am sort of a geek. I’m passionate about technology, gadgets, my cameras and I’m always learning about new ways to improve and streamline my photography process. I love learning from the best wedding photographers – and as such I’m always looking for ways to continue my education. It keeps me engaged and that is one area I’ve always been stubborn about – improving, feeding my inspiration and creativity, always searching for ways to become better. I’m open-minded and always listen carefully to all feed back and reviews as I’m genuinely interested in learning and growing as a professional photographer. I see myself as a channel for creativity in the world and delivering wedding pictures that make you smile and happy for years to come is what gives meaning and purpose to my career. JUST FOR FUN: – In 2008 I started my own beautiful and exciting love story when I met my wife while on a pilgrimage of 450 miles in Spain called The Way of St. James or Camino de Santiago – I don’t understand Vanilla Ice Cream. If I had to choose between Vanilla Ice cream and No Ice cream Ever Again – I would choose No Ice Cream Ever Again (and I LOVE ice cream!) – I have a degree in Management and Marketing. For some reason, my wife still laughs hysterically when I try to talk to her about penetrating the market – I give great speeches. Usually after a couple of glasses of wine (always red) – I love a good Sci-Fi movie or TV show – I’m planning on hiking the John Muir Trail next year – I’m a foodie! I can cook, but I prefer the eating part – I hardly ever get bored. I always find a new project to excite and inspire me [Los Angeles Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
2400 (USD)
WPJA Communiqué: Features
Clean background in this photo of the bride walking into her mountain ceremony.
Some couples, as they begin planning for their weddings, might think that they are limited to the classic locations: churches, gardens, beaches, or even Las Vegas. But in doing so they’re missing out on a multitude of unique options that might suit their personalities much better! Why limit yourself to a quiet, quaint ceremony when your adventurous heart may be calling out for something more? An entirely different genre of wedding, so to speak, is the adventure wedding elopement. This concept...Read more
jperlman elk cove inn ceremony
Everyone always says that your wedding day is all about you. But let’s face it; that’s not always actually the case. Many couples stress over guest lists, planning, expenses, and all the frills and traditions of your standard large wedding that they may or may not even be interested in. Fortunately, though, the concept of small weddings is becoming increasingly popular for couples who either want to be able to completely customize their day where and when they want with the option...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
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
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
Creative and Professional Wedding Photography from the Reception
Like many brides and grooms, your wedding could be the first time you’ll be hiring a creative professional. You might think the ins and outs of working with a wedding photographer are as simple as writing a check. What could be so difficult, right? But just ask any talented pro, and you’ll get a grateful explanation as to why it’s so important to truly understand their creative process. How you manage your relationship with a wedding photographer can have just as profound an...Read more

RAVES, REVIEWS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Alex & Alex

Photo by Maya Myers

Maya! You are beyond talented, and we feel a strong sense of gratitude for your amazing work! As you know, Our family comes from a long tradition of top-notch photojournalism, having been close friends with Henri Cartier-Bresson. Elliott Erwitt documented our wedding in his humorous and brilliant style, among other things. When we turned to Elliot for recommendations, he told us to go to the WPJA website. We were so pleased to discover your beautiful, eloquent and spontaneous photographs. You surpassed our expectations on the day of the wedding, and you were such a delight to deal with. When we received your final product, we were just amazed! Alexandra and I immediately knew we had found our match, just by looking at your portfolio, and it became even more obvious after your phone interview with Alexandra when your said, "enjoy your wedding day,  do not worry about me, I will be around" it was music to our ears. Your attitude is the key to the natural spontaneity and the emotions clearly expressed in your art. You were such a delight to deal with, and thank you for giving it your all!