Patrick Pike Studios: Yosemite Wedding & Elopement Photographer

Patrick Pike, Yosemite Wedding Photographer, is just about one of my favorite people in the world to write about. The thing is, Patrick Pike has always made it clear to me that he advertises on APW for the simple reason that he really deeply supports what we do here, and he wants to do his part to turn the wedding industry towards sanity and simplicity, so everyone can focus on the love (instead of all the stuff). He figures if he actually gets some of your weddings out of the deal, well that’s just good Karma talking. (And boy has he shot your weddings! You need to go look at this Yosemite elopement with APWer Holly right this second.) And, really, how can you not love a guy like that?

But what Patrick Pike actually does is so exciting (and his work is so innovative) that it’s hard not to start wiggling in your seat with excitement about him. I’m going to let him speak about his work in his own words, but here is the sum up: Patrick shoots elopements in Yosemite (which are so beautiful that part of my soul always wishes I’d done that too, somehow), starting at $1,500. So if you’re looking to sneak away and elope somewhere stunning, Patrick Pike is your guy. He’s also partnered with a planner to provide full service elopement packages for $2,850, so all you have to do is show up. Plus, he specializes in weekday elopements and will come to you if you’re in Northern/Central California. But that’s not all! If you’re as in love with his work as I am (it really looks like no one else’s in the whole world, right?) you can hire him to shoot your non-elopement wedding for just $3,150, and he travels throughout California (and the world). But enough of me chattering on, let’s hear about his philosophy from the man himself.

My wedding photographs are filled with dramatic images of couples in a vast landscape.  Each one is a new creation for each couple. When their wedding day is long past, I want my clients to be able to share and hang beautiful works of art on their walls from their wedding. Something that will always remind them of their shared love, and something that is intrinsically beautiful. In a word, art.

The photographs from my first few weddings in Yosemite are very different from my most recent ones. They were photographed the same way I would photograph a wedding anyplace else—people in love that just happened to be in Yosemite. It took me a while to learn how to capture the grandeur of this place and two loving people at the same time.

Now days the time that I spend with a couple creating portraits in Yosemite seems nothing like a portrait session. It’s not about trying to look good in the middle of the trees; it’s about breathing in the fresh air, standing on the tops of mountains, being wrapped up in nature and loving the one you’re with. It’s a chance to escape and explore one of the most beautiful places on earth during your wedding day. Connect this to the raw emotion and celebration of your wedding and everything starts to come together.

This is the beauty of a small intimate wedding or elopement. It’s a wedding stripped down to it’s purist form. All that’s needed is two people in love and an officiant (not even a photographer is needed). There is no one to impress. Standing in a grove of trees, or on the top of a mountain all alone just feels right.

But the wedding day is only the beginning. After the wedding, I work with my clients to design an album for them and get works of art hanging on their walls. Every wedding collection I offer includes a credit for prints so that you have more than just digital files. Would you like to have a large fine art canvas or metal prints to hang on walls? Or maybe a hand made wedding album. How do you want to show off your wedding art?

Yosemite is really unlike most other areas for a wedding. Because the majority of my work these days is within the park, we’re continually making changes to make things even better. For the past few years, I’ve been lugging around studio lighting to help me create these unique works. Earlier this year we switched over to (warning: more technical jargon) Medium Format cameras for even better quality outdoors in the park. The level of detail and color with these new cameras is just stunning (I’m blown away) and allows us to make even larger prints.

To help address some of the logistical issues of weddings in Yosemite, I recently joined forces with a local wedding planner to share our expertise in Yosemite weddings with an all new site, Together we’ve also been able to assemble all-inclusive wedding packages (with photography, wedding permits, flowers, officiants, hair and makeup, and planning assistance) for $2,850. It’s been a wonderful place to share realistic and healthy knowledge about local weddings.

APW readers are incredibly down to earth and have their priorities straight. To a large extent, I believe that weddings are only as complicated as you want them to be. Thankfully APWers have a way of making weddings decidedly uncomplicated; focused on love, like a wedding should be.

So today I wanted to make a special offer for all APW readers. Remember how I said that I want my clients to be able to show off beautiful art from their wedding? Well I’m putting my money where my mouth is. Tell me you read this here and book your wedding by June 1st 2012 to double that. That’s an extra $300 of print credit for elopements and an extra $1500 for full weddings. That’s some serious art. Call or email me today for a copy of our Elopement or Studio Guides to help find out more about our work.

Patrick Pike you guys. BAM. Tell me you don’t want to elope to Yosemite right now, married or not, planning a wedding elsewhere or not. Of course, lucky Californians can have Patrick come to you, and no matter where he shoots you, the pictures are going to blow you away. So make magic together, and for the love of all that is holy, if you have him shoot you in Yosemite, you’ll share some pictures right? Because we’ll all be right here waiting.

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  • Katie

    I’ll tell you what this makes me want right now: a vacation! What a gorgeous place, captured in absolutely stunning images.

  • PA

    …is it too late to switch my wedding to Yosemite? Because WOW.

    These pictures are gorgeous, each very individualized and every couple glowing with happiness.

    Wonderful – utterly wonderful!

  • Krista Brooks

    Patrick Pike really did help us have a practically and rememberal wedding! One of the sweetest, most talented, and professional photographers you could ever hope to have for your special day. He really understood my own personal budget problem and I was able to have a beautiful wedding that was all about the love instead of all the extra things that make a wedding, well a wedding. Thank you so much Patrick!

    • Thank you Krista for the super kind words! I had so much fun working with you two :)

  • Sooo gorgeous.

  • All I can do is heave a dreamy sigh and hope that one day I can visit Yosemite and have my photo taken by Patrick. *sighhhh*

  • Thank you all so much! Yosemite is an amazingly beautiful place and you all need to come visit :)

  • Alexandra

    These are such stunning pictures. I definitely do want to elope to Yosemite right now. Probably won’t, but just… wow.

    • If nothing else, just come visit Yosemite. It’s truly a beautiful place to just be :)

      • Alexandra

        It looks like it. I might have to go someday, if I ever get bored of portaging around Algonquin and Killarney in Ontario.

  • WOW!!!!!!!
    These pictures make me want to get married again!

  • H

    Great choice for going into this weekend Meg! It’s the beginning of National Parks week! Go visit your national parks for free!!!! Yay!

  • Chi-Ling

    Me, the husband and the dog, we’re going to come visit you one of these days. :-)

  • Sarah Olsen

    Patrick is the best! Not only does he produce amazing photography, but he’s a joy to work with. He is certainly professional, but he is also relaxed, friendly, and charming. On our wedding day, any camera shyness quickly melted away and we were free to focus on each other and enjoy our day as Patrick worked his magic. We joked afterwards that Patrick was a bit of a “photo ninja” during the ceremony, as neither us nor our guests noticed him at all, yet he somehow managed to get tons of photos from all angles at all important moments. He also worked seamlessly with our other vendors (whom he had all worked with before), so I didn’t need to do any special instruction or coordination to keep things running smoothly – the day and evening were ours to enjoy with our family and friends. Highly recommend!

  • What a great photographer and environment to shoot in. Good use of your surroundings! really captures some great portraits and moments!

    Thanks for sharing

  • I can’t get over how much I love these images…especially the first one. Incredible.

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