bride and groom kissing in front of car headlights

West Texas Elopement at Palo Duro Canyon

A Texas elopement sounds like the ultimate dream.

This West Texas Elopement inspiration will have you drooling for all the desert and canyon vibes. From it’s wide-open skies, to deep rust-colored canyon walls, a Texas elopement sounds like the ultimate dream. In my opinion, Palo Duro Canyon is really where the American Southwest begins.

Being asked to capture a film a celebrate Sydney and Kevin’s engagement was super exciting, and was a great way to get to work in one of my favorite places. Growing up hiking and swimming at Palo Duro Canyon, it holds a special, nostalgic place in my heart.

I recently did a different elopement shoot, also here in West Texas, with a COMPLETELY different vibe. Versatility really is that bitch!

bride and groom holding hands during their texas elopement

“Palo Duro Canyon…holds a special, nostalgic place in my heart”

Kim (my photographer other half) and I scoped out the canyon in the early afternoon scout locations. Let me just say, if you’re going during the daytime, wear pants. Even in the summer. The heat is bad, but the biting flies are worse and I actually heard myself cussing every 30 seconds in the footage oops. BUT we successfully scoped out a location inside the canyon, and on the rim to shoot blue hour!

bride and groom in road elopement
groom with his hand on a bride's back in black and white

We started shooting with Sydney and Kevin at 7:00 and WOW that was a wakeup call. Because you’re so far below the horizon line, we were RACING to get all the shots they wanted! We were in the canyon for over an hour, but Kim and I both swear we blacked out because it felt like five minutes. Luckily Syd + Kev are the most lowkey people on the planet and they are what made it so fun!

“Syd + Kev are the most low-key people on the planet and they are what made it so fun!”

After we finished rage-shooting at the base of the canyon, we drove up and out to our rim location to shoot blue hour. Look at me throwing out this term like I knew what it meant before this shoot. Once the sun set, we still had some light left, and the shadows created a blue haze across the scenery.

Pair the blues with the oranges, reds, and greens of West Texas and you basically have Hollywood-grade scenery at your fingertips. The wind kicked up and was blowing these two around like move stars and I kept telling Syd she looked like the chick from King Kong but honestly where is the lie?

bride and groom elopement

After it was *actually* dark, we decided to get some fun night shots of them in front of their car headlights. That was some straight up advertisement shit. (Syd got a swanky new car and I swear we could send the images to the car company)

bride and groom walking on a desert road at night
bride and groom kissing under the moon during texas elopement

“That was some straight up advertisement shit.”

Creating magic with these couples is…well, magic. I like to think of it almost like a performance, where the art is a two-way channel of communication. I can’t create anything without great people to connect with, and without me they might get some weird looks dressed like that in nature. But it rocks when couples are down to do something funky, creative, and meaningful to them!

bride and groom kissing in front of car headlights

West Texas Elopement at Palo Duro Canyon

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