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

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIOS ARE OPEN - 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!

Charlottesville Wedding Photographers

Wedding Photographers of Charlottesville, Virginia

Charlottesville Elopement Photographers

YOU CAN'T STOP LOVE - In recent days, some of our United States photographer vendors 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 because of current wedding size restrictions, social distancing, and mask requirements. 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
April 22nd, 2021
Key West Wedding Photography at Old Town | The vows, which were loaded with love and a dash of humor
April 22nd, 2021
Church Ceremony Photo at Sao Goncalo in Maceio, Alagoas | the crucifix is the central focal point
April 21st, 2021
Luxury Wedding Photos from a Scottsdale Venue | private balcony ceremony at the Phoenician Resort in Arizona

Elopement Photographers for Small Virginia Weddings

Shooting an elopement or small Charlottesville 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 mini, secret, 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 unique, 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 Charlottesville Couples

3 Documentary Wedding Photographers...

Charlottesville wedding and elopement photography by Xiaoqi Li of Virginia

Hello! I'm Xiaoqi (she/her; pronounced "cho-chee"), Charlottesville foodie, dessert queen, and wedding photographer! You're here because you want to connect with an awesome wedding photographer. You don't want just some stranger following you around with a camera, but a friend invested in capturing your story. Someone who understands that you're looking for more than beautiful images because you deserve to have genuine images that really mean something to you! And that's exactly what I strive to take care of for my couples - I want you to enjoy peace of mind knowing that I'll be there to capture your wedding day in its entirety for you to relive again and again. Photographs have always been especially important in my family because we've lived in different places, continents apart. I was actually raised in China by my grandparents. My parents moved to the U.S. when I was 4 months old to attend college, so they watched me grow up through photos and phone calls. It became flipped when I moved to the US to join my parents. Everyone I had known as family suddenly became memories, photographs, and phone calls. Staying in touch was a lot harder before the internet! It was especially difficult when my grandfather passed away a few months before we were able to visit him again. However, I was thankful for the collection of photos we had of him. Although I didn't always love being in front of the camera growing up, I'm glad my family pushed for it anyways so we'd always have these memories of our people. Weddings are my favorite place to create more of those images. From getting ready together to cultural traditions and just rocking out on the dance floor, there are so many opportunities to capture people as they are. That's why my philosophy with weddings goes beyond two. For you, for your people now, and for future generations - let's capture your story in its entirety! [Charlottesville Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
3500 (USD)

Three time Pulitzer Prize nominee Eva Russo is the owner and main photographer for Photo Lady Love, Inc. She was born in Chicago, raised in Italy, moved to France and then settled back in the United States. A graduate in photojournalism from the prestigious Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Eva uses still photography, video and audio in her photographic storytelling on both short and long-term projects. Eva received two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize for her two-year-long project documenting living and working conditions in the Richmond City Jail. Her work focused on the daily life and struggles of the inmates as well as mental health and recidivism issues. Her third Pulitzer Prize nomination was for her work documenting a Vietnamese community in New Orleans East as it recovered from Hurricane Katrina. As a staff photographer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Richmond, Virginia, Eva covered daily assignments ranging from little league games to political campaigns to the Queen of England’s visit to Virginia. However, her passion for social documentary projects has always been what makes her tick. Her accolades and award-winning coverage for the Richmond Times-Dispatch include coverage of the Winter Olympics, the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings, the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi, the 2009 Presidential Inauguration and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. In 2010 Eva decided to embrace an exciting new adventure in her life and she founded Photo Lady Love, Inc. Applying the same storytelling concepts to a wedding day as she would to a newspaper story, Eva has devoted increasingly more time over the past few years to documenting joyful, tearful, momentous and exciting occasions in people’s lives. From wedding days to first babies, engagements to anniversaries, documenting love and joy has contributed a refreshing balance to Eva’s career and the stories she loves to tell. This new chapter in Eva’s career became an opportunity for further growth when, in the summer of 2012, Eva left her staff position at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, married her love and moved to the Washington, DC area. Eva now divides her time between documentary wedding and lifestyle coverage, freelancing for newspapers such as The Washington Post and The Washington Times, mentoring and teaching photography workshops with Momenta Workshops, documenting the work of local nonprofits and pursuing her love of food and food photography. Never letting the grass grow under her well-manicured photographer’s feet, but always stopping to smell the roses, Eva considers herself one of the lucky people who loves her job. [Alexandria Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
3400 (USD)

Hi there, I'm Heather! And after 8 years as a newspaper staff photographer & editor, I moved into weddings & portraits full time in 2008 and continue to run my business full time. My husband Rob (a newspaper photographer for 20 years) is often a second shooter and photographs a few on his own each year. We have called Virginia home since 2002 and tend to spend most of our time near Richmond, Williamsburg, DC, and the Outer Banks. I only shoot about 20 weddings a year (and Rob does less) so I can provide flexibility and personal attention to every couple. My style is a mix of artistically captured moments, portraits, and candid portraits. True photojournalists at heart, we work unobtrusively so you can be free to enjoy the day instead of spending hours "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 was also named Virginia's Small Newspaper Photographer of the Year and has won numerous awards for her lifestyle, sports, and wedding photography over the years. Both are graduates from Ohio University's prestigious Visual Communications program (where they met), taught at Truth with a Camera, and were accepted to attend the Eddie Adams Workshop in consecutive years. [Newport News Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
2999 (USD)

Wedding Engagement Diamond Awards - Charlottesville

Are you ready to find your Charlottesville engagement / pre-wedding photographer for a portrait session to complement your story of love? Searching for some ideas and creative inspiration for your own pre-wed shoot? Pro members from the Charlottesville Wedding Photojournalist Association would like to help you add some unique and artistic pictures to your engagement photo gallery!

WPJA Communiqué: Features
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
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
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
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
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
Not everyone has a lagoon or glacier next door, but there's no rule saying you can't have a small wedding in the great outdoors. Take advantage of natural sunshine and that open, airy feeling and give your guests some room to breathe! LESS IS MORE Instead of hemming your guests in on all sides, give them some elbow room, and legroom, too. There's no need to induce claustrophobia when you've got a wide, open space. Let your guests take in the view, especially if you've got a spectacular one. You...Read more

RAVES, REVIEWS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS

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!