We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelly Shoul and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kelly, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
It was 2016, I was engaged, and in the middle of planning a wedding. During this time, I had also just started up my photography career, taking pictures of newborns, families, traditional weddings, and really just anything I could book. I knew I needed to niche down, but nothing I was shooting really interested me to the point I wanted to pour my entire self into. So, going back to me planning a wedding day. We looked at venues, I was emailing back and forth with a photographer, we set up meetings with caterers, and my heart just was not in it. The drama was starting on who would be in the bridal party, and the whole process made me want to give up on planning a wedding, and just elope. Our wedding day was too important to be overshadowed by stuff that didn’t matter. So that’s what we did. The two of us, and our two best friends woke up in the early morning to watch the sunrise at the beach, and to say our wedding vows to one another. The rest of the day was filled with celebrating with champagne and dancing on the beach, a big breakfast on a dock right on the ocean, naps, and ending with camping on the beach with a bonfire, and smores and hot dogs for dinner. Looking back, it was the perfect day. Shortly after, I thought, “There has to be couples out there just like us, who want to get married this way.” So I did some research, and at that time, Adventure Elopements were just starting to kick off. There were only a few photographers that specialized in it. At that moment, I knew thats what I wanted to do. Help couples have a wedding day that is a reflection of their relationship, and one they actually want to have. That’s when In Love and Adventure was created. We did a total re-brand, and announced we were going to be specializing in Adventure Elopements.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
There are people and couples out there who don’t want to get married the same way as everyone else. The attention, and planning is just not something they want. It’s enough couples where I (and dozens of others) make a living off of it. Just because something is different, doesn’t mean there is an ulterior motive behind it, or that it’s wrong, or weird. We are all so unique and so different from person to person. Is it so unbelievable to think not everyone wants to get married the same way? Every time I hop on the phone with a couple who doesn’t want the traditional wedding day, I get goose bumps. I hear their story, I hear their reasons for wanting an elopement, and it resonates with me so deeply that I can’t help but want to help them every way possible. It was challenging when I first announced that I was going to be specializing in elopements only. I had people tell me not to do it, it wouldn’t work out, etc. etc. It reminded me of when I first started out in photography. The “light and airy” edits were very popular. But for me, every time I went to edit a photo, I found myself starting out to edit the photo “light and airy”, but then I would bring out the shadows, bring down the whites, and before I knew it, I was editing to my own style. It’s scary going against the grain. It’s not easy. But would I rather be putting work out there that isn’t me, that I’m not passionate about? I’ve learned that the more you stay true to who you are, and put yourself out into the world, the more you’ll attract individuals like you, and you’ll find your people. Running a small business is way too hard, and way too risky to be producing work that you’re not passionate about.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The great thing about living in an area like the city of Denver, and surrounding areas is there’s tons of stuff to get into. We love sitting down at new places to eat, exploring new parks, or adventuring on new hikes. A few spots we love to take our friends and family to is Roxborough State Park, Francy’s Gourmet Roastery & Cafe, Supreme Chicken, and we always take all of our guests on a night hike up Dinosaur Ridge so you can see the view of the city lights at night.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my husband, and business partner, Alex. When I presented this idea to him of becoming Adventure Elopement Photographers, he was completely on board. He too understands that what we are doing for couples really means something, and he’s supported me every step of the way. I’ll never forget his reaction when I told him I booked my first wedding, and he still has that same reaction every time I deliver exciting news related to our business. He is my biggest supporter and best friend. I am so grateful to have him in my life.
Other: A few of our blogs: https://inloveandadventure.com/best-places-to-elope-in-colorado/ https://inloveandadventure.com/garden-of-the-gods-elopement/ https://inloveandadventure.com/what-to-pack-for-an-adventure-hiking-elopement/ https://inloveandadventure.com/how-to-plan-an-elopement/ https://inloveandadventure.com/colorado-winter-wedding/
The first photo of me taking a picture in the sand dunes is by Matlai Photography All other images are by me, Kelly Shoul, In Love and Adventure