Photography Business Interview Series: with Cat at Wild Connections Photo — molly ho studio

Cat is a British adventure wedding and elopement photographer based in the Austrian Alps. She travels around Europe accompanying couples who choose to get married in epic locations, and it’s not unusual to find her skiing down a mountain or hiking up one with a couple on their wedding day. | instagram

Hi Cat! Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Cat. I’m originally from the UK, but I came to Austria to work a winter season as a ski & snowboard instructor at the ripe age of 25, met my husband here (who is Dutch) and we never left! I’m a huge introvert, and so is my husband so we don’t really socialise much. We spend most of our time outdoors exploring and doing crazy things. In the winter we’re skiing almost every weekend and in the summer we’re hiking a lot and in the climbing gym 2-3 times a week.

How did you first get into the adventure wedding industry and do you have any advice for those who want to get into this industry?

Adventure weddings were a natural progression for me because of the sort of lifestyle I lead.

I started off shooting traditional weddings but found out quickly that I didn’t really enjoy them. I already mentioned that I’m an introvert, and I’m a pretty socially anxious person when I’m around groups of more than about 20 people. Because I didn’t really want to show a lot of the stuff I was shooting, but I needed something to blog about, I blogged about my life, which was hiking, skiing and travel. I blogged about being a seasonaire and about being an expat.

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And suddenly I was getting messages from couples who wanted to know if I could shoot their skiing wedding or an elopement halfway up a mountain that they were hiking up to. I immediately knew these couples were “my people”. They weren’t so bothered about the traditional wedding stuff (flowers, colour schemes, etc) and really just wanted their day to be about the experience of getting married somewhere awesome and doing something that felt more authentic to them.

I know that a lot of photographers want to get in to the adventure wedding/elopement niche. A lot of people are drawn to this niche because it looks epic and fun – and it is, if you like this kind of thing. Pictures of couples in epic locations might help you get more likes on social media, but adventure weddings aren’t always easy. You can be outside in the elements for hours at a time, sometimes in crazy weather conditions, carrying all your gear and making sure that your couple has an amazing time.

If you want to know if this industry is for you, I definitely recommend attending something like my Adventure Wedding Academy retreat, where we’ll be re-creating a real hiking elopement scenario. Regardless of the weather, we’ll be hiking to a location with a couple and photographing it as if it was their elopement.

It’s not just about getting portfolio images (they are important too) but also about…

…learning what gear you need, how much you can carry, and being able to get amazing images for a couple no matter the weather. After that, I definitely think it’s really important to have a portfolio and a brand that attracts the types of couples that you want. Couples are very unlikely to book you for an elopement if all they see on your website are hotel or church weddings. Show what you want to shoot.

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Oh my. It’s so hard to pick a favourite because they have all been so different and unique.

This content was originally published here.