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Here’s to the Adventure of 2019 | Instagram Round-Up

Halie West Photography | Adventure Elopement Photographer


With 2020 quickly approaching it’s hard not to reflect on all that 2019 had to offer. From moving to a new state, to a new job, new adventures, new highs, and new lows; 2019 will leave me will so many memories. I’m so grateful for all the places I have been this year, all the couples I have gotten to know and photograph, and all the stories I am able to tell. Many of these stories have been shared over on my Instagram, so here is a Instagram round-up from my most impactful adventures of the last year. Read on to see these stories and my goals for the new year!

Shout out to Abbi Hearne for this great idea!


January 3rd | San Gorgonio Wilderness, California

So far this new year has been full of a bunch of new things. I began the year in the best of places: the wilderness. I went on my first backpacking trip. I snow camped. I woke up to snow covered mountains. I melted snow for drinking water. I wore frozen boots and suffered. I learned to use crampons and an ice ax. I lost a crampon. I glacaded down a snow hill. I got to spend it with great friends. And I got to share it with my incredible partner. Here’s to the adventures this year will bring. I hope that you make it outside and explore this new year. It’s always humbling to try something new.

February 25th | Alabama Hills, California

If there is anything to be said about photographers it is that they create a beautiful community. As I enter the world of adventure weddings I’ve found that fellow photographers really want to help each other to become more successful and informed, for we all have a common goal of giving our couples a wonderful adventure while respecting the places we wander in. I really enjoyed learning from and getting to know everyone from a little desert styled shoot that I was so lucky to be a part of over the weekend. You all make me excited for the photography adventures that are to come. Shout to @christinajoyh for bringing us all together

February 27th | California to Utah

See you soon California. Thanks for raising me these past 22 years. Thanks for your constant sunshine, your lack of seasons, and your ever surprising landscape and for your wild places, the adventures, and the start of passions. You’re a rad state, but you’re a bit too busy and freakin expensive.
Thanks for all the people who cannot be described in just words. While I will miss you all dearly this is not goodbye.

I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t scared for this move. I’ll be moving from the only home I’ve ever known, but I’m doing it with the only person and only pup who has ever felt like home. So maybe I’m not leaving home behind after all.

I look forward to what Utah has to bring and to the adventures and the real seasons, the challenges and the triumph. I look forward to the growth I will experience with a new job and a new start to my business.

So see you soon California. Your wild places and wonderful friends will have me visiting real soon.

March 23rd | Red Rock Canyon, Nevada

It still blows my mind that I climbed all 1100 feet of this wall. My first big wall climb was a success, and I never thought I would ever do anything like it.
When I was younger I was that kid that got stuck half way up on the rock wall. I would grip the plastic holds for dear life until some poor gym attendant would climb up to pry me off. Then I would sit and watch all my friends climb and give up because I was too scared.

While my fear of heights came out a few times during this climb I’m real proud at how far I’ve come. Face your fears. They can end up being pretty thrilling with the right people.
Shout to my man for bringing me on this great adventure, for the constant support and encouragement, and for talking me through some panicked moments during the down climb.

April 20th | Joshua Tree National Park, California

Woah I graduated a year ago and I’ve done so much since. I went abroad with my soulmate @emily_wilt and visited two incredible countries, got one of those job things, photographed my first wedding, moved away from home, fell deeper and deeper in love, got fired from my job (yikes), wandered through seven different states, went on ten different roadtrips, expanded my love for adventure, reevaluated what I wanted from life, committed to my photography business.

Then I felt more grateful for good friends than ever before, moved even further away from home, found a new job, and learned a lot of little things about myself and that we always have room to grow.

I graduated having no idea what I wanted to do with my life. The path I had always thought I was going to take crumbled at my feet after receiving vet school rejection letters and realizing that it wasn’t where my heart was.
So maybe you’re graduating and you have no idea what comes next. That is ok! You are not alone. You have not failed. Be patient with yourself. Go out and do what you are passionate about. You may be scarred. I sure was, but life has a funny way of falling in to place.

May 21st | American Fork Canyon, Utah

I sat in the car the other day admiring the passing landscape through a rain splattered windshield and thinking about how grateful I am. Grateful to have gone on so many adventures. Grateful for a car that takes me where my heart desires. So grateful for the people who help me to feel whole.

To a partner who is both patient and honest. Who loves me in such a way and pushes me to go after my dreams, while being able to peruse his own goals. I only hope that soon I can love myself as he does and see myself as he sees me through his kind and thoughtful eyes. To family who has supported me. Brought me up to chase my dreams no matter how obscure, off the beaten path, or difficult.

You’ve accepted that my life will be full of challenge and not the norm. The acceptance and excitement you share means the world. To friends who are so much more than just that. Who welcome me with open arms, visit when I need it most, include me in their biggest triumphs and challenges, and take the time to care. To myself for working harder than ever before on my dreams, art, and self care. Right now I feel grateful. Right now is what matters most.

July 8th | Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

I tend to measure solo roadtrips in albums. Every hour or so, a new story is told through the poems of another. The Wasatch Mountains shrunk in my rear view mirror as Wish You Were Here played on. Pink Floyd’s iconic lyrics flowed through open windows, while thoughts of my love and the sweetness of my return to him lingered on my mind. My voice soon rose over the stereo like Nevadan mountains on the horizon.

The Lumineer’s Cleopatra left me thinking about the paths we walk down that shape who we become. Zeppelin’s Mothership took me rambling across open fields and forgotten places with promise of when to hold on and when to move on. The Bahama’s Earthtones had me contemplating the pain and passion that has led my wheels to hit this very road. Silence followed for time to reflect. Six hours had gone by. Half way there. (1/2)

From the Next Post

With a full tank of gas, the stories resumed. An Awesome Wave’s tempo raced with my wandering wind across the seemingly endless grassland. Hozier’s melody haunted the car as I drove deeper into canyons. The grassland soon became forest. A few hours went by filled by more silence until broken by the somber sound of Culberson County. The stories left me thinking of the struggles we all face and the solace that our public lands bring me.

The Lumineer’s first and newest albums brought me as far as the open gates of Oregon’s only National Park. They tell so many stories of their own. What lives we are able to live. With windows down and the stereo silenced, the song of the wind followed me as I wound myself around steep roads to the viewpoint. Behold. A place of beauty created by ash. A place of solitude and joy formed by time. There is more to learn: more stories to be told by the trail so along it I went. (2/2)

Photos from this series were taken on the trail and drive home so that the journey would come full circle. The story could be told as a whole.

August 7th | Home

It’s hard to describe how grateful I feel. Life is short. Hold those who matter most

October 7th | Yosemite National Park

It’s funny to think that my first visit to Yosemite was anything but memorable. Sometimes I don’t believe that I went before college. That I never witnessed those towering granite walls. The flocks of tourists. The windy roads. All I can kinda remember is the hike to Vernal Falls. And a younger kid in my group crying because he saw a squirrel and he didn’t get ice cream. Classic. Since it wasn’t memorable it wasn’t enjoyable. Luckily, my second trip was much, much different.

We took those windy roads, came through the tunnel, and I was in awe. The valley sprawled before us. El Cap, Yosemite Falls, and Half Dome seemed to rise out of the valley floor as they came into view. It was hard for me stop starring out the window. It’s a good thing I wasn’t driving. I starred in wonder at those granite faces, took in the change in scenery from one part of the park to the next, and got excited over every waterfall.

Yosemite left me with feelings of wonder and inspiration. Maybe my first trip tried to leave me with these same feelings. Maybe I wasn’t ready for them, so they waited in that valley for six years until my return. Those feelings hit me so hard that I was back in Yosemite the next weekend despite only getting to spend half a day in the park. Funny what a stretch of land can do for us. How it can make us feel and how it can invoke passion and wonder by just being itself. How we can feel a place so deeply in our bones that it must simply be part of our soul. I think that we can learn so much from the places we visit. The places we feel rather than simply see.

November 27th | Memories from Alabama Hills, California

Film has a way of making memories appear timeless. They take you back to that moment with a different feeling than digital photographs. Maybe it’s that these moments seem like they came from so long ago. Back when Ansel Adams photographed what would become Yosemite National Park. Back when William Eggleston used color photography to make waves in the fine art world. They invoke a deeper feeling of nostalgia and peace.

Film is especially fun when I find rolls from nearly a year ago, have them processed, and relive the memories in more detail and vibrance than before. Here’s the last time we went to Alabama Hills as a lil family before moving to Utah. I can feel the morning chill getting out of the car at dawn. I can hear the crunch of snow as Lilly chases after her ball, and feel the soothing water of the hot springs.

December 18th | Moab. Utah

The beauty of the desert is endless


I love that this Instagram round-up allowed me to go back over my year and take in some of its most inspiring moments. 2019 led me to so many fun and exciting adventures with some pretty amazing people. I’m so grateful for all the memories I made, and for all the couples who I got to photograph and become better friends with. Sharing your stories made my year so much richer, and I can’t wait for the stories that 2020 allows me to be a part of.

For 2020 I hope to

  • visit more places in nature that inspire me
  • get outside more and have fun with the new sports I’ve been learning
  • help more couples create their own adventurous wedding days
  • show more people the places I love
  • grow more as a person and as a partner, and learn some new things
  • pet all the dogs!

What do you hope to do in 2020? I hope that you go out there and explore as part of this new year. Bring the ones you love most with you and make some amazing memories![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]