Sam Starns | Elope Your Life®️

Sam Starns | Elope Your Life®️

Based In: Anchorage, AK
Business Attributes: LGBTQ+ Owned, Woman Owned
Photographer: Sam Starns | Elope Your Life®️

Sam Starns | Elope Your Life®️

Based In: Anchorage, AK
Business Attributes: LGBTQ+ Owned, Woman Owned


And that’s bullshit. Especially on your wedding day.


You and your relationship is unique in every way, and it’s BS that the wedding industry puts us in boxes that we just aren’t born to fit in. You were born to stand out.


I’m Sam, a TEDx speaker, author, and adventure elopement expert for Alaska. I’m here to make sure you don’t half-ass your elopement day because that’s what the world is telling you to do.

Think about this: What makes you, you? I’m betting part of it includes your passions, your desires, your dreams, the places you want to see and the things you want to do. Then ask yourself why your elopement day shouldn’t include exactly that.

My couples use that empowerment to create a one-of-a-kind elopement day to transform the rest of their lives.


Let’s do this, shall we? If you have any questions, submit the contact form below, our reach out via my website:

Sam cares SO deeply about every couple she meets. From the first conversation we had, the first thing she did was get to know us as people and what we wanted, past the epic images. – Katherin & Clay


***See my ultimate guide to eloping in Alaska***



  • Custom client portal
  • The ultimate elopement guide (including all resources from my book “Elope Your Life”)
  • Extensive planning consultation/assistance
    • Planning Zoom calls
    • Your own custom day-of timeline
    • Custom vendor referrals
    • Vetted location recommendations and stats on each
    • Getting to Know You Questionnaire and Zoom calls
    • Marriage license resources
    • Permitting information
  • All hi-res edited digital images
  • Heirloom album to display in your home
  • Photographer travel included

Starting pricing and more info about the Elope Your Life experience is available at!


She knows what she’s doing, a true professional, but it was also so genuine. She wrote a book. She even did a TEDx Talk on eloping!! We were both like whaaaaat!!! Yes, woman, kill it! Seriously, hire Sam, great pics are sooo important, but it was more than pictures, it was an experience. It was worth every penny. I honestly cannot recommend her enough. – Nikki & Evan


NBC King 5 Seattle
CBS Good Day Sacramento
ABC AM Northwest
NBC WFLA Bloom Talk Show
Gay Weddings Magazine



Oregon Coast
Oregon Coast
Oregon Desert
Oregon Desert
Oregon Coast
Oregon Coast
Scotland, In collaboration with Raini Rowell Photography
Scotland, In collaboration with Raini Rowell Photography
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Let’s start off with the fact that the whole week we were in Alaska felt like a blur, because it was truly more awe-inspiring than anything we could’ve imagined, making it SO hard to go back to reality after this fantasy adventure that Sam helped us cook up. There were helicopters, tons of different sights, glaciers, and MOOSE! One thing we loved about working with Sam was that it never really felt like we took posed photos; there were prompts and directions, but it really was genuine, she captured us just being weirdly us. Jeff complained about getting his photos taken in the months leading up to our elopement, but the experience was way better than expected (he grew up despising cameras) and all of our photos are so full of life, taking us back to that exact time and place. Also, Sam suggested thinking about our day as an adventure first and a wedding second, and it really helped us realize the potential and plan a day that was way more badass and memorable than any traditional wedding! We certainly don’t feel like we missed out on anything by eloping; in fact, we feel the experience was more meaningful and intentional because we got to experience all of these new adventures together that were uniquely us. I’ve already had friends and colleagues come up to me asking how to elope like we did. My advice is, “Here’s Sam’s contact info – you need to call her.”

Shelby & Jeff

Our elopement in Alaska with Sam was so epic. Our friends kept saying that our elopement announcement photo should be used for Alaska’s tourism! The whole elopement experience was completely worth it. The mine, glacier, and reindeer farm were all perfect additions to the day where we climbed a mountain and said “I do”. It felt good to do what we wanted. It wasn’t like we were trying to exclude anyone, but an Alaska elopement was just what we felt more comfortable doing. Sam’s communication was on point (I love a quick response and she was on it) and she gave us so many location/activity recommendations that were so helpful, whether she’d been there already or not. And the whole Elope Your Life aspect? It was present in our day, with trying new things and getting outside our comfort zone. It was also a great reminder to continue that bravery and exploration in our lives. With Sam there to capture it, we forded a glacial stream, hiked a mountain, were surrounded by reindeer, kissed a moose, and explored an old mine in the mountains of Alaska. To anyone wanting to elope – do it. We now have so many friends and family who wish they did what we did.

Andy & Ashland W.

We knew Sam had to be our girl after the first consult call! She understood exactly what kind of experience we were looking for and was genuinely excited to start making it happen. We’re naturally shy, but Sam really knew how to get us feeling comfortable in front of the camera (on Zoom calls and on our big day!)

I LOVE good communication and right away appreciated the very timely and clear emails we received at each step - for form submission confirmations, meeting reminders, and timeline updates. Not only did this keep us on track, it also made us feel very secure in Sam’s experience and process and confident that we wouldn’t accidentally miss something.

Our elopement was perfect! We decided to leave everything and everyone behind and travel to the other side of the country and I’m so glad we did. It was just us and Sam and that allowed us to be spontaneous and adventurous in ways we are rarely able to be in our daily lives. We took Sam up on her recommendation to charter a helicopter and it was the BEST decision. (If you can handle heights, we HIGHLY recommend it.) We got so many photos in so many locations and “Ranger Sam” made sure we were safe, environmentally conscious, and giggling like fools the whole time! It was such a fun, exhilarating day that felt true to us and completely free from compromise.

If you’re looking for someone who feels professional and knowledgeable but also somehow like an instant friend you can tell anything to without judgment - that’s Sam! No clue how she strikes that perfect balance, but that’s exactly how it feels to work with her and I don’t think anyone else could have helped us pull off such a bucket-list experience. We are going to cherish this trip and these memories for the rest of our lives and we can’t thank her enough!

... She also takes really incredible pictures. Did we mention that???

Savanah & Tyler

We've spent a good while trying to describe how perfect our elopement was and how grateful we are to have connected with Sam.

From the very first call, we knew we wanted Sam to be a very important part of our very special day. We chose a location that we had never traveled to. Sam was able to guide us to choosing the perfect adventures. She had great local recommendations for vendors that she had worked with previously- and they were very eager to work with her again!

When we first met up in person, it was like reconnecting with a long lost friend. She has a way about her that is just effortlessly cool and comfortable. We decided on the two day adventure package, we thought it might be a bit overboard, but at the end of day one, we were so excited to get to spend an entire second day with Sam.

Day one was magical and incredible, she captured is perfectly. Day two brought some temperamental weather. We received a call that our planned adventure for that day had to be canceled due to inclement weather. Without missing a beat, Ranger Sam recalculated the weather pattern, consulted the map, and started making phone calls. Within a few calls she had pulled some strings and found us a last minute private pilot that was still available for an epic helicopter ride above the most breathtaking scenery imaginable with a pilot that told us to pick a spot that speaks to us and she'd land us there for photos, how dreamy is that?!

If you're reading this and even considering an adventure elopement over a stuffy wedding, do it! I mean, Sam literally crawled over a snowy glacier to get the photos she was envisioning and proudly wore snow in her pants in order to do so. And the photos? Better than we could have ever dreamt. We aren't even photogenic people and somehow all of our images are stunning! The album she created was the icing on the cake, the quality is unmatched, and in the age of swiping photos on a phone, being able to turn pages and study each image is like reliving that day over and over.

Don't mind us, we're over here trying to think of an excuse to get to spend another day with Sam and her camera.

Carissa & Ben

We loved our Glacier National Park elopement with Sam! She took the time to really get to know us through phone and video chats before we met up. The first time we got together in person was for our adventure session a few days before the wedding. We scheduled the adventure session at the end of a 2-day hiking experience totaling almost 20 miles, so we were pretty exhausted at the time. Sam's vibrant personality immediately perked us up and put us at ease. Her prompts were hilarious and we ended up having a fantastic time laughing together while taking portraits. The fun was genuine and it absolutely shows in the photos! Sam had the knowledge and experience to take us to the right places at the right times to optimize our experience of Glacier's jaw-dropping settings. She was our unofficial guide about the park, sharing knowledge and tidbits along the way. She has such an eye for beauty and light, and was able to capture our special memories in the most beautiful way. Our small group of friends all had a great time with her and her husband, Brian. Our elopement day was full of fun, laughs, Goldfish crackers (Sam and both of us love them), adventure, and authenticity. We even got to go paddle-boarding in our wedding gear; how many people can say that? Afterward, Sam and Brian joined us at our place for dinner! It was great hanging out with two new friends after experiencing one of the best days.

Shan Tang

Choosing a great photographer is the most important wedding decision to make, second only to choosing your spouse. We could not be happier in choosing Sam as our adventure elopement photographer. It was the best decision we made for our day. I went to do some research on Reddit when my (now) husband and I started to consider eloping. The very first post on the Eloping subreddit that day, someone mentioned her and linked to her Wandering Weddings page, where I then found her website. We were immediately sold, and this choice went on to shape the best day of our life. Sam really helped curate the day and make our vision come alive, just like we imagined. Even better, really. Our day was light, fun, romantic, and we felt so ALIVE. Sam’s direction was fantastic, and we loved her games like, “The Floor is Lava” (if you know, you know). It didn’t even feel like “direction”. We now recommend Sam before anyone can even ask. We’re always looking at our pictures all googly eyed, and it’s great to have tangible memories that we can share with our family and friends. There were so many intimate moments captured together, so many smiles, so many laughs. It was an incredible experience. It was an unimaginably perfect, PERFECT day. She knows what she’s doing, a true professional, but it was also so genuine. She wrote a book. She even did a TEDx Talk on eloping!! We were both like whaaaaat!!! Yes, woman, kill it! Seriously, hire Sam, great pics are sooo important, but it was more than pictures, it was an experience. It was worth every penny. I honestly cannot recommend her enough. Break from tradition and do something for YOU that you can share with each other.

Nikki & Evan

Due to COVID, we decided to forgo the traditional wedding and plan the adventure elopement of our dreams. But also due to COVID, we changed our elopement location 3 times! Not only were we impressed with Sam’s flexibility, but with each step, she had an incredible repository of recommended vendors and location suggestions that fit the bill for exactly what we wanted. How can we put into a short paragraph how amazing our 2-day elopement was across the island of Maui? We got married at 10,000ft at Haleakala National Park, explored a red sand beach with a DRONE, hiked a bamboo forest, and so much more. Sam doing what she does gave us a super solid foundation and empowerment to make our experience exactly what we wanted: spontaneous, candid, and fun. She made it so comfortable, so 2 days flew by! Her direction in front of the camera was also a great balance of serious and funny moments. We’re still laughing at, “Every guy has a condition. It’s called ‘dead hand’.” On top of all that, she knew things about the planning process (like when Google was lying about drive time 👀, or how we’d fit our day together perfectly) that made our life so much easier. Her timeline questionnaire and timeline she crafted from it just put our minds at ease. Sam cares SO deeply about every couple she meets. From the first conversation we had, the first thing she did was get to know us as people and what we wanted, past the epic images. Since we were all free, we met up the night before our elopement to just have dinner and talk (and share dog photos) and that really stood out to us about Sam’s process too. The whole elopement experience surpassed what we ever could have imagined.

Katherin & Clay
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Wandering Since 2018
Sam Starns | Elope Your Life®️
Sam Starns | Elope Your Life®️

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