Joy-filled elopement and branding photography curated with a touch of whimsy

About the Photographer Emmy Gaines


Hello, I am Emmy Gaines, the couple, elopement, small business, dance and yoga photographer behind Searching for the Light Photography. I am a joy-filled photographer creating photographs with a touch of whimsy. I love to capture the Light, and not just gorgeous light—which is fun to capture—but to capture the beauty of life, love and creation. My joy is to capture the light that illuminates our hearts.

I am first and foremost a reflection of the greatest Artist there ever was and ever will be. If there is one thing I can ever hope to accomplish it is to show how beautiful He is.

My goal in this crazy thing called photography is to capture and display for you the amazing gift that we have been given of seeing and experiencing God in love, life and creation.

I have a gift (or so I’ve been told) to capture the experience we feel in a moment and turn that joyful moment into a permanent, tangible memory: a photograph. I hope one day to capture your joy.

Part of my story is chronic illnesses.  In 2016 I was hit with an extensive list of symptoms that were sometimes completely disabling. I was forced to take a break from my work as a business owner and photographer. Now a year later, 2017, after working with a plethora of doctors and specialists from numerous fields, I now finally have two diagnoses and resources in my tool belt to help me manage my chronic illnesses. To be honest, I never believed I would be back here as a photographer, but I am so excited to be here and have the honor of capturing a part of you and your story.

I have a few limitations noted around my website. Specifically, I can only hike one mile for any adventure session or elopement and I can only photograph for a maximum of 3 hours continuously. Additionally, when I am shooting in the Colorado mountains or outside the Denver city limits, I will be working with an assistant to aid me in carrying gear, among other things. 

This assistant is someone I would trust my life with. They are an insurance policy for you and me. In any event I am unable to work or need an immediate break, my assistant is able to step in and take over photography so that there is no concern for you in missing photographs. The assistants I work with are hand-picked by me, they know my style, how to work with you just as I would and are able to capture you on camera skillfully. Many of my assistants have worked with me for several years, so they know the ins and outs of my style and approach. 

I am an open book on my illness, so if reading this is of any concern to you please don’t hesitate to ask!


Here is a little sneak peak into my life


These are all my favorite things


I cannot wait to know more about you! Curious about what makes my heart beat?
 (underline text includes a link to related blog posts):


My savior and love Jesus Christ, God and the Holy Spirit.

My super awesome husband, Josh Gaines, a talented up-and-coming author and director of sci-fi, horror, and strange fiction.

Olive Mae, the sweet toddler who turned my world upside down in the most amazing way.

My dog, Toby, who is more of a fluffy cat in appearance and mannerism. 

My heart beats and dreams in dances. You’ll often find my family having dance parties.  I still pretend I am a real ballerina when I take adult ballet classes. 

Yoga, it has offered a way to connect my mind body and spirituality in an amazing way I never expected. 

I could live off chocolate chip cookies if my body would let me. I enjoy baking and cooking. I love gathering around a table and enjoying deep conversation with dear friends and family. 

I have a terrible travel bug. While I don’t mind being a home body and love my hammock and big apple tree in our backyard I love the adventure of visiting new places. 

Organization and Planning : I make lists for my lists. DIY is too much of my lifestyle. I seriously struggle to shop because in the back of my mind I am always thinking, I could make that…its a problem, guys.

I grew up in the desert so Snow falling in big flakes is still magical to me. 

Mountains, beaches, exploring, and pretty much any place green or epic.

One-on-one education for photographers! 

I am so excited to announce I am now consulting photographers, new and experienced! I’ve always had a deep passion for teaching, and would love to pass on the experience and knowledge I’ve gained in running a business for 7 years over two different states!

I’m offering video conference meetings for $175 an hour where you can ask me as many questions on any subject you’d like! The session will include two follow up emails with me. You can add on a portfolio review if you’d like for an extra $100, which includes an extra half hour in our meeting to go over your portfolio.

Some topics of interest include:

  • Find your Ideal Client
  • Balancing Running a Business While Having a Life
  • Creating Candid Moments
  • Blogging and Using Pinterest
  • Marketing to Your Ideal Client
  • Off Camera Flash
  • Strengthening Your Body for Shooting

Here is some of my recent Instagram Posts: Follow me at @searchingphoto

I have the most amazing wedding and photography clients! We are so blessed to have them write amazing reviews about us! Feel free to scroll through the reviews and see more photos from our clients real weddings or photography sessions.

Lyon's Farmette Colorado Wedding

"The pictures were beautiful! Emmy was such a calming and joyful presence during our wedding. Before the ceremony when the rain started to come down and emotions started to intensify, she was able to pull us all together, come-up with a creative alternative to group photos and capture some really special moments. I am very grateful for her amazing ability to be patient and confident in these trying moments. I sensed this calming presence about her when we first met her, and it really rang true watching her work. Thank you, Emmy, also for your kind words on your blog - your perspective about the rain before our ceremony is very touching and helped me to see the joy and deeper meaning in those moments. Thank you!" 

See more of Chris & Alea's wedding here.

The Barn at Evergreen Wedding

" Emmy is absolutely amazing to work with. We did both our engagement pictures and wedding photos with her and could not be more happy with everything. She captures love so naturally instead of posed pictures. She has an easy personality to have around on the most important day of our lives. The second shooter on our wedding day was a pleasure to work with as well and we already can't wait until we can work with her again as our life grows together. :)" - Courtney | Colorado  

See more from Courtney's engagement and wedding go here.


Snow Mountain Ranch Wedding

"Emmy is simply amazing. She captured the most beautiful moments of my wedding and I will forever treasure the photos. I cannot thank Emmy enough for her time, dedication, efficiency, creativity, and kindness. There is not another photographer like Emmy out there! She is truly one of a kind." -Kara | Texas

See more from Kara's engagement and wedding here.

Mount Princeton Wedding

"Emmy is a super talented and creative photographer. She and her assistant photographed our wedding this past fall and the photos look amazing. We get compliments on our pictures all the time. Her custom photo albums are also really beautiful and unique. Thanks, Emmy!" 

- Jessica | Colorado

See more from Jessica's Mount Princeton Hot Spring Wedding here.

Winter Mountain Engagement

"This incredible woman (whom I am so blessed to call friend) made all our dreams come true by shooting our engagement photos. She is such an incredible photographer. If you want someone who will capture the essence of your engagement or wedding and make you feel comfortable and at ease while doing it, she's your gal. And the photos are breath-taking! I cannot say enough good things about Emmy Gaines and Searching for the Light Photography. Wow. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!"

- Riana | Colorado

See more from Riana's winter engagement session here.

Mountain Anniversary Photos

"Searching for the Light photographer Emmy Gaines is a true professional. She did wedding photos for my husband and me and they came out spectacular. What I really appreciated was Emmy's experience. She knows what looks good and also works with you for your best to really come through. She made the whole experience so much fun for everyone and on top of the gorgeous photos she produces, she is on top of communication and quite organized. We hope to work with her again and I will definitely be recommending her to everyone."

- Christen | Colorado

See more of Christen's photos here

Backyard Wedding

"Emmy was wonderful! We didn't know her before our wedding, but we love our pictures, and we are super grateful we found her. She's very artistic, talented and professional. Her prices are great, and the overall experience was exactly what I was looking for. She is very thorough and has an eye for exceptional shots. I would recommend her to anyone looking for a great photographer....Emmy is amazing, she captured the most beautiful photos of our engagement and our wedding day. Everyone comments on how beautiful they are, and her prices are very reasonable. We're getting family photos done next, this girl is our photog for life!"

- Colette | Colorado

See more from Colette's engagement and wedding here.

Denver Wedding

“Emmy was wonderful to work with. The photos were everything we had hoped for and the process was very efficient. We are so happy to have these memories captured! Emmy was wonderful to work with. The photos were everything we had hoped for and the process was very efficient. We are so happy to have these memories captured!” - Allison | Denver

See more from Allison & Eric’s wedding here.

Summer Engagement

"Emmy is easily one of the most selfless and caring people I have had the pleasure of meeting. Her photos were absolutely stunning and captured the true colors of both my fiance and myself, which can be difficult to do because my fiancé is so reserved. Emmy truly takes the time to get to know those who she works with and is very open and warm, which makes the entire photo process very enjoyable."

-Moriah | Colorado

See more from Moriah's engagement photos here

Telluride Mountain Wedding

“You're not going to get better photos, or a more accommodating, pleasant experience from anyone else.” - Tyler | New York

See more from Tyler & Brie’s telluride mountain wedding here.

"Emmy is both a talented photographer as well as a wonderful person to work with. She takes time to get to know her clients, then uses what she has learned about them to craft a great photo session. Emmy is a professional and very personable!"

- McLaughlin Family | Colorado

See more from the McLaughlin's family session here.

" I love Emmy's kind spirit during the sessions, allowing for us to be ourselves and capturing those moments as they occur. Emmy is easy to work with (some photographers can be intimidating and pushy). She is timely in responding to emails and questions"

- Curry Family | Colorado

See more from the Curry's family session here.

"Emmy has such a gift for photography! She listened to our requests, and made beautiful sense of ideas! She really captured the spirit and personalities of our little girls. The pictures came out just beautifully, and we are so thankful for her!"

- Fowler Family | Colorado

See more from the Fowler's family session here.

Lakewood Stone House Wedding

"Emmy is very organized and the process went smoothly . Emmy has amazing talent and we never had doubt that our photos would be perfect. We love her artistic, vintage style. They are not just photos, but art. "

- Sadra Thomas | Colorado


Lyon's Farmette Colorado Wedding

"Emmy takes the time to get to know you as a couple before your wedding. Her style of photography is magical and holds a lot of love and care...We loved having Emmy as our wedding photographer for our June wedding. She was easy to work with and we got some lovely pictures! "

- Christy | Colorado

New Mexico Mountain Engagement

"I searched around for about 3 other photographers before I met Emmy with Searching for the Light. Other photographers felt so formal and really out to get our money. However, Emmy gave my fiancé and I this hope of comfort from the moment we sat down and had our couple interview to the very last second of our engagement session. She took the time to get to know us and was so genuine about it. When we took our engagement photos in the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, NM Steven and I had so much fun we forgot she was even taking pictures. Once we saw the edits we wanted them ALL! Her gift is obvious through the beauty she captures in her personalized photography bliss. She naturally blends into the scene. I highly recommend Searching for the Light. Not only is she gifted but her faith in the Lord is just an addItive bonus! We were truly blessed to find her! We can't wait for the wedding :)"

- Christina | New Mexico

New Mexico Wedding

" Emmy was wonderful to work with. She is easy going and has an amazing eye for capturing that perfect family photo. My Husband and have a blended family with five kids between us. So, we choose to make our engagement shoot a family afair. Emmy had great ideas for the kids to do. Such as play with chalk writing and bubbles. She made it a wonderful experience for us all! On our wedding day, she shot all the pictures we asked for and then some! My biggest complaint is, I can't choose which ones I like best!!!! It was also important to us that we had a Christian photographer. We felt blessed to have Emmy at our wedding and wittiness the beauty of all God can bless in a new beginning. Many many thanks to Emmy!!!" - Tracy | New Mexico


" When we decided to elope, we knew that getting excellent photographs was super important. We browsed a lot of websites and contacted many photographers, but Emmy at Searching for the Light was totally our speed. She understood our aesthetic and offered packages that matched our needs. Working with her on our wedding day was a breeze and I highly recommend her!" - Elise | New Mexico

" I had a great experience with Searching for the Light! They shot my wedding ceremony and reception at the Hotel Albuquerque and Hotel Andaluz, and did an amazing job! I was so impressed with the research and work put into meeting with my coordinators and making sure everything was in place for my big day! I didn't have to worry about getting the pictures I wanted because she knew exactly how to make us look great! :) Loved working with them, so professional and easy going!" - Caitlin | New Mexico

New Mexico Mountain Wedding

"The photos are masterpieces! My daughter and her fiancé chose Emmy as their photographer for their wedding in July of 2010.  During the wedding, I do not remember once seeing Emmy or posing for her.  As I look back on that, I like that very much, how invisible she was to the event.  Some photographers are so forceful and in charge that THEY become part of the ceremony.  Not Emmy, very quiet and retiring, letting events happen and just there recording what happened.

When we got those pictures, I marveled at how Emmy had captured my Paula and the love she has for Reed.  Right there, in black and white, or sepia or full color---no hesitation, no holding back.  My daughter is a very reserved person and to see her so happy, so in love.....well, it brings a joy to my heart that is hard to say with just words.  You have to see my face and hear my voice and watch my hands.  Emmy, you are a wonder!

The quiet drama of the bride and groom pictures make me so happy to look interestingly lovely.  I love the way Emmy looks at a subject and the way it feels as if she just happened to be there and just happened to take that picture.  Talent like that often looks so easy but I know it is not, much thought and planning goes into works of art.  Emmy is an artist....just let her take your picture, and you'll see."

- Rhonda | Minnesota

" I was very impressed with the artistry of Searching for the Light photography for my son and daughter-in-law's wedding. Emmy captured many special moments as well as the personalities of the couple. The picture album/book she created for the mother of the groom from the wedding photographs was better than I imagined it would be. I have had so many complements on how unique the album is and will cherish it always."

- Denise | Arkansas

"My wife and I had Searching for the Light cover our whole wedding last July and everything turned out fantastic. We couldn't have asked for a more professional or more joyful photographer to join us in our big day. I'd say check out the website. We did, and what you see is what you get. A ton of differrent styles and easy to talk to about exactly what you like. It was kind of crazy for a while, but we kept getting compliments on our photos from people we hardly even know. Maybe that speaks for itself. We love our photos, many thanks! "

- Reed | New Mexico

" My experience with Searching for the Light Photography was very pleasant and enjoyable. When Emmy was taking the photos she was able to get great pictures without being in the way of anyone or the ceremony. Emmy was very polite & professional in every way. Emmy took photos that were extraordinary and eye catching. She was able to capture not only the event, but also the joy. The photos were life changing and captured moments that will be remembered for a lifetime. The photos that were taken will be able to be passed down for the memories for generations to come.

Searching for the Light as a whole was an admirable company to hire for my photography needs. I have some friends that want to hire Searching for the Light Photography for their photography needs. They are even willing to hire Searching for the Light to travel & take the photos due to the high quality, professional, innovative photos that were provided."

- Steven | Colorado

" The wedding was photographed in a very professional manner, and was unobtrusive to the flow of the event. The photographer was able to capture the essence of the wedding day and the personalities of the bride and groom.The photos were creative and beautifully composed using a variety of vantage points, while artistically blending the elements of nature to enhance the subject. The photo gallery was available for viewing very quickly after the event, and the customer service to place orders was excellent.  I would recommend Searching for the Light Photography to anyone looking for quality photos that are artistic, creative and unique. Customers will appreciate having a photographer who creates a pleasant comfort level, is efficient with time, and works hard to provide the best outcome for the client."

- Marilyn | Minnesota

"My fiancé and I had a very particular vision for our wedding invitations but only two weeks to design, print, and ship them. While searching for a local graphic designer, we were referred to Emmy by an acquaintance. I emailed back and forth with Emmy several times, sharing my concerns with her (namely, that the bulk of her work is in photography, and we were in need of a graphic designer). Emmy’s responses were gracious and prompt, and ultimately her professionalism contributed to our decision to proceed. The first time we met with Emmy in-person to go over all the details was on 4/22/13. She had already developed a proof based off the minimal ideas we had shared with her. Although the design didn't align with our vision, we were assured of Emmy's skill level and work ethic. She asked us detailed questions to better understand our vision, and on 4/24/13 (only 2 days later!) she had a new proof ready for us, which was very close to our vision, including some wonderful, creative ideas Emmy had incorporated. We were very pleased! We met in person again to modify some small details, and on 5/2/13--only 10 days after our first meeting--we picked up the final product. Emmy professionally and warmly kept us updated on the progress, strove to understand and bring our vision to life, assisted us with ways to keep the project within our budget, and ultimately delivered an incredible product with an impressive turnaround. The result? Our friends and family have raved to us about the invitations, hailing them "officially the coolest invitations [they] had ever received!" And to set Emmy apart even more, she works with a profound sense of integrity. When our printed invitations arrived, she noticed that one section of the typography was printed over a fold--a minor error on behalf of the printing company. Though this mistake was not her own, Emmy gave us a 10% discount, furthering demonstrating her commitment providing the highest level customer service. I would personally recommend Emmy and her work to anyone in search of a talented, trust-worthy graphic designer. We are so thankful we were able to work with her. Sincerely, Alex Priebe & Abby Misic May 19, 2013"

-See more of Alex & Abby's invitation go here

Being a published Colorado wedding photographer feels like a big deal, and well, it is! It credits you as a professional in your job and makes you stand out as someone of note. While I wish to credit all praise to God for my job as a wedding photographer, the beautiful weddings I get to photograph, and the stunning clients I have the privilege of working with, I do want to share with you all the places I have been published. :D Click on the photo to go to the actual post.

What makes you the best mountain elopement photographer?

7 Years of Experience

  • Searching for the Light Photography was founded in 2009.  Emmy, the primary photographer, has over 7 years of experience professionally photographing weddings. Having experience means we can handle all the ups and downs that happen on a wedding day with ease, helping make your wedding day go smoothly.


Experienced Relationship "Capturer"

  • Studying and gauging how people interact is Emmy's key to helping couples' personalities truly come out on camera. With 7 years of experience, Emmy knows how to understand clients' interactions and draw out the uniqueness of their relationships.

Wedding and Engagement Photography Planner

  • Emmy helps you plan out your engagement photos and your wedding photo timeline. Being extremely organized and a natural planner along with the years of experience, Emmy is able to help you navigate through locations, the best lighting scenarios based on locations and weather patterns, and work through a timeline with your wedding vendors to optimize your wedding day to capture the most beautiful wedding photos.

Expert Wedding Photographer

  • We shoot with the best gear around and are knowledgable in many techniques that help us be able to capture everything from amazing sunsets to awesome dance parties. 

Crowd Wranglers

  • We know how to wrangle a crowd (aka your very large family) with ease . Read more about how we do family photos here.

Professional Multi-Tasker

  • Emmy is a mom, so she's an awesome "multi-tasker", which is extremely necessary as a mountain wedding photographer. Read more how being a mom has made Emmy a better wedding photographer here.

Mountain Lover

  • Emmy loves the mountains and has spent most of her life adventuring in them from snowboarding every winter to rock climbing every summer and now exploring the outdoors with her family. Being in the mountains means she knows what weather to expect in the Rocky Mountains, how to handle the ever-changing environment in mountains, and has a spirit of adventure that usually leads to epic photography.

 FAQ {Mountain Wedding Photography}

All the questions you may be wondering about before you even contact me. Planning a wedding is stressful so I want to help make your life easier by giving you the info you need below.

Do You Offer Engagement Sessions?

  • Yes! They are separate from your elopement package. I love doing engagement photos before elopements because I want to get to know you well, and make you feel confident and comfortable in front of the camera before your wedding day, so what better way than to put you in front of my lens!
  • Engagement sessions usually take place at your favorite location. This could be a mountain top, where you had your first picnic in the mountains, or snowboarding down your favorite skill hill.

Do You Have Two Photographers?

  • Some packages can include two photographers, Emmy and a second shooter. 

What Do Your Packages Include?

  • Film style editing to all photos, as well as black and white photos.
  • Sleek easy to use 90-day online wedding gallery to download your wedding photos and share with family and friends. 
  • Print-again & web-sized quality digital photos from your wedding day with print release rights delivered via your online wedding gallery.
  • Pre-session consultations via email to aid in providing advice for locations, times, and ideas to have beautiful photos, as well as getting to know your love story and communicating expectations and desires.
  • 45- to 90-day turnaround for weddings and 30-days for engagements. 
  • Most packages include professional quality prints from your wedding photos.
  • Some packages include a wedding album with the option to upgrade to a custom designed wedding album.

What Do Your Mountain Wedding Photography Packages Cost?

  • Most of our clients invest in $2000-$4000 in their photography packages. 
  • We love to travel! Travel fees can range from $200-550+ depending on how far your wedding is from Denver. Front Range Mountain weddings are super close to us whereas the lovely Telluride Weddings are far so please keep this in mind. :)

Do You Travel?

  • We are available for travel worldwide.
  • I do only accept a limited amount of weddings, and only photograph one wedding per weekend. 

FAQ {Sessions}

Do you shoot just engagement sessions or just couple photos?

  • Yes! We do offer engagement sessions alone but they are included in my photography packages and we travel so even if you aren't in Colorado it doesn't hurt to ask about wedding photography as well!
  • We do photograph couples and we love love stories no matter what your stage of life is!

What do your sessions include?

  • Film style editing to all photos, as well as black and white photos.
  • Sleek easy to use 30-day online wedding gallery to download your photos and share with family and friends. 
  • Print-again & web-sized quality digital photos from your photo session with print release rights delivered via your online wedding gallery.
  • Pre-session consultations via email to aid in providing advice for locations, times, and ideas to have beautiful photos, as well as getting to know your love story and communicating expectations and desires.
  • 30-day turn around.
  • Most packages include professional quality prints.
  • I do offer custom designed albums.
  • Session times can range from 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  • You'll receive 10-80+ photos depending on how long your session lasted.

Where can we take photos?

  • I travel anywhere so we can literally go anywhere but I usually suggest somewhere geographically close to you, or an area you like/frequently visit.
  • I do have a mile hike limit due to personal reasons visit my about page for more info.
  • Let's go to the mountains if you hike together! Let's go to the beach if you surf together!

What is the investment for sessions?

• We believe in offering packages that fit your needs and stage of life, but we are also a professional photography company that creates a customized photography experience. That being said, most clients invest $300-600 (plus travel fees) in their photography packages.