Hi! I’m Laura Sparks, owner/photographer here at Sparks in the Forest. I provide epic and heartfelt photography for couples that love the outdoors. If you’re anything like me, you feel most relaxed when you’re in nature. I want you to have a day that is completely relaxed where you can truly just be yourselves! And I’m here to help you plan it!
I love helping couples choose a location that fits their needs, whether that’s a gentle stroll in the woods or a hike up a mountain for an overnight backpacking elopement (yes, I’ve done those)! After that, I’ll recommend any other vendors you’ll need and create a custom timeline so everyone knows where to be and when. I’m here to help you craft a day that is unique, intentional, and fun!
I believe the outdoors are for everybody and every body! As a queer photographer, inclusivity is extremely important to me. All love, bodies, and identities are welcome here!
Serving Western North Carolina
My favorite thing about elopements is the intentionality of it all. You have the freedom to craft a day that is truly yours and reflects you as a couple. Creating that type of environment allows you to truly be yourselves and savor each moment!
I’ve just never been aligned with the big, traditional wedding scene. I don’t believe in carrying out traditions for the sake of tradition. If you’re an experiences-over-possessions type of person, you’re probably in the right place. I’m a strong believer in living life to the fullest because you only get one and it’s just too damn short.
Before getting serious about photography, I worked in non-profits for more than 10 years. I’ve always had this “need” to have a career where I was helping someone (whether that be animals or people!). On the other side of that is my creativity and love of nature. I was landscape photographer first before realizing how much I loved photographing people. Now, I get to help couples have the best day ever, show them my favorite places in nature, and create beautiful pieces of art for them. I joke that I feel like Bob Ross a lot of the time — I get to take landscape photos but I “put a happy little couple right there”. 🙂
When I’m not photographing the most rad couples ever, you can find me on a long road-trip in my Tacoma named Tanya Trucker (named after 80s/90s country singer Tanya Tucker (iykyk). My partner Jill and I love to head out for a couple weeks at a time to explore National Parks and take in all the views (I’ve been to 18 so far!). Our favorite thing is to camp out in the wilderness and unplug. We just recently upgraded from a rooftop tent to a little slide-in camper that I named Stetson (because it looks like Tanya’s hat!); that’s been a game-changer!
If you don’t find me in the wilderness, then I’m probably at a local brewery enjoying a hazy IPA and eating a smash burger.
A: Laura Sparks, Owner/Photographer
Q: What’s a fun fact about yourself?
A: I’m a drummer turned photographer! I started playing at 13 years old and planned to be a music major in college. I decided last minute to not take that path and I’m so glad I didn’t now!
Q: What is your favorite thing about elopements?
A: Just one thing?! Haha! The privacy, the intentionality, and the fact that you can do whatever you want, how you want, when you want! I’ve never been much for tradition… I even eloped myself. I specifically photograph mountain/hiking/nature-inspired elopements. I always feel at one with nature and I feel as though that’s the best place to say “I do”… whether that’s at a waterfall, in the middle of the woods, or on top of a mountain. From a values standpoint, I’m an experiences over things/possessions person. Always. 🙂
Q: Is there a wedding detail on your bucket list?
A: I’d love to do a hot air balloon elopement! (We have a local company, folks! Hint, hint. Wink, wink) 🙂
Q: Tell us about your favorite elopement!
A: My favorite elopement to date was an overnight backpacking elopement. We hiked into Nantahala National Forest with few of their closest friends, ate quesadillas, had a sunset ceremony, and did a sunrise portrait session the next day! We all walked (hiked?) away with friendships that will last a lifetime. It was so much fun!
Q: How do you serve elopements?
A: Custom elopement photography packages ranging from a half-day to multi-day. I provide planning assistance, location assistance, and a custom timeline for every couple.
I discovered Laura through a simple Instagram search. We knew we wanted to elope and wanted something special. From the initial phone call, we hit it off. She was so easy to talk to, loads of fun, and offered us tons of information regarding eloping in Asheville. For the last 6 months, she has become a friend. She answered every question I had. She provided me with vendors that I would need. Essentially everything we needed for our special day, Laura provided. Our wedding day was magical. I couldn’t have asked for a better team. If you’re looking for an awesome experience, with an awesome photographer, Laura is for you! Thank you, again, for making our day magical.