It seems so strange to think that only a few months ago, we were travelling freely through California on our way back to the UK from New Zealand. The current global travel restrictions have meant that for now our wings have been clipped and for me and my partner Rob, our destination weddings and hotel shoots have been put on hold until we can travel again. The good thing is that this pause gives us plenty of time to look back on recent shoots and really appreciate how lucky we have been to photograph such beautiful hotels, weddings and destinations all around the world.
Over the years, I have spent a lot of time studying the work of Ansel Adams. A photography pioneer and historical hero for both environmental and artistic reasons, it was amazing to visit the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite Village in January this year. During my post-grad studies, I promised myself that one day I would go to Yosemite National Park to see the majestic mountains that Ansel photographed and make my own photographs there. Being able to go recently was a big tick on my must-do (never ending) travel list and it felt so good that I was able to keep this promise to myself!
Rob and I were fortunate to partner up with Rush Creek Lodge during our stay in Yosemite. We spent time creating destination and hotel imagery for the lodge and it very quickly felt like we had become part of the family. The team there are super kind and couldn’t have been more welcoming and friendly.
Rush Creek is like nowhere else I’ve ever been before. Was it the s’mores at sunset? Yes, for sure. Who doesn't enjoy the gooey challenge of assembling marshmello and Graham crackers to scorch in flames. Was it because it felt unpretentious? Yes, certainly. Or was it because Rush Creek is a simply a rustic lodge and not the usual 5-star hotel that we are used to photographing in Europe? Maybe. Either way, I can safely say that it’s up there with the best places I’ve ever stayed. It feels earthy and there's a distinct smell of excitement and adventure in the air (that might be the smokey s'mores). This amazing property has become one with its environment, because it has been carefully crafted by local people with local wood and materials to fit in perfectly with its natural surroundings.
I love eating in the USA (who doesn't, right?) and the mountain food at RCL is comforting, healthy, bang on trend and delicious. The service in the restaurant, like everywhere else in the hotel is second to none. After a cosy meal, there are classic games like foosball to play. In the guest lounge the fire place is warm and inviting, with photos of Ansel Adams adorning the walls and sumptuous sofas ready to be slouched into. Old cameras are jumbled together with other stylishly placed bric-a-brac on the shelves. It felt like our own 'home away from home' in Yosemite. The highlight of our trip was a chilly evening dip in the heated, outdoor pool underneath a full moon. The perfect way to end a full on day of photography.
The lodge is located on the border of the national park, which makes it easy to drive into the park each day. As you loop around the beaten track, exploring as if you’re the first person to ever see the majesty and wonder that beholds each and every visitor to Yosemite, you'll feel like the luckiest person on earth. Here are a few of my destination photos and one black and white shot for my mate, Ansel.
Andie Moore is a London based destination and lifestyle photographer writing about travel, hotels and destination weddings.