How to Leave No Trace Online Course for Wedding & Elopement Photographers

What Does It Mean To
“Leave No Trace”?

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is a non-profit
dedicated to educating people on how to leave less impact on the
environment while enjoying time outside.

Simply put,

Leave No Trace is the best practices we
can follow to enjoy AND protect the
outdoors at the same time.

Did you just cringe thinking about all the times you didn’t exactly
put the Earth first? It’s okay!

Leave No Trace isn’t here to shame you or call you out for past
mistakes, because let’s be honest—that tactic doesn’t work & we’ve
all messed up (yes, us included!)

Anni Graham

Elopement Photographer

Maddie Mae

Elopement Photographer 
Adventure Instead

Gabi & Brandon Fox

Elopement Photographers 
The Foxes Photography

The 7 Principles of
Leave No Trace

Ethical principles to bake into your business, so we can all keep
operating outside At the heart of Leave No Trace are 7 principles
for reducing the damage caused by outdoor activities.

Plan Ahead &
Prepare

Travel & Camp on
Durable Surfaces

Dispose of Waste
Properly

Leave What
You Find

Minimize Campfire
Impacts

Respect
Wildlife

Be Considerate
of Others

But instead of saying “Do this or you’re bad!” the 7 principles say,
“Here’s some things to consider, please do what makes sense to you.”

They aren’t a set of “rights” and
“wrongs”—they’re ethics to keep in mind
while you’re outside.

I love the outdoors!

But what’s this got to do
with photography?

A lot! (Everything actually)

Think about your last few outdoor sessions—how amazing was it to have your “studio” be the
grand awesomeness of nature? How many times did you stop to say, “Wow, look at this view!”
or “The scenery behind you is insane!” As wedding & elopement photographers, our “office”
is the outdoors—how cool is that?

But if we don’t take learn how to take care
of it this is what happens:

  • Our favorite spots will become closed, blocked off, and off-limits to photographers due to damage caused during shoots (tossing confetti, going off trail, leaving trash behind)
  • Permits will continue to become more prevalent, more expensive, and harder to apply for and get approved
  • The spots we’ve enjoyed taking clients before will become so damaged, that they won’t even look the same anymore

Can you imagine showing up to your go-
to spot and it being closed for restoration
or damaged unrecognizably?

100% of proceeds go directly to the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics

“Leave No Trace” is the absolute “lifeline” of my business. I used to think that it was a “party pooper” concept and set of rules designed to hinder my use of the outdoors—but in reality, Leave No Trace gives us MORE access and freedom—not less. It’s a vital tool to my and any business who relies on being able to operate on public lands. I want to be able to take clients back to their elopement locations for their 10-year anniversary and for them to be just as gorgeous as when they got married there.”

Maddie Mae // Adventure Instead – Elopement Photographers & Guides

Well first, let’s be honest.

We’ve all made mistakes

We’ve all left too much impact on the environment
for an epic photo before

But Leave No Trace isn’t about perfection,
it’s about leaving less impact the next
time you’re outside.

Anni Graham

Maddie Mae

Gabi & Brandon Fox

And we have the power to make changes to each of our businesses in an effort
to limit our impact & better the “best office in the world” (THE WORLD!)

No shame—but have you ever…

  • Seen a place you used to love to go to, get trashed, overrun, crowded, or destroyed to the point that it just wasn’t the same place anymore? (And did it make you sad?)
  • Been sad or annoyed that the place you once loved to photograph or enjoy for recreation was closed for restoration, instituted a permit system, or actually became off-limits for photographers? (Yeah, us too)
  • Been shamed online by someone who said you did something wrong in the outdoors or damaged the environment—which made you feel defensive and super scared to ever talk about it?
  • Been frustrated because you’ve seen another photographer or hiker do something that could damage the environment but you didn’t know how to properly address it?
  • Felt the burden of your “impact” on the environment as a photographer but feel lost on how to lessen it or where to even start?
  • Made a mistake and left more impact than was ideal or necessary on the outdoors (because you didn’t’ know better) and felt that because you haven’t been perfect in the past, there’s no way you could ever help promote Leave No Trace principles because you’re afraid of being shamed for your past mistakes?

Yeah, Us too—and we’re here to do
something about it.

“As business owners whose job it is to lead people out into the outdoors, it’s our responsibility to make sure we all have a great time, stay safe, and leave as little impact on these spaces as possible. The climbing community has been a big influence on us too. We’ve seen how being good stewards to the land protects access and allows us to keep enjoying these places. The photographer community is no different. If the elopement photographers become known as being good stewards of the land, it’ll ensure we’re able to keep working in these epic landscapes and that couples can keep getting married in them!”

Gabi and Brandon Fox // The Foxes Elopement Photography

The “How To
Leave No Trace
Course”

For all photographers who use public lands (national parks, state parks, national forests, blm lands, city & county parks, etc) as a backdrop for sessions, weddings, or elopements.

If you…

  • Care about the environment & want to protect gorgeous, natural areas but aren’t sure where to start or how to actually make a difference
  • Want public land managers to see photographers as advocates for the Earth, not detriments to the environment that need to be cut out, limited, and banned
  • Know there’s room to improve in your business to lessen your environmental impact 

We want you to join us.

The Earth doesn’t need a few photographers
practicing Leave No Trace perfectly. It needs
thousands of photographers practicing it
imperfectly, and doing their best.

100% of proceeds go directly to the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics

Don’t forget,

The environment
isn’t the only one
benefitting…

When you infuse the Leave No Trace principles into your business, you AND your clients enjoy a better experience and your business benefits massively.

  • Clients are attracted to & respect your commitment to not just fantastic customer service, but to a sustainable, caring business 
  • Baking Leave No Trace principles into your whole business workflow helps address potential issues before they ever pop up 
  • Clients know exactly what to expect (and what not to expect!) when working with you—you don’t have to explain why you can’t throw confetti off a cliff or run through a field of wildflowers
  • You’re able to provide gentle education to clients & fellow photographers in a non-judgemental way—because shame never ignited lasting change

Baking Leave No Trace principles into your business isn’t a “why”…it’s a “why not?”

100% of proceeds go directly to the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics

Leave No Trace is such a vital part of my life as a photographer. It’s easy to forget how much power you have through your images and with so many people in the world trying to access all these amazing locations we see online everyday, Leave No Trace has become absolutely necessary to continue access. I used to feel so frustrated when new ropes went up at my favorite waterfall, limiting access and changing the entire experience of it, until I realized the part I played in it. I believe our job as photographers, who carry so much impact through the sharing of our images, is to take care of these landscapes or we loose the chance to experience them. It’s not about what you are allowed to do or not to do, it’s about taking responsibility.

Anni Graham


What’s Inside the “How To
Leave No Trace Course”

The “How To Leave
No Trace Course”

This course is the first of its kind, combining the 7 ethical principles taught by Leave No Trace expert, Ben Lawhon with photographer-specific insights & tips from Anni Graham, Maddie Mae, and Gabi & Brandon Fox.

Anni Graham

Elopement Photographer

Maddie Mae

Elopement Photographer
Adventure Instead

Gabi & Brandon Fox

Elopement Photographers
The Foxes Photography

Ben Lawhon

Leave No Trace Expert

You’ll learn how to bake Leave No Trace into
every aspect of your business—from
branding & marketing to shoot day & beyond.


Here’s what’s inside:
5 hours of video covering

Taught By:

Anni Graham (Elopement Photographer)
& Ben Lawhon (Leave No Trace Expert)

Overview of Leave No Trace

  • What Leave No Trace is, why it matters, and what the 7 Principles mean
  • What “frontcountry” vs. “backcountry” is, and how that affects how to Leave No Trace
  • Myths & Misunderstandings about Leave No Trace—debunked

Taught By:

Maddie Mae (Elopement Photographer, Adventure Instead)
& Ben Lawhon (Leave No Trace Expert)

Leave No Trace & Your Business

  • The business “case” for Leave No Trace—why photography business owners should care about it
  • How to infuse Leave No Trace into your branding, marketing, workflow, and customer service
  • Social media best practices for photographers that leave less impact on the environment

Taught By:

Gabi & Brandon Fox (Elopement Photographers, The Foxes Photography)
& Ben Lawhon (Leave No Trace Expert)

Leave No Trace & Your Clients

  • How to location scout with Leave No Trace in mind
  • How to “bake in” Leave No Trace ethics into your planning process with couples for weddings & elopements
  • What to consider on the day of an elopement or wedding to leave less impact while taking amazing photos

Plus, you’ll hear straight from all of us
why Leave No Trace matters, and
how it’s affected our businesses

Filmed on-location in epic outdoor environments

Filmed at:

Smith Rock State Park, Oregon

Leave No Trace Location
Scouting & Client Experience

Anni Graham // Elopement Photographer

  • “Why Leave No Trace Matters to Me” Personal Case Study of Anni Graham
  • Online location scouting tips for finding off-the-beaten path spots in popular areas

Filmed at:

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Leave No Trace Marketing &
Social Media

Maddie Mae // Adventure Instead

  • “Why Leave No Trace Matters to Me” Personal Case Study of Maddie Mae (Adventure Instead)
  • Marketing and Social Media tips for leaving less impact online

Filmed at:

Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington

How to Take Epic Photos while Leaving No Trace

Gabi + Brandon Fox // The Foxes Photography

  • “Why Leave No Trace Matters to Us ” Personal Case Study of Gabi & Brandon Fox (The Foxes Photography)(Adventure Instead)
  • On-Location Photography Tips to take epic photos while leaving less impact

We’re not just teaching you how to
reduce your environmental impact

We’re giving you resources to implement directly into

your business & tangible steps that you can take action on today.

Once you watch the course videos, and pass
the “Leave No Trace Awareness” assessment
quiz… you’ll unlock:

“Leave No Trace Aware Photographer” Digital badge

Included for FREE when you pass the quiz!

  • Put it on your site and use in marketing/branding show potential clients you care about the environment in a really tangible way—which magnetizes couples to your brand who feel the same
  • Use it to show you commit to working toward leaving less impact the next time you’re in the outdoors

“How To Leave No Trace For Your Wedding/Elopement Guide” Template – For Couples

$175 Included for FREE when you pass the quiz!

  • Written by Anni Graham, Maddie Mae, and The Foxes (15+ years combined experience planning elopements + weddings)—this resource is designed for couples and is full of ideas and guidance on how they can leave less impact as they plan and enjoy their elopement or wedding.
  • Add your own photos, branding, personalize it to your business, and share it with all your couples

Includes customizable versions in Canva, MS Word & googledoc

Leave No Trace Contract Clause from The Legal Paige

$47 Included for FREE when you pass the quiz!

  • Add to any photography contract, to mutually agree with your clients that you will both follow Leave No Trace principles during a session, wedding, or elopement
  • Legally prevents clients from bullying you into damaging the environment for the sake of a photo

Okay, that’s great,
but how much is it?

100% of proceeds go directly to the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics

And the best part is…

Every penny made from this course goes directly to the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics

So when you buy, you’re not only making a statement—you’re making an environmental investment 

Let’s set an industry standard that all photographers operating in public lands should be aware of how the way we operate our businesses in these natural spaces impacts the world, and our industry.

Cause all of us could lose access if we don’t turn this ship around.

For less than the price of new hiking boots

you can show your commitment to the environment & help ensure our world is as awesome & beautiful tomorrow as it is today.