Our favorite clients become friends.

Here are a few fun facts about us:


Fact 1

When Matthew's not outside climbing rocks or ice or taking photos, he’s diving deep into CalTopo, dreaming up the next adventure. 


Fact 2

Ilana’s passions vary every other month but include climbing, backcountry skiing, trail running, knitting, baking sourdough bread, and reading fantasy romance. 


Fact 3

Matthew’s traveled to Patagonia for climbing and photography - twice!


Fact 4

We love our local brewery’s trivia nights (even though Ilana is really bad at trivia)!

We're most at home at the top of a peak or deep in the desert.

we use photography to document our own love — and yours.

What's it like to work with us?

"Amazing experience! Both my wife and I were a little nervous before the shoot, but Matthew and Ilana’s calm, laidback energy put us at ease. The entire experience felt more like friends hanging out in the mountains than a stuffy photoshoot. Their simple posing directions gave us room to be ourselves so nothing felt forced. They gave us a clear turnaround timeline after the shoot and they stuck to it. We would highly recommend Desert Swell Creative to anyone in search of beautiful, high quality images taken by some truly amazing human beings."

-Brendan, North Cascades Elopement

We're both photographers.

If you choose our photo-only package, we'll both be there, documenting every moment of your day. Combined, we have 20+ years of experience photographing people and places professionally.

We have an intimate knowledge of the places we shoot most, and the technical experience to make adventurous shots happen. Want to make the climbing or skiing photos of your dreams a reality (in a wedding dress!!)? We're there, 100%.

Our local knowledge also helps us help you plan your day, from vendors to timelines to making sure you get plenty of time to yourself on your wedding day.

We shoot both weddings and elopements — let's make your dream day a reality.

Matthew is our videographer.

If you book a video + photo package, Ilana will be shooting photos and Matthew will be documenting everything with video and drone.

He's a technical wizard with a camera and behind-the-scenes editing, and he will create something that makes 100% of our clients cry tears of joy when they get to watch themselves experience their wedding vows and beautiful day.

What to know before booking.

It’s important that we connect with the couples we work with. We’ll spend more time with you on your wedding day than just about anyone else (sometimes even your partner!) so it’s vital that we become friends!

When you inquire about working with us, we’ll set up a video call so that you can learn more about us and decide if we’re a good fit.

Once you sign a contract and submit a deposit, we’ll all be celebrating! Then we’ll be in touch with any other information regarding your wedding or elopement and work with you or your wedding planner to plan the timing of your day.