Family photographs. Does the thought make you cringe? Having to coordinate outfits, choose a location, choose a photographer, and hope that everyone is in a good mood and stays clean for a set time can be stressful–let alone fun. Arika Bauer is  an outdoor-influencer that Hike it Baby follows because of her unique photographs that inspire families to get outdoors. “I am a mother of 3 littles living in Southern Utah,” said Arika. “The outdoors feed my soul and photography feeds my creativity so I decided to start a business doing the two things I love the most.”

hib5 arika bauer

Shanti Hodges, founder of HiB, asked her some questions about capturing these unique family portraits on the trails.

1. How did you get into photographing families?

Like many other momtogs out there I got into photography after having my first child. After 5 years of growing my passion for photography I started toying around with the idea of starting a photography business. For two years I came up with names, designed logos, and bought numerous domain names, but something was always holding me back. It just never felt right.

hib3 arika bauer

After having my third baby and moving from northern Utah to southern Utah I did a lot of soul searching to figure out what to do with myself. I knew that for me to be the best version of myself and to be the best mom to my three littles I needed something fulfilling outside of being a mom. I was reading a lot of personal growth books and one day the idea hit me. I loved the outdoors. Zion National Park was such a magical part of my childhood and I found so much joy being there. So I decided to combine my two passions, lifestyle photography and Zion, and the rest is history.

hib2 arika bauer

2. Tell us what it’s like to live near Zion National Park!

Growing up in Southern Utah I never fully appreciated the beauty that surrounded me. It wasn’t until about 3 or 4 years ago when I was home visiting my parents that it hit me how amazing and beautiful this area is. Ever since then I’ve been obsessed. I can’t seem to get enough.

3. How did you come up with the idea to shoot families on trail?

Once I honed in on the idea to combine my love for photography and my love for the outdoors I did a lot of research online to see if the idea even made sense. I found that there was indeed a market out there for families and travelers wanting more than just selfies and mediocre photos to remember their hard earned adventures. I spent a lot of time hiking around Zion developing my idea and decided that the best way to really capture these memories for people would be to hike along side them.

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4. Do you find shooting families on trail is different than shooting them in more traditional spots?

It is so much more rewarding for me but the best thing is that it is so much less stressful for the families. The kids get to play and be themselves and you can see it in the photos. The smiles are real.

5. Are there certain spots that everyone wants to shoot at in Zion? Classics?

There are definitely Zion classics. I actually designed my packages around those classics. I have 5 different hike packages and then a custom package. My 5 hike packages are what I consider to be some of the best and most photogenic hikes in Zion and they are all excellent hikes to do with kids.

6. What’s your one tip as a trail photographer for families trying to get a good look?

Be yourself…that is always the best look. Be in the moment, take it all in, and enjoy yourself.

hib4 arika bauer

7. Do you ask them to dress down for their photos or be more natural?

I tell families to dress however they want. When hiking, comfort is key but I know families want to look good. Luckily it isn’t too hard to find cute clothes that are comfortable.

8. Do you often get wildlife in the photos too?

We have run into wild turkeys, mule deer, mountain sheep, squirrels, and tarantulas. Getting pics with wild life is so much fun. Whenever it happens it is always icing on the cake.

hib1 arika bauer

Arika’s photography can be followed on Instagram and on her website:

Instagram: @zionadventurephotog

Website: zionadventurephotog.com

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