colorado engagement sessions

Colorado engagement sessions

These two. They are the perfect picture of a Colorado couple. If the state had a homecoming king and queen it  would likely be Pat and Larissa. They are the sweet couple who knows and loves the most authentic places Denver has to offer, yet they spend most free weekends exploring the offerings of the Colorado mountains. They are modern, progressive, and down to earth. Their rescued dog travels everywhere he can go. They are awed by nature, naturally exploring it in red lipstick with the perfect glass of wine waiting for them after their trip home.

They are picture of all things great about being in Colorado. Their photos tell us why the geography is wonderful and why the people who live in it are just as great.

 

] You may be looking at these pictures and wondering, "How do I get photos like these?" As you may have figured out, there is no "best place to go for engagement photos" or "list of things you must wear in your pictures to look great."  What's the trick to getting authentic Colorado engagement photos like Pat and Larissa? Where do you go, what do you do? Search until you find the photographer that speaks your language. Search until you find an eye you love. Narrow down the list of things you love most and collaborate with your photographer to help you find the perfect location to tell your story. Look in your closet and find something that makes you feel comfortable and beautiful. Be ware of blogs and overly-trendy ideas. Remember authenticity never goes out of style. A special thanks to Crown Social for being so gracious in letting us photograph in their space.

unique engagement photographer

unique engagement photographer

for Corey and Megan

They told me that they're always looking for the most unique things: a philosophy that is so ingrained into my being that I not only was honored they chose me but completely understood the vision for wanting something different. Unique engagement photography doesn't have to be a shoot so avant-garde it has the capacity for going viral. It doesn't have to be strange or trendy.

What exactly is considered to be "unique" when we are talking engagement photography? How do you find a unique engagement photographer? Selah is all about making your engagement photos an heirloom, and for that to happen I believe they must be unique, my answer is simple.

 

The photos need to be you and the photographer should look to find your story.

 We went to the mountain park in their backyard. The place where they take their dogs frequently, the location they watched fireworks on the fourth of July. These photos were taken in their new downtown apartment. We stepped out on the stoop they speak of so fondly, walked down the street to the concert venue that lead them to a special night. They rode their bikes, shared the places they do life at and displayed the love they share for each other in the midst of the familiar surroundings. It's photos like these that are more than engagement pictures. It's photos like these that lead to stories after stories of living. They show who you are and where you've come from. This is Megan and Corey, their story.

artistic authentic wedding photography

artistic authentic wedding photography

2015 in review

I’m not sure if it's that we become more aware of the world as we get older or we really are in a time when things are much darker and uncertain on a global scale. With all the headline felonies, religious persecution, poverty and injustice in 2015 it’s hard not to grieve over the threatening darkness that covers the peace and freedom we all seek and expect. Yet, as I sit here looking out the window during this still, winter evening I rest as the snow so silently covers all things sitting peacefully. I look through these images of all the love we’ve seen this year and know that despite the darkness, there is nothing that can truly steal joy.

 

 Photographing weddings is quite satiating for curious observers like Matt and myself. We have front row seats to what is one of the most significant days of someone’s life. We’ve taken nearly a hundred thousand photographs in 2015 and have whittled the collection down to 136 moments to feature. It’s interesting to see which images we impulsively share in our year wrap up. We’ve never been the type to spend most of our time helping you remember posed images, trends, details or photos that only show what was happening on the outside. Emotion in its artistic expression has always been one of our favorite things to photograph. This year we've refined those skills and are proud to share a set of artistic, authentic wedding photography that is some of our best.

It's an honor to use all these wonderful people to tell you about happiness and authenticity. I’m featuring over thirty couples, mainly based or rooted in Denver. Most couples are similar in age, demographic and style. Though I can see many of them being friends with each other, every couple is so beautifully unique and their stories reflect their personhood and relationship so accurately.

A very special thank you to everyone we photographed this year for sharing so much of yourselves. The impact that you have on us is great. Despite the headlines and uncertainty, life is good.

Thanks for the significant reminder of that.

devil's thumb ranch wedding

Devil's Thumb Ranch wedding

The dress was her mother's, the location was one of Colorado's best, we photographed the bride as an attendant of this wedding and it was a perfect blue sky winter day in the mountains.

 

 

 

Liz and Rudy. They met in the cafeteria while working at the same hospital. I don't know that they would have said it was love at first bite but the two were intently drawn to each other before they had officially met. They are kind, poised and authentic and those personality traits were knit through every piece of their wedding. The wedding day was outlined like the kind of weddings we believe to be the best. It was filled with classic pieces of the couple's personality, focused on relationships and celebration. It set every guest in an endearing atmosphere and gave them a delightful filling of food and a lasting impression of love. For most couples older than 20, the likelihood of many of your guests having been to many weddings is high. How do you curate the day to make it one of the best days of your life while leaving a lasting impression on all of your loved ones? It sounds complicated, but it can be broken down into steps. We've found several connections to what makes weddings an incredible experience no matter what.

 

  1. Make every step count. Don't do a tradition for the sake of the tradition. Only do things in which you find meaning and purpose. Below are a few undertakings that people opt out of or adjust if it's not something significant to them. -cake cutting - toasts - flowers - something blue - bouquet toss - traditionally matching wedding party wear - wedding favors. Omit the question "what is everyone else doing?" and fill the blank in with your favorite things. Maybe it will be trendy, maybe not. It simply needs to be you.
  2. Decorating and DIY is not for the faint of heart. Does the thought of crafting for a year make you really excited? If you could care less, choose a venue that is beautiful as it is or choose a planner who will create an atmosphere in your style. Your wedding does not need to look like a top Pinterest  pin to be wonderful.
  3. Make your party the priority. The most incredible thing about a wedding is the people. Everyone you love most is in the same room and all their attention directed towards celebrating with you. How can you connect with your guests? Can your wedding day be more than a quick hello or a "it would have been nice to meet you?" Explore elaborating your rehearsal dinner, throwing an after-party or setting up activities preceding the wedding day. Find a way to spend time and enjoy as many of your guests as possible. Weddings are about relationships, don't lose sight of that.

 

4. Remember it well. We say that wedding days are emotionally intoxicating. Months prior you rip the calendar days off one by one awaiting a day that will seem to never arrive. When it comes there is so much going on it's hard to experience. Invest wisely in your photography and documentation but also, think of ways you can remember more than the images. Is there a specially scented flower you can designate as a sensory item you can keep in a wedding box? Can you wear a piece of jewelry you will give to one of your children? Prioritize the documentation but don't lose sight of additional pieces that can help you remember your wedding day. If you're in need of help with any of this, head to the hospital cafeteria and ask Liz and Rudy.

This Devil's Thumb Ranch wedding would not have been as wonderful if Danielle and her team from Entwined had not been involved. A very special thanks to them for orchestrating the day so seamlessly.

urban denver weddings

Urban Denver weddings

Perhaps we have John Denver to blame, but often if you're planning a Colorado wedding, your first thought of vow exchange is in the mountains. Though we at Selah love nature as much as any resident, there is a very special place in our hearts for the urban Denver wedding like Russ and Diana's. There are many Denver city wedding venues to choose from and whether you choose a hotel ballroom or combination of hip church followed by Space Gallery like these guys, the aesthetic majesty holds up compared to those mountain nuptials.

 

It was a modern, unique, sentimental, creative and emotional. Their day started getting ready separately.  Russ was given special notes through the day reminding him of all the pieces of life that have brought the two to where they are. There was something blue sewn into Diana's dress and her borrowed headpiece had been worn in weddings for generations. You could say their wedding was traditional in sorts; the church ceremony was held at Park Church and Russ overflowed with emotion as he saw his veiled bride walk down the aisle with her dad. Though the tradition seemed to be an outline, the couple definitely made a new mold for their wedding, filling it with personal details that made it clear to all the guests that they were attending a party of Russ and Diana.

 

These two are beautiful, many may say photogenic. Even a stranger will be able to easily pick out that trait. At Selah, we talk quite a bit to couples about being photogenic, which is typically referenced to the level at which a person photographs. Most people believe they are not good at taking pictures, however, we believe that all people are photogenic; it depends on the photographer. Let us use Russ and Diana to explain. One of the first things many people will notice about these two is they are quite attractive, which you would think would be the main reason they shoot so well. Though it's helpful, we beg to differ. If the evenness of your smile, your body type or symmetry of your face was the only thing that made these photos beautiful, you wouldn't feel anything when looking at them. The images may be pretty but they wouldn't be compelling or moving.

We believe being genuinely photogenic has to begin with sharing your inner beauty first.

In Russ and Diana's case, it begins with being creative, kind and joyful. These photos show beauty because they have very special relationships with their families and they love each other deeply. Russ and Diana were ready to enjoy their entire wedding day, whether it be cake, microphone, or camera in their face, and the radiance of that joy is what jumps out to the viewer and makes these photos as great as they are. We are so thankful to have been invited. A very special thanks to Space Gallery and Stacy with JA Special Events for making this day run so flawlessly.

colorado natural wedding photographers

 

 

 

Colorado natural wedding photographers

candid-urban-wedding045.jpg

There were so many adjectives that came to mind when I was trying to put together a focus for this wedding's blog posting. I could talk about the poise of the Air Force, the amazing architecture at the Air Force Chapel, how Grant and Angela were two of the kindest people we've run into or the visible love and support the couples' guests showered on them.  Though all of those elements were substantial, I would have to say that the way the couple allowed us to capture these real, natural wedding photos is what stands out to me most. The term, Colorado natural wedding photographer, can mean many things. It could be a photographer who loves to photograph in nature, a photographer who likes DIY - unprimped weddings or like us, photographers who want to document the existing character, circumstances and surroundings of life as you know it. It's a photo of the father of the groom explaining the medals of honor on his jacket, the bride running up the steps of her wedding venue as the ceremony is minutes away, the groom standing at the door of the chapel greeting his closest as they walk through the door to support one of the biggest decisions of his life. It's friends and family standing at the edge of the dance floor as if it were a starting line for a race awaiting one of the most enjoyed dance parties we've seen this year or the night shot that was made perfect by a spontaneous moment of laughter.

 

We think a lot about how our couples will interact with their wedding photos - from the first time you hold them in your hands to your great grandchildren flipping the pages of your wedding book.  This natural, story telling, unposed wedding photography combined with artistic, hang-on-the-wall portraits is exactly what we love about making photographs. We believe wedding photography can be so much more than a large collection of files you sit behind your computer and occasionally view on your anniversary. We believe it is more than a portrait on your parents' wall showing what you looked like on your wedding day. We think that natural wedding photos, photographs that show who you are, is the best and most cherish-able way to capture this exceptionally significant time of life. Thanks to Grant, Angela and guests for being beautiful and allowing us to stand by and document it.

wedding at blanc

 

Wedding at Blanc

 

If any couple were ever to ask us to plan their wedding for them, which they never do, but if they did, we would zero in on a few important things like location, food, beautiful clothing, small numbers in the wedding party, good music, originality, and more emphasis on photography than other things. Most people don't consult us on such things, including Jeff and Blair, but amazingly, they didn't have to because they already had it all - and then some.

Starting off with getting-ready photos at the nearby hotel, the boys were showing plenty of East Coast brotherly love as they helped each other tie ties and straighten collars. The Philadelphian wit of the boys while getting ready answered the question I have asked since watching sitcoms all during the 90's of, "Can real people really be that funny?" Turns out they can. The girls finished their elegant, yet natural touches as Blair adorned herself in her (not white) BHLDN dress accessories that complimented Jeff's custom made suit oh so well.

After a short stint of being celebrities in Union Station, the couple headed over to what has become one of our favorite urban wedding locations in Denver, Blanc, for their ceremony and reception. A wedding at blanc can never go wrong. From that point on, not a minute was wasted. Jeff and Blair had an intentional schedule that maximized the music, staggered the dance events, and left no room for dead time. It was perhaps the most relaxed celebration we have ever attended, requiring all the guests to do nothing more than just enjoy the night as they please, occasionally visiting one of the three themed buffets.

As for the toasts, they were among the greatest we have ever seen, but perhaps that is to be expected from people who had so much love and personality. The only interruption of the party was when we pulled the bride and groom out for what became some amazing night shots (see below) and they were happily willing to participate with that as well.

Jeff and Blair's wedding was one of the kind when you are filled with gratitude because your job is to hang out with awesome people. Our only regret was that we didn't get them to sign a contract to hire us again in 20 years when they renew their vows. We were so thankful to be a part of their story. 

River Bend Wedding - Lyons

River Bend Wedding - Lyons

Jess and Nick.  Their experience as wedding guests must have been one of the things that primed them to put together a such great wedding. They were one of the last to get married in their friends’ group, which we discovered has many benefits. The day was designed with only the most enjoyable and meaningful touches.

They planned a River Bend Wedding - Lyons, Colorado, a venue that has a natural elegance surrounded with touches of classiness set for an authentic, sophisticated event.

Some of the day’s highlights were the sweet personalized gifts, the quintessential appearance of the bride and groom and the father of the groom’s toast that didn’t leave a dry eye at the reception. It flowed as every wedding day should; not a beat was missed and every guest was treated to a beautiful celebration of love lit by the rays of the supermoon.

As the wedding photographers, Sarah and I took full advantage of all the inward and outward beauty at this wedding. With ease, we were able to capture the storytelling type of photos we believe matter most: photos of moments that show relationship, personality and happiness. 

A special thanks to Rachael from Decor Design and Production Group for orchestrating this event in a way that allowed everyone to experience the best of the day to its fullest.

telluride colorado wedding

A Telluride Colorado Wedding

Telluride Colorado. It's this little city far enough away that it avoids the feel of too much touristy traffic while making every visitor feel like they should live there. It's a place built for peace and pleasantry. A city obsolete from any chain restaurant or stuffy venue and really, is quite possibly the most perfect place in Colorado. The city is quietly becoming a very popular for destination weddings such as this one though I imagine most destination weddings held in Telluride of them were not quite this great.

Matt and Bubba's wedding was the most wonderful kind of Colorado destination weddings and a treat for a wedding photojournalist to document. It was close enough to home for most of their friends to drive yet far enough away to make it more than a celebration that lasts only a few hours. The wedding was built around having a great time with the people the couple love most in the world.

It's typical to see family and wedding party exuding emotion during the ceremony but not as typical for many of the guests to wiping away tears as the bride walks down the aisle. From the second we arrived at the wedding, we were able to tell how loved these two are by their friends and family. There was a elusive love that was shown by their dog Sally who seemed to appoint herself in hosting the wedding ceremony. She pranced around the open field where the wedding was held welcoming friends and family as they overlooked Wilson Peak, famous for it's feature in Coors advertising.

 

After vows were exchanged and all the guests emblazoned instagram with their selfies  we headed downtown to the Telluride Opera house for a 1920's accessoried and 1950's musiced party. Again, a celebration that had every guest on the edge of their seat invested in the last words of toasts and hours of jovial dancing. It was a party that everyone should get to have not once, but more than once in your lifetime. A celebration that reminds you that life's goodness is far greater than the most beautiful mountain scenes, perfect towns and well planned parities. It's in the people that you love the most.

engagement photos denver

Engagement Photos Denver

Here’s to hoping that Bruce and Ellen have plenty of room on their walls for some new art work.

The honor was mine in following Bruce and Ellen around Denver for a day in the life, documented-date engagement session.  We started at Little man, walked through their neighborhood in the Highlands, shot on the balcony of their office building and finished at Z-Cuisine, the couples (and my new) favorite restaurant. There are many paths you can take when deciding where to have your engagement session in Denver, however, I’m always quick to encourage making the engagement sessions focus centered around their story and this is a pristine example.

Even after photographing hundreds of couples, I find that each session is special and this one for many reasons was no exception. There are many people who have helped me along the way as an artist-business owner but none who have been quite as impacting as this bride to be. She’s an entrepreneur with a heart for creatives and along my journey when I’ve needed support most, she’s been one to advise Selah to greater places. These images will always hold a dear place in my heart.  Interested in doing your own unique engagement session in Denver? If you're looking to do engagement photos Denver has many options to choose from. Looking for a personal, meaningful and one of a kind session? Consider it a documented date and start with the following questions when deciding where to go:

  • What activities do you both enjoy?
  • Are there any spots that you frequent?
  • Are there any places that tell your story well? What about the spot you first met? The place you fell in love?

Maybe it's making breakfast together or sitting on your patio after work. Sometimes the simplest of things are most meaningful.

denver engagement sessions

Denver engagement sessions

f you’ve run by this post by chance, you may have been sifting though Googles many Denver engagement sessions looking for engagement photos that are different. If you’ve come across it intentionally, you are probably a dear person to Matt and the prettiest Bubba you will ever meet. Either way, this engagement session will be a treat. If could write about one thing over and over it would be this;

Make your engagement photos more than engagement photos.

Engagement photos don’t have to simply be a pretty picture of you standing in front of a charming background. They don’t have to be something that trends or gets placed in a picture frame in the back of your guest room. You may be thinking, alright, let’s make my engagement photos more than your basic pictures. Simultaneously wondering what that actually means and desiring some practical ways to make this happen. I can’t tell you the exact formula for making your engagement photos authentically you. The process and product will be as unique as the steps that brought the two of you to where you are today.

denver engagement session
denver engagement session

However, I do have a a few guiding lines that will point you in your unique direction. [/flo_image_text]

  1. Photograph in a place that lends itself to your story. In Matt and Bubba’s case, they are seitan buffalo wing devotees, music enthusiasts, Denver dwellers for life and art lovers. They didn’t choose one location on my list of popular places to go, rather sought out their destinations based upon spots that showed who they are. Where are your favorite places to be? Let’s shoot there.
  2. Think beyond Facebook and save-the-dates. What is going to make a special photo 30 years from now? Think of the hands that will be holding these images, what do you want to tell them about life in 2015.
  3. Re-think your wardrobe. Make sure your clothing, hair and makeup is an authentic portrayal of you. Maybe buying the latest and most expensive outfit isn’t your best option. Wear something you would wear on a date night out - put on your go-to jeans.
  4. When your session is over, get your photos off of your computer. Computers and digital files haven’t been around long enough for us to really understand their fragility. Most of our generation still lives in a world where the majority of our childhood pictures are in printed form. The likelihood of a digital image being permanent is as likely as it was that a floppy disk would be a long term solution for storage. Print your photos or take it a step further, make a photo box or a coffee table book. Allow your engagement photos to be a sought after heirloom for those  that come after you. I recommend checking out Artifact Uprising and Make and Stow for pristine storage solutions.

We are so excited to be traveling to Telluride on a couple of weeks to celebrate this couple’s wedding. Check back for more great photos and inspiration on how to be authentic in your photos soon.

Emotional Wedding Photography

emotional wedding photos
emotional wedding photos

emotional wedding photography

 Their love story was like what you would expect out of a modern day blockbuster. The adventurous girl follows her heart to a foreign country to study and comes across a friend who soon becomes much more. They experience that fairy tale beginning, where nothing in the world could go wrong followed by genuine trials that test and prove their love for one another. During their vows they mentioned sitting on their bathroom floor together holding hands, braving moments of war as sirens went off in the distance. They’ve walked through many challenges most couples don’t confront in a lifetime; challenges that build deep connections and clearly show what makes the two value their relationship and their families so intently.

 

 How do you plan a Colorado wedding from overseas? That might be the natural follow-up question upon learning that this couple resides in Tel Aviv. In Emily and Yaron’s case, they had a team of family on site in Colorado making decisions while the trusting couple went on with their engagement at home in Israel. The wedding was intimate. Guests included Yaron’s immediate family from Israel and Emily’s family and closest friends from the States. Its simplicity so appropriately highlighted the real reason all weddings should happen: because love, family, and commitment are of the best things life has to offer. Having everyone you care about most gathered in one space to sign off on the importance of the day is exactly what this wedding looked like. 

Every image of this couple is a great representation of what raw, emotional wedding photography is like. It’s a photojournalistic style that shares much more than what a person looks like on their wedding day. After all, how many times in your life will you have every person most special to you in the same room? These aren't just anybody. Love and connection with family and friends happens because of vulnerability, trials, triumphs and other rich experiences that make us who we are. We want wedding photography to reflect the little pieces of the personalities that have made you who you are. Here is a glimpse into what makes these two, our thanks to them for sharing so much.

top-colorado-wedding-photographers0106.jpg

Blanc Wedding

blanc wedding in denver
blanc wedding in denver
breitling wedding gift
breitling wedding gift
modern wedding photographers
modern wedding photographers

The day started off with some getting-ready photos in the local Denver venue, Blanc. This Blanc wedding features this new modern wedding venue in Denver. Small enough for intimacy and genuineness, yet large enough to make a groom feel like Keith Moon and bride to feel like...the belle of the ball, as Kristen certainly was. We believe it is absolutely one of the best wedding venue's in Denver. 

artistic denver wedding photograhy
artistic denver wedding photograhy

Nothing says "always and forever" like a surprise, 15 minute drum show suddenly during the reception. Chris, who hammed up the part perfectly with his officiant, Ryan, was somehow able to crank out a crescendo on the cymbals, give the finger to official city noise ordinance, and flash the "I love you" sign to his bride, Kristen in the front row, all at the same time. Between the two of them, there were more toms displayed than in the small Central American village who has received all those canvas shoe charities in recent years. Lucky for us at Selah, we were granted a backstage pass as well as some earplugs. This event, however, was the most original part of a wedding night we have ever seen, but it was not the beginning. 

As professional wedding photographers we don't believe in the idea of being photogenic or not being photogenic. Smiling for a camera is not the same as smiling because your soon-to-be spouse looks more beautiful than you have ever seen. A posed photo at the mention of "cheese" is not the same as an authentic heartwarming laugh at the surfacing of an inside joke that only you and your other get. A good photographer shoots those moments; the unrehearsed, authentic, emotional, and beautiful moments that make it all worth it to begin with. The trick is, sometimes you have to wait for those moments to happen or try to encourage them with playful questioning. In the case of Chris and Kristen however, there was no coaxing on our part. Our trigger fingers were near burning out from over use while these two couldn't stop looking at each other and smiling and laughing. Just being around them for a small portion of time we could tell that these are the types of people you wished lived next door to you, or bought the seat next to yours on a trans-continental flight with the TVs broken.

Chris and Kristen put together a wonderful party with some wonderful food and desserts. The spirits were high; love was in the air, and the only "crashing" at that wedding was by the groom himself, while using his other hand to point lovingly at his wife in the front row, celebrating their 2 hour anniversary. We were blessed to be able to witness the event.

A big thanks to Blanc, House of Yonder and Jessica at Pink Champagne Events for so many great things that happened on this day.

Gunnison CO Wedding

Gunnison CO Wedding

Sometimes it can be embarrassing to live in Colorado and have someone visit only to find out that you have never seen all the amazing parts of the state that brought them here in the first place. For us, we are saved that embarrassment thanks to destination weddings like our recent one which brought us down south to the beautiful Gunnison, CO. Nearby mountain landscapes, an enormous lake, and best of all, the outdoor wedding of Brandan and Sarahkate.

Brandan and Sarahkate were the kinds of folk that know how to make a family celebration, and actually include the family in the celebration. In the "getting ready" portion of the afternoon, both bride and groom were separated into their respective rental houses, and surrounded by bridal party members, parents, and extended relatives so they could all enjoy the afternoon together playing yard games and reminding each other how to hold trains of a dress or tie the formidable Double Windsor. One thing unique to Sarahkate's preparation was her father's involvement at helping her with the veil and accessories. It was both rare and endearing to see a father take so much interest in the role. Perhaps that level of attention to aesthetic detail is genetic, which may explain the beautifully original floral crown Sarahkate donned throughout the whole event - even during the dancing.

candid wedding pictures
candid wedding pictures
artistic colorado wedding photographer
artistic colorado wedding photographer
beautiful outdoor wedding images
beautiful outdoor wedding images

 As any expert party-planner knows, there has to be layered variety involved in order to achieve memorable greatness. Brandan and Sarahkate put together a plan with enough unique elements to keep etsy chatting for quite some time. The wedding in an open field with just a simple arrangement at the altar and the people sitting and standing in a semi circle around them. Piling the entire wedding party into one pick-up to offroad to a nearby bridge over a small creek. Then, to cap off the night's celebration, a bonfire so large that shown bright enough for everyone in its atmosphere to be able to find the s'mores ingredients, and even play another round of yard games.

denver artistic wedding photographers
denver artistic wedding photographers

So next time out-of-towners ask if we are familiar with Gunnison, we will say "yes we have been there" and deliver a raving review of the place due to our fond memories of eating cupcakes in the moonlight with Brandan and Sarahkate.

nontraditional wedding ideas

nontraditional wedding in colorado
nontraditional wedding in colorado
nontraditional wedding ideas
nontraditional wedding ideas
nontraditional wedding ideas
nontraditional wedding ideas

Non traditional Wedding Ideas

It was almost one year ago, shooting a non traditional wedding in St. Thomas, that we here at Selah said to each other, "Wouldn't it be great to shoot another wedding with these people?" As luck and referrals from friends would have it, we were blessed to live that very experience recently with Charles and Tara, a really cool couple that happens to share a lot of the same friend group of the Virgin Island gang. Charles and Tara, an Austin based couple, chose their wedding location to be Steamboat Springs, which was equally as breathtaking and unique, but for different reasons.

wedding photojournalists in colorado
wedding photojournalists in colorado

Starting off the getting ready photos in a rented house near the mountain base made way for some great shots of the bride and groom getting put together. Charles, with his custom vintage suit, looked like the picture of a an understanding and loving father as he stood with his son on the balcony under a thin cloud cover photographers hope for but rarely find. Tara, upstairs, surrounded by loving family and oversized mirrors, was slowly transforming from her normal down-to-earth self into one of the most genuinely unique yet classy brides we have ever photographed. 

The standard, white wedding gown, was just one of the typical wedding traditions forfeited for the sake of authenticity. Tara was calling it her wedding outfit which featured pleated pants made by her mother in law and a lace cropped top. The icing on her outfit, was made my the bride's mother. Her rings and earrings were embedded with special jewels to honor the people who were most special.

outdoor wedding in colorado
outdoor wedding in colorado

 We topped off the evening with some fantastic art shots featuring the couple and all of Steamboat Springs in the background, then headed downtown for a night of eating, drinking, and being married. The party was wonderful and the people were loving it. Your assigned photographers were once again saying to themselves, "wouldn't it be great to shoot another wedding with these people?"

If you've found this post by searching for nontraditional wedding ideas, let this couple impact you with the best advice you will find. Charles and Tara were not interested in recreating other peoples' weddings; they wanted their own. Many brides and grooms don't consider the meaning or the purpose of the ingredients that make a typical wedding, but these two did and it was a welcome change resulting in one of the more personal and memorable weddings to date.

engagement photos

natural engagement photographs
natural engagement photographs

Engagement Photos

Every couple is so unique, but the good ones always have something on common.

Russ was able to verbalize it so well during our session, "She makes me look good; Diana makes me better." He was specifically talking about the pictures but I could tell they make each other better in many aspects of life. Whether it's that couples are made for each other or they grow into being made for each other, these two have arrived at that place of love.

Every couple is so unique.

Despite having a significant commonality like love, every story, every connection, every personality is distinct. It's something that is quite obvious to me in the short-quality filled time I spend with each at a session. Even if I were to take each couple to the same spot at the same time of day, no two sessions would be alike. If a couple were to look at an image in my portfolio and say, "that's not really me." I would agree and take it as a compliment. The goal in doing a couple's engagement photos is to authentically capture a set of photos unlike anyone else's. We want the photos to be a process in creating an heirloom that is authentically them.This session is such a great example of authentic documentation.

How does it happen? It begins with listening and interacting and usually ends up with the couple leaving a special mark on our hearts. Even within an hour and a half's time it's amazing how much I can fall in love with a couple such as Diana and Russ. After about five minutes into taking their engagement photos I felt like I should have hired them and not the other way around. They are clearly beautiful on the outside but being photogenic and taking great engagement photos requires a lot more than just being physically attractive. The prepossessing draw in these images is their love.

top engagement photographers in Denver
top engagement photographers in Denver

Russ and Diana will wed in October. I'm certain the wedding will be quite beautiful. Check back soon.

denver engagement photographer

 

Denver engagement photographer

To achieve perfection in the race of humanity is something usually confined to skilled bowlers and spelling bee contestants, however, in my opinion, these photos of Chris and Kristin are a great example of what the perfect engagement session looks like. As a Denver engagement photographer, you would think I end up photographing at the same spots over and over again. However, I’m always encouraging couples to take their engagement pictures at a location that is most special to them and without hesitation, these two chose "Pablo’s on 6th." It’s a little coffee shop right down the street from an old Apartment they had together and was an area where they both spent a lot of time. The setting was a perfect backdrop for the making of an heirloom. I can’t help but imagine what kind of story these images will tell when looking back at them 50 years from now.

They grabbed a couple of cookie-like props and we began photographing. It sounds simple, right? I’ll just be candid in saying that engagement photos can be scary and the thought of having them taken can feel awkward.

While most couples feel this, they don’t always talk about it so allow me to share Chris and Kristen’s light-hearted vulnerability and tell you that they felt awkward at the thought of taking engagement photos. You’re strolling around in a public place with someone you barely know asking you to cuddle and be yourself while they sit there, stare at you and tell you you’re beautiful. You’re not sure if you agree, based on how surreal the whole experience feels.

Chris and Kristin were a couple not unlike many others. They knew they wanted engagement pictures, they knew what they liked and what they didn’t like - but still - it can feel like an uncomfortable experience. I wanted to put them on the spot because most people would never believe that was the case when looking at their photos. I think they were able to quickly let their guard down and as you can see, get a set of beautiful, authentic engagement photos. [/flo_image_text]

What do you do when you’re worried about your photo experience being awkward and inauthentic? The first thing is to hire a photographer who you feel comfortable with and trust. Hire them for their vision and directing skills. From there, choose a location you’re comfortable with, wear clothing you feel good in and approach it with an open mind. Your photographer is there to photograph you, not a posed, perfected version of your relationship.

non-traditional engagement photos

downtown denver engagement session
downtown denver engagement session
denver engagement session
denver engagement session

 

non-traditional engagement photos

The more I photograph couples, the more I realize that engagement photos can be so much more than simply engagement photos. I’ve been asked quite a bit recently about engagement pictures trending and them being something that’s not as popular anymore. I haven’t noticed this with my clients but I can see why. If the purpose of the pictures don’t go far beyond Facebook and maybe your save-the-date, what’s the point? I encourage my couples to approach their engagement photos with a similar mindset as their wedding photos. I’m a sentimental heirloom lover and I want wedding and engagement photos to be nothing short of that. It’s common to see black and white pictures of people’s grandparents or great-grandparents framed on their mantle. I don’t have any of mine, but wish I did. It’s usually this beautiful, historic portrait that shows the era and highlights the physical beauty of the person. However, the image doesn’t show much if anything about their personality. It doesn’t share their story, what they cared about or how they felt. We’ve come up with a solution. 

 Our modern, personality-filled, non-traditional engagement photography offers a new light to traditional photography. It’s more than a capture of what you look like; it’s an image that vulnerably remembers what life is like. When my bride and grooms meet with me, they get my approach and see the images that tell a story. However, many have great questions, the main one being, how do you get to know us? The process is so much a part of me it’s hard to explain logically. One specific way is a set of pointed questions. I was so excited about the way Liz answered hers below I thought I should put a few of hers on display for everyone to see how cool these two are and learn a little more about how to brainstorm through your story-telling, non-traditional engagement photos .

Liz's planning 1) City vs. Rural: Urban City. Since our wedding is going to be in the mountains, we decided that we want to have our photos taken in the city. 2) Modern/Artistic: Since all of our wedding photos will be more earthy, we want to take modern/artistic engagement photos. 3) Describing us: We used to live on 15th & Champa and we think it would be fun to take some of our photos downtown. We used to walk our dog along the cherry creek trail, so maybe we could take a few photos there. Our first date was at a pub on 15th & Wazee, called the Wazee supper club. Maybe it would be fun to take some photos outside/inside that area.

candid wedding photographers

emotional indian wedding photos
emotional indian wedding photos

Candid Wedding Photographs

There is something so beautiful about seeing two cultures juxtaposed with each other. From noticing the difference in celebratory clothing, colors, symbolism, traditions, and food the differences present a dramatic range. In the case of an Indian-American wedding like Kip and Priya's,  the cultures are not exactly side by side, instead they are becoming one. The wedded couple become one life, one body, and even one culture.

On Friday, the couple celebrated half of their marriage with a traditional Indian Tea ceremony. Flowers were flown in from India and every piece of the day brought an authentic cultural experience. Friday's henna was a appropriate reminder of the day prior as the guests celebrated a traditional American ceremony. I was fascinated to see the unique expressions the two cultures have in celebrating one of life's most significant commitments. After seeing the American wedding one day after the Indian, it made me respect our traditions in a new way and almost wish we had more of them. One of the strongest ties I saw in each celebration, though especially the Indian is the emphasis on family. The wedding was about much more than joining two people together, it was about showing gratitude and respect to elders as each family welcomed a new member into each others lives.

traditional indian wedding moment
traditional indian wedding moment

Now for Kip and Priya. As you can tell by this small feature of photos, the two are deeply joy-filled people. They are one of the kindest and happiest couples. Their love and commitment to not only each other, but their friends and family is one of the more obvious things you will notice about them upon meeting.

During the day of their ceremony, we really focused on being candid wedding photographers. We believe that photographing a wedding should be done in a way that documents so much more than what you look like, rather who you are and how you're feeling - giving you a set of authentic, natural wedding photographs. We want to give an heirloom that really help you re-live the this time of life. This family allowed us to document their personalities with ease.

Many blessings to you Kip and Priya.

emotional wedding moment
emotional wedding moment

mountain engagement photos

mountain engagement photos
mountain engagement photos

 

Mountain engagement photos

It's easy to dismiss beauty, especially when it's become  familiar and accessible. I imagine that is as true of the mountains as it is of friendships, family and even marriage. We don't always realize the magnitude of these gift because, well, we already have them. It's been a bit since I photographed in the mountains and though this location is only 30 minutes from my house, I easily forgot the wonder of this piece of creation. People fly in from all around the world to spend the weekend in the mountains and even fly across the country to have mountain engagement photos. Yet, for people to live here, it's so easy to dismiss.

The mountains are an appropriate background for a couple who is soon to enter in to marriage. They offer a setting that is one of the most majestic. You enter in to it with an initial sense of awe, followed by a lot of intentional and necessary effort. Climbing over barriers, re-directing, resting, enjoying, re-hydrating and sometimes asking for help. The experience allows you to encounter one of the worlds most beauty filled settings, requesting some give and take to undergo it at its best.

mountain engagement pictures colorado
mountain engagement pictures colorado

 These photos are of Dani, Sean and their beautiful dog. I always encourage people to bring the things that are most special to them in their engagement photos and especially for Colorado couples, having their dog in engagement photos is a must. When deciding what to wear for their engagement photos, the couple decided on two outfits, one more casual and one dressier. I overall always recommend that couple's choose clothing choices that are very them. Going out and buying the latest thing isn't always the best choice. Choose clothing that is you - something that you feel best in and that paints a picture of your character during this stage in your life. Think of these engagement photos as heirlooms, not simply photos you'll post for your friends to momentarily see.