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.