Tips for Planning an Intentional Wedding

Reviews are literally what keep my business going.
Reviews are the carbs to the runner that is my little company.
They are the cookie dough to my vanilla ice cream.

You get the picture. They are so valuable to me and to future friends & clients, because it’s hard to trust total strangers with something as important as documenting your wedding if you don’t have happy feedback from past friends & clients!
If you had a great experience working with me, I would so so appreciate any words you might have to share with others about our time together/the photos received afterwards. 🙂

I know it takes time to write reviews, which is why I always try to incentivize your effort with a raffle, and you can get up to 3 entries per review.
(Pro tip: Write one review, then copy and paste to the other two links!)

So, what kind of prizes are we talkin’ here? Let me tell ya.

3rd Prize :
A $50 Print Credit that can be used on any matte or semi-gloss prints in your gallery store!

2nd Prize :
A 5×7 or 8×10 Framed Print (any style)

and the GRAND PRIZE :
A 10×10 20 Page Linen-Covered Layflat Photo Album
OR
A Mini-Session (30-45 minutes) within two hours roundtrip of Nederland, CO.
Your choice!

So how do you enter? Super simple.
Write a review at one of these links/places, and for more entires just copy and paste that bad boy to the other two!
(Max. 3 entries per person, but both you and your partner/family member/anyone who had direct experience with me during your wedding or session can enter).

Leave a review here :

1) WeddingWire
2) Google
3) Facebook

The cutoff for entries is 11:59 EST on 12/31/2019.

Drawing is predicted to be held on January 1st @ 12pm MST, and announced shortly after on my Instagram & Facebook page!

Reviews = Entries!

Now that winter has (seemingly) officially made its entrance here in Colorado, I thought it only appropriate to throw it back to this sweet & snowy engagement session with now newly-weds Paige & Scott.

One of my favorite things about these two – they wanted to look and feel like themselves during their session. Even I – who KNOWS how much better photos turn out when you feel like you – caved to thought that I needed to wear a dress during my engagement session with Bobby. And yet, my favorite photos are the few that I was just wearing my Patagonia pull-over, and I wish I’d kept that on the whole time.

I love that Paige & Scott felt confident (and WARM!) in their puffies and beanies, and we had an awesome time just laughing and being goofy up off Flagstaff Road & Lost Gulch Overlook. Check out the smiles on these cuties!

A Bundled-Up Winter Engagement Session | Paige & Scott | Boulder, CO

Jen & Will say “I do” at sunset at one of Colorado’s greatest destinations.

If I could shoot weddings like this one every (other) day of my life, I would.

I love all weddings- no doubt. But this incredibly intimate wedding day with just Jen & Will drove home how personal this journey can really be if you cut out all of the fanfare, and just focus on one another.

The day started out on a chilly morning at Joyful Journey Hot Springs. I woke up to find ice had covered every branch of every tree, and we were surrounded by a surreal desert winter wonderland.

They each dawned their wedding day hiking boots, and prepared for a first look in the geodesic dome greenhouse. *Note to photographers in this situation- make sure your camera has time to adjust from the extreme differences in temperatures.

After their teary first look and portraits, we made our way to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, where they would say their vows and make their commitment to one another “official”.

We were severely tempted along the way to stop at one of the many alien watch posts- but the snowy, unmaintained roads were a little too risky. 

Instead we stopped on the way to the park for a gift exchange, where they exchanged sixpence for their shoes- something which both of them thought they were doing independently as a surprise, but it turned out that they really do just know each other better than they can even fathom.  

At last we were at the Sand Dunes, where we ventured to the perfect spot for their vows. After many emotions and promises were shared, it was time for the ring exchange. And then Will realized the ring was gone! AGH! Luckily, it had just fallen in the sand by his feet and he gave a victorious sigh when he found it. 

To top it all off, they had the best first kiss ever, followed by some epic sunset shots on the dunes, and a leap of faith down the soft sand. Closing the day, they shared some champagne and chocolate before signing their marriage license. 

The perfect ending to the perfect day together. <3

 

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Song : January Wedding : the Avett Brothers 

A High Desert Winter Wonderland Elopement | Great Sand Dunes National Park

A Wedding Photographer’s Perspective

This is my 9th season shooting weddings, and the most tried and true piece of advice I can EVER give a couple is to not worry about rain, thunderstorms or snow on the forecast.

Now that my own wedding is a week and a half away, I can safely say

EASIER. SAID. THAN. DONE. 

I totally get it! You’ve poured (no pun intended) so much time, effort, money, not to mention hopes and dreams into this one-day, once in a lifetime, epic commitment to the love of your life!

Thunderstorms on the forecast can definitely put a damper on whatever sense of ease you may have been trying to muster after so much planning.

I’d be lying if I said that seeing this forecasted for my wedding day didn’t make my stomach turn :

But then I had to just shake my head, close my eyes, and remember

one) Forecasts can change!!!

We all know that forecasting is rarely accurate, and that there’s no point worrying about it ahead of time. I could look at this tomorrow and there’d be a big sun sitting there, which wouldn’t make me extremely comfortable either.

See my next point for why!

two) Cloudy, rainy-day light is effing MAGICAL for photos.

The most incredible tones and beautiful even lighting always occurs on days when rain or storms are predicted.

I would say almost all of the most gorgeous weddings I’ve ever shot have been on days where it storms, at least for a little while.

The truth is that wedding days aren’t typically designed around the best light for photos, they’re designed with the purpose of fitting lots of important events into a timeline.  As far as photos go- portraits are often taken in hot, harsh light that can be tough to work with and uncomfortable to be photographed in.

Why are cloudy, rainy days so perfect for light?

Imagine that clouds are one giant soft box/diffuser for that big light source we call the sun. It gives you perfect even light with no squinty eyes, no crazy color casts from clothing, foliage or the sky itself, and no blown-out highlights where the sun hits vs. dark shadows where it’s not.

While I know photos are the way to preserve the day in your memory and are extremely important to most people (including myself … cough cough BIASED), they aren’t the only important thing.

It still worries a lot of folks that a storm will disrupt the vision of how they saw their wedding going, which brings me to my next couple points :

three) Your Guests Won’t Mind

Everyone knows you can’t predict the weather, especially when you make plans so far out!

Your guests are ultimately there to celebrate with you – rain or shine!

Rainy days tend to be cooler and more comfortable. They’re easier on the eyes and the body. Out of all the weddings I’ve been to- the most agitated guests seem to be the ones who are sweating in bright hot sunlight, not those who are under umbrellas in a drizzle.

Bonus: Even if your guests get rained or snowed on a little- the camaraderie, the humor, and/or dramatic feel of weathering the storm with a couple who’s making a major life commitment to one another can ultimately add to the experience for guests instead of take away from it.

Not to mention – free booze at the reception is basically the duct tape that holds it all together without fail.

Lastly …

four) Look at the big picture…

At the end of the day- no matter what happens with the silly weather – you will be married to the love of your life.

Think about all of the proverbial “storms” you’ve already weathered throughout your life, the ones that gave you grit and character and made you into the person that your partner/future husband or wife fell in love with. We aren’t shaped by the perfect, and your wedding day doesn’t need to be either.

A little rain, snow, hail, whatever is not going to change the fact that you two are in love, and that this one day neither defines your past OR your future together. Only you two can do that!

So, if your wedding day is rainy and crazy and stormy- embrace it! You’re getting freaking married!!!!! And that’s something to celebrate, no matter how much precipitation happens to fall.

Now check out some more photos taken on stormy days to lift your spirits, and maybe even have you crossing your fingers for a little sprinkle on your big day!


Thunderstorms on Your Wedding Day? Don’t Panic… | Boulder, CO

I first met Andrea & Weston in person near Lake Tahoe where I spent 3 days and nights hanging out with them, their family & their friends over their wedding weekend. Of course “hanging out” wasn’t all I was doing, I did also document their amazing wedding day together.

Since then I’ve gotten to shoot the weddings of three of their friends, and consequently spend more time with Weston and Andrea as well! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – these are my people. Sometimes I forget that our friendship stemmed from professional ties. I really just feel like we’re old friends, which is why it was SO AWESOME to have them come visit and stay for a few days this summer, and to show them our neck of the woods (literally).

These shots were taken hiking the trails behind our house, their incredibly friendly and loving dog River in tow. Afterwards we were treated to their master chef skills : chimichurri flank steak tacos with elote corn, and I made some guac with a secret ingredient passed onto me by my friend Rachel. It was a great night, great dinner, great company.

Andrea & Weston – we miss you already and know that you are welcome back to Ned ANYTIME!!!!! And I’m pretty convinced that we should put our amazing summer camp idea into effect… let’s plan!

 

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Song : Little Worlds – Mandolin Orange

A Mountain Hike with their Fur Baby | Andrea & Weston | Nederland, CO