I first met Leanne back at one of my first weddings I had shot for my friends Matt and Nikki back in 2013. She was a bridesmaid at their wedding but we hadn't seen each other since then. The only place that our paths were to cross was probably at one of my baseball games, except she wouldn't have come to see me. Her now fiance, Jason, plays on the Denver Browns baseball team. I play for the Redhawks and the Browns are our biggest rivals in the league. They're good and so is Jason. They win the league pretty much every year... eeeeeexcept this year when we edged the Browns in the championship game 2-0. I wouldn't be a competitor if I didn't mention that here, but I'm sure Jason and any other Browns players and fans would expect that from me haha. I had never really met him outside of the ball field and the only time I ever got to chat with him is when he got on first... which is a lot. During this last championship game, Jason had mentioned that he had gotten engaged and I told him we should chat! Funny thing is, Leanne wrote me an email asking about photography and the wheels started to turn.
Sometimes you just get lucky. I felt lucky to have shot Angel and AJ's wedding this October. Their wedding inquiry popped up in my inbox by way of referral from another photographer friend (thanks, Jo) because she was already shooting on that date. Angel almost immediately booked me as their photographer and after a couple months of waiting, their day was upon us.
Sam and I go way back to freshman year of High School at TJ. We played football and baseball together and graduated in the same class in '06 and even still play on the same Redhawks baseball team. As you grow older and keep friends from high school, you simply wish a positive and good life for those friends. You hope they get into a great career and earn a good living, but most of all, you hope they find someone perfect to share this life with.
If you've read my blog or know me personally, you'd know that I like to travel. Sometimes, I think I need to travel outside my home state to consider it "traveling". I couldn't be more wrong. Colorado has so much to offer and when it comes to Telluride, CO... it might just be my favorite city in all of Colorado. I brought along my wife and son on the trip and as we approached the city, we had a REAL conversation about moving there. We're not FYI. If you haven't been, go. Like, now.. it really is that amazing. Telluride and all of the surrounding areas makes me feel like I'm in the sound of music. I might just start singing. "The hills are alive....."
There is something special about a "backyard" wedding. The intimacy of it all seems to fit some couples better than others, and with this setting being the house Derek grew up in, this setting suited him and Tara perfectly. As a photographer, sometimes a backyard wedding can be a little worrisome. You don't know if you're going to have neighbors close by or if the setting isn't that beautiful. We didn't have that issue. The Long Family home sits above the North Saint Vrain River in Lyons, CO and the background to this spot is incredible. Before the wedding started, Derek took me down into a canyon the river runs through to help me scout. It was almost overwhelming on what direction I wanted to shoot because it was so gorgeous. I picked my spots for the first look and portraits and headed back to the house where I met Tara to put on the dress and get things started.
I shot Amanda's sister, Brittany's wedding last year in Evergreen, but that isn't where I first met Amanda. We met in high school at TJ. She was a couple years younger than me but we were instantly friends. She grew up with a lot of the crew I played baseball with, so we were around each other quite a bit. I always appreciated the positive vibe and infectious smile she brought along with her everywhere she went. People were and still are drawn to her for those same reasons, so when she told me she was engaged, I had to meet her other half.
Estes Park is another one of Colorado's beautiful gems. So, when I heard Larissa and Tory were getting married at the Twin Owl Lodge in Estes... I was pretty excited. When we arrived in Estes on their wedding day, the weather was perfect, a nice breeze was in the air and it was a perfect day to get married!
I don't know if other schools have this, but there is this weird TJ (my old high school) connection. People seem to keep in touch a little bit more than usual, help each other when needed or even stay good friends with the same people who you roamed the halls with. Erica was no exception. We stayed in touch over the years like most people would on social media and when we saw each other out on the town, we'd exchange hugs and well wishes. I was so happy when I got a message through Instagram that Erica was engaged and wanted to chat about photography!
I always love shooting at new venues and new places. As long as I've been in Colorado now, I'm ashamed to say, I had never been to Grand Lake. I quickly found out that I had been missing out. Thanks to Haley and Chris, I got the opportunity to come and enjoy another beautiful place in our Colorado backyard. Luckily, I shot this wedding with my good friend Jo, who had not only shot there plenty of times before, but had vacationed there for years growing up. She even knew of a private dock (that we were allowed) on the lake where we ended up shooting some of my favorite portraits of the day.
If you've read my blogs or been to my website, you'd know family means the world to me. In almost all of my blogs, I talk about how amazing it is to capture people's wedding days and how meaningful it is to me. When I get a chance to capture that day for a family member, it really does mean that much more. Taylor is my brother in law and now I get the honor of calling Katie my sister in law. Katie is truly someone you want in your life, so I consider myself one lucky guy to have her in my family.
The day had finally arrived. With Boulder Creek rushing in the background, it was a beautiful day to get married and their venue (Wedgewood at Boulder Creek) looked stunning. Aly and Derek obviously put in a lot of thought into their details which stood out and really complimented the story of their wedding day.
I love taking photos, as I'm sure you could have guessed. It means a lot to me to capture special moments in people's lives. Meeting new people is amazing, capturing my friend's lives is awesome but family is the best. I haven't gotten the opportunity to do that in awhile but last week I got to take my Brother in law, Taylor and his fiancé, Katie's engagement photos. We discussed for months where we were going to take the photos and with their wedding in less than a month, we needed to nail something down. We decided on a new place for me, North Table Mountain in Golden. A beautiful but challenging place for an engagement session to say the least.