Colorado Canoe Engagement Session – Dora and Martin

Dora and Martin’s engagement shoot date started out with a pretty darn crappy weather forecast (70% chance of rain on Accuweather) and quickly developed a serious case of the Lemony Snickets from there. I RARELY postpone an engagement due to limited availability, but 70% is usually about where I start making that recommendation. The couple had flown in from California, however, and this engagement shoot was the main thing on their agenda for the trip, so we decided to take our chances.

Then, I go to hop on the highway, and it’s backed up all the way to my exit. I am anal about being on time for things, so luckily I still had a full hour and a half to get to a location only 22 minutes away, so I figured I’d get on anyway and just sit in the traffic… only to be diverted off the highway entirely at the first exit and prohibited from getting back on because the highway had been closed for an accident investigation.

It’s about this point where most other photographers, realizing they would have to take backroads all the way to Denver and would inevitably be super late only to most likely get rained out anyway, would have given up and canceled the session, but not me. An hour and a half later almost to the minute, I arrived at the Denver Botanic Garden ON TIME, only to find out it had CLOSED at 3pm for a concert.

At this point, I really thought the couple’s session might be cursed, and so did they. But you know the old saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade?” Well, that’s exactly what we did. We drove around fairly randomly and just wandered into whatever we thought might make for some fun photos – the couple was awesome and up for anything and it made all the difference! Miraculously, the rain held out the ENTIRE session, and I’m now certain that everything that happened was meant to lead us to even better photos after all!

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Guys, I cannot wait for all the exciting things you have planned for your wedding in November! Getting to know what kind of spontaneous, light-hearted people you are at this engagement session, I have no doubt the photos will be epic!

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Colorado River Engagement – Mandy & Tri

Yep, you guessed it! We have yet another Vietnamese/American wedding on the dockets for this year, and we couldn’t be more excited! We feel like we’ve been adopted into what happens to be a fairly sizeable niche community here in Colorado and couldn’t be more flattered to be a part. We just love the huge weddings, the vibrant colors and the photogenic nature of the day as a whole.

Mandy and Tri also happen to be one of the sweetest, most laid-back couples I’ve had the pleasure to work with. They braved rush hour traffic, the off-and-on rain, and the 20-million-other-photographers who were shooting at the location that day… all with a positive attitude! Had they let the circumstances of their day drag them down, all hope would have been lost, but as it was we worked with what we had and came away with some really nice shots!

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Crested Butte Gondola Wedding – Kasey and Joel

Toward the end of their amazing wedding day, Kasey and Joel asked Sean and I to sign their guest book, and here is what I wrote: “I like to think our work is only as good as the couple we are photographing is together. Needless to say, I expect nothing short of amazing images and futures for the two of you!”

It was a genuine pleasure working with them, and watching their two families unify into one among some of the most beautiful scenery Colorado has to offer. At the top of a mountain at Crested Butte, these two laid back lovebirds said their I Do’s.

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After the ceremony, the couple headed back to Joel’s estate to play a few games of Cornhole  and cut the cake! It was the perfect ending to the perfect day!

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Colorado Barn Wedding – Key & Maki

Key and Maki are two very unique personalities, and both their individuality and artistic talent complements one another in a very romantic way. For these reasons, not only have they been able to creatively and successfully work together in a way that combines Key’s lighting design and Maki’s fine art skills, on Saturday they committed their entire selves to one another in what I truly expect to be an equally successful venture of marriage.

I have never seen two people work harder, or more happily, on every small detail of a wedding. The event took place on Key’s mother’s stunning prairie estate in Peyton, using the front yard for the ceremony and the barn for the cocktail-style reception. When I saw all of the beautifully designed details, I immediately recognized the amount of love that had gone into planning this day. So while we normally don’t show details on our blogs to emphasize our focus on moment photography, I felt it only appropriate to make an exception this go around.

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You can immediately tell right from the getting ready portion of the day that Maki was not like other brides. While most have a crew of bridesmaids and a designated space to ceremoniously hold out the dress for them as they step in, Maki stood in a small nook behind the bed as she jammed her feet into the dress (jeans on and all) and had one close friend present to assist with the back.

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The ceremony was equally laid back, with both Key and Maki arriving at the front of the house together. There was no official walk down the “aisle”… yet somehow this first image by Sean tells the story just the same, and perhaps, even more beautifully.

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Maki informed me during getting ready that she did not want any mom pleasers (looking at the camera smiling) and very minimal posed shots. To accommodate and keep the couple’s comfort levels high, I gave minimal direction and focused on capturing the “moments in between.”

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The reception took place inside the barn, where the horses (and their manure) had been evicted the night before. Also, thanks to Nancy from Chairs with Character for providing these lovely mismatched browns for the couple; the décor would not have been the same without them!

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To Key and Maki: You are truly an amazing, one-of-a-kind couple who I thoroughly enjoyed the company of as we photographed your day. I see your future being full of lasting, loving relationships with both each other and the friends you hold dear. Also, if you ever decide to go into event planning or rent out your barn for weddings, please give me a call, because I really want to go back!

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Denver Cambodian Wedding at King’s Land Chinese Seafood – Anny & Khamlek

Having shot over 100 weddings of all different religions and cultures in our career, let’s just say we don’t see a lot of “firsts,” anymore. But Anny and Khamlek’s Denver Asian Traditional/American Wedding was home to not one but two of these never-before experiences; our first traditional Cambodian Wedding, and our first time sitting at the head table dining family style with the bride and groom/wedding party.

The couple was outraged the venue refused to feed us and sat us down at their very own table, saying, “These are your seats now.” They rolled the food to us first before they would even take a bite! It really just goes to show what kind of people they are that, even completely absorbed in the chaos of their six-dress, multiple-ceremony day, they would be so considerate of their vendors.

Needless to say, not only did I love Anny and Khamlek as individuals, I loved every stinking minute of that 15 hours. When they were looking at booking us, they asked to see our full Vietnamese wedding AND a full Indian wedding, and I remember wondering “What kind of wedding are these people having?!” Well, it’s a good thing I didn’t know until after they decided to book us, because I would have been so overly excited about a Cambodian wedding I just might have blown the whole thing! Haha, and yes, I do that, but when I’m THAT excited about someone’s wedding – it REALLY shows in the pictures/final product – I hope you agree, because here they come!

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I was blown away by Anny’s choice in dress number one, but it turned out dress 2,3,4, and 5, were equally amazing. I’m going to skip ahead on the detail shots so you can see two dresses at a time.

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Back up to the room to change for the hair-cutting ceremony. Loved the pants on the girls!

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Why, you have a purple one, too? How ever did you know?!  The ceremony to follow was the Hand-Tying Ceremony. Afterwards the couple heads up to their room to sit on a bed of rose petals and feed each other fruit soft-porno-style.

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Please forgive the overkill of cute dog shots… “Butters,” Anny’s brown Pomeranian, is Anny’s baby and she told me I could not take too many pictures of him, which of course resulted in too many GOOD pictures of him and I couldn’t decide between them! “Puddles,” her sister’s white Maltese was also on the VIP list.

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The American ceremony took place at the Buffalo Run Golf Course, but not until after a quick first look!

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I have, undoubtedly, never had so little time for bride and groom/wedding party photos. Things ran extremely late and people were MELTING as their tolerance for the 90-degree heat was waning after just standing through the entire outdoor ceremony. Fortunately, I was pretty happy with how the two whole setups of Anny and Khamlek I had time to take came out before heading to the reception.

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The reception was held at King’s Land Chinese Seafood, which I will say had some very delicious food!

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Anny and Khamlek: I know you researched long and hard for a photographer. Being part of your wedding was even more of an amazing and enriching experience than I could have ever asked for, so I sincerely hope I also lived up to all you were expecting and more. Congratulations again!

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