I'm not one for the cold... seriously, I have poor circulation, very little body-fat-insulation and if I had complete control of the temperature in my house, my doorknob would burn your hand. The only thing stronger than my desire to live in a complete sauna during the winter, is my unwillingness to pass up unique photo opportunities. The Ice Castles is one of those places I've been meaning to shoot since I first came across some photos of it last year, and I was really excited Kiah and Kyle were willing to venture out to Breckenridge with us for their engagement session!
These two were so natural and easy to work with, these photos practically took themselves... okay, so maybe that's not entirely true... Sean and I worked and froze our butts, fingers, and toes off, but the pictures would never have been the same with any other couple :)
Thanks again for being such great sports you two! I hope these photos were worth it! :)
I'm going to go ahead and keep quoting all the amazing photographers who spoke at the 2013 Fearless conference, when I say, "I cannot be creative for money... I need a reason." - Susana Barbera, and couples like Charlie and Alexis ARE that reason. From the very getgo, these two were an amazing fit for our style. I remember Charlie saying, "I don't just want photographs, I want art," and that somehow stuck with me, and was a driving factor for me all through their wedding day.
Add to that, they gave me their FULL trust to create said art. Bearing in mind some of the most amazing shots come from the weirdest places, some brides lacking in the trust department really miss out. These two stood out in the cold, in the most remote and ugly looking spot in the venue without question, gave up some of their visions for shots to explore some of mine, and most importantly, treated us with courtesy and respect throughout the day, providing us a seat with their guests in the venue to make darn sure we received a meal. Being fed is clutch :P
I'm really proud to be sharing these photos from my first wedding of the year... looking like 2014 is going to be another great one. A big thank you to our Northeast Associate Photographer Jim for second shooting this unique event with me and covering the guys getting ready. You did a fabulous job as usual!
The couple did a first look to make more time for wedding party and family formal photos...
As for our first Badeken... these pictures are worth all the words on the rest of this blog combined.
This was my first "unplugged ceremony" and I have to say it was it a little weird not seeing the aisle lined with cell phones, ipads, and budget SLRs. Not blocked by their devices, not only were the guests actually IN the pictures, they were SO in the moment that they actually broke out into impromptu song at one point during the ceremony. Needless to say, I can't recommend going unplugged enough.
We had a few brief moments for bride and groom portraits after the ceremony, and between it being full dark out, being stuck indoors due to the cold and the tight time constraints, most photographers would have been up the creek... but not Jim and I... we like a good challenge.
This was one of the craziest receptions I've shot... and I was happy as a pig in you know what. Not to mention the Ballroom at the Ben is certainly a classy venue.
To Charlie & Alexis: My only regret is that I only had the opportunity to shoot your wedding once, because it's definitely one event I would love to attend every weekend from now until I'm so old and frail I break a wrist trying to change a lens. Truly love you guys, and can't thank you enough for having me.
Moving to Denver in 2011 was one of the biggest challenges our company has faced. The storm came and went, and while 2012 and 2013 may not necessarily have shown us the huge pot of gold at the end... the rainbow is glaring me in the face. While it certainly would have been easier to stay in the Northeast comfortably booking 30 weddings a year off referrals, moving and being forced to start over where no one had ever heard of us or our company, has pushed us (in the words of Jeff Newsom) to "Make Better Art," which for someone like me, is a far greater reward.
I have come out from behind my desk and met with my peers. I have submitted work to receive awards, and won on my first try. Bookings for 2014 are up, and every single one of those brides "gets us" and appreciates the type of work that we're doing. I have always believed everything happens for a reason, and I am grateful to be able to share some of our favorite images from 2013 that would never have been if not for the storm.
We joined the Fearless Photographers group in winter of 2012 and were blown away by their award collections. The competition is incredibly steep, with the group receiving 13,000 quality submissions from all over the world each round, and we made it our goal for 2013 to win one of their awards. Our first wedding of the year, Ellie and Brian's Manor House wedding in April, we achieved our goal. Their wedding was also featured in the Knot Magazine, which someday I will finally get a chance to write a post about.
Our first traditional Vietnamese/American Wedding was one for the books (literally, I plan to buy a sample album of it!) This 15-hour day had it all, two ceremonies, two receptions, a trip to a theme park for photos, and an amazing couple, Tina & Hung, to document through it all.
Carissa and Glenn made for one of our most fun, laid back weddings. Their day had a case of the lemony snickets when the FOB was too ill to make it last minute and their epic Cheyenne Mountain Resort ceremony backdrop got rained out... but they wouldn't let any of it put a damper on their day!
Whitney and Corbin hired us unsure of what they REALLY wanted captured. A simple preview on my camera of this first shot actually became PART of their day when MOB cried upon seeing it saying she didn't care if I didn't take another good photo all day because that ONE photo meant so much to her. This wedding took place at Heritage Eagle Bend.
A paragraph is not enough space to say all the awesome things we'd want to about how much we love Christine and Jesse, AND their Inverness wedding. Someday their children will look at their photobook of memories and see a shot of their parent's wedding cake mid-air falling out of Jesse's mouth and get a most genuine sense of just how awesome and fun their parents were at the time of their wedding.
Cailey and Kenneth are one of the most romantic couples I've had the pleasure to photograph, but they have a fun side too, making their image-set from the Della Terra Chateau one of our favorites from the year.
The cabins at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs along with the couple's complete cooperation enabled us to create some pretty amazing getting-ready shots. It also didn't hurt that running a bit behind didn't cause Trisha and Justin to rush or stress, which is a pretty easy way to ruin these important shots. Way to keep your cool guys!
Our SECOND trip to Aspen this year was for Chris and Laura. This couple's pictures are entirely the result of photography being their TOP priority. They put themselves out there, took all of our suggestions, and gave us the time we needed, even at the expense of being a little late to their reception at the Roaring Fork Golf Club. Here was the result.
We loved BOTH of our October weddings in PA/NJ. Jen and Sal and Carlyn and Rob had opposite venues, guest personalities, and timelines, but the one thing they had in common is that they are genuinely kind, fun-loving couples, making both of their sets a huge success!
Last wedding of the year was a doozy! Shooting a two-day 17-hour-total Indian Wedding WITH the flu pushed me well beyond what should have been my physical limits, but I persevered. My excitement and determination to get amazing images from my first Indian Wedding at the Sheraton Parsippany, and really deliver for the awesome couple who took that chance on me, pushed me to levels I didn't think possible. I couldn't be happier with what we came away with.
So that was our year! Busy, and full of exciting new people, places, cultures and artistic heights. Looking forward to an equally, if not more amazing 2014!
Life isn't always peaches and cranberries, and having kids turns out to be a lot more blood, sweat and tears than it is Kodak moments... Only no one tells you that before you make a baby. All you see are gorgeous pictures of other people's children doing things that make you smile, and you think to yourself "I want those moments... I want to smile like that every single day." And so was born the old saying, "Don't compare your life to someone else's Highlight Reel." While you can't prevent all of your friends from sweeping their reality under the carpet and only posting cute, upbeat photos of the best moments shared with their families as you're still being yanked out of bed at 1am, and your kid is throwing massive tantrums because he/she can't have his or her third piece of chocolate for the day, you can always one-up them by having a professional photographer come to your home and take pictures of YOUR highlight reel. Okay, I joke, because the highlight reel isn't really to boast... it's to remind you of how many Kodak moments YOU have on a daily basis, and how blessed you are to have them. Ten years from now when your kids are grown, a portrait is going to be a portrait, but these moments are fleeting, and will remind you of your children's growing personalities, and what your life was like raising them in the early years.
For a long time we have not offered ANY type of family portrait sessions... at all, and our past brides who have since made many babies have been none too happy about it, haha. It's just that getting a bunch of young kids to sit and smile for even one nice shot is daunting and especially the young ones lose patience with it very quickly. I RARELY bite the bullet for my own kid, so there is just no amount of money that is going to get me to do it for someone else's, no offense :P At the end of the day, Highlight Reel Sessions are A LOT more work, with sessions being four hours for a Half Day and eight hours for a Full Day and a lot more photos to go through, versus two hours for a portrait session that will yield a handful of good, albeit boring shots. But Highlight Reel Sessions are the kind of work we enjoy doing, so in an effort to not have to charge ridiculous prices for them, we will simply be limiting the number of photos we deliver. We deliver about 100-150 photos per half-day session and 150-300 for a full day. Due to the tendency for indoor, uncontrolled lighting to be varied and mixed you can expect about half of your photos to be processed in our beautiful black and white style. The cost for a half day is $600 and the cost for a full day is $1,000.
So go ahead and show off your Highlight Reels! Give yourself this once-in-a-lifetime chance to take a completely unbiased look at just how many Kodak moments YOU have in a single day in your life... and then post them on Facebook to sucker more of your friends into thinking they want kids :P Below are some photos from our first of these sessions by Lauren Brimhall Photography:
When Sarita and Chirag first got in touch with me, I would have told you that If I had my choice between the most gorgeous/expensive destination wedding you've ever seen, and a traditional Indian wedding, I'd have chosen the Indian wedding 100 times over. Why? Because as much as I love an epic landscape as much as the next person, that's RARELY what MAKES a photo. Our photographic style revolves around real couples and real moments, and the fluidity of most cultural weddings lends itself to that style to a "T."
Sarita and Chirag's event, not only filled a gaping hole in my cultural wedding experience, but it gave me confirmation of something I had suspected for a long while now... I LOVE ALL cultural weddings. I want to shoot MORE cultural weddings. And thanks to this one couple taking a leap of faith on someone with no prior Indian wedding experience, I have now shot almost every type of cultural wedding there is; traditional Asian Weddings, Jewish Weddings, Catholic Weddings, Same-Sex Weddings, Greek Weddings, Bulgarian Weddings, you name it.
Given the type of event this was, I was not surprised that the photos from this event were some of my favorite of my career. I was, however, not without an amazing team who helped to make that happen. A big thanks to Chuck Anerino and Jim Heine for photographing this grueling 14-hour day with me, and doing a fabulous job at that! Let's get started with sharing some photos!
After the "first look" we all headed outdoors for Chirag's Baraat. The light was beautiful, the crowd was awesome, and I was more than happy to get occasionally kicked or walloped by guests (by accident) to get close enough to the action for some of these favorite photos!
The colors from the traditional Indian ceremony just blew me away. Nothing against Catholic churches, but why I have I never before seen color like THIS in one of them???
After the ceremony, we headed outside for bride and groom portraits. This set goes to show that anyone who tells you that great photography is all about having a gorgeous location to work in hasn't honed their craft. All of these images, save the last one, were taken in the venue PARKING LOT.
Okay, so it helped we had a horse for some, and EBHorses were fabulous to work with.
After that, it was back inside for a quick transformation into the bride's reception look!
Speaking of the reception...
14 hours later, with most running on four hours of sleep or less, I have NO IDEA where the guests were still getting energy from but I never turn down an opportunity to capture a great party!
To Sarita & Chirag: Once again, I can't thank you enough for the awesome opportunity to be part of another culture, and experience new and exciting traditions. You are an amazing couple, with great hearts, and I wish you a lifetime of love and happiness together!