Ellie and Kjell’s Aspen wedding was held at the T-Lazy-7 Ranch just outside of town. Kjell is an accomplished photographer himself and felt strongly about having an Aspen wedding photojournalist document the day. I had not been to the T-Lazy-7 Ranch before, but it’s a great venue. The ceremony was in a large open meadow looking up a valley toward Pyramid Peak, not far from the Maroon Bells. The reception was a short from an open rustic pavilion with a roaring campfire. It set the tone for a very laid-back reception, conditioning the environment for people to kick back and have fun.

Aside from the physical trappings, there was something rather touching about this wedding: Ellie and Kjell have been friends since elementary school. There are high school sweethearts, but we’re talking about a documentary filmmaker and a doctor who have known each other since they were six.

A few months after the wedding, they were kind enough to come to the opening of my show at the Blue Sky Gallery in Portland on a rather cold and rainy night. The worlds of my documentary work and weddings tend to be distinct, so it was great to share another side of what I do.

Groom prepares for wedding in Aspen hotel room.

Kjell with his bolo tie. All that western flair, while not actually suffocating in the summer heat.

Groom views himself in mirror getting ready for Aspen wedding.

Bride and sister watching family arrive at Aspen wedding.

Ellie and her sister greet arriving family members while preparing in the T Lazy 7 Ranch lodge.

Bride greets father at Aspen wedding.

Sisterly affection for bride at Aspen wedding.

Friends help bride prepare for Aspen wedding.

black and white Aspen wedding photography shows bride preparing for Aspen wedding.

Aspen wedding bride getting ready

Bride and bridesmaids by Aspen wedding photographer

Groom fiddles with his bolo tie before an Aspen wedding.

Kjell and his dad at the wedding site. Still working on that bolo tie.

Joy before a wedding as bride and friend share a golf cart.

The ceremony site, lodge and campground are close to each other, but a bit much when you’re running back and forth, over and over, the way, say an Aspen wedding photographer might do. But they had a small fleet of little golf carts and I’m not too shy to hitch a ride.

Bride's father walks her down the aisle during an Aspen wedding ceremony.

Wedding ceremony at the T-Lazy-7 Ranch in Aspen

Some ceremony venues have one good view highlighted on the website, but the meadow at the T-Lazy-7 looks great from any angle.

Wedding ceremony near Aspen, Colorado.

Groom places ring on bride's finger during Aspen wedding ceremony.

I’m seeing more weddings where the groom and officiant have the tiny microphones attached to their lapels. The bride doesn’t need one, as she’s standing next to the groom when they do their vows and exchange rings. It gets around having a microphone stand in the middle of the pictures.

Kiss at end of ceremony by Aspen wedding photojournalist.

Couple at the end of an Aspen wedding ceremony by Denver wedding photojournalist.

Aspen wedding ceremony at T-Lazy-7 Ranch.

Italian wedding photo by Aspen wedding photojournalist.

These Italian wedding photo always feel kind of festive. And look at the discipline of this crew! They’re packed rather tightly but you can still see everyone. I send mixed messages. I demand that everyone gives me their complete, undivided attention, then ask that they ignore me the rest of the day.

Groom during cocktails at an Aspen mountain wedding.

Groom's father and sister following Aspen wedding.

Examining the groom's ring after an Aspen wedding.

Bride and groom kiss in golf cart after a wedding in Aspen, Colorado.

Not exactly the back of a limo, but the light is sooo much better.

Aspen wedding reception at the T-Lazy-7 Ranch.

Reception toasts by Aspen wedding photojournalist.

Ellie’s dad gives a toast.

Bride's father gives a toast during an Aspen wedding reception.

Speeches during Aspen wedding reception at the T-Lazy-7 Ranch.

Bride hugs father after toast at an Aspen wedding reception.

Groom's sister gives a toast during an Aspen wedding reception.

Wedding toasts at the Chuckwagon Grounds of the T-Lazy-7 Ranch in Aspen.

First dance at the Chuckwagon Campground at the T-Lazy-7 Ranch near Aspen, Colorado.

First dance.

Father daughter dance at Aspen wedding by Denver wedding photojournalist.


Mother son dance at Aspen wedding.


Dancing at an Aspen wedding reception.

Making s'mores at a casual Aspen wedding reception.

A campfire, s’mores, the way the smell of crisp mountain air changes in the evening. It just doesn’t get better than this.

Aspen wedding reception at T-Lazy-R ranch, with open pavilion for dancing and large campfire.

Wedding couple laughing at reception.

Wedding couple kiss at rustic outdoor wedding reception in Aspen.

Candid image of bride's hand on groom's back, showing wedding ring.

Bride laughing at Aspen wedding reception.

Women laughing on the dance floor of a wedding reception in Aspen, Colorado.

Black and white Aspen wedding photography of mother and young son.

Women laughing during Aspen wedding reception on the Chuckwagon Grounds of the T-Lazy-7 ranch.

Bride and groom kissing on the dance floor of a T-Lazy-7 ranch in Aspen, Colorado.

Wig wearing groom with bride on dance floor by Aspen wedding photojournalist.

Kjell’s a great guy, but this is what happens when you do your own hair and makeup.

Dance floor frivolity at Aspen wedding.

Bride in rose colored glasses at Aspen wedding reception.

Black and white wedding photography during Aspen wedding.

Bride and groom embrace on dance floor by Aspen wedding photojournalist.

Bride and groom run through nightsticks during their departure from a country wedding near Aspen.

Wig wearing bride and groom during their departure at an Aspen wedding.