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.
Julia and David had their ceremony and reception at The Villa Parker. I’d worked as a Denver wedding photojournalist at The Villa Parker before and was familiar with the place. While references to a Tuscan country estate may seem a bit aspirational, the site is atop a large hill surrounded by fields, with views of the plains and mountains. It actually feels quite removed, and the generous outdoor terraces make full use of the location. I’ve found that as a Denver wedding photojournalist at The Villa Parker and other rural reception sites, if you’re fortunate to find a venue with this seamless blending of indoor and outdoor spaces, I think it’s great for the guests’ experience, but also lends contextual variety to the resulting pictures.
As someone who moved to Colorado for the mountains, I’m partial to these mountain wedding decks for ceremony sites. One of the weddings on my main page was held at the Vail wedding deck. But that was in summer.
Gina and Chris’s wedding was a relatively modest affair; a ceremony at the Spruce Valley Lodge above Beaver Creek followed by dinner in the Out of Bounds dining room at the Four Seasons Vail. It was a little rainy and dreary that morning at Beaver Creek Village, but a gondola ride could take you above all that, right? As we rode up the mountain, we escaped the rain and landed in a near white-out.
Although I’ve been a wedding photojournalist in Denver for awhile, Katy and Charles’ wedding at the History Center Colorado was giving me flashbacks to weddings I covered when I lived in Washington DC. Culture transcends location, and as the two attorneys met while working at the Department of Justice, the wedding felt a little like a time capsule of weddings I’ve covered in DC.
Why would a black and white Colorado wedding photojournalist be covering a wedding at Great Oak Manor on Maryland’s Eastern Shore? I lived in Washington DC for 25 years and still go back to the area a few times a year for couples who find me through referrals. But in this case, a bit of history was involved. Not everyone feels comfortable hiring a photographer from half way across the country, but I think I understood why Michelle seemed confident about me. As she told me, she still likes looking at the pictures I made when I covered her first wedding.
As a Denver documentary wedding photographer, I make a lot of photos of peak action, little explosions of emotion, or a glimpse of quiet intensity. But they are moments, fleeting, nonetheless. There are other pictures made in moments of transition, where what makes the image is not a specific act, but a moment of revelation. These images are harder to talk about, as the point is not so much what is happening, but what the image is about. Trying to describe that leaves one in a situation where words are concurrently far too few and far too many. And still they miss the point.
When Shalaya and Stephen contacted me about their wedding at the Sunrise Amphitheater in Boulder, I was pretty excited. I had photographed a wedding on Flagstaff Mountain before, but this time the wedding and reception would be up there. As a Boulder wedding photojournalist who likes to work with natural light, I was glad we would never have to leave the magical remove of the mountaintop. It was also a bit of a heads-up as to what kind of couple they were. Everything outdoors, on picnic tables, with a down-to-earth vibe it would be hard to replicate elsewhere. And the dress code was Mountain Casual. What in the world is that?
Marc and Thatch met and work in Washington DC, but they have a small home in the West Virginia mountain town of Lost River, where they got ready before walking about a mile down the road to the Guest House for the wedding and reception. There was an easy familiarity to them, like they’d known each other for decades. A quiet, simple ceremony gave way to a fairly wild evening. While I do LGBTQ wedding photography in Denver, I’ll travel anywhere for black and white documentary wedding photography. Love is love.
Although I’m a Denver wedding photojournalist, it seems only half of my documentary wedding photographs are made in Colorado. I was especially honored to photograph Stephanie and Nick’s wedding in New Orleans after photographing her sister’s Virginia wedding a few years earlier. I like it when I get to photograph multiple weddings within a family. Things are both familiar and new, and when everyone greets me like an old friend I feel all mushy inside.
Cristi and David had a Sunrise Amphitheater wedding high above Boulder in a bit of a drizzle, going down the hill to their wedding reception at Chautauqua Community House, at the base of the Flatirons. The surrounding cottages and streets don’t look like they’ve changed much from the 1930s, and the reception had a timeless feel to it. As a Denver wedding photojournalist, that timeless feel is something I’m very happy to encounter.