I photographed Liz and Trafton’s wedding at the Briar Patch Bed & Breakfast Inn in Middleburg, Virginia. Though I work as a wedding photojournalist in Denver, they had heard of me when I was still in Washington DC and they brought me back. They were one of those couples that don’t take things too seriously. Well, they do and they don’t. Big things yes, small things no. It was a nice, intimate wedding, but they didn’t spend a year planning it, as they were much more interested in getting married than all the details of the event itself. A lot of my clients are like that.

Denver photographer captures bride embracing groom at end of wedding reception.

Bride quietly preparing for wedding at Virginia country home.

Mother sees daughter in a wedding dress.Liz’s mother came in from Germany for the wedding.

Crazy kid at a wedding.

Bride and sad father before ceremony by Denver wedding photographer Carl BowerThis is one of my favorite pictures from the wedding. Documentary photography is a fundamentally different way of covering a wedding. The focus is to record, to remember a specific moment or relationship. You can’t stage that, you can’t arrange for such things to happen. They were waiting outside the door to go into the ceremony, and while I don’t usually like people looking at the camera or having that reflection of my presence in the images, but there was so much in his expression. Pride, sadness, a little wistfulness for a relationship with his daughter that was about to enter a new phase. I think sometimes the viewer of a photograph has to make eye contact.

Young girl plays on floor at wedding reception.

Virginia bride does shots with groom at Middleburg wedding.Shots with a bite of lemon.

Boy at Northern Virginia wedding looks underneath bride's dress.

Girl does yoga at Virginia wedding.There are certain patterns at weddings, behavior that flows naturally from ritual. Then there are kids, who literally and figuratively tend to color outside the lines. You have to be ready for them.

Colorado wedding photographer records bride and friends dancing during reception.

Singing at Middleburg Virginia wedding reception.

Family dances together at Briar Patch Inn wedding.

Friend of bride at Middleburg Virginia wedding.

Tired boy with parents by Denver wedding photojournalist.I focus on the bride and groom, but friends and family are important, both to me as a photographer and for the couple getting married. There are little stories everywhere.

Stolen kiss away from the crowd at a wedding reception.

Woman downs champagne at wedding reception.

Dancing hard at wedding reception.

Bride and groom kiss at the end of a wedding reception in Northern Virginia.