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.
Jamie and Michael were married at The Manor House in Morrison, Colorado. It’s a beautiful setting, though I never want the environment to upstage the people gathered, the people who will be so much more important years into the future than chosen colors or intricate place settings. As a Denver wedding photojournalist, I prefer to work in black and white, always putting the focus on the individual and the ways in which we connect.
I received this message last week. Made my day:
Hi Carl. I’m sure you don’t remember me but you photographed my wedding in 2005. I wanted you to know how much I continue to cherish the photos you captured that day. In particular, I have been spending a lot of time over the past 24 hours looking at this photograph of my grandmother hugging me. She passed away on April 28th, seven years ago. It’s difficult to describe the emotions I feel when I look at this photo, but I can tell you that it is without a doubt my favorite image of her at any age. So thank you for this gift you have given me and my family that truly continues to bear fruit regularly to this day. I hope you are well and I wish you all good things!
I was recently commissioned to do a portrait of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. Regardless of the subject matter or assignment, I try to approach people with honesty and transparency in my intentions. I need people to be real in front of the camera, which is not always an easy thing to do. It helps to be calm, and it was a very quiet session. It also helps to go out on a limb and be yourself, without pretense or defenses, or some version that seems tailored to the situation. Just be. If you’re lucky, people will return the favor. Which I think he did.
Annika & Keith were married at Willowbrook Amphitheater in Morrison, just south of Denver. It’s a horseshoe-shaped natural rock formation, sort of like a large cave with an opening on one end and a skylight in the middle. It’s one of the most unique wedding venues in Colorado that I’ve been to, perhaps anywhere. They Annika wanted natural wedding photography by a photojournalist, so we are on the same page. Just before the music started at the ceremony, their dog got loose and ran down the aisle into Keith’s arms. The best moments are unscripted, always.
Mini & Jung had their ceremony and reception at the Magnolia Hotel Denver, which has a huge ballroom across the street from the main hotel. They are a surprising couple, very polite and somewhat reserved. Until the music starts.
Michelle and Kody’s wedding at Willow Ridge Manor, just outside of Denver, reflected them well; low-key, down to earth, and real. They wanted their pictures to be the same, no silliness or staged moments, just honest documentary photography of their wedding. Which always makes me happy.