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.