This is probably the hardest thing that we do all year – choosing just a handful of images to call our favorite out of literally THOUSANDS of images that we love. Each photographer has a different approach to how they narrow down their top ten. It is really interesting to see what each person is drawn to and why. We hope you’ll enjoy seeing everyone’s top picks as much as we enjoyed taking them!
Chickens, horses, gorillas and drag cars, OH MY! Most couples wouldn’t begin to imagine having these characters as part of their engagement session or wedding. That’s where I come in! 2015 continued to surprise and reward me with some truly unique and fun couples. When I’m first meeting with my couples I love getting to know their story, passions and quirks. As I navigate around the 300 weddings that I’ve photographed, I’m most affected by those that dared to be different and were willing to be vulnerable with me and each other.
John and McCall have a giant sweet tooth. When we arrived at a classic candy shop in Denver for their engagement session, they jumped on the idea of wearing animal heads for part of the shoot. SWEET! Later that year on their wedding day, I knew they would also be down to pose with a giant guerrilla mural on the streets of Santa Fe.
The surprises continue when Brittany and Matt invited me to the Centennial airport for their engagement session. After exploring the tarmac with a beautiful vintage red plane, Matt offered to take me for a ride in his personal plane! He let me fly around Denver with him! You should have seen my boyish smile!
From the tarmac to Bandimeer Speedway I found myself amazed by our high school seniors and how they strive to stand out from the crowd. Rheanna was a superb example of this. Her family has always been into racing cars. She has her very own mini drag car that she competes with regularly. I loved being able to show off this side of her life through her senior photos!
If you’re starting to think that I only like photographing with things that go vrooom and on raceways, meet Lauren and James. I have so much fun with my couples who I can help pick locations to reflect their personalities and style. I loved how Lauren’s hot pink dress popped against the mustard brush atop Guenella Pass. Even though her and James are small in the frame, their playfulness stands out among the beauty of the mountains. I love thinking about how great this photo would look as a print, giant on their walls.
I remember the brisk morning that I met Sarah and Brandon at the ranch in the mountains where they often retreat from city life. I loved the way the morning sun peeks through the trees and the attention from their gorgeous horse and the style of their outfits! Knowing that I captured them in their element makes me so happy. The same went for Tiffany and Justin when they stole a kiss next to a makeshift tee pee in Breckenridge.
One of my skills that I strive to develop is using additional lighting in a way that feels natural and makes for photos that are otherwise impossible. It was at Danielle and Kyle’s engagement session at Social in Fort Collins. The only light came from the lone edison bulbs of the speakeasy. I was so happy with how I was able to create light which felt authentic and allowed them to have a moment at the bar.
Another one of those moments that are frozen in my mind was Christina was getting her dress on to go meet her future husband, Colin. The gesture between Mom, stylist and bridesmaid all whirring around Christina in the rich tapestries of Brown Palace reminds me of a Renaissance painting.
And finally, chickens. You can imagine my giddiness when I joked with Chelsea’s bridesmaids to wrangle the hens that were in the backyard and they said yes! I love it when there is space and time planned in a wedding day for surprises to happen. And I love it even more that my couples continue to want to show off their love in a unique and fun way. I’m so happy to be a part of that!
I have been blessed to find myself in some amazing locations this year with a ton of natural beauty. I find that I am enjoying photographing nature more all the time and I am now trying to push myself to see and try things I never have before.
I have become obsessed with light and shadows and it is because of this shot. I feel like as a photographer you always have a fascination with this but you are really using them to create clean beautiful lighting on a subject. This was the first conscious time that I really used my light and shadows to create visual interest. It feels moody and romantic. Plus, Ali and Tyler are some of my favorite people and seeing them together is the best! This shot was inspired by another photographer. To me it captures the whirlwind and airiness of love. It is so often we place our focus on the subject and I feel that because the focus is on the simple blowing of Demi’s hair it makes the kiss feel more intimate between them. It has a romance to it that I love.
I love this photo because I had 100% control over every aspect of it. The styling, the people, the setting. I don’t know what to say about it but I like how it all came together.
This shoot is my mind running wild. I met Ashley and Nathan the day of their wedding/Elopement and it was just the two of them, their officiant and me. I cried within the first 5 minutes because it was so sweet. Their style was awesome and I just ran with it. The creativity just blossomed. It felt so free and natural.
This image is simple and alluring. I just think it came together so well that it is striking to me.
I think this photo is clean and beautiful. I think it captures Bryn’s beauty so well and it goes to show that less is more.
GOLDEN LIGHT! I think that is really enough said, but if you want more, the light in this photo creates a soft dreamy moment that just makes me swoon.
If you know me at all you know that I love real moments. The ones where you can’t help but snuggle in with the person you love, the smile they put on your face, the excitement in your voice. Nora and AJ are everything I love about love. They are fun and adventurous and cherish each other. Not only are they so great together but they really took their engagement session to the next level and let us do something we never do.. A COLOR FIGHT! It was new and challenging and fun and made me happy.
How can you not like a baby boy in lumberjack gear. Colton is SO cute. He just makes me giggle. He screams with delight and I was so happy that we had him laughing this shoot. I love everything about this, the styling, the location, the baby, the look on his face. It is the perfect one year photo to me!
This is the epitome of family time to me. I love how this reflects the simplicity yet realness of life.
My biggest goal in my work is that I want the viewer to actually feel the image. If my pictures are easy to ignore, then I have missed a really important aspect of my job as a photographer. What gets me really excited is when I am able to complete the vision that I had while also truly reflecting who the couple is together. I also get super pumped when something totally unexpected happens. You just can’t plan for when the sun will give us that yellow glow, or what a couple’s reaction will be when they first see each other, or if the light will magically cast a cool shadow on a wall. A great photo to me is about adapting to the environment that you are given and then shooting it like you meant for it to happen just the way it did. GOSH I love my job!
Well once again…this is incredibly difficult! I can honestly say that I had way more than 10 favorite images. I mean waaaaaay more. I truly cannot complain though because this is a great problem to have and I have been blessed to be a witness to so many wonderful moments in peoples lives throughout 2015. And that’s exactly what all of the images mean to me at the core. They are a specific and everlasting moment in time that punch me in the gut and make me feel something. They not only signify the fact that I get to do something that I love each and every single day, but also that when I look back at them months and sometimes even close to a year later, that I still have that same emotional reaction that I did after I saw it for the first time. It really is incredible what an impact an image can have so, I chose these photos for the impact that they have on me each time I look at them. Each one brings one word to mind in particular:
My favorite thing about weddings is being invited into a couples life, experiencing their story, meeting their loved ones and watching their love for each other grow. I love watching the moments that really matter, things that we can’t pose, things like the bride reaching for a kiss, the groom pulling his new bride in close, even the funny faces they flash each other at the altar. To me, nothing is more amazing than being able to capture moments like that. With all of the planning that goes into a wedding day I believe the most import is how you document the day, it means so much to hear from a happy couple that gets to relive their wedding through photos.