Denver Wedding Photographer :: Brooke & Justin

Let’s dive into a throw back Thursday post that takes us all the way back to being a Berrendo Bulldog… which was middle school when I first met Brooke.

When I began this wedding photography business, I expected that my friends would support me the way that friends do. Share Facebook posts. Send texts with affirmations.  Refer their friends my way.  You know, typical friend stuff. What I didn’t expect was that my friends would actually hire me…. and not just hire me, but hire me to shoot their wedding.  Their WEDDING!!  I never expected that out of a sea of photographers, they would pick me.  And in this case, I was dealing with a sea of Colorado photographers who would have been less of a hassle, and let’s face it, cheaper to hire… because they didn’t have to travel.

I was absolutely honored, humbled and anxiety-ridden when this exact scenario came up with my dear friend, Brooke.   Brooke had moved to Colorado after high school and while there she met her best friend, and soon-to-be husband, Justin.  After exchanging a few emails with Brooke, it was decided that Brooke and Justin were coming to Las Vegas so they would plan to do their engagement session here.  After the engagement session we planned to discuss the idea of me shooting their wedding. 

We began the engagement session a bit earlier than we should have and the sun was a bit too harsh.  So we stopped to take a short break… and a cocktail was likely involved.  Over cocktails, in the middle of the engagement shoot, Brooke said yes.  She said yes to me shooting her wedding!  I’m pretty sure I tried to put on a cool face, but inside I was full of excitement, nerves, and anxiety.  The pressure was on, not only for the wedding, but also for the second half of the engagement shoot! Remind me to never do that again… book the wedding mid-engagement shoot, that is… ha ha ha!

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Brooke was an absolutely stunning bride, and Justin was as dapper as could have been expected.  They were the perfect bride and groom to stand in front of this insane landscape that the Arrowhead Golf Course in Colorado had to offer.

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Brooke & Justin decided to do a first look in order to allow plenty of time for the wedding party photos to happen, and these images from the first look are absolutely some of my favorite from the day!

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Janelle hadn’t started shooting with me yet, so I contracted the amazing Rhema of Rhema Faith Photography to drive down from Fort Collins to shoot with me.  This image of Justin seeing his bride for the first time is hers!

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We roamed the grounds of Arrowhead Golf Club for Brooke and Justin’s portraits, and I can’t begin to tell you how magical the scenery and Brooke & Justin were together.

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Looking back on these weddings really shows me both how far I have come along in finding my photographic aesthetic, and exactly how much I have stayed the same.  I definitely edit my photos differently now, but most of the photojournalistic shots during the ceremony and reception remain similar.

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I mean, really?

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Congratulations, Brooke & Justin… you’ve made it through the first year of marriage, plus some!  Which is both a huge compliment to you guys and a huge slap on the wrist to myself for my lack of blogging skills.  No seriously, I could not have been happier to have been with you on your wedding day, and I hope that you will cherish these memories forever.

Rule of Thirds

A long time ago, right after I had married Fraser, my mother-in-law told me that I like things in threes.  At the time, she was referring to my interior decorating preferences.  Three frames down a skinny wall space between two doors.  Three candles arranged into a triangle perched on a ledge.  Three knick-knacks on a side table.  It seemed so unreasonable that this small comment could be such a foreshadowing into my future, but she was right.  My life seems to work in threes.  The biggest one of those instances obviously being my three little grumpy ostriches that I have living down the hall from me.

So, it isn’t surprising that the rule of thirds is one of my favorites rules of technically sound photography, but it might also be surprising that it is my favorite rule to break, as well.   The rule of thirds in a photograph basically means that you should be able to slice a photo into three even sections either horizontally or vertically, and there should be the same amount of the photograph’s subject in each portion of the photograph.  I love the symmetry to the rule of thirds, and you can see it in my work often, but… dare I say…  I loooooooove blank space more.  Such as the image in the top right of the collage below.  It can almost feel that the negative space in a photograph… the lack of a subject… can make whatever is taking up the other portion of the photo even that much more interesting.

These photos below are not mine.  I pulled them from the internet when I was perusing Pinterest the other night.  They don’t really mean anything.  No, I’m not styling a shoot full of grumpy ostriches and adorable lambs wearing gold Valentino pumps… I just like these photos, and the ostriches reminded me of my kids.

I do think that the photo of the lambs would be just a little bit better if we added one more lamb to the mix though.

I wish that I had paid attention when grabbing these images, as I would love to give credit where credit is due.  I apologize to these photographers for being so absent-minded, but I also applaud them, because obviously, their work is insanely gorgeous.

Happy hump day.

Las Vegas Photographer Favorites_0001

If you happen to know who the photographers are, shoot me a comment, and I’ll add it to the post.

Las Vegas Engagement Photographer :: Belinda & Dennis

 

Being a wedding photographer in Las Vegas is probably a little bit different than being a wedding photographer in other parts of the world.  A large percentage of my couples are booked over the phone or via the internet.  Skyping is my best friend.  But I didn’t Skype with Belinda.  I got an email from her first.  It was a short, concise email just wanting to know the details about how things work if she were to book with me.

Secretly, but not so secretly now that I’m telling the the internet this, the first thing that I do is search the couple on Facebook and Pinterest.  From those two places I can usually get a good idea of what type of person I am about to communicate with, and the style for their wedding.  It is the first barometer that I use in deciding if we’re going to be a good fit for one another.

When I cyber stalked Belinda I couldn’t see all of her information on her Facebook page yet, but what I could see was a lot of photographs.  I saw photographs of her and Dennis traveling the world together.  Beautiful photographs, I might add, as they both really enjoy the art of photography.  But what I didn’t see was a ton of photographs of them together, because usually they were on their travels with just the two of them.  And, apparently, they don’t own a selfie-stick… So there are photos that tell the story of the adventure they were on together, just the two of them.

The thing that really caught my eye was that there was one photo gallery of a trip they took to Yellowstone.  It will filled with beautiful images of landscapes, and old broken down homes… there were photos of Belinda in front of a waterfall, deer, elk, buffalo, and then Dennis in front of a steaming spring.  And then tucked into the very back… the very last photo… there was a quick snapshot of an engagement ring.  It was buried deep in a photo album of about 83 photos.

Now that I know Dennis and Belinda, it seems fitting that this is how their photo album was organized.  I know that being engaged is a huge commitment for the two of them, but it also seems to play second fiddle to what is really going on… Which is the way that they look at one another.  Their appetite for travel and adventure.  And how effortlessly they fit with one another.

Yes, that ring is important (and it is stunning), but it is buried into an album that Belinda and Dennis have been creating together, and it is just a tiny detail to the story that they already share.

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As I mentioned above, Dennis and Belinda love photography, and I was stoked when Belinda sent over some inspiration images for the vibe of their shoot.  It was key in our communication with one another because we both had something completely different happening in our brains, and her inspiration photos brought us to common ground.

They wanted their photos to have something different… they wanted something more understated than I usually do, and something that had more of an editorial feel.  I was more than happy to step outside of my comfort zone to do something new, and I was also super excited that Belinda and Dennis knew exactly how wonderful it was that I bought a new lens just for this shoot!

A huge thank you to Amelia with Amelia C. & Co for the glamming of B’s beautiful face!

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I teased Belinda on Facebook that I was going to use this image below for my profile photo.  That’s how much I love it.

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Belinda and Dennis are from Virginia, but they have traveled all around the world, and Belinda even lived in Germany for quite some time.  So, I wanted to mix a little bit of downtown charm with something that they had  never seen before.  So we spent part of our time in downtown Boulder City, and then hopped over to the Dry Lake Bed for some beautiful images right before the sun set.

And they didn’t even question me for a second when I asked them to lay down on the chilly desert floor.  I know I’ve said it before, but gosh, I love my couples.

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As if there was a better image to leave a blog post with… yes, Belinda, yes.  But no, stop… I can’t.

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These beautiful people are going to tie the knot in May this year at Four Seasons Hotel here in Vegas!  I can not wait to spend the day with them, and to get them in front of my camera again!!  xo.

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