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Santa Barbara Wedding Photography: Valeska & Nelson

Santa Barbara Wedding Photography:  This year I round out my 2014 wedding season with a very special wedding on October 4th- a destination wedding (for me) in the place where my photography career began- beautiful Santa Barbara!  Not only that, but the bride, Valeska, is one of my very nearest and dearest friends, who I met in my years in CA over 10 years ago now…

It was 2001- I had just started photography school at the Brooks Institute of Photography; Valeska had just moved to Santa Barbara from Germany with her boyfriend, Jonas, who was also attending Brooks. Jonas and I had classes together and became friends and I first met Valeska through him.  Valeska and I quickly became buddies and started taking walks on the beach together with Cheyenne.  Valeska was my favorite go-to model at the time whenever I needed someone to help me with a school project.  It turned out we also had another friend/couple in common and our history would keep us connected over the years.  My old boss turned BFF knew Valeska too and between the two of them, I have been returning to Santa Barbara every year since I left.  The first time I met Nelson, I instantly loved him!  He is funny and talented and sweet and smart and warm and silly…I could go on… but really it’s all just to say that I knew right away that Valeska had found her #1 man.

Their wedding ceremony and reception were hosted at Orella Ranch on a beautiful, (albeit, hot!), day where a family from Germany and a family from Alaska came together on the mountain top to celebrate the union of their common thread.  My incredibly talented friend, Jessica Van Pelt, drove up from San Diego to photograph with me (THANK YOU JESS!!!!!) and we had an amazing time and were able to capture some of the most beautiful moments.

I am so honored that Valeska and Nelson wanted me to be the one to capture this day for them, but also that I was able to be a guest at their celebration!  I love my job, I love my friends, and I wouldn’t have wanted to miss this for the world.  Valeska, I love you sweetie!  Nelson, I’m so happy that you and Valeska have found each other and I look forward to getting to know you for many, many years to come.  I wish you both a lifetime of love, adventure, and laughter together…  MUWAH!  XOXO

Crooked Willow Wedding: Jessica & Matthew

Time to officially brag about my associates!  YAY!  Melissa was the lead photographer on this amazing Crooked Willow Wedding and Telly was her second shooter.  They ROCKED it and I am so proud to have them on my team!!

At the beginning of the year I had an epiphany about my business- and I hired four more people.  Amber, my new business manager (Who is ah-mazzzing!! Game changer kind of amazing) and three fabulous associate photographers- Melissa, Telly and Jen.  Julie’s been with me for almost 6 years now and together we have grown from our quiet little fantastic duo into a female powerhouse of 6!  It’s been a very exciting year for me and I have more news that I will share shortly about some big changes- but for now, I will just say that I need these girls to help shoot weddings with me for a reason. And they are killing it!

Jessica and Matthew, arguably the most adorable couple in the world, got hitched on Oct. 3, 2014 at one of my favorite venues outside of Denver proper.  Crooked Willow Farms in Larkspur truly never disappoints.  And this wedding was extra special in that Jess works with the horses at Crooked Willow and her beautiful horse got to be a part of the wedding day (as well as their two doggies)!  I was jealous that I wasn’t there shooting it honestly.

Thank you so much to Jessica and Matthew for trusting my team to document your stunning wedding day!  Working with you has been such a pleasure for me from start to now and I sincerely hope that you will continue to come to us for any and ALL of your future photo needs as your family grows.  Congratulations again!!  You are officially hitched with a lifetime of love and adventure ahead of you.



Saddle Ridge Wedding, Beaver Creek: Evan & Chris

Saddle Ridge Wedding, Beaver Creek:  Oh boy!  Where do I begin??  Let me start by saying that this was such a fun wedding to photograph and I absolutely fell in LOVE with both Evan and Chris!  Besides being an absolutely stunning fall day with a stunning couple so obviously in love (I mean can you really ask for more than that?!?), I had everything I could want to create gorgeous wedding images all day long.  I had my fab associate, Melissa Rich on second shooter duty.  I had a beautiful first look and lots of time to photograph the wedding party and families.  I had the fabulous Heather Dwight, from Calluna Events coordinating everything perfectly.  The maid of honor gave the best “speech” I have ever heard.  Well, actually it was more like a rap that she created to the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” song.  HILARIOUS I must add!  The handsome groom, Chris, (also a rockstar-no, seriously) surprised the bride with a song that he sang to her at the reception that knocked everyone’s socks off.  It was all-around one of my favs of the year.  I clicked instantaneously with both the bride and groom and it didn’t hurt that Evan reminded me so much of one of my best college girlfriends, both in looks and personality, that I felt like I was in some kind of a time-warp- ha!

I am in LOVE with their first look too!  Talk about genuine and so so so happy!  I literally couldn’t get a bad shot of these two when they saw each other for the first time that day.  Have I mentioned that I love doing first looks??  Well, I do. And these two are a perfect example of why.  :-)

Evan, originally from Plano TX, and Chris, originally from Lake Forest, IL, actually met in the Colorado mountains about 5 years ago when they were both living and working in Vail via a mutual friend/roommate.  Evan says that the night they met, they hit it off immediately and have been creating nonsense together ever since!  Four years later on a hike to one of Evan’s favorite places in Beaver Creek, Beaver Lake, Chris proposed.  In Evan’s words:  “As we were wrapping up to head back down the trail, Chris turned me towards the river that fed into the lake and got down on one knee.  This is where I lost it and didn’t even look at the ring nor listen to what he said.  I just threw my around around him, instantly crying tears of unbelievable joy.  He then joked and asked me if I wanted to see the ring and we started laughing and it was in that moment, we started the journey we are on now!”

Thank you so much to Evan and Chris and both of their wonderful families!  Thank you to Heather for all your help with everything!  Thank you to Saddle Ridge staff for the delicious food! Thank you to Melissa for being so in sync with me.  I certainly can’t do my job in a vacuum and you all made the images captured on this gorgeous day possible.  Evan and Chris, I wish you both all the happiness in the Universe!  Congratulations!!

Denver Wedding Photography: Calie and Aaron

Denver Wedding Photography:  Calie Carrick and Aaron McCamant tied the knot this past Labor Day weekend in the gorgeous backyard of Calie’s uncle’s home in Cherry Hills Village with about 200 guests, most from out of state.  Both the bride and groom spent the majority of their lives in Texas, and after college ended up working for the same company in the oil and gas industry.  While they worked together for almost a year they didn’t connect until they were both sent to Denver for a Due Diligence project for a couple of weeks.  After a few casual dinners and lunches while together in Denver their relationship progressed into something more once they were back in Texas.  About a year later Aaron surprised Calie with a proposal at their first date spot, the Brown Palace.  After surprising her with a beautiful ring, Aaron and Calie moved to the lobby for champagne to celebrate.  Right at that moment his parents, her grandparents, mother and sister also surprised Calie to help celebrate their engagement!

This was far from what you may imagine a simple backyard wedding to be.  First of all the grounds of the home that made up the venue are extensive and there was plenty 0f room for 200+ people to move around with ease.  The guests arrived to a beautiful ceremony set up in front of one of the ponds.  After the ceremony there was another space allocated to an outdoor lounge-like cocktail hour, and another area where the gorgeous dinner and dancing tents were set up.  The bride wore her grandmother’s wedding dress, which was also worn by her mother.  I actually was able to get old photographs of both her grandmother and her mother in the gown, as well as a new bridal portrait for Calie blown up and printed on canvases that were hung on a beautiful old cabinet that served as the cake and cupcake display.  And, speaking of cupcakes, these little pieces of art by Elegant Bakery were by far the prettiest cupcakes I have ever laid eyes on!  Oh and tasty too!

Since most of their guests were from out of town and Calie and Aaron are somewhat new to the Denver area, they wanted to do an engagement session around downtown at some of the classic spots in order to show off the wonderful city they now call home in their guest book.  We did a fun little tour of LoHi, the clock-tower building, the big blue convention center bear, the capital building and the art museum.

I would like to offer big thanks to all of the wonderful people that made this wedding day such a success! Firstly, to Colorado Wedding Company for executing a flawless coordination and design (and also for the glowing recommendation!) Thank you to The Perfect Petal who went above and beyond, as usual, and the stunning floral everywhere!  Thanks to Catering by Design for all the delicious gourmet appetizers and the beautiful meal.  Thank you to Mike and Somer, the talented videographers at Rising Moon Films. (I always love working with you!)  And last but not least, thank you to my fab associate, Jennifer, for all of your hard work!

Finally, to Calie and Aaron:  Thank you both so much for being so delightful to work with!  I wish you both all the love and happiness and adventure that you can stand. :-)  AND, I look forward to working with you again in the future when you decide it’s time for your family to grow!