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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.

 

 

Denver Wedding Photographer: “Forever Young”

Denver Wedding Photographer:  On Sept. 27, 2014 Kerry O’Toole and Jamey Young took me on a roller-coaster of emotions as they said their “I do’s.”  From nerves, to tears, to loads of smiles and laughter, I think I experienced just about every emotion in the book this wedding day.  It’s pretty normal for me to feel the feelings of the people I am photographing (it kinda comes with the territory) but honestly, I wasn’t prepared for the emotional ride that these two lovebirds took me on…

The ceremony was simple and traditional and was held at Our Lady of Fatima in Lakewood.  Perhaps it was the fact that this is the same church where Kerry’s father’s funeral service was held 7 years ago.  Perhaps it was the look on Jamey’s face as his gorgeous bride was walked down the aisle to him on the arm of her big brother.  Or maybe it was the way Kerry’s mom looked at her daughter with so much pride…  All I know is, I had goosebumps up and down my entire body and I will never forget choking up behind the camera as I looked through my lens at Jamey choking up while Kerry walked down the aisle to his side.

After the ceremony, Kerry and Jamey hopped in their getaway car that the wedding party had so fabulously decorated for them….and it was all smiles for the next couple of hours!  We went to Kerry’s mother’s house with one of the most fabulous backyard garden-scapes I have ever seen for photos.  And then it was party-time.   Let me say this- these two crazy kids and all of their friends and family most definitely know how to PARTY!  With close to 300 guests, the drinks flowed and the dance floor was packed!

And it cannot go without mention that I have now officially witnessed the most AMAZING groom-mother dance of all time!  Jamey and his awesome mom did a choreographed mash-up that started with Jamey putting ballet slippers on his mom (like out of dirty dancing) and included all of our favorite 80’s and 90’s dance moves.  They brought the house down.  Seriously.  I hope to God someone got that on video!  If they did, it’s probably gone viral by now.

I could go on and on… but I’m sure you are more interested in seeing the photos than in my gushing, so I will cut it short.  But before I do, I just want to give a giant THANK YOU to both Kerry and Jamey for being such a fun and darling couple!  Thank you for choosing me to document your wedding day.  It’s one I will never forget for many reasons.  It’s couples like you that keep me passionate about what I do.  You both were so real, so vulnerable, and so so lovable! So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.  I wish you both all the happiness in the world and a lifetime of adventures together!! Oh, AND, I can’t wait for you to have babies. ;-)

 

Beaver Creek Wedding Photographers: Cortney & Micheal

Beaver Creek Wedding Photographers: I’m so proud of my girls! A special thanks today to two of my fabulous associates for their hard work on this beautiful fall wedding!  Telly Weddon as the lead shooter, and Melissa Rich, as second, worked together seamlessly and captured truly gorgeous images that I am happy to put my name on.  When I choose the photographers I wanted to join my team it was important to me that I created a group of women who would all work together well, like each other, and enjoy shooting together regardless of who was “in charge.” With three associate weddings under our belts for 2014, it seems I have done just that.

Cortney and Micheal exchanged their wedding vows in front of a gorgeous Colorado fall backdrop on the lawn behind the Westin in Beaver Creek.  In my opinion, this venue oftentimes gets overlooked for more dramatic locations. However, there is something to be said for an easy to navigate, all-in-one, wedding venue.  The wedding lawn backs onto a beautiful stream with access to the bike path in either direction.  I have taken advantage of this for photos with the bride and groom and wedding party in the past, and my girls did the same for Cortney and Micheal.  Also, given the spacious lawn, it’s easy to move around the ceremony without being too obvious and capture the view from lots of different angles.  After the ceremony all the guests can literally walk up a short ramp and be on the patio outside of the main ballroom for cocktail hour and then step right inside for the reception, dinner, and dancing.

Thank you to Cortney and Micheal for trusting your special day to my team!  I hope that you will relive all of the magic, love and laughter that made your wedding day uniquely yours for a lifetime to come.