Laura and David asked me to photograph their Breckenridge wedding in the spring. June is one of my favorite times of the year to photograph weddings here in Breckenridge. The summer rains haven’t arrived yet, and the aspens have just budded. They were a fun attractive couple, and Beaver Run is a great venue for photography.
Ceremony Location: Fossile Trace Golf Club, Denver, Colorado
Catering: Three Tomatoes Steak House and Club
David and Jessica’s Denver, Colorado Wedding was really amazing. The weather cooperated to create the perfect combination of moody skies and perfect light. Everything about the wedding was amazing, and I was so fortunate to have the chance to photograph it.
To see more photos of this wedding, visit www.pictage.com/1417587
Carin and I are always thinking about wedding photography. Often times we get to travel to a new place for the purpose of photographing a destination wedding. Sometimes we are just travelling for fun. Last month, we visited several Caribbean Islands, including Puerto Rico. We weren’t there for a wedding, but we still wanted to do a wedding themed photo shoot, so we brought our camera gear and a dress with us and hired a model in San Juan to try out some ideas.
Model shoots can be pretty complicated from a logistical standpoint. Logistically it is every bit as complicated as photographing a destination wedding, and in some ways more so. We still have all the normal details such as scouting locations, arranging transportation and lodging, and travelling internationally with thousands of dollars worth of gear. But on a model shoot we have the added tasks of arranging for the models, stylists, etc…
When photographing a wedding, we remember that we work for the people in the photos. That means we work around their schedule and needs, and we work to create the type of images the client wants. An actual wedding is no place to be experimenting with new ideas and concepts. A model shoot is the exact opposite. We get to pick the best time of day for a particular location, and the model works for us. So unlike an actual wedding there is no pressure to create something for the client. That allows us to take bigger risks and experiment with concepts that may or may not work.
I think model shoots are one of the best tools a wedding photographer has to maintaining creativity. Photographers that are only photographing at weddings they are hired to photograph, run the risk of disappointing clients with their experimental work which may not be expected, or worse, getting into a rut of “safe shots” that limit creativity.
Read more about my philosophy on model photography in this post:
Location: Breckenridge, Colorado
Venue and Catering: High Country Lodge
I love Breckenridge in April. April offers the best of both worlds; warmer spring days and still plenty of snow for skiing. Because the weather in Breckenridge this time of year can easily go from a 60 degree day to a winter snow storm in the blink of an eye, photographing can be challenging.
Kristin and Mike’s wedding was an intimate affair filled with family and close friends. In many ways, these are my favorite weddings to photograph because I love photographing the closeness of the guests. Four generations of family attended this wedding, and one of the highlights for me was photographing the children with their great grandparents.
I decided to start writing a serious of blog entries describing the thought process of what goes into a single image from a wedding shoot. I want readers to understand where I was coming from creatively and what went into the image technically. My goal is to explain an image every few weeks and hopefully, other photographers will pick up some unusual concepts and techniques, and potential wedding clients can see that just because an image is posed does not mean it has to be boring.
All to often when people think of a posed wedding photo, they imagine the couple, looking directly at the camera with cheesy forced smiles. That is not how I like to photograph weddings. I’d say 80% of the images I take are of people candidly interacting that are barely aware of my presence. However, when it comes time to do the posed portraits, I want to create something interesting. First and foremost, I want to make an image that is visibly appealing to me. Next, I want to create something that really fits the personality of the couple and will be something they will cherish. Lastly, I want to do something new. If not new for wedding photography in general, at least something new for me.
Karen and Cliff got married a few hours east of Seattle, Washington in the town of Leavenworth. Driving out their ceremony location, I passed these tracks, and my wife, Carin, and I both instantly knew there was some visual appeal to this spot. As soon as I saw it, I knew certain things I wanted to do. First, I wanted to use the tracks as leading lines to the couple. Second, I knew the image would be in black and white because of all the texture it contained. I also knew that if I shot this just after noon, which supposedly is a bad time for lighting, that I could accentuate the couple in their white clothing, while the trees in the background would be in their own shadow since the sun was directly behind them. From a composition standpoint, I looked for a spot where the tracks curved. This allowed the space between them to close rather than going on forever into the distance.
Those were my thoughts based on the technical attributes I wanted the image to have. From the couple standpoint, I knew they were adventurers. In fact, I had the pleasure of joining them on a climbing expedition on Mount Rainier the previous summer. I thought that rather than having them just stand on the tracks, having them hold hands and walk into the distance would symbolize the new adventure that their lives would be taking together.
The result is that although everything about this image was planned, set up, and posed, it still retains the feeling of adventure I hoped to capture.
I love weddings that are a little out of the ordinary. When Ben called me and asked, “I have a question about wedding photography. Can you ski?” I was pretty intrigued. Having to ski to photograph an event is nothing new for me, but I have to say I was pretty impressed when I saw Ben and Caroline skiing with their friends. This is the first time I actually had to work pretty hard to keep up with a wedding party. I think it was worth it, because this was one of my favorite weddings.
As each year wraps up, I like to take a look back at all of the weddings we photographed and pick some of my favorite images. As usual, I ended up picking images that were a little different than most, but ones that I felt were either great shots, fun, or just a little quirky. In the past, I have tried to do a top 10, but I really just couldn’t narrow it down this year. I hope you enjoy.
I never like to experiment on actual wedding couples, so when I had some ideas about a Breckenridge fall color bridal photo shoot, I called my friend, Angela, and asked her if she wouldn’t mind putting a wedding dress on and spending an hour at sunset on Boreas Pass Road.
One of the reasons that I like to work with models is because we spent almost two hours to get these fifteen images. During a real wedding day we would only have 15 to 20 minutes. So I think of these model shoots as practice, so that if the bride who want to do this on her wedding day I’d be able to do it a lot faster.
Also, these are the kind of photo shoots that work really well on a day after session where we have more time.
Chris and Michelle met in Breckenridge, Colorado at the infamous Gold Pan Saloon. When you consider how much they love the outdoors, camping, and traveling together, it was no surprise that they chose to get married outdoors at the gorgeous Black Canyon Inn and rustic Twin Owls Steakhouse in Estes Park, Colorado.
To see more from this wedding, visit www.pictage.com/1276948