Tag Archives: gay wedding

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Happy Anniversary to Mari and Grace

Today is Mari and Grace’s third wedding anniversary.  Congratulations to an amazing couple. I have known them for quite a while, and in addition to their wedding, I have had the opportunity to photograph them on all sorts of adventures together.

 

 

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Jennifer and Said’s Denver, Colorado Wedding

 

Venue: Denver Botanic Gardens
Hair: Namaste, Aveda Concept Salon
Nails: 5th Avenue Nails, Cherry Creek
Barber: Floyd’s 99
Officiant: Micha Sturr, Wedlock Officiants


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Jennifer and Said are an amazing couple. When I met them for their engagement session last year, they mentioned to me that they liked cycling, so we had that in common. It was only later that I discovered just how serious about it they are. Both of them are licensed road bike racers, and their passion for cycling came through in their wedding details from Said’s amazing crankset cufflinks, to the tandem bicycle cake topper, to the numerous cycling references made by their officiant, Micah.

 

They had a beautiful ceremony at the stunning Denver Botanic Gardens, which is possibly the most scenic venue in Denver, Colorado. In addition to the exotic outdoor gardens, the Denver Botanic Gardens also has a wonderfully lit indoor venue which was a dream to photograph in. I hope you enjoy the photos.

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Progress in Marriage Equality

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In anticipation of Pridefest happening in Denver this weekend, it got me thinking of how far the fight for marriage equality has progressed in the U.S. since I photographed my first same-sex marriage in California five years ago. When same sex marriage was legalized in California in 2008, my wonderful friends MJ and Pete were excited to begin planning their wedding, only to see the law change again later that year when Proposition 8 was passed, making it illegal again in California. They went ahead and continued their plans and had beautiful beach wedding surrounded by close family and friends.

 

 

Status of marriage equality in the U.S.

In those five short years, we have seen tremendous progress for marriage equality in the country. Five years ago, only five states recognized same-sex marriage; all in New England. As of the time of writing this, 19 states  and the District of Columbia have full recognition of same sex marriage, three more states, including here in Colorado, have limited recognition of civil partnerships, and eight more states have had their bans overturned but are pending appeals.

 

 

In fact, North Dakota is the only state there there is not a pending legal case on the status of same-sex marriage, and many legal scholars are predicting that it could be legal nation-wide as soon as June of 2015, which is only a year away. For an up to date look at the current legal status, check out this page from GayWeddings.com.

 

 

WedWeCan-profile-imageOf course, it really doesn’t effect what we do here. Since our start we have always believed in telling the story of love in all of its different forms. And our goal is to continue to photograph weddings and commitment ceremonies anywhere in the world. Join us in our support by visiting WedWeCan.com, or simply search for other gay-friendly wedding vendors in your area.

 
 
 

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I am not a Rockstar

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Can you name a single photographer, alive or dead other than Ansel Adams?

That is a question I ask my photography students. Often they can name one or two because they are studying photography, but if I posed that question to the general public, I wonder how many could name a photographer. I wonder how many fewer could name a wedding or portrait photographer. My guess is not many.

 

 

The Rockstar Photographer

This marketing idea played right into the mythology of what it means to be a photographer.
The term “Rockstar Photographer” originated about 5 years ago when a photographer, who shall remain nameless, (in fact, this post will reference a lot of photographers that shall remain unnamed,) started marketing an idea to other photographers. His idea was how to become a successful wedding and portrait photographer by focusing not on the photographer, but on your public persona. The photographs were secondary to the types of clothes you wear, the car you drive, and your social network presence. 

 

This marketing idea played right into the mythology of what it means to be a photographer. There is a romanticized view of a photographers life in the public. They picture us sitting in our fancy homes, drinking imported coffee, and the phone ringing off the hook with couples wanting to give us $10,000 to photograph their wedding in some exotic locale, or National Geographic calling sending us off to some far off country for a three week paid vacation. Of course the reality is quite different. I have worked for National Geographic before. One time I was paid $475 for a photograph that required 6 days of white water rafting to capture. I can’t say that it wasn’t fun, but no photographer is going to get rich on $80 per day. And while $5,000 for wedding photographer might seem like “easy money,” it represents the costs of tens of thousands of dollars in equipment, marketing, education, and more than anything else, a decade of experience.  Continue reading »

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Getting Ready Images

 
Sometimes people wonder how important the photos are of everyone getting ready for a wedding. To me, they are one of the most important parts of the day for two reasons. First, compared to the ceremony and reception, almost no one will be snapping photos while you are getting ready. Second, they are one of the times of the day that is most easily forgotten because it occurs so early, and before so much other excitement.

 
For those reasons, I love being there to photograph all the wonderful getting ready moments. It is amazing how much actually goes on before the wedding. Sometimes people think it is just hair and makeup, and maybe getting some clothing on, but in reality it is so much more than that. There is a nervous excitement in the air that translates amazingly well into still photos. There are also the unexpected moments, like a mother seeing her daughter in her wedding dress, or a father making sure his son’s tie is perfect.
 
Below are some of my favorite images of people getting ready for their weddings.
 

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Angie and Danielle’s Arapahoe Basin Wedding

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Ceremony Venue: Black Mountain Lodge, Arapahoe Basin
Reception Venue: Kickapoo Tavern, Keystone Colorado

 
Angie and Danielle came to me about photographing their small intimate wedding ceremony at the top of Arapahoe Basin’s Black Mountain Lodge. The intermittent afternoon rain made for some really amazing photographs with the changing cloud cover.  It also provided some much needed relief from the sun at 12,000′.

 
See more images from this wedding at: www.pictage.com/1417590

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Who do you shoot for?

Crack LoveAre you photographing for you or your client?

If you ask most wedding photographers who they are shooting for, they will undoubtedly respond, “The client, of course.”  If that is your mindset, I hope you take the next few minutes to read this post and allow me to change the way you think about wedding photography.
 
 
When you press the shutter are you thinking about making the client happy, or are you thinking about making yourself happy?  Are you thinking about creating an image the client will love, or that you will love?  All to often we photographers are not thinking about ourselves when we press that shutter at a wedding. If all you think about is the client you are not only doing yourself a great disservice, but also your clients as well. Eventually, only thinking about how a client will react will leave you stagnant as an artist.  It leads to feeling “burnt out” and hampers your creativity.  And if you are not feeling creative you are not doing you best work for the client.

  
 

My Ten Image Challenge


Here is my challenge to you.  Start photographing at weddings without any regard whatsoever to how your client will react to the images. But this is very important start small.  I cannot emphasize that enough.  Don’t go into your next wedding and decide to shoot images that look nothing like what you have shown the clients in your portfolio. Instead, set a small goal.  Tell yourself a head of time that you are going to shoot ten images just for you. Don’t be afraid to take risks or have an image not work out.  That being said, take risks at the appropriate times.  Get the safe shots first.  If you just took 25 nicely posed photos of the couple, you have the safe images that they probably want.  This is a good time to have them do something completely different. Look for down times at the reception while people are eating, while people are getting ready before hand, during the dancing late in the evening, to step out of your comfort zone and do something new. At your next wedding try shooting 15 images that are just for you.

 
Everyone Wins

Once you have the safe shots for your couple, you can have the freedom to play. When you do that, you might surprise yourself and come back with images that blow their minds. Also, when you shoot for yourself, you will be developing your own style along the way. As you go, slip more of “your” images into your portfolio and website.  Start displaying the work you want to do instead of the work clients have expected you to do. 
 

Something Amazing Will Happen

When you start filling your portfolio with your personal work from weddings, something amazing will happen. Your personal style will really show through to potential clients. When it does, they will be calling you not because they need any photographer to capture their day, but because they want you to photograph their wedding.  You personally. When all you do is try to show what you think clients want, you are a commodity.  You are just another wedding photographer, and all a potential client will want to know is your price.  When you put more of yourself out there in your images, you are selling your unique vision.  Your vision is only yours, and it is not a commodity.  It is something unique.

  
I created all of the photos below for myself, not my clients. I did each one of them to make me happy. Some of the images worked, and some did not.  Some were big hits with the clients, and some were not. But the point is I created images that were unique to what interested me.
 

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