Black Canyon Inn Wedding – Emily & Brandon

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Congratulations to Emily & Brandon! What a beautiful intimate wedding at Black Canyon Inn!

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These two were adorable. They were smiling and giggling the entire time and made my job so easy! My favorite part of their wedding was the vows. They both wrote their own and I’ll be honest… I wiped away a few tears. They were some of the most heartfelt and genuine words I have heard during a wedding.

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Having so much fun

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Some words from Emily…

How did you meet?
We met our first week of college at swing dancing club. Brandon became my swing dancing partner and we started to become friends from there.
How did you get engaged?
We got engaged on the beach in San Diego while at surfing camp. He sang on the beach at sunset and I said yes.
What made you choose Estes Park and Black Canyon Inn?
We loves Estes Park because of the mountains and beautiful scenery, and we fell in love with Black Canyon Inn because of the beautiful property and really great staff. We also really liked the peaceful atmosphere of the Black Canyon Inn property.
Our love story started out as a good friendship and ended in a lifetime romance. We’re both totally goofy and wouldn’t have it any other way!

Emily and Brandon read the most beautiful vows to one another and were kind enough to share them with me…

Dear Emily Anne,

you are the best thing that has happened to me in this wonderful life. You’re my best friend, my partner in crime. I knew in my bones that you were the one for me that first night we went dancing under the stars. Now here we are at our wedding day and I know with everything that I am that this is right where God has put me and you have never looked more beautiful. Thank you for teaching me about my self and God, thank you for your company, your friendship and your patience. It’s been 3 years of amazing adventures and lessons learned. So From all that i have learned of life and love I promise you these things.

Pursue you

Discover more who you are every day

Grow and change with you

Love you with everything i have

Because Love is the best thing that we do

And now the part of my vows I’ve been writing for over a year. I promise to feed and cuddle and you and never let milk win.

To Love you for eternity just like the giant cookie. And to marry you and all of your books.

Dear Brandon Lau,

So, I have thought a lot about what I would say on our wedding day, and honestly, finding what to say is a really hard thing to do. And as I was thinking and thinking, it dawned on me that the thing to say on our wedding day is simply, “I love you.” I love you Brandon Lau. I love the person you are. I love the way you make me laugh. I love how you insist on arguing that you know better than the GPS when I get us lost driving. I love growing with you. I even love that you enough to eat hawaiian pizza for dinner when you want it. I love the person I am with you, and I love the idea of being a partner in life with you.

I once it heard it said that it is good to be loved, but profound to be understood. You understand me. You understand me in ways no one else does, and I am honored and humbled that you asked me to spend the rest of your days with you.

 I’ve also heard it said that before you get married, you should ask yourself what you want, what your partner wants, and what you both might come up against. When I thought on this, I knew that you were who I wanted. You are the person I want when I am sad, happy, ridiculous, worried, or tired. You are who I want to grow old with.

I know we will come up against hard things in our lifetime and I want to make so many promises to you that will never be broken, but I am human and can’t guarantee that. I am also sure that even though I fail, God won’t. He never breaks a promise, and I ask Him now to help me keep mine.

I promise to do my best to uphold my promises. I promise to remember that we are a team facing life together. I promise to love you as Christ does. I promise to seek God in our marriage. I promise to keep paying attention to you no matter how long we have been married. I promise to be a person in your life who is cheering you on. I promise to be a shoulder you can cry on, a friend when you have none, and a faithful wife. I promise to keep trying new things with you. I promise to put my pride aside.

Ecc. 4:9-10 says,

“Two are better than one,

   because they have a good return for their labor:

If either of them falls down,

   one can help the other up.”

I promise to help you up, and to have your back.

I am so excited to marry you. I am sure that we have a lot of crazy adventures in front of us, and in the words of Tolkien, “I think I am quite ready for another adventure.”

All my love,

Emily Lau


Vendors

Ceremony – Black Canyon Inn
Reception – Rodeway Inn
Photographer – Visual Poerty
Brides Dress – Spring’s Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses – Davids Bridal
Men’s Attire – Men’s Warehouse

Best of 2016

Best-of-2016

Best of 2016

2016 was a wonderful year. It was my best year yet! For many reasons, but most of all because I became a mom in the beginning of this lovely year. It was an interesting wedding season for sure… One because it was pretty hard to be away from my little lady and also because pumping at weddings was one thing I was stressing about before my season even started. Oh the many joys of a nursing wedding photographer. BUT I worried for nothing! All of my couples were so genuine and understanding! I really do have the greatest clients!! Continue reading “Best of 2016”

Welcome Baby Grayson

Welcome-Baby-Grayson-1Welcome Baby Grayson

Words escape me as I try to begin this post… There are so many different thoughts running through my head as I ponder that words to express what a true miracle sweet baby Grayson is… What any child is. It’s incredible that a woman’s body can quite literally create life. Being pregnant myself makes this miraculous event even more awesome! I can feel my sweet little girl moving around and in 16 short weeks she too will enter this world… BUT enough of that for now. I AM SO EXCITED to announce that MY very best friend delivered her sweet baby boy, Grayson in the wee early hours on Wednesday morning!!! I got to meet this handsome little man this afternoon and of course we had a mini phootshoot… Grayson’s first of many to come! He is a truly precious little ball of joy that is loved by so many! Continue reading “Welcome Baby Grayson”

Stanley Hotel Wedding

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Stanley Hotel Wedding *Rose + Jamey*

I sure do love a Stanley Hotel Wedding!! It’s a stunning historic venue with unlimited photographic options! I always love shooting there! Rose and Jamey had their reception at The Stanley Hotel, but before that they had a beautiful Catholic wedding ceremony at Saint Malo – a stunning stone church on a rock hill. It’s a breathtaking small chapel! They were a joyful and inspiring couple – their entire wedding was full of love and laughter! It was such a true pleasure to be meet them both and be apart of preserving their special day!! Continue reading “Stanley Hotel Wedding”

ymca of the rockies wedding

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ymca of the rockies wedding *David & Elizabeth*

I was sitting in my hostel room in Inverness, Scotland when I received an email from David asking about wedding photography for their upcoming YMCA of the Rockies wedding. Once we got to talking and I let him know I was out of the country – it sparked an mutual interest in all things travel! The second he started telling me about how much him and Elizabeth love to travel and serve others, I was hooked and knew this was a wedding for me! They shared with me how they had lived in Turkey teaching English together – how amazing is that?! Continue reading “ymca of the rockies wedding”

Should you hire a professional to photograph your proposal???

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There isn’t a right answer to the question of whether or not you should hire someone to photograph your proposal. Everyone is different and it is completely personal preference!!

I personally LOVE photographing proposals. They are one of the most romantic experiences! I find myself getting giddy and excited for them while I am hiding somewhere off in the distance waiting for that perfect moment!

There is one proposal that has always stuck out and that is Austin and Mckenna! Austin had contacted me shortly before he and Mckenna had a road trip out to Colorado planned. He was going to propose to her during their stay at Della Terra Mountain Chateau. What an absolutely breathtaking location!!! Mckenna was in tears and the joy on her face was incredible! Then Austin pointed over to me to show Mckenna that the whole thing had been photographed and her expression summed up why I love photographing people during the most joyous moments of their lives!

Continue reading “Should you hire a professional to photograph your proposal???”

Colorado Photo Shoot Locations *Rocky Mountain National Park*

Colorado-Photo-Shoot-LocationsColorado Photo Shoot Locations

I just love this beautiful new spot that I found while scouting out locations for Amanda and Brent’s photo’s in Rocky Mountain National Park! It was a gorgeous spot for their session the day after their Wild Basin Lodge wedding and would be stunning for a meadow wedding in the park! It was a very quite spot and easy to access and move around in. In case your interested about where exactly this spot is… I came in the entrance of the park near the Fall River Visitor Center – after entering I drove for a bit and then took the right turn that is for Fall River Road and after passing a parking lot on the right there was a small place to park on the left – we got out and walked up a small hill and BAM there was this gorgeous meadow full of aspens!

Continue reading “Colorado Photo Shoot Locations *Rocky Mountain National Park*”

Estes Park Wedding Photography *Amanda & Tim*

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Estes Park Wedding Photography *Amanda & Tim*

I had the pleasure of photographing Amanda and Tim’s Colorado Rocky Mountain elopement at The Black Canyon Inn a few days ago. It was quite a chilly and windy day, but this didn’t bring down anyone’s spirits! Everyone was so excited for the happy couple and truly joyous for this very special occasion!

Amanda and Tim were so much fun! They were so excited for this day… I remember Amanda telling while she was getting ready that she was so ready for this – that she could have gotten married the day before at the rehearsal if she could. I could hear the excitement in her voice and see it in her eyes – it’s these small things that truly bring so much joy to what I do.

Amanda’s dress was so gorgeous! I love the sparkly details of it… Also, how stunning is her bouquet?? Kim and Company did an amazing job!

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Amanda just couldn’t stop smiling!!

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The grooms expression when seeing his bride for the first time is my all time favorite moment of every wedding! I just love it!

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Black Canyon Inn provides such a stunning view from their pavilion – quite a gorgeous spot to exchange vows!

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I LOVE the joy they shared during their wedding ceremony!!!

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!!!!!!!

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Amanda and Tim celebrated their wedding reception at Twin Owls Steakhouse – one of the most delicious restaurants in all of Estes Park!

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Colorado Rose Cake Company created a gorgeous cake (as usual!) – I’m loving their cake topper! I’m a sucker for anything Disney!

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Amanda and Tim were so amazing and I wish them all the happiness in the world as they start this new adventure!!

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Colorado Rocky Mountain engagement photography *Jacquelyn & Matt*

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Colorado Rocky Mountain Engagement Photography * Jacquelyn & Matt*

It was quite the adventure scheduling Jacquelyn & Matt’s engagement session! We originally had it set up for the beginning of April, but the night before when I checked the weather it said that they predicted 8-10 inches of snow! We decided to reschedule and wait for better weather… The day we chose was looking pretty stormy, but it turned out to be awesome!!

I was already excited for this shoot because it had been awesome chatting with Jacquelyn about their wedding and I was just so stoked to meet them, finally! It was even more amazing than I thought it would be! They were so down to earth and kind hearted! Not to mention – how sweet they were with one another!

We did the shoot at a cabin off Hwy 7 that had been in Jaquelyn’s family for many years – it was rustic and simply amazing! I can only imagine how incredible a getaway would be at such a quaint spot hidden in the Rocky Mountains.

I could barely contain my excitement when they brought out a picnic basket full of goodies – Matt started to draw on a heart shaped chalkboard and Jacquelyn began reading to him. Oh my gosh – it was absolutely precious!

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They just couldn’t stop smiling at one another! I simply can’t get enough of how in love these two are!

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They were such a joy to hang out with and photograph as they interacted in such a genuine way with each other. They just laughed and soaked in the moments they shared.

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It was quite a stunning view from the property! I just cant get enough of how gorgeous Colorado is!

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Thank you Jacquelyn and Matt for letting met capture such beautiful emotion that you share and for inviting me to photograph your upcoming wedding at The Wild Basin Lodge later this summer – it’s going to be simply amazing!

dream job – how I got there

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I have my dream job!!! I wouldn’t trade it for the world and I absolutely love everything about what I do!

I decided to write this post because I have never really told this story in full detail and shared the ups and downs of what I do and how I got here.

Growing up I didn’t really think that I wanted to be a photographer… First, of course I wanted to be a princess, then a drummer in a band, a chef, a CSI.. haha the list goes on and on. Don’t get me wrong, I have always appreciated photography and the joy photos bring. I have many photographers in my family and I have always been around it, but never thought I would become one… BUT boy am I glad I did! It is an incredible creative outlet for me and I love creating images for people to treasure forever.

Not only did I not think I would become a photographer, but I never thought I would be a wedding photographer…

I was 18 years old when I asked my dad if I could work for him (he owned a successful photography business) – little did I know that this would lead to my DREAM JOB!

The first wedding he brought me to I carried his camera equipment. Not super glamorous, but I was thankful for the job and had to start somewhere. After awhile he gave me a camera to shoot with – I was at the entire wedding with him anyways, why not see what I could do??? I guess at some point he liked what I was doing because he offered me the opportunity to become his second shooter!! We were a father-daughter team and for 6 years I learned everything I could from him about the camera, photography, weddings, posing, business and so much more! It was such a blast all the time and a true bonding experience! After awhile I fell in love with everything about weddings and photography- the details, the dress, the venues, flowers, the look on the grooms face when he saw his bride for the first time, the toasts (that I still tear up at), and how much fun everyone had at the receptions! Weddings are days full of so much joy, love, and laughter – it’s truly such an honor and a blessing to be apart of these couples special day!

I learned by trial and error and I am still learning to this day! It’s incredible to learn something like photography and running a business while actually doing it and watching someone else do it on a daily basis – I don’t think any kind of school could have prepared me in such a way.

A few years into working for my father he started to give me more responsibilities – I wasn’t only second shooting with him. I was also responding to emails, calling clients, corresponding with other vendors, designing albums, and any other work in the studio that he needed. I learned such an incredible amount of information about running a business. It was such a natural transition into starting my own business in 2010… It had been a thought for awhile, but I was content where I was and actually incredibly nervous about starting a business and running it on my own.

However, it turned out to be one of the best things I have ever done! Being my own boss is incredible! It does have it down sides (taxes, accounting, time management…), but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! I took small steps here and there while still working for my father during ’10-’11 to create my business and branch off on my own. That was such a crazy time! My first full wedding season I shot 52 weddings on my own and also second shot for my father’s company. To this day I am surprised that I wanted to continue after such an intense year!! But I am so glad that I did – it has been such an incredible experience and I am so thankful everyday to have what I do! I learned a lot that first year – for example, I don’t shoot more than 30 weddings a year. This allows me to give each couple my very best attention and care… Along with keeping my sanity!

This August I will of had my company for 4 years! I am so excited that I have been able to create, run, and sustain a business! I never dreamed I would be able to do such a thing!

I love everything about love and weddings! There is so much joy packed into this one day that it is just about exploding each time and I love capturing the moments when it does!

I have been so blessed to have worked with incredible vendors and venues over the years and created friendships that will last a lifetime! I have the best clients, EVER! They are all so genuine and kindhearted that I am often taken back by there kindness – I am so grateful to each and every one of them for trusting me to capture their wedding day!

I can say without a doubt that I am living the dream and have MY dream job!

Learning so much about photography has given me such a passion for capturing not only weddings, but also people! I have a desire to travel the world throughout my life and capture other cultures and people. A persons face can tell you so much about their life… I hope to travel often in the future and use my gift to share my experiences with the world!

I am so thankful to my father for teaching me pretty much everything I know about photography and business.. My husband for encouraging me to start my business and being by my side through it all… to God for blessing me with such an amazing life… and to everyone who supports me on a daily basis! I couldn’t do any of this alone.

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Thank you to  my awesome father – Dave Russell – for these shots of me! Check out his awesome humanitarian work HERE

 

estes park wedding *Melissa & Joshua*

Melissa and Joshua had a stunning Estes Park Wedding at a gorgeous wedding venue located on Lake Estes – The Estes Park Resort has beautiful views and is a wonderful choice for celebrating such a special occasion!

I have been looking forward to Melissa & Josh’s wedding for quite some time! I was so excited when Melissa’s mom, Patti contacted me to photographer her daughters wedding. She was so kind and sweet to me during our phone conversations! When I chatted with Melissa for the first time it was no different. She was genuinely kind and so excited to be getting married. I knew I was going to love shooting her wedding.

I asked Melissa the story of how they met. Here is her precious response… “Josh and I were introduced through my sister and her boyfriend (both who are in our wedding party). We were introduced by them and have been inseparable since then. It is a situations where we both feel we have been on a path circling around one another waiting to collide and it finally happened!!

Melissa and Josh were absolutely amazing to work with! They were incredibly laid back and so much fun to photograph! They were a bride and groom that were completely immersed in the love they share for one another.

When I arrived Melissa had a big smile on her face and was so welcoming and kind. She later was on the floor playing peek-a-boo with her precious baby girl, Lyla – who was absolutely adorable!!

Throughout the entire wedding and reception they were both so present and calm – it is a truly beautiful thing to witness and I am so grateful I was able to photograph and preserve these memories for them and their families and friends.

Brigitte with Floral Design of Europe created stunning floral arrangements! I absolutely love the colors of these flowers!!

Jay with Standing Room Only is one the best and most amazing DJ’s in the state! He was awesome and had the party going all night long!

Here are some of my favorites from Melissa & Josh’s wedding day…

estes-park-weddingCheers to the newlyweds! I wish them a life full of joy, love, and laughter!!!

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Cake – Shamanes Bakery

Wedding Dress – Modern Trousseau

Jewelry – Heirlooms