Anna Be – bridal shoot – Wild Basin Lodge

I love fall time in Colorado!! It’s such a gorgeous time of year! I love the colors of the trees, boots, scarves, and most of all warm frothy latte’s! YUM!

I know that spring has just begun… but a girl can daydream!

I photographed a bridal shoot two falls ago and it was amazing! I love that we did the shoot at Wild Basin Lodge! Bella Capelli did the stunning updo’s, Floral Design of Europe was kind of enough to supply the floral arrangements, and Anna Bé brought some of their stunning dresses for the gorgeous models to wear. It was a blast! I had never done a styled bridal shoot before and was quite nervous! However, the crew was awesome and the models were so natural and relaxed – it turned out to be an incredible day.

Anna Be is bridal boutique located in downtown Denver – if you’re shopping for a wedding dress you have to check them out!!

I also had the pleasure of my awesome dad shooting with me!

Thanks Rocky Mountain Aperture for these behind the scenes photos!

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I absolutely LOVE Colorado!! It’s so amazing living in Denver and having all of that a metropolitan city has to offer, but then 90 minutes away there are tons of gorgeous mountain towns at the base of the Rocky Mountains – it’s the best of both worlds!!

As a photographer this type of project can seem intimidating!! Especially when there are so many professionals in the industry that have put their time and effort into the shoot… There is a lot of pressure (mostly internal) to get everything perfect because in the end it’s the photos that will count.

Even after working in this industry and photographing weddings and different types of shoots since 2006 I still get nervous – it has calmed a bunch from when I started, but it has never gone away. It used to drive me crazy, but now I think that it forces me to be better. I am nervous because I want to give my clients the absolute best photos I can give them and that is a lot of pressure, but at the same time it pushes me to explore my creative boundaries.

I am going to hopefully do more shoots like this in the coming year and I can’t wait to organize them and work with some of the best vendors Colorado has to offer!

Here are a handful of the photos from the shoot.

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I love this shot of all the ladies sitting at the bar at Wild Basin Lodge!

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I love sharing photography with my dad! He makes it way too much fun!!! I am so honored that he let me carry his camera bag for him all those years ago and then felt confident to let me take photos at some of his weddings and he must have thought I did okay because he let me know work for him 5 years after that!! What an amazing journey it has been! I can say without a doubt that I would not be where I am today in my business or with my art if he had not helped me and taught me everything he did!! I am so grateful!

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thank you! thank you! thank you!

organizing styled photo shoots

I love organizing styled photo shoots! They are so much fun to organize and the creative freedom is amazing. These types of shoots are inspiring and really help me to push myself in my photography.

Styled shoots can be an incredible way for photographers to grow – especially during the off season when there aren’t as many events. They inspire creativity and are an awesome way to network and get to know other wedding vendors in your area

Here are some helpful tips for organizing a styled photo shoot …

1.) Choose a theme – brainstorm ideas, create a Pinterest board with details you love, flip through wedding magazines and check out popular wedding blogs for inspiration- it’s always a great idea to see what blogs/magazines are publishing, especially if you are hoping to submit your session for publication.

2.) Decide what time of year you want to do the shoot.

3.) Take your time to research what vendors you want to work with on the styled photo shoot.

5.) Once you have all of the vendors and details worked out make sure to get everything organized and share all of the details with everyone who is involved so that everyone is on the same page and there is no room for confusion.

6.) MAKE IT HAPPEN!! The sky is the limit – make sure to let your creativity run wild and have fun!

7.) After the shoot make sure to share the images with everyone who was involved. Post the styled shoot to your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest! Brides who are planning their wedding can’t get enough of this type of inspiration! Make sure your shoot is searchable and easy to find for brides browsing for ideas for their own wedding.

I am lucky enough to have a best friend that looks like a model and loves having her picture taken 🙂 and her husband is awesome enough to humor us! Kasie has been super helpful to me as I have grown in my business and with my photography – when I have a new idea or want to try something – she is game to help out and model for me!

Last fall I put together a styled romantic Colorado photo shoot in Estes Park with Kasie and her hubs, Phil. We headed up to the YMCA, to a location I had scouted out weeks before. However, the entire drive up it was pouring rain. We were stressing out because we had spent a lot of time planning this shoot and wanted it to work out perfectly. Well, after waiting in the car for awhile it finally stopped raining and we were able to get to work. I LOVED the shoot and was so pleased with how it turned out.

We brought a picnic blanket, old fashion basket, wine and wine glasses and a bunch of mini roses to sprinkle around. It created such a romantic scene!

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 I am hoping to work with some wedding vendors this year to organize a few unique styled shoots! I am still brainstorming on this – if you know of anyone that would be interested, please send them my way!

Check out the blog tomorrow for some behind the scenes at a bridal styled shoot!!

Wild Basin Lodge advertisments

I am super excited that Wild Basin Lodge used two of my photos in their recent promotional ads! I could not be more honored and humbled!

Wild Basin Lodge is one of the most amazing wedding venues in Colorado.. and probably the entire the world! 🙂 The owners, Denice and Nils are two of the most kindhearted and incredibly genuine people I have ever met! They do not simply run a business – they take joy in what they do and serve each of their clients to the fullest! I remember when I met Denice (years ago) and in our first conversation (after she gave me a big hug) she told me if I got married at the Lodge, she would take care of me! Well… A few years later I got married there and I never imagined how incredible it would be! The first time I took my hubs there to tour the venue I was so excited because I wanted him to love it as much as I did! When we walked in the door and Denice offered him a beer – he was sold! My wedding was a dream come true and I owe that in large part to the lovely and amazing people who run this incredible venue!

I have had the unique experience of interacting with Denice and Nils and their staff in a professional setting, as I photograph a lot of weddings there and also in the personal setting since I had my own wedding at the lodge. In both of these scenarios I am treated exactly the same! They show me the exact same kindness when I show up to photograph a wedding as they did on my own special day. I am truly touched and blessed by their kindness.

Dianna McGhinnis is one the lovely ladies that works at Wild Basin Lodge and she has been incredible to get to know and work with at weddings and on these promotional advertisements!

THANK YOU to Wild Basin Lodge!!!

The below photo on the left is an online advertisement for My Wedding – an online planning resource for couples and the photo on the right is an ad for The Knot !!

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wedding shoes

Choosing wedding shoes can be one of the most fun parts of wedding planning! There are so many different options – high heels, flats, Toms, sparkles, white, bright colors… the options go on and on!

Here are some helpful tips when searching for your perfect wedding shoes…

*Look in bridal magazines, on wedding blogs, and Pinterest for inspiration!

*Use your wedding gown and color scheme for ideas… Is you favorite color hot pink? Well, have your girls wear pink dresses and pick out matching shoes for your self. The complimenting details are amazing and add a unique touch!

*Take your girlfriends and try on shoes until you drop! Have fun with it! Try on all kinds of styles and colors… You never know what you will fall in love with!

*Make sure to break them in before your big day! There’s nothing worse than annoying blisters.

*If you have to have that sexy pair of stilettos, but can’t imagine wearing them during your dance party – buy a second pair of more comfortable shoes for once the reception starts!

I stumbled on this amazing company called Milk & Honey when I was planning my own wedding… It’s incredible!! They have fun and unique shoes! Best of all… You can design your own wedding shoes from scratch! Check it out if your having troubles finding that perfect pair!

wedding-shoes-wedding-planning-destination-weddingWhen I was little I would watch Cinderella over and over daydreaming what it would be like to be her and have my own prince charming that would search for me with my lost glass slipper… It was a lovely dream!

When I found my own prince charming and he asked me to be his queen, I was over the moon with excitement and every aspect of planning our dream wedding was magical! Picking out my shoes was so exciting – the options were endless!

Have fun with it! Be true to yourself and pick out your dream shoes!!

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have you picked your wedding flowers??

If you haven’t chosen a florist who will create your wedding flowers for your big day then you have to check out Brigitte with Floral Design of Europe! Her arrangements are absolutely gorgeous and smell divine! Brigitte is extremely committed and puts a lot of heart into her work! Plus her European accent is the best!  She has the cutest little cabin floral shop in Estes Park that you can’t help but fall in love with!Set up a meeting with her ASAP… You wont regret it! 🙂

Here are some tips when choosing your wedding flowers:

1.) Have in mind what type of style you want, but be open to creative input from your florist

2.) Bring color swatches, inspiration photos, and/or a photo of your dress when meeting with your florist

3.) Personalize your bouquet with a photo or charm around the stems

4.) Come prepared with how many people will be in your wedding party, how many family members will have boutonnieres and/or corsages, how many table arrangements you will need for your reception and if you will want flowers at your ceremony location.

5.) Always remember the sky’s the limit and this your special day – so make the flowers you own

Here are some samples of Brigitte’s incredible work…

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day dreaming and being inspired to shoot a destination wedding

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I had the pleasure of attending WPPI in Las Vegas the last few days and it has been awesome! There are so many amazingly talented photographers in one place and I am just soaking up the information!

The highlight of my time was attending Laura Grier’s class on branding yourself as a destination photographer!! When I was searching which classes I wanted to attend I came across Laura’s and was super excited that WPPI was offering something like this! Since returning from my first Euro-adventure last summer I have been in the mindset that I HAVE to shoot weddings all over the world! We visited 8 countries during our 5 week trip and I could not have dreamed of a better experience! I have been researching and reaching out to people the last few months to figure out to even break into something like this and I haven’t had the best luck… AND THEN I found Laura’s bio in her classes description and thought, “I have to meet this amazing woman!” So, I emailed her right away and wasn’t sure what to expect. I had reached out to others and hadn’t gotten much feedback. However, I was over the moon with excitement when the NEXT morning I had a voice mail, not an email, but a voice mail from Laura responding to my message. After emailing back and forth I was getting more and more excited for her class!

I could hardly sleep last night because I was just so excited to learn more about this dream I have been wanting to make a reality and I felt like I had finally found someone that could give me a push in the right direction…

I learned more than I thought I could in 90 minutes from this amazing woman and when I thought it couldn’t possibly get any better. Laura invited me to brunch! So, of course I went and asked her a million questions.

I am just so humbled by her willingness to answer my questions and the kindness she showed me by sharing so much of her experiences and knowledge with me.

The biggest piece of advice I have been receiving from people is that when you have the desire to follow a certain dream then you need to shout it out for the world to hear! How can we expect our dreams to come true if we never share them with anyone or do anything to make them possible??? So here it goes…

A FEW OF MY DREAMS…

I want to shoot a destination wedding in Paris!!

I would also love to do shoots in Hawaii, Isla Mujeres, Ireland, London, Switzerland.. (to name a few)

I want to do an engagement shoot in Seattle, on the Oregon coast, or San Fransisco.

I want to shoot humanitarian work for missionaries.

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Those are just a few of my current dreams that I hope become a reality!!

What are your dreams? Write them down.. Share them with people.. See what happens!

one of my favorite photos of my husband and I in Cinque Terre, Italy last year.

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*winter wedding* Stephanie & Alex

I love winter weddings!!!!!

Stephanie & Alex had an intimate elopement at Black Canyon Inn… they exchanged vows (that they had written themselves 🙂 ) in the beautiful pavilion!

I had a blast walking around the snow covered property with them hearing about their love story and how they got to this very special day. They were both so much fun and kind… such a blast to work with!

I love the unique vintage touches of Stephanie’s stunning dress, pearls and those awesome sunglasses!

Kimberly & Robert’s mountain wedding

Kimberly & Robert were an absolute joy to work with! I loved Roberts face when he saw Kimberly walking down the aisle… It’s my favorite part of a wedding day! Kimberly did such an amazing job planning every detail of her wedding day and her decor was awesome! I love the pink and blue colors!

VENUE – Wild Basin Lodge

FLORIST – Floral Design of Europe

CAKE – Colorado Rose Cake Company

Ashley & Travis

What a gorgeous day it was yesterday! The sun was shining and the wind was just blowing a little bit… It was a great day for a wedding! Ashley was a stunning bride and her groom couldn’t have looked happier as she walked down the aisle. They exchanged their vows at Black Canyon Inn with 20 or so of their closest family and friends. It was a beautiful and intimate wedding ceremony.

Congrats to the happy couple! 🙂

Weddings at Wild Basin Lodge

It doesn’t matter the season… If you’re thinking about a Wild Basin wedding you won’t be let down! With two equally amazing outdoor ceremony sites and multiple options for an indoor location, the lodge is a perfect choice for a wedding! Not to mention the INCREDIBLE staff that will woo you from start to finish with their amazing abilities! I have had the pleasure of shooting many weddings at this beautiful lodge in all of the gorgeous seasons. To start… The warmer months are stunning at the lodge… The bright green leaves on the aspens and the warmth of the sun provides spectacular conditions for a special day!

Leaves start turning colors.. the air becomes chilly.. the days get shorter.. sweaters and boots are dragged out of the closet… FALL is coming!! This is my favorite season of the year and I LOVE shooting weddings in the beautiful conditions that fall offers! This incredible season provides breathtaking views all around the lodge.

In Colorado a bride must be ready for anything! Small snow storm in early October… This bride was thrilled! It was a gorgeous snowy fall wedding at the lodge!

The quite stillness in the Rocky Mountains during winter time is something everyone should partake in! It is an incredible time of year and winter weddings are so much fun!

Being a Wild Basin bride myself… I can say that working with the lodge planning my wedding was amazing! The attention they pay to every detail is amazing. Nothing is forgotten and so much care is taken during the planning process so that on your big day… You worry about nothing. The lodge is an amazing venue choice for any wedding!