Imentioned in my last post that because it's summertime families all over the United States are out vacationing with each other while school is out. And Colorado is quite the popular destination. We're pretty much right in the middle of the country and we get a lot of visitors from the surrounding states. Plus, we're the perfect place for road tripping. We have lots of nooks and crannies to explore. I've lived here almost my entire life and I'm still excited about the places I keep finding throughout Colorado.
I'm lucky that my mom had such an adventurous spirit when I was growing up. I'm the oldest of 7 kids and we didn't have much but she always figured out a way to throw us all into a van and get us out exploring our big beautiful state. As a kid I really didn't appreciate what a feat that is. 7 children of varying ages (someone was always in diapers!) and temperaments being forced to coexist in cramped quarters for hours on end is not a recipe for a nice peaceful and relaxing vacation. I distinctly remember shouting from the backseat every five minutes "Are we almost there yeeeeetttttttt?! When are we gonna beeeeeeeee theeeeeeeerrrrrreeeee?!" And that was just me. Add in a few other siblings to this cacophonous audio mix and say hello to your instant headache. But I suppose that when you decide to give birth to that many kids you accept the fact that "peace and quiet" are no longer going to be a big part of your life.
My obviously crazy mother persevered with these family road trips even after my parents divorced. She loved to take us to museums, parks, libraries, and national monuments. She was a born tourist and dragged us all over the place to get a taste of what was out there. It's something that I look back on very fondly now that I'm grown up and understand that it's not always so easy to just hit the open road when wanderlust hits you. I always get a little whiff of nostalgia when I meet up with my clients who are traveling in Colorado on a road trip with their families. I love that they are getting professional photos taken while they are here in the gorgeous surroundings. I know that if their kids are anything like me, they are going to look back on those photos and miss the days when mom and dad dragged them around to see the world as a family.
My favorite! I love that we have the blue mountains and wildflowers in the same photo:)
It's summertime in Colorado which means that lots of folks are out here visiting the great mountain towns we have. One of my favorites along the I-70 corridor is Breckenridge. They have one of the most photogenic main drags in the state. The buildings are a great mix of old colorfully painted brick buildings, some more rustic wood structures and even a few pretty old Victorians. As is the case for most of the tiny mountain towns here in Colorado it was originally a gold rush mining town. If you go up Ski Hill Road from downtown you'll reach the historic Lomax Placer Mine. It's a great place for a photoshoot with it's rustic mining cabins and old equipment lying around. I love that there are a ton of tiny pretty wildflowers growing at the site too. During the day you can even pan for gold with a tour guide at the site which sounds like a fun activity to do with the kids if you ever make it out to Colorado on vacation.
During the week of July 4th I met up with this beautiful family. Some of them live in Denver, but most were traveling from outside the state to spend some family time together during the holiday. I'm so happy we could meet up and capture their extended family portraits while they were all together. The Lomax Placer Mine was the perfect location with a good mix of rustic cabins and pretty native plants.
Lomax Placer Mine Gold Panning Historical Site
Steamboat Springs is one of my favorite places in all of Colorado. Every year if I am able to book a wedding up there I get really excited because it means an overnight stay in one of the prettiest places in the state and I know I'll be capturing lovely photos. It's located in a beautiful valley with lush green landscape as far as the eye can see and big fat aspen trees all over the place. This year was my first time photographing at the Yampa River Botanic Park which is nestled right in between the ski resort area of town and the old town shopping district. I wasn't sure what to expect from a botanic garden that is located 6,880 square feet above sea level but it turns out quite a lot of colorful flowers can grow at a high altitude. It was easy to see why Christie and Ryan chose to hold their ceremony at the botanic gardens. When we were there, they were in full bloom with tons of bright flowers and a very pretty serene little pond surrounded with painters working out in nature. The ceremony itself was held right in front of the pond (named Peter's Pond) on the green grass which is also a unique petal style umbrella shade. The weather started out a little sunny but by the time everyone sat on the lawn for the ceremony we were blessed with a little bit of cloud coverage which my fair skin always appreciates! It ended up being a beautiful ceremony out in nature.
After the ceremony everyone headed back over to Sevens, a restaurant at the Sheraton on the ski resort side of town, for the reception. Cocktail hour started on the patio which had great views of Mount Werner. After heading indoors I was pleased to see that the mountain was still visible with all of the huge windows inside the restaurant. After dinner the toasts took place and then one of the highlights of the whole wedding day happened. Christie happens to be a very good opera singer. So good that she makes a living from her beautiful voice. On her wedding day she sang a song to Ryan that she had always hoped to sing one day to the man that she fell in love with. And not only that, but her dad played the piano for her as she sang. It was very sweet and the entire room loved it.
Justin Knoll Friend of the bride & groom
The Wedding Shoppe Located in St. Paul, MN
People always ask me if I like my job and if the "bridezilla's" are out of control. I tell them that the bridezilla moments are truly few and far between and that I actually really love my job because total strangers let me in to document an incredibly important, heartfelt and even vulnerable moment in their lives. Most people start to get that eyes glazed over bored look when you start talking weddings with them so I usually stop there. But this is my blog and I get to wax poetic about the things I witness through my lens at a wedding.
One of the best things I see each week when I'm out photographing brides and grooms is not just the love that they hold for each other, but the love that their family and their friends bestow upon them. The first time that I met Alexis was not on her wedding day or at a consultation after finding me on google. She was actually the mother of the bride for Ashley who married Matt last summer at Shove Chapel in Colorado Springs. And I got to witness the love she had for her daughter first hand. She was right there to help her with her gown and her veil. It was an honor for me then to photograph their love then and it is an even greater honor that she asked me back to photograph her marriage.
This year it was Alexis and Stan's turn to get married. And I really love the way that they did it. They chose only to invite their closest family members to join them on the homestead land in Eagle that has been in Alexis's family for a few generations now. We drove from the hotel in Vail to a bumpy dirt road in Eagle where we headed up to the homestead. We drove through aspen groves and arrived at the most adorable little one room wood cabin with a spectacular view of the valley and mountains. Inside the cabin there was an old photo of Alexis's grandparents who first started to develop the land and built that cabin. They got married in front of the spectacular mountain panorama and then feasted on a delicious catered lunch from Vail Catering Concepts. After that the family just chilled out and enjoyed each other's company while practicing their target shooting before heading back into Vail where they met up for dinner at Elways. It was such a natural, relaxed day. Very different from many wedding days that I photograph but perfect for Alexis and Stan. I sincerely hope that the whole family gets to spend many more nice summer afternoons like that one on the homestead!
Jason Miller Alexis's son
Strings Christen Stephens
This was so sweet. She came over to tell Alexis how beautiful she looked.
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