The couple featured on the blog today are incredibly important to me. Brandon is my husband Geoff's baby brother. He met Lauren while playing football for Eastern Washington University near Spokane. She was there on a full ride soccer scholarship when they fell in love. But, before I delve into their relationship I wanted to talk a little bit about what it has meant to me to marry into the Kaufman family. I don't think I could ever forget the first time I met them as a collective group. It was Passover and my new boyfriend Geoff invited me over to meet his family for the Seder dinner. I used to be really shy and I was definitely a little nervous to meet everyone. After stepping into their house I knew that this family was a little different from most. They were loud and I remember being shocked that they were louder than my own family which is pretty impressive since I am the oldest of 7 kids. In a head to head decibel contest the Kaufmans would have prevailed over the O'Hares, hands down. But the chaos of that first encounter was strangely comforting. Here was a family where you could really just be yourself. They weren't the kind of people who tell the kids that they should be seen and not heard. And they took turns singing at the dinner table. From a little kids coloring book. And as a new guest they were kind enough to let me just read from it and not have to attempt to sing in Hebrew. That was just the first act of kindness in a series of many to follow.
I eventually learned that Geoff has a pretty special relationship with his youngest and only brother. He was 12 when Brandon was born (almost the same age I was when my youngest brother was born) and I know from personal experience that when you have that many years between you and a sibling you just do not have the same kind of relationship that you do with your brothers and sisters who are closer in age to you. My youngest brother was only 5 years old when I graduated from high school and moved away. In many ways he is like a stranger to me since we didn't grow up together like most siblings do. But, Geoff and Brandon are different. Geoff straddled the line between being another father type of figure for Brandon and also just his older brother and friend. He would come home from college as much as he could to be a part of Brandon's life so they were able to develop a closer bond with each other. He gave him as much advice as he could which I'm sure was half blessing and half incredibly annoying for Brandon. It can't be easy to grow up with not only your parents telling you what to do all of the time but also your big brother and big sister getting all bossy pants on you too. I can't tell if Brandon has turned out to be such an awesome person in spite of or because of all the meddling but it doesn't really matter. He's all grown up now and he's one of the most sensitive souls that I know. He really cares about people and he falls in love easily.
Which is why some of us in the family had a little twinge of an "uh-oh" feeling when he first started talking about a new lady in his life. There had been other girlfriends of his that we were less than thrilled with but Lauren was different. She clearly loves Brandon because of who he is and not because he is a star football player or anything like that. She's been incredibly patient with the curveballs that life has thrown their way (some of them thrown by Brandon himself. Does the name Roxie mean anything to anyone?) and been supportive of him. She always says "I just want him to be happy" when asked about the changing directions their life always seems to be taking. And I know he feels the same for her. Brandon proposed to Lauren here in Colorado while they were visiting back in December of 2012. (Check out their proposal photos on the link below!) And last weekend on Valentine's Day they finally tied the knot at the Highlands Ranch Mansion. Friends and family came from California, Washington, and New Jersey to witness their vows and there were so many highlights from the weekend. In no particular order here are a few of my favorites:
*That time when Geoff called his little brother a dildo in front of everyone at the wedding. We all remember that time.
*Speaking of Geoff's epic speech I can't help but point out my personal favorite line from it. It still makes me tear up to think of it. "So here we are at another milestone, and I kind of hate milestones because we have so few miles." Truer words have never been spoken. I wish we could all live two more lifetimes.
*When Lauren's Uncle Andy filled in for her dad Gary who passed away suddenly three years ago for a special dance to remember him by.
*When they finally changed their minds about their vows and chose to read them themselves!
There are so many more great moments from the wedding day. I know that my strong suit is not writing but in the photography so I'll just get on with sharing the photos.
Brandon and Lauren,
I love you.
April O'Hare Photography Brandon & Lauren's Proposal Pictures at Denver Botanic Gardens
April O'Hare Photography Brandon & Lauren's Engagement Photos at South Mesa Trail in Boulder
A Music Plus Jeremy
Hair & Makeup
Blow Dry Lounge Hair: Bridget Make up: Kelsey
What a handsome group of guys!
Here's our family!
I love that Lauren held her dad close to her all day.
That is a classic Brandon expression:)
The next generation of Kaufman speech-givers.
Classic Geoff impression of Brandon.
Brandon and Lauren picked a great first dance song. Go play "When I Get My Hands On You " by The New Basement Tapes when you look at these:)
And keeping with tradition, Brandon and his mama Rhonda got the party started with their song.
One last happy one:)
What a February it's been here in the Denver metro area. We've had over a week of the most beautiful warm weather right in the middle of winter and it's really been a nice treat. I've been editing this gorgeous maternity session from last week while the snow fell down all day. I met up with Meredith and Chris at Lookout Mountain near Boettcher Mansion to capture this pivotal time in their lives. They are expecting a baby boy at the end of March and they wanted to get outside and get some nice photos taken of their family of three (including Tobey, their goldendoodle) before it becomes four. I have to give a special shout out to John who came out to help wrangle his grand-dog during the session too. This was actually my first time photographing up in the Lookout Mountain area. I have always thought that the views of the front range and Denver as well as the mountain backdrop at the Buffalo Bill Memorial museum would be great for photos and I wasn't wrong;) After we found some great picture locations along the Forest Loop trail we finished up our session at sunset by the Buffalo Bill museum right before they closed their gates. Meredith and Chris are an incredibly nice couple and they've been together forever too. I am really excited for them. This is quite a big life change they'll be experiencing very soon. I feel very lucky that they chose me to photograph them at this moment in their lives.
We got lucky with such a pretty sunset:)
Usually this time of year I'm whining about shoveling and staying warm but it has been so incredibly nice this past week. I feel a tiny bit sad for my clients who want to have some snow pictures, but this kind of silly warm weather at this time of year sure will help tide me through the end of winter once those early spring storms arrive. I met up with Allyson & Grant on Friday to get their engagement portraits created. The South Mesa Trail has been one of my new favorite photo locations from last season and I was curious to see how it would look in the middle of winter. I was ready to see it covered in snow when we settled on it as the engagement session location but it was bone dry. Still, you can't beat those incredible flatiron Boulder mountains and the old stone Dunn House provides a unique historic landmark to add to the pictures. Allyson & Grant are getting married in California later this year and I think these photos will be a nice showcase of their current home in Colorado:)
Chelsea & Dillon have some big life changes coming up on the horizon. Chelsea is pregnant with their first child and they are also in the middle of picking up and moving their family back to Louisiana where they are from. They're sad to be moving from Colorado but it's worth it to be closer to family when their little baby boy arrives. Before they made the big move they thought it would be nice to capture Chelsea's maternity photos in the beautiful outdoors space of Colorado. Chelsea is actually the one who picked out the location. I've always heard that Lair O' the Bear park is really pretty but I've never been up there until I met with them for the photos. It's a really easy drive up Bear Creek Canyon and I love the waters of Bear Creek being right there in the park. And for being in the heart of winter there was a surprising amount of color to use in the photos.
One of my favorites:)
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