Katie & Dustin’s Colorado Plains Wedding

Katie & Dustin’s Colorado Plains Wedding

Colorado, in a way, is like California–separated by region and geography. We’re based at the foothills, with toes in both the plains and the mountains–just the way we like it. When we met Katie and her family, their plan was to wed on a plot of land Katie and Dustin had just purchased, the custom-built arbor the first structure to be placed on land which will eventually support their house and home.

What was that old saying, April showers bring May flowers? Well, in Colorado those showers continued through May, making their land a bit of a mudfest. Thankfully Dustin’s family came to the rescue, offering their barn as a backup spot for the ceremony. There was even more legacy built in, as K&D’s getaway car, a gorgeous red Chevelle, was the same car Dustin’s parents drove to the hospital when Dustin was born. Moreover, it was great to see our good friend Rachel supplying some beautiful flowers that fit their event just perfectly.

Since this was an intimate wedding and Anne was otherwise engaged, just Bill documented K&D’s celebration. Enjoy some of our favorite moments from the day below, and their full gallery here. The password is Katie’s maiden name and is case-sensitive.

Ceremony venue: Private farm
Reception venue: Pelican Lakes Country Club
Florist: Aflorae
Band: Harly’s V-Rods
Baker: Me Oh My Pie
Hair & make-up: Jeannie Guitierez

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Dear k&d,

Some of my favorite moments from your day include: Watching the smile on your face grow by the minute, Katie, as your friends arrived during your getting ready. Laughing while putting rings on each other’s fingers. Getting a huge (and really tight) hug from your grandma right after the ceremony. Spinning out on the grass (oops!) on your way to the country club. Your sister’s performing as Beyonce–a great way to start the reception. Watching all your family and friends dance hard to hard rock, wishing the evening would never end.

It was fun, and I’m so glad I could be a part of it, thank you!

xoxo,
(a&)b

Happy 10th Anniversary: Geni & Erik

Happy 10th Anniversary: Geni & Erik

It’s been so much fun reliving some of our 2005 weddings and checking in with our couples who are celebrating 10 years of marriage this year! Not only have some of them had some great advice for on how they’re making their marriage thrive, it’s been a blast getting to see how their families have changed and sometimes expanded since their wedding day.

Geni & Erik were one of our first weddings with Pam of  ATrendy Wedding and let’s just say, she set the bar incredibly high yet she continues to knock it out of the park with each and every wedding we get to do with her. We had such a great time working with her and we continue to be good friends to this day. As you’ll see from some of the photos from their wedding day below, we absolutely adore Geni & Erik. Even though they live far away, they’re never far away from our hearts. We’ll always remember their beautiful wedding and the joy among their families as they said I do.

Hi Anne! So nice to hear from you. As our anniversary approaches I have been thinking of you and Bill and reflecting on that day a good bit. So the timing of your message was perfect.

– What challenges have you both faced & how did you handle them &/or learn from them?

Immediately after our wedding, we left on a two week honeymoon, returned, sold our condo, packed up all our belongings, moved to Michigan, bought a new place, and started a new job and graduate school. So the first few months of our marriage certainly had many changes! And I think we have continued to be on the move ever since. Most weeks it is the constant navigation of the ups and downs of both working full time and raising a spunky and hilarious almost-five year old.

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– Have you had any unexpected joys?

It’s probably the most cliche thing in the world but having a child has been full of moments that were unexpectedly more joyful than we probably ever thought possible. And now she is at an age where we get to watch her become her own little person. We have also had the chance to travel a lot, which we love, and have passed down that wanderlust to our daughter. It was so exciting for her to get her first passport!

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– Where has life found you since your wedding day?

We are very happily living in Ann Arbor, Michigan having become Midwesterners by choice. Erik is a health care consultant working on-site most weeks at hospital client sites and I work for the University of Michigan in our Career Center and teach part time at Eastern Michigan. We love our town and our neighborhood and feel lucky for the community we have around us.

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– What do you remember most about your wedding day when you look at your photos?

We were laughing that we both felt the night went in fast forward! We remember the anticipation of getting ready and the hours leading up to the big day. We remember what a party it was! So many people we love in one place and packing the dance floor. We also remember being exhausted at the end! But relaxation is what the honeymoon is for!

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Photo Credit Pink Sky Photography

– Has your little girl seen your wedding photos yet?

She is a princess obsessed little girl who thinks nothing of grocery shopping in a ballgown and cape. So when we recently showed her pictures I think she mostly was enamored by how “fancy” she thought we looked, as well as everything around us. She has not had a lot of occasions to see her dad in a full tux and mom in a gown. She also commented on how young we looked (we were!) but we chose to ignore that part. 😉

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Photo Credit Pink Sky Photography

We genuinely feel that we don’t have as much fun with anyone else as we do with each other. Ten years has flown by for all the best possible reasons and I think we both feel lucky to have each other.

And we’re lucky to have gotten to be part of such an important day in your lives, G&E. Thank you for having us then and for staying in touch. It’s been a joy getting to see your family grow through the years.

xoxo,
…a&b

Engaged! with Katie & Crispin at Columbia Country Club

Engaged! with Katie & Crispin at Columbia Country Club

There’s something special about doing an engagement portrait session at the site of a couple’s proposal. Meeting Katie & Crispin at Columbia Country Club in suburban Washington, DC gave us such an opportunity. The first frame below, actually, shows where Crispin bent on one knee to ask, “Will you marry me?” We’re excited to photograph their wedding this Fall but in the meantime here are a few of our favorites from the session. Want more? The entire engagement session is here. The password is Katie’s last name and is case-sensitive. Enjoy!

Engagement portraits at Columbia Country Club

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Engagement portraits at Columbia Country Club

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Engagement portraits at Columbia Country Club

Happy 10th Anniversary: Carolyn & Stephen

Happy 10th Anniversary: Carolyn & Stephen

Whenever photographers are asked to shoot another photographer’s wedding, it’s always a humbling, yet exciting experience. We are no exception. Stephen had not yet gone pro before his wedding, but we knew he had more than just a passing interest in photography. Since becoming a professional, we have followed him and his work for years, never ceasing to be amazed at what he captures. It’s truly an honor for us to say we knew him when.

Carolyn and Stephen remain dear friends to this day and it was so lovely getting to hear some of their personal experiences over the past decade of marriage.

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– What challenges have you both faced & how did you handle them &/or learn from them?

Like a lot of couples, our biggest challenge is probably managing our time, especially now as dual-working parents. Fortunately, Stephen’s job has some flexibility, but between work, volunteering and activities we’ve had to accept that sitting down together to a home-cooked, family dinner is not going to be the norm for us. We just try to coordinate everything the best we can, keep the lines of communication open, and make a date night when we can!

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– Where has life found you since your wedding day? (career, home location, family status, etc.)

We bought a house shortly after the wedding in Takoma Park, MD and still live there. Since moving, we’ve added 4 dogs and a son, who is now 7 and keeps us busy (and on our toes)! Stephen was just starting his photography career in 2005 and is now a full-time photographer, shooting weddings, mitzvahs and corporate events. Carolyn recently landed a wonderful opportunity as press secretary for the AFL-CIO, and continues to volunteer her time with an animal rescue and various neighborhood groups.

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– What do you remember most about your wedding day when you look at your photos?

We have some of our favorite shots hanging in our living room so we get to see them everyday and are reminded how we were surrounded by so much love that day (and how fortunate we were to have photographers who captured it perfectly). The image of Carolyn dancing with her Uncle Larry is one of my all-time favorite wedding photos from any wedding ever (note: totally unbiased opinion)! He passed away a few years ago, and we’re so glad we have that real moment of pure love documented.

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– We assume Ryan has seen your wedding photos at this point. Has he had any comments you don’t mind sharing?

We’ve shown Ryan our beautiful album a few times. He enjoys looking at his younger-looking, less-gray-haired dad (Carolyn still looks the same of course!), but mostly he gets upset that he wasn’t there.

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Family photo by Dennis Drenner

C&S…We’re so honored you chose us those many years ago to document your beautiful garden wedding back in May 2005. We can’t thank you enough for your kind words, too. (The one of Carolyn and her uncle is one of our favorite images, too!) We’re so happy to see you both doing so well, both personally and professionally. Thanks for taking the time to catch us up a bit and we look forward to hopefully seeing you both again sometime soon. Date night in beautiful Colorado, perhaps?

xoxo,
…a&b

How Much Marketing do You Need?

A customer’s greatest commodity is their attention. They may grant us a bit of it because they care about our story and how their involvement with us makes them feel (the story they tell themselves, as Seth Godin puts it). Think you’re in competition because of your product or service? You’re just as much in competition for your customer’s attention. Many marketers suspect if they just shout a little louder (e.g., promote that Twitter post, send that additional promo email, ask about that new tank top) or with just the right words they’ll get just a little more consumer love.

How much do we have to beg for our customer’s love, really?

What’s the point where our fed-up and overloaded customers turn us off, like an awful reality TV show, pulling from us the one thing we value the most…their attention (and their wallets)? It’s different for every company of course.

Yet the wise ones–the ones engaging with their customers instead of shouting at them–innately know to keep their customers they must dedicate themselves to the customer journey–the entire experience with their brand. Marketing is merely a tool in that arsenal.

Like leading a horse to water, a marketer can bring a customer to the door, but the brand’s customer-centric experience design leads them in and keeps them there.

It’s time to stop shouting at our customers and time to start caring for them.

Happy 10th Anniversary: Rebecca & Erik

Happy 10th Anniversary: Rebecca & Erik

We’re back with another huge anniversary to celebrate – Rebecca & Erik were married at the incomparable Hope and Glory Inn in Tidewater, Virginia in late May 2005. We get to stay in touch with them via Facebook and they were recently kind enough to share some of what the past 10 years have brought their way.

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What challenges have you both faced & how did you handle them &/or learn from them?

Our biggest challenge is getting real time together. Both with busy careers and a very busy soon-to-be 8 year old leaves us asking, where did the day go? We’ve recently started waking up extra early to work in a sunrise coffee on the back patio. Most connected 20 minutes of the day!

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Where has life found you since your wedding day? (career, home location, since your wedding day? (career, home location, family status, etc.)

We’re both still in new home sales (Rebecca) and construction (Erik). We still live in Charlottesville and have a very only child, Miss Ella Grace White. We were so lucky to have you all still in Charlottesville when she was born and really enjoyed the Watch Me Grow sessions (1 month, 6 months and 1 year). Not only is it fun to see her growth in the first year, it’s quite amusing to see the pics of us (love some of the facial expressions). We still have Opie (our german shorthair pointer). I think Bill nabbed a beautiful photo of him during one of these visits. He’s now an old man, but very loved.

First Watch Me Grow Session:

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Second Watch Me Grow Session:

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Third Watch Me Grow Session:

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What do you remember most about your wedding day when you look at your photos?

Two very warm memories that stand out for me. The first is the pre-ceremony prayer led by my grandmother on speaker phone because she couldn’t make it to the service. The other happened just before I was about to walk down the aisle with my father. I don’t love being in front of crowds, so was more than a little bit nervous. My dad, who could sense my anxiety, grabbed my hand with his big sandpapery rough hand and rubbed my palm with his thumb which said, “you’ve got this”. My father passed away 7 years ago, and those big sandpapery rough hands are so terribly missed.

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Has your little one seen your wedding photos and if so, have they had any comments you don’t mind sharing?

Grace comments most on the dresses. She also loves seeing the pics of her older cousins when they were so young. She was able to wear her cousin’s flower girl dress last year which was a favorite for quite some time.

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Family photo by Aaron Watson

Thank you so much for sharing, R&E! We are in love with your sunrise coffee date idea! What a wonderful way to start a busy day. We miss seeing you both and sweet Grace. We’re actually having some serious trouble that this adorable little girl from her third Watch Me Grow session is already 8!? Wow. Your family may be small, but it’s a truly beautiful one.

xoxo,
…a&b

Happy 10th anniversary Heather & Brad

Happy 10th anniversary Heather & Brad

We sometimes surprise ourselves with how long we’ve been shooting weddings, especially when some weddings seem like they were just yesterday (or close to it). Such was with Heather & Brad’s wedding back in Northern Virginia. We’ve kept in touch over the years, done some family portraits (read: Day in the Life sessions) for their two adorable girls, and generally felt incredibly lucky to have gotten to know them. And of course to see them again at their friends’ Andrew & Julie’s wedding at the National Cathedral.

After over ten years of marriage, we thought it would be amusing and instructive to hear how their relationship has grown and changed with time. But first, a recent selfie of them now, with Rosalie & Opal.

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What challenges have you both faced, and how did you handle them or learn from them?
Going into marriage, we knew that we would probably have difficulty getting pregnant. We were right. We investigated adoption, and also looked into fertility treatments. Those treatments led to absurd expenses, batteries of injections, and several medical procedures. Nevertheless, the costs proved small in the end, because from all of that came our first child, Opal. Three years later, we took what was likely our last chance at a second child, a chance our doctor estimated as being maybe a one-in-ten shot. We won big, and got our Rosie.

From this, we learned a great deal about how we handle heavy emotional stress and how we come together to make major decisions. We complement each other pretty well.

Have you had any unexpected joys?
Maybe this will sound strange, but no. We had a good idea of what to expect from and with one another, and our marriage has played out largely as expected. This is a fine thing.

Where has life found you since your wedding day? (Career, home, location, family status, etc.)
The large life markers haven’t changed. We live in the same house, which we bought just before the wedding. We remain on the same basic career trajectories we had then, though farther along.

Despite this, everything feels quite different, because our two children upended our lives in the way children always do. Priorities shift, expectations change, privacy and money evaporate.

(At this point we feel compelled to include one of our favorite moments from a recent Day in the Life session, ’cause we like it.)

Rosalie & Opal enjoy some messy frozen fruit pops

Aside from the girls, the most significant change to our family status is that we lost both of our fathers. Brad’s father died of ALS in 2009, Heather’s father of a stroke in 2011.

What do you remember most about your wedding day when you look at your photos?
Heather: The strongest memory is that I wasn’t nervous during the wedding. I was nervous before, of course, but not during. The way we set up our wedding, I didn’t feel like on display. I wasn’t a center of attention and centerpiece for a big event, but instead surrounded by loved ones. That made it fun. I remember it being a lot of fun.

Brad: What I remember most was how it felt to have so many relatives and friends together, which was both satisfying and very difficult to pull off. Also, I remember how it felt less like a ritual and more like a celebration, which is exactly what we wanted. We had a great time, and the guests we spoke to all said the same. Oh, and the giant blond afro wigs. I remember those. We still have four or five of them.

Have the kids seen the wedding photos, and if so, what do they say about them?
They have, and they have one question and two observations. The question is “who’s that?” A lot of the people from the wedding are people we don’t see frequently anymore, so the kids have no idea who they are. One of their observations was how pretty Heather’s dress was, a non-standard wedding dress. She refused to “look like a meringue” and instead wore a custom dress in her favorite colors. Their other observation was how tiny their cousin is in the pictures. They know him as a thirteen year old who stands well over six feet tall, so they’re always amused to see him as a three year old.

Happy anniversary, you two!

This is the collage we created from their wedding…

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Laura & Gavin’s Wedding Featured in Rocky Mountain Bride

Laura & Gavin’s Wedding Featured in Rocky Mountain Bride

It’s hard to do anything but stare in wonder at nature’s beauty sometimes, especially here in Colorado. Laura & Gavin (Lyonscrest Manor wedding here and Boulder engagement session here) picked a spot overlooking the Rocky Mountains for their ceremony to show off their home to family and friends in attendance. Rocky Mountain Bride of course thought similarly and featured their wedding yesterday. We’re so thrilled for Laura & Gavin–they and their friends thoroughly enjoyed themselves, making our jobs capturing the moments easy.

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Things We Love: Creative Mornings Denver

Things We Love: Creative Mornings Denver

Especially right now as we’re (seemingly) spending almost every waking moment on our website refresh, we find ourselves craving some human interaction, as well as a great excuse to get out of the office. If said humans happen to be of the creative variety, even better.

Creative Mornings is a once-monthly gathering, happening on the same day in major cities around the world, where members share and listen to a short presentation given by local speakers chosen for their experience or expertise on a particular topic. (The topic is the same worldwide, but is purposefully left vague to allow for local flexibility–tomorrow’s is humility). This a.m. lecture series is for any creative, aspiring creative, stumped creative, or someone who simply likes being around creative people (which is most of us). We’ve been attending Creative Mornings Denver for a while now and enjoy volunteering as staff photographers when we can.

If this seems interesting to you, make sure you join so you’ll be notified when tickets open up. A limited number are available and they ten to go quickly. Tomorrow’s session in Denver is full, but there is a waitlist you can add your name to.

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When we’re at The Source, our usual home, people come from miles (us included!) to kickstart their day with smooth (and free!) Boxcar coffee and amazingly flaky chocolate croissants from Babettes. Yeah, we in Colorado know how to do it right.

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This gal here, Shauna Lott of The Long I Pie, is speaking tomorrow. She bakes a Decadent (that’s right–with a capital D) chocolate pecan pie. Simply amazing. C’mon people. It’s what’s for breakfast.

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Anne especially loves the volunteer staff’s tee shirts, but secretly wonders how many “creatives” are really morning people. Her ideal lecture series would be taking place around 8pm and involve wine over coffee. Bill thinks she might be on to something.

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Last month we were at the stunning Denver Museum of Nature & Science for the INK talk. Talk about an inspiring view!

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We’ve met some really great folks at these monthly sessions and highly recommend attending one in your town if you’ve never been. Don’t see your city listed, maybe you’d like to start your own chapter and put your hometown on the map!

You need a wedding planner! Here’s why.

You need a wedding planner! Here’s why.

What’s a topic that’s rarely covered by bridal magazines and blogs, but that has significant bearing on how much you enjoy a fun and stress-free celebration on your wedding day? That one’s easy: Whether to hire a wedding planner. Probably because the answer’s so easy: Yes.

Of course we’re not talking about Franck. Nor are we talking about someone who after planning just one–usually their own–wedding, thought, “I can do this!” Indeed, we’re talking about someone who devotes their professional lives to ensuring everything runs smoothly, saving their clients money, and taking care of all the little things that crop up (and yes, they will crop up) so their clients can fully enjoy their day.

One of our couples, Karen & Michael, put it best: “A wedding planner is the wedding gift you give yourselves.” We couldn’t agree more.

You’re spending a year or so working on your wedding. Yes, it’s hopefully fun and a great, new experience for you, but you’ve likely noticed that it can oftentimes feel like a second full-time job and on your wedding day, the last thing you want to be doing is work. That day should be used to reflect on your relationship and the commitment you’re making to each other, and then of course to paaaaaar-tay! What better way to do that than by making sure someone you trust has your back?

Sure, you could ask your mom to help with a few things, and maybe even a bridesmaid to run interference with the transportation company. But remember you invited these people to your wedding primarily because you wanted them to be able to celebrate with you and have fun. So why not delegate that work to someone experienced in such matters, leaving your loved ones available to shower you with love and support throughout your weekend’s festivities?

We asked Jamie Sears of Simply Chic Events, on why her clients hire a planner. “You’ll have that peace of mind, secure in the knowledge that everything’s being taken care of, allowing yourselves to be guests at your own wedding.” Additionally, she confirmed the significant cost savings to couples who now, thanks to that expert personalized advice, know where to invest and where to save. And for those who find themselves short on time because of work or other commitments, full planning services can save considerable time and eliminate stress. Instead of couples spending hours sorting through directories and looking at web sites by themselves, a planner already knows several people who would be a good match for each couple and can narrow that list down, creating, in effect, an “A Team” dedicated to executing every bride’s vision. Not only will expert planners help you create a realistic schedule for the day and keep to that schedule, many talented ones can also help you design how you want your day to look.

Planning doesn’t always have to be the start from scratch event design, find-all-of-your-other-wedding-pros-for-you variety, known as full planning. Simply having someone help out the month prior (sometimes known as day-of, but more accurately, month-of) to reach out in advance to your various other wedding professionals to make sure everyone’s on the same page, identify spots in your schedule where there may be issues that need to be resolved, and figuring out the best possible way to keep everything going smoothly on the day. On the wedding day, they’re present to help guide you down the aisle and let you know when it’s time to cut the cake, etc., but just as importantly their help extends to all the fixes that you didn’t even know about–the bus running 15 minutes late picking up your guests, the wrong cake being delivered, ensuring your guests’ champagne is poured before your best man begins his speech, etc. We’ve seen all those issues and more occur at the 300+ weddings we’ve photographed.

Why, you’re probably asking, is my photographer encouraging me to hire a wedding planner? The answer is simple: We’re documentarians, capturing all the emotions shared between you both and your families and close friends, photographing those real, unstaged moments. When a couple is stressed because they’re working their event, it shows on their face, and if it shows on their face, it’ll show in the photos. Not surprising, right? Your photographer will want you to have the best possible experience on your wedding day and by extension the very best photos for you.

Some venues will offer an on-site coordinator, and some catering companies also offer this service. While they can be helpful, it’s important to know exactly what they’ll do and not do on your wedding day, so you can fill in the gaps. Where possible, we still advocate for an independent coordinator–someone dedicated solely to you and your needs–to help run interference on your behalf with all of the other wedding pros. On-site coordinators and catering managers can be great, but are still liaisons between you and their respective teams, which is why we recommend having someone independent you know and love and trust there to help. Their first responsibility is to their employer, not to you and rightly so. Hire people that are experts within their field and then trust them to do their job.

You’re spending a lot of time and in many cases a lot of money creating a celebration that’s highly personalized and unique to you and your beloved’s. Why not maximize your enjoyment and minimize your stress on a day you’ve planned for so long by hiring a planner? We chose photos for this post, illustrating just that–couples getting lost in their day, celebrating with their family and friends, enjoying all the big (and small) moments sprinkled throughout their wedding day, all completely free of any stress or worry. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect wedding gift to yourself?

Have fun, and good luck!

Happy 10th Anniversary: Cassie & Greg

Today we’re wishing a happy anniversary to Cassie & Greg who married back in the Fall of 2004, so this coming October they’ll be celebrating 11 years of marriage! It was great getting to check in with them and see where life has found them since their big day at W&L in Lexington, VA.

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– What challenges have you both faced & how did you handle them &/or learn from them?

I’m sitting here trying to think what our biggest challenges have been! Probably the ongoing struggle to put the kids first but also move forward in our careers. We’ve handled it by really just taking turns. We moved to NJ for Greg’s job, and I started consulting and traveling three or four days a week while he juggled work and taking care of our son. I took a step back when our daughter came along so I now work from home while he works longer hours further away. We’re about to undertake the next challenge; Greg left to start with a new office in Virginia and I’ll remain in NJ with the kids until our house sells. Along the way we have both left higher-paying jobs to do something that we cared about and that’s something I hope our children will be able to do some day.

– Where has life found you since your wedding day? 

We have two children. Conner is 8 and Katie just turned 3 in February. Greg left his law firm to start a new job at the Department of Justice. I have stayed in fundraising and alumni relations, now with the University of Richmond. They are kind enough to let me telecommute so I can continue to work with this amazing team while the Greg’s job moves us around.

– What do you remember most about your wedding day when you look at your photos?

What’s most amazing to me about our wedding day is how nearly everyone we loved was in the same place at the same time. In the last ten years we’ve lost many of the people in that picture, to death or distance or just time, but that one day we just had so much love and happiness in one room. It still takes my breath away.

We lost Greg’s dad less than 2 years after that day which makes the family photos even more precious.

Have your little ones seen your wedding photos and if so, did they have any comments you wouldn’t mind sharing?

The kids have seen the wedding photos because we have them all over the house. My favorite is the shot that has every one of our guests in one picture, which hangs in our kitchen. Every time our 2 year old meets a new member of the family or an old friend, we show her where they are in the picture and she thinks that’s amazing.

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Thanks so much and happiest of anniversaries to you C&G! Your kiddos are so cute and we love that you share who people are via your group photo. What a great idea!

xoxo,
…a&b

Our Nephew Samuel David’s Debut

Our Nephew Samuel David’s Debut

Our newest nephew, Samuel David came into the world this past May, two days after Anne’s birthday, and we’re so excited to share a few photos from our first trip to visit the new family of four! (Yup, a little late in finally Journaling this, but it’s that whole cobbler’s children thing.) Even though we often bring our real cameras with us when we visit family, we’re usually having too much fun to remember to pull them out. It’s funny, too, as professional photographers who look at life through a lens a lot, we often have to literally remind ourselves to put down the camera sometimes and really experience and be present in the moment. Although we’re always excited to document moments, the camera does create a barrier and can make you feel a bit removed from the scene. At least it does for us anyway.

Once we put that camera up to our face we’re immediately in “work” mode — thinking about lighting, composition, our camera settings (ISO & aperture), our proximity to the “action” (are we too close or are we not close enough), do we have the right lens on, our location (are we in front of someone whose view we’re blocking) etc. You get the gist so that’s why we have to make a conscious effort sometimes to just put the camera down and actually be emotionally present. Of course, once we do see the photos we did take, they always take us right back into the moment.

We hadn’t really shot a lot with Anne’s family since Bobby’s Day in the Life or his 6th birthday party, even though we always love doing so and we figured it was finally time to give sweet Sam some camera & Journal time, too.

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Yea, had to sneak some of Bobby in here, too! I bet you’re not surprised. We got to attend one of his ball games while we were there and watch him hit a base hitter and receive his end of season trophy!

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We’re looking forward to another trip out again very soon and Sam has of course changed so much (can’t believe he’s already almost 10 months old!) so we may just have to pull out those cameras again. We missed getting to do a 6 month session with him because of schedules, timing and weather so we’re really looking forward to his 1 year shoot!

xoxo,
…a&b

Wedding photography tips: Why do a hair & makeup trial?

Clients often ask for not only our opinion on who we recommend for makeup, but also what it should look like. Myths about what kind of makeup should be applied for photos abound, so it’s important to know the facts and, like the Boy Scouts, be prepared.

Consider some examples from our brides (and their respective makeup artists) from the past year or two, and read on for more tips!

Alison’s wedding at Farmington Country Club in Charlottesville, VA
Hair & Makeup: Studio FBJ

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General guidelines

If you’re not used to wearing much on a daily basis, even what others would consider minimal can feel very “heavy” to you. Like art, makeup can be highly subjective and we work with an array of artists each with different styles. (Like all photographers have a different “eye”, makeup artists and stylists all have a different “hand.”) If you’re happy with your makeup and hair and you like your chosen photographers’ work, you’ll be happy with how you look in photos.

Misty’s wedding at Mellon Auditorium
Makeup: Nikki Fraser of Beauty n’ the Bride

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For best results

Ask friends and other wedding professionals for their hair and makeup recommendations, then after reviewing their work, narrow it down to just a few that you want to talk with further.

Out of those couple, select one with whom you’d like to do a trial and schedule it well in advance of your wedding day. (Some artists may have a separate charge for this.) You can also schedule it the day you’re having your engagement or bridal photos taken, but make sure you allow plenty of time before your session in case it takes longer than expected.

If you’re having anything added to your hair (i.e., flower(s), jewelry, etc.) you’ll want a friend to take some photos of you from all angles so can see if you like the way it was done, the size of the flower, etc. Also, make sure your hair stylist knows if you’ll be wearing a veil or not and how high or low you want to wear it.

Alicia’s wedding at The Hay Adams
Hair Stylist: Martha of Alison Harper & Co.
Makeup Artist: Kim Giammaria of Beauty Mark

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Liz’s wedding at The Hay Adams
Hairstylist: Remona Soleimani of Bridal Hair by Remona
Makeup Artists: Nour Kazoun of Made Up Art

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Sometimes, even your best efforts still cause consternation, but it’s important to know what you want on your wedding day. For example, our wedding was the weekend following 9/11 in New Orleans. Given the travel restrictions, Anne’s stylist (with whom she had previously done a trial and had photos) wasn’t able to join us. So she used someone based on the hotel’s recommendation, despite never having met the artist prior. Despite having those trial photos, he didn’t follow her wishes and in fact said that he didn’t need to see those because he was going to make her more beautiful than that! Ha! He did not (in her opinion) and there was no time then to fix it. While Bill thought she looked gorgeous that day (thanks, baby!), Anne cringes every time she looks at herself in our wedding photos, especially color ones, through no fault of our photographer. So barring any major national catastrophes, makeup is typically such an easy thing to plan for, it’s really a no-brainer.

Sarah’s wedding at The Newseum
Makeup Artist: Erwin Gomez
Hairstylist: Nikki Fraser of Beauty n’ the Bride

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You’ll know you found the right match when you look and feel like yourself, but even more beautiful. Good luck & above all, have fun! This is your time to be pampered. Take advantage of it!

xoxo,
…a&b

Love for Lily 3rd Annual Masquerade Ball Benefit

Happy Fat Tuesday, y’all! We hope wherever you are, your heart is in Louisiana today! Ours most definitely is so in honor of Mardi Gras we wanted to share a festive charity event we photographed this past Fall for the wonderful Love for Lily non-profit foundation. In honor of the little girl they lost much too soon in 2011, Sahra & Ted created their foundation to provide personal and financial support to other Denver-area families who are having to go through a similar, often devastating experience when they have children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Make sure you read their story in their own words though, as we could never do it justice.

Their largest and, one could argue most fun, fundraising event takes place annually and is the Masquerade Ball. Guests purchase tickets and there’s a great silent auction, as well as a little live one. They get dressed up, don their favorite fancy masks and come out to celebrate a magical evening with cocktails, delicious bites, sweet treats and of course, a photo booth! A local DJ provides the tunes and the party often goes into the wee hours of the a.m. There are also locally made and handmade masks available for purchase if you “forgot” yours.

Sahra (pregnant with her second!) is owner and lead designer of Swoon Jewelry based in Louisville, here in Colorado. Both of us have purchased some of her gorgeous work at the many local arts & craft fairs. Bill’s purchases might have been for Anne (lucky girl!), but she also makes manly stuff for men like cuff links and sterling silver monogrammed guitar picks! (Wouldn’t those just make fantastic groomsmen gifts?)

When we learned they didn’t have a photographer for the 2014 ball, we jumped at the chance to help out. Little ones born too soon have had a close place in our heart ever since our friends, Stephanie and Karl lost their twins and created the Jack & Abby Foundation in their honor. (Side note, we took photos of their third, Matthew, just after he was born and the two butterflies you see in his crib photos represent his brother and sister who will always be with him in spirit.)

We loved getting to be a part of it this year – what a fun and fabulous idea for a party. Who doesn’t love a masquerade ball?

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Now don’t let this Mardi Gras pass you by without a hurricane or at least a sazerac, y’all!

Bobby’s Star Wars Themed 6th Birthday Party

Bobby’s Star Wars Themed 6th Birthday Party

We love getting to share some of our personal photos on the blog when we can, but they often get pushed off the calendar so we can post client work. Cobbler’s children, or maybe cobbler’s nephews and nieces? Well, better late than never we always say!

This past October our nephew Bobby turned 6 (that’s counting on two hands now!) and we celebrated with his family and about 20 of his friends at a park close to his parent’s house. It was a gorgeous blue sky day with just a hint of the chill cooler weather would soon bring. His theme of choice this year, perhaps not surprisingly for a 6 year old boy, was Star Wars. The boy is obsessed. OB.SESS.ED. Anything and everything Star Wars he loves. It’s pretty wild to see since his dad, Anne’s brother, was also a huge fan when he was a kid. Talk about enduring. And endearing.

Of course, we (okay, mostly Bill) had to snap a few photos of the big event and what a blast it was. It was actually the first time since he was born that we could attend one of his birthday parties! Understandably, they are always on Saturdays and for some reason, Saturdays in October are extremely popular wedding dates! So this year we blocked the weekend off so we could attend. We had so much fun watching him and all his friends getting into the Jedi action, complete with Jedi robes (courtesy of his brilliant and talented Mom who made them all from tan pillowcases) and inflatable light sabers. (Pretty sure those weren’t to Jedi code, though.)

After some Jedi training from Mom, Darth Maul made an appearance, who may or may not have been Bobby’s Dad. (Hey, the little guy is reading now and I’m sure he reads his Aunt & Uncle’s Journal religiously so our lips are sealed.) The day was complete with frenzied present opening (LOTS of Star Wars related gifts as you can imagine), Hans Rolo and Pretzel Saber treats and of course, our favorite treat of all – CAKE! You know we love us some cake – birthday, wedding, you name an occasion and we’re pretty sure it should always include cake. This one did not disappoint in it’s sugary goodness either. (Side note: do you think we’re going to lose our Colorado Card by eating something so unhealthy? Eh, oh, well. It’s worth it.) Once the party was over though, we all slid into a cake and crazy 6 year old induced coma. Can’t wait for next year! Hmmmm…..what theme do you think he’ll pick?

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The birthday boy in action, practicing his light saber moves.

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Even Grandpa (Jennifer’s Dad) got in on the “fun”.

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They attacked with serious ferociousness!

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Pretty sure Kyra was the only one who got a hug after her present was opened. Who can blame him. Such a cutie!

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Whew. Just reliving the fabulous and fan day via photos makes us tired. Ok, that and the cake we had in order to celebrate this personal Journal post. 😉

Happy Birthday, Bobby!! We love you and are so happy we could celebrate your birthday with you!

xoxo,
…aunt “a” and uncle “b”