As I sit here waiting for the ball to drop, with Portlandia on and a glass of wine, it is hard to not reflect on the past year not only for my personal life but for my business. I had what turned out to be the hardest year of my life. I had a relentless stream of bad luck, had to move my business to another state, was nearly homeless and was a single mom to my two kids all while trying to build this business.
My little piece of the photography world is my entire existence. From the time I wake up in the morning and even in my dreams (I have nightmares where its dark and I've left my flash at home, etc...) I am thinking about photography and my clients. The ones who took a chance on me this last year were all so unique and all so kind. I felt like family by the end of my weddings and continue to chat with all of my lovely couples as the months go on.
My hope for 2020 is to actually take my foot off the pedal a little bit and be a bit more selective with projects I am passionate about. As my life changes, I am starting to prioritize my family a bit more. Last year I worked for survival, in 2020 I will set more hours for myself that allow me to focus on things I enjoy- like reading and spending time with my family. I know this will make me a better photographer. I also know I need to let the small stuff roll off my back next year. My emotions have been way too wrapped up in rejection in 2019 and I need to work harder at relaxing (I've found 4 new grey hairs).
Now to reflect on the good times; my cool AF weddings from 2019:
Cowboy Church, Colorado Springs
The year started with a sweet, Scottish themed elopement at a Cowboy Church (a first for me) last winter. Teresa looked absolutely gorgeous in her tartan and everyone knows I am a big fan of kilts, so no complaints there. With a handful of guests and a singing cowboy preacher, the elopement was so intimate and dear to my heart to this day. You can truly find love at any age.
Caitlin & Wayne
In April, I escaped the cold and headed down to one of my favorite historic cities on the East Coast- Savannah. Caitlin and Wayne eloped in a lush park with iconic hanging moss with absolutely perfect weather. Caitlin and her family are super southern and knew how to make every detail tie into the traditional elegance of the day. This will always go down as one of my favorite elopements and personally some of my best work- which is what such a humble and friendly couple deserved.
Sam & Adam
Jersey City, New Jersey
Sam and Adam's wedding was a dream from the beginning. The venue had epic views of Manhattan, they are a stunning couple and they knew how to party before the sun went down. Don't get me wrong, it was scorching hot, but their rooftop wedding went flawlessly. They hand fasted too, which always holds a place in my heart. The color palette they chose went so well with the maritime theme and summer and allowed me to feel like I was shooting something straight out of Martha Stewart Weddings. Also: their first look made me cry, that's when you know a couple is meant to be.
AJ & Kristen
I had known Kristen for so many years, I took her family photos back when we both lived in South Carolina, and was ecstatic when I saw she was finally engaged to her fiancé AJ. Kristen is a monogram queen, so I expected at least a few to be present at her wedding (she had it projected on the wall during the reception) and I also knew she was extra, so there was a fireworks show. Her son Hayden was probably the best child dancer I have ever seen and their couples portraits were absolute fire. So worth the eleven hour drive with my kids.
Denise & Nick
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Denise and Nick's summer wedding absolutely tore at my heart strings. Denise walked down the aisle to Gregory Alan Isakov and they read handwritten vows to each other in an historic chapel at La Foret. The bridesmaid dresses were the perfect color for a Colorado wedding and Denise looked stunning in her open back gown. The bridal party stole the show most of the night, I had so much fun partying in the woods with these guys from Atlanta!
Claire & Tommy
These two. Absolute legends. They hired me, I'm pretty sure, because we are both fans of Lord Huron and they not only walked out for their first cast as husband and wife to them, but had their first dance to them as well. Claire was a no frills bride but was absolutely stunning in her mom's wedding dress. Tommy took time out of his reception to eat a taco out back with me and I will never forget it. They are on their way soon for their second wedding in Laos where Tommy's family is from and I am so ecstatic to see what they dream up for that one!
Mia & Branden
I first fell in love with Mia and Branden- yes I just said that- when they went for my crazy Lumineers themed engagement session. I photographed them driving around and eating pizza and brushing their teeth with their fingers, seriously. When it came time for their wedding day, I was so excited for them to finally tie the knot. Their venue, The Wellshire Inn, was so reminiscent of Tudor England, so I was aesthetically appeased as a bonus. They are so deserving and will always be a part of my life in Colorado. I just took their family photos for Christmas and all- they are just precious from the inside out. We need more people like them in the world!
Meghan & Lindsey
Where do I even begin with these two? My first ever Colorado booking, I have been out for more drinks than I can even count with them and they threw the most perfect backyard wedding known to man. Their vows at Garden of the Gods absolutely destroyed me and the way they were both so nervous before the ceremony, despite the fact they have been together for so long, was testament to how much they are truly meant to be. Also, can we discuss how they both didn't see each others dresses and yet managed to match perfectly? Another couple I know will be in my life for a long time. Especially since they are really good at making me laugh.
Cody & Alyssa
I don't know how you all do these backyard weddings so well, but Cody and Alyssa's took the cake for October. They had worked on their grass for ages to get it perfect for their ceremony and their decor was perfect for the autumn. Cody and Alyssa knew how to relax and savor the moment, there was absolutely no stress and we had a blast exploring Littleton together to get some couples portraits. After I took their engagement photos at Red Rock Canyon, I had a feeling they were beyond ready to be married in front of the people they love and I was honored to have been a part of it.
Dustin and Haley
I flew back down to my old stomping grounds in Florida to drive on over to photograph my best friend Megan's best friend (that makes sense right?) wedding in Biloxi. They didn't skip a detail- the rustic barn wedding was stocked with whiskey barrels as bar tables, multiple cakes and cupcakes and lots of good champagne. My favorite part was using my rental VW bug for bridal portraits to spice up the photos. While the weather didn't cooperate enough for an outdoor ceremony, the party was not inhibited at all and the dancing lasted well into the night. Haley and Dustin were so charming and in love, I left the wedding feeling so happy for them.
Aaron & Nicole
East Providence, Rhode Island
I have known Nicole and Aaron forever. Nicole is like a sister to me, so I LITERALLY would not allow anyone else to shoot her wedding. The kids and I flew back to Rhode Island and got to witness the best day of their lives. It is a running joke that Nicole has been planning this since the day she met Aaron and it was shocking to believe the day was actually there. It was a chilly, New England fall day so the ceremony was held in front of a fireplace at the Metacomet Country Club. The mantle was decorated beautifully with roses and greens and the ceremony was full of laughs. Nicole's dress wins for quite possibly the most beautiful one I had seen all year. No need to say anything else about these two- they are family for real and will have a long, happy life together.
Nicole & Brad
Black Forest, Colorado
Okay I know I say this every time, but these two have become our best "mates" here. We originally bonded when I had them over to my house for some music and gin to discuss their wedding but then over the year Nicole and Brad have been our favorite people to double date with. Their November wedding was brutally cold, but just worked with all the winter vibes. Nicole's silk flowers by Flintwood Floral made the room burst with color and the bouquets were perfectly matched the bridesmaids shawls. The groomsmen all had super hero t shirts under their actual shirts, which was a sign of how easy going the couple is. There were also Nicole and Brad tattoos. Not even kidding. There was not a dry eye in the house during their ceremony but I knew the party after would be epic and it was. I believe about 15 pizzas were delivered and Nicole and Brad danced the night away with glow sticks. Weddings should ALWAYS be that fun.
Danyelle & Robert
Colorado Springs, Colorado
My last elopement of 2019 was something special. This couple was sweet and humble and everything you could possibly dream for in a client. We went to Till with their family after (I am good friends with Danyelle's sister Cortney) and they seriously took us in as their own. This couple lives in Nevada, so mountains and snow was something they desperately hoped for. Luckily it had snowed a few days before, so their wish was granted. I am still chipping away on these photos but loving every minute of editing them.
So that's it guys...
I just want to say thank you for all the support over the last year- you all have literally put food on the table and allowed me to travel the country. I can not wait to photograph my 2020 families, babies and couples and explore a bit more of Colorado.