Monday, December 31

Additional photos that I liked.

Making blog titles can be taxing. Maybe they would be easier if I did not wait until 1:30AM to post... anyhow, sticking with the antique theme for one image, here are a few more from Leigh and Rocco's Christmas wedding up in Estes Park.

Friday, December 28

Christmas Bride

Leigh, married on Dec. 27th, 2007.

Tuesday, December 11

WPJA Third Quarter Contest Results

First Place! Yes! Check it out:

JUDGES COMMENTS: Love the feeling of the wedding couple all dressed up and out in the wilderness in the rain. The groom protecting the bride from wet is a lovely and symbolic gesture and the two walking into the wild together is a nice metaphor.

Like a scene from a wide-screen movie, the bride is led away into the mist. It’s a kind of purposely timeless image.

A beautiful painting by working with the weather elements and presenting Something poetic with substance.

A bit too romantic and looks a little less spontaneous than i would have liked but a great sense of place

Wow, if only I knew who said what. It is amazing to think such great photographers looked at my work. More on that later. I would like to respond to that last comment. The Judge is correct to be weary of wedding images. Though the WPJA stresses very strongly that NONE of the images are to be set-up, (except portraits) you do have wonder about some of the entries. Especially given that, as wedding photojournalists, we are entirely self-regulated when it comes to ethics. That said, let me take this opportunity to state, this image was not set-up. The bride and groom were headed out into the wilderness near Breckenridge for a portrait session, but this was taken before the session started. I snapped the frame while in my car getting my gear together, and wrapped up to protect it from the rain. It was actually shot through my rain-soaked car window, and that is what give it the more muddy look. I WISH I were a good enough portrait photographer to think of photos like this, but instead, I just have to hang out and wait until a great moment happens, then grab it.

I also snagged a 20th place..

While your there, be sure to check out all the winning images. I love being a part of the WPJA because there is so much talent in that group. The winning images are always very inspiring.

Okay, now, the most important part of this contest is found here:

The Judges. For those of you who follow photojournalism, they need no introduction. For those who dont, let me just say, these folks are at the VERY tip-top of a very competitive field. I can say I am humbled to think that they looked at my images, but that would be an understatement. Check out their work, as always, by clicking the VII photo link on the right side of my blog.

Monday, December 10

another example

...of what I wrote about yesterday. This is Rebecca and Zach during the toasts... always a great time for capturing great emotion.

Sunday, December 9

Loosing the Side Effect.

I think one of the biggest mistakes young photographers make, (I was guilty of it) is to constantly try and put their own stamp on the images. When you have a dynamic person in your frame, you really just need to point the camera at your subject, (making sure exposure and all that is correct of course). This cute little flower girl is a great example. (I think she was somewhat overwhelmed with the hustling goings on during bride prep). You dont want to flub up a shot because your trying to get a cool composition or something creative. That is the interesting thing about photojournalism. Of all the fields of photography, it is the least concerned with composition, light, texture, etc. If that is there, fine, but its not the point. One of the oldest sayings in the profession is, "f8 and be there". That is referring to the fact that at f8, one a wide lens, you probably dont have to focus (lots of depth of field). So all you do is point the camera at what is happening. There-in lies the lesson. The photojournalism is about getting there, not in the making of the photo. It just so happens however, that photojournalists manage to pull off interesting composition and lighting in all the myriad of shooting, but always as a side effect, not the impetus for shooting. This may sound obvious, but it is a lesson that took me a while to learn.

Saturday, December 8

Photoshop Wandering

Here is a portrait from way back in June, Anthony, of Olivia and Anthony fame, and his groomsmen. I just finished their album this week, so their images have been on my mind a bit. Every once in a while, an image will strike me, and I'll just sit with it in photoshop for a few hours, not exactly sure what I am doing, just searching for a look.

Friday, December 7

Kelley and Jeff revisited

Here are another couple favorites from Kelley and Jeff's wedding a few weeks ago. I am trying to post a lot the images that have slipped through the cracks over the last couple months. I have so many images from each wedding that I'd like to post, but I just get busy with the next wedding, and usually these images never see the light of day... except via the online proofing.

The first image is a portrait of the couple in the lights of an enclosed pathway just outside the Chruch. It was a late afternoon ceremony in the winter, so you loose the light pretty quickly. That is when its nice to find some artificial light that might make something unexpected. The second photo is of the grand exit from the Church. I usually dont use flash, but I knew this situation warranted something sharp. I used a little trick to make sure the the flash only hit the couple, and the guests. That way, the surrounding lights keep the energetic feeling, while the couple themselves are crisp and sharp. I like how the effect works in this frame. As with all my blog posts, it really helps to click on the image and see a larger version.

Thursday, December 6

Alexis and Phil Revisted

I just finished Alexis and Phil's album last week, and I liked a lot of the photos they chose for the book. That is one of the best things about this business, I am often surprised by the images my clients choose for their final book.

In the newspaper business, you have photos editors who choose your images. It is an interesting dynamic, because the photo editor is constantly trying to decide which of your images will read best with the public. In that sense, the editor's job is to know and understand a photo like a layperson. That is an oversimplification, but it is at least one aspect of the photo editor's job. This is very difficult, because if you see thousands of photos a day, you do loose the eye of the layperson. Compared to wedding photography, where you get direct feedback from your clients every day. There is no photo editor to act as a middleman between the public and me. I like that dynamic, because I know, if the client does not understand the image, it is too complex of an image, end of story. Whereas, at a newspaper, the photo editor might tell me the image is too complex, and I would not necessarily believe them. I was constantly thinking my editors were underestimating the public's ability to understand photos. And thus far, in my experience working with clients, I think I was right. Then again, my clients aren't exactly the "general" public, they all seem to have a good sense of style. Like Alexis and Phil for example.

Alexis is a professional herself, and so does not have the eye of a layperson. She does however have a great eye, and was able to choose several images that I missed in editing her wedding images.

One final note, I want to make it clear that the eye of the general public is not a bad thing. Photography is about communication, and when your images communicates well, everyone will understand it. That is the goal. The goal is not to make subtle images only understood by folks with doctorates in fine art. That is why I enjoy the feedback from the general public. I suppose Alexis and Phil's images were not the best example of that, since she is in the biz. But in the true nature of a blog, this is just what I was thinking about when I was editing these images.

Tuesday, November 27

The Life of Winter

If you have been following this blog, you'll know that I dont often post engagement portraits. (i.e. not yet ever) But, I had such a great session the other day with Leigh and Rocco, the images needed to get published. You might think an engagement session in the dead of winter would not be a good idea, but that is where you would be wrong. Leigh and Rocco had a great attitude, and it communicated very well onto the images. Here are a few of my favorites. 

We had to go into Union Station for a bit to warm up.

You know, all this has me thinking. Its popular to get married in the summer and all, but I think more people should consider winter weddings. I always seem to get very striking images in the winter. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that you see so many summery wedding photos, a winter photo really stands out. Anyhow.. I am looking forward to Leigh and Rocco's wedding coming up in a few weeks.  I hope it snows!

Friday, November 23


I had the pleasure of photographing Kelley and Jeff's nuptials last weekend.  It was a great wedding with lots of good shots, and most surprisingly, I got a few good ones of the groomsmen.  The harsh lights of the church seemed to play well with men in suits.  

Thursday, November 15

A Coors and a Camel

SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, And May Complicate Pregnancy

What the rules regarding images of people smoking on a blog? Do I have to post that warning? At first, I did it as a joke, but now I am actually wondering... Anyhow, this is what guests do at weddings. Often, they are totally surprised to see me taking their photo (when they do catch me in the act). "What is there to photograph here?" they say. "Dont take my photo while I'm smoking!" they cringe.

Monday, November 12

Mother and Daughter

The title of this post says it all.

Tuesday, October 23

Hey, let me put this fire in your mouth, no really, its cool, trust me.

Hey, so guess what Leslie and Robert taught me this past weekend; apparently, Canadians like to light their drink on fire before swallowing. I had to work this scene a bit before the shot finally came out, good thing there was no shortage of folks interested in lighting their mouths on fire.

Monday, October 15

Help Wanted: Photo Editor

I have at least ten weddings that I have yet to really go through with a fine tooth comb and find the images that I think really shine. There could be some gems in there, in fact, I am absolutely sure there is. Like this one from Erin and Eric's wedding a few weeks ago. I really like it, but I'm not sure it reads well for someone who was not there. For me, it is clearly Eric wiping sweat from his brow moment before his bride appeared. But, I can see how it might be too abstract for that story-line to communicate to someone who was not at the wedding.

Sunday, October 14

First Dance, Last Dance

Another couple images from Tara and Craig's wedding up at the Grant Humphrey's. I like the contrast in styles of the first and last dance...

Deep Red Levels

Tara and her friends enjoy the cocktail hour musicians. This particular image has great levels, as they are known in the biz. There are seven story-lines going on in the same frame, at different levels, foreground, background, mid-ground, etc. I also like the deep red color from the band's light.

Strong Emotion

Tara was a beautiful bride to photograph because of her unveiled and honest expression of emotion. Evan at a distance, you can empathize with her emotion. At first she looks a bit scared, then, I'm not exactly sure, but I think maybe she was a bit overwhelmed. The day had been fairly hectic, and all of a sudden, there she was, walking down the aisle with her dad.

Friday, October 12

Bee Stings are Good Luck

Ouch! I have been to many weddings, but Tara was the first bride I have seen stung by a bee. Her sister, a professional wedding photographer as well, was taking some portraits on the lawn of the Grant-Humphreys Mansion when a bee crawled up in her bonnet. Tara's bridesmaids have now decided to make it known, that, like rain, bee stings are good luck.

Wednesday, October 10

WPJA & Brides Magazine Awards

It was announced today that two of my images have placed in the Bride's Magazine WPJA (Wedding Photojournalist Association) contest. Here are the links:

I am telling you, this wedding photojournalism is really taking off. It used to be, that if you were a talented photojournalist, you would work for the top magazines and newspapers of the world, but I think we are seeing a shift in this paradigm. The fact is, it is near impossible to make a living working for the top magazines and newspapers of the world. Talented photojournalists are learning that weddings are fun, the pay is better, and the images are just as moving. I got into photojournalism because I wanted to make outstanding images, and it turns out that weddings are the place to do that. Heck, pick up a Nat. Geo and the best images are of weddings, just in other parts of the world.

The WPJA just sent me a link yesterday about sponsoring the latest VII photo agency seminar. I have had a link to VII on my blog since I started it. I thought I was one of the few wedding photojournalists who look to VII for inspiration, but it appears I am just one of many. This is a trend, it is bigger than I thought and it is getting bigger. I love it. Maybe, when all us photojournalists are shooting weddings instead of working for the magazines, they'll wise up and starting paying decent wages.

Good day today.

Thursday, October 4

So, you think you can just start posting again, as if you weren't gone for over a month?!?

It has been over a month since my last post. If there exists anyone out there who actually subscribe to my blog, (I have heard rumors of a few) I apologize. I hope you were not too put out by my absence. During that time, DeAnna and I purchased our first home, and that has been the cause of the distraction. My every free moment has been put into closing on the house, and subsequently moving in. I now have my new home office somewhat set-up and the rest of the house is coming along so the blog should be updated more frequently once again.

I should also note, that September was the busiest wedding month I have had yet, so I have loads of new photos on top of the already large heap of "unpublished" work.

I am going to open October with a little attitude from Melissa and Brady's fab wedding from mid-September up at Cherokee Ranch. I think these two shots are hilarious. The opener is Brady trying to figure out the ever elusive male flower. The second, I'm not exactly sure what the flower girls were discussing, but clearly it was not well received.

Thursday, September 13


You'll have to click on the image to see the larger version. This is an image I took just before a wedding on Sunday. It is a Safeway bag in the tree, and I digitally manipulated the bag to read "safe". I like this image.

I know its been too long since I have posted. I have been very busy. Two weddings every weekend since mid-august. I love being this busy! Its just not so good for keeping the blog updated. I should have loads of great posts coming up in October, after the rush.

Wednesday, August 29

Reservoir Dogs

It surprises me that every-time I set-up this shot, people always know it as the Reservoir Dogs shot. Quentin Tarantino has really had a pervasive impact on American culture. I think Brenden and crew were able to pull off the look very well... though, this was not something I set-up, I found them like this, and that always makes for better shots. Notice how Brenden's crew are both holding their jackets, and in the right and left hand respectively. You cant make this stuff up.

Here a couple more along similar lines taken while riding in the back of Brenden's pick-up.

Wednesday, August 22

Congrats to Sara and Brenden in Boulder

Sara and Brenden got hitched at the Sunrise Amphitheater in Boulder, with the reception following at the Rembrandt Yard art gallery.

I like this one because the flash is from a guests camera. This happens quite often actually, but rarely comes out this well. Not only were our shutters synchronized, but their flash was not overpowering to my camera's aperture. That is geek speak, but I'm guessing someone knows what I mean by that. Both the guest and I caught a great moment here, I think.

Monday, August 20

Its an honor just to be nominated...

I have been nominated as one of colorado's best businesses in the new A-list competition. If you like my work, please vote for me here:

Denver's 7 A-List Nominated: Best Photographer in Denver

Then, if I win, I'll include you in my thank you speech. Unless, of course, they play the music before I am able to finish.

less active, yet still good portraits

Okay, so here are a couple photos for which, I think, I can take a bit more credit. These are slightly more tender, more natural moments, that I hope show an entire other dimension of Maggie and David's relationship.

This image has the saturation greatly reduced and a very slight warm tone to enhance the subtle mood.

pizortraits (of Maggie and David)

So, Maggie was like; "we like to take fun photos"

and I was like; "Oh, okay Maggie, that sounds good"

Little did I know, Maggie and David are portrait experts. I'd like to take credit for how super awesome these images are, and sure, I'll take some, but you cant choreograph these things. These two completely blew me away with their athleticism and charisma. Once I saw these images on my camera, I could not wait to get them up on the blog. Thanks Maggie and David!

These images were taken at 10-mile station up in Breckenridge.