Colorado Outdoor Weddings

Matt and Julie's Sapphire Point Engagement Photos

Matt and Julie’s Sapphire Point Engagement Session | Dillon, Colorado Engagements | Lake Dillon Photography | Apollo Fields Wedding Photographers

I’ve never described a view as “sticky” before, but that’s the word that came to mind after we wrapped Matt and Julie’s engagement session at Sapphire Point in Dillon, CO. It was like the feeling I got as a kid when it began to get dark and there was just one inning left in our wiffle ball game. “Just one more inning, mom!” It’s this feeling that this moment is all that exists and to leave it would be to deny yourself an experience that you will never get back. Call it juvenile or dramatic but I think 12-year-old me and 31-year-old me might be on to something.

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Our first meeting with Matt and Julie happened in one of our favorite places—a brewery. Oasis Brewing Company in the Highlands neighborhood of Denver, CO, is a multi-level, exposed-brick venue with rustic wooden tables and industrial steel beams to anchor the open, charming space (I actually helped re-open it in March 2018). Once we grabbed a beer we all took a seat at one of the banquet tables along the wall and chatted about Matt and Julie’s wedding in Littleton, CO, in May 2020. The conversation mimicked the space in which we spoke: laid-back, organized, and youthful yet sophisticated. 

Matt (a lawyer) and Julie (a teacher) represent the kind of couples that we are grateful to attract and meet. Matt and Julie know what they want, aren’t afraid to ask questions, and their communication is a wonderful mix of professional, candid, and casual. These conversational cornerstones allows us to navigate the complexity of wedding photography, i.e. “what do we get?” or “what are we paying for?”, with ease. Instead of bogging down the meeting in the details, we candidly ask what they are looking for in wedding photography as we all casually take a sip of our beer. This way, we can deliver a customized package based on their priorities rather than trying to sell them products or services they’re not interested in. Of course, we don’t expect every one of our couples to know what they want like Matt and Julie, but it’s definitely something we’re grateful for when it comes down to the brass tacks of wedding photography (totally thought it was “brass tax” until I Googled it). 

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Fast forward a few months and we’re meeting Matt and Julie at Matt’s family home in Dillon for their engagement shoot. We were welcomed by his mother and father, two dogs, and a brilliantly blue Colorado sky quickly approaching our coveted golden hour. We began by taking a stroll down by the cliffs of their home for a more casual start before we made our way up to the photographer-and-chipmunk occupied Sapphire Point (seriously, there were adorable little chipmunks scampering everywhere). Luckily, we came on a Sunday night when it wasn’t that busy, we don’t even want to imagine the amount of hikers we would have photoshop out of a picture on a Saturday afternoon.

The love was real, the mood was romantic, and the view was...sticky. Everything about Matt and Julie’s engagement session made my eyes and heart want to stay but it was starting to get dark. It was an experience I may never to get to live again exactly, but perhaps that’s the best way to appreciate a moment. To allow your desires to remain a bit unsatiated, to walk up the hiking path away from the view so that your mind clings to its pristine image in all its glory. I can still see that sunset when I close my eyes, and even though I won’t know how that wiffle ball game was supposed to end, maybe I’m not supposed to. 

Enjoy Julie & Matt’s Engagement Photos:

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Breweries and happy couples… these are a few of our favorite things…

Hanging with Matt and Julie after their Sapphire Point engagement photos! What better place to connect than over a craft beer! If that makes us hipsters then you should expect handlebar mustaches on both of us shortly!

Kelly and Alec’s Mountain Wedding at Wedgewood Boulder Creek

Apollo Fields | Wedgewood Weddings at Boulder Creek | Intimate Wedding Photos | Candid Wedding Photography

The modernization of traditions keeps our jobs as wedding photographers fresh and inventive. From DIY ceremonies and weddings in the woods to more conventional rituals in churches; each wedding reveals each couple’s unique relationship to their respective belief systems. Kelly and Alec’s catholic wedding at Sacred Heart of Mary and reception at Wedgewood-Boulder Creek in Boulder, Colorado, showed us that you can both honor your past and embrace the new.

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Before Kelly and Alec’s wedding, I never knew the significance of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment. But when we went to photograph Kelly and Alec’s first touch (a version of a “first look” where a couple doesn’t see each other) right near a fountain with a golden statue of St. Francis, Alec filled me in after they shared a few moments of beautiful tension. Alec spoke about St. Francis the same way that an environmentalist speaks about Jane Goodall, worshipping the person for what they mean to the natural world rather than elevating them as an idol outside the realm of natural phenomena. It was incredibly refreshing to see someone who holds a monotheistic belief system so close to their heart also share a deep love for Mother Nature. 

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Following the ceremony inside the church, the caravan climbed Boulder Creek Canyon Road to the reception hall a few minutes into the foothills of the Rockies. Wedgewood-Boulder Creek is an immaculately designed, accessible, and romantic setting to host one of life’s most precious gatherings. Upon entering the space you can hear the trickle of Boulder Creek, just as the friendly staff of the venue greet you with your favorite refreshments and libations. The flow of the property mimics the way the creek carves its way through the mountains, allowing for family and friends to naturally convene on patios and berms of fresh green grass. There is no doubt in my mind that St. Francis helped Kelly and Alec choose this venue to celebrate their love.

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On a day where clouds were kept at bay, golden hour floated in the early evening air like lightning bugs on a summer night. We borrowed Kelly and Alec from their celebration for a few romantics down by the creek and thanks to their genuine chemistry we didn’t keep them for long. They spun and smiled and danced and frolicked. They kissed. They unabashedly enjoyed themselves, wrapping their arms around one another like vines around a tree. Undeniably in love, we laughed, snapped pictures, and danced with them. When love is as natural as the trees, the breeze, or the trickle of the creek, you better believe that you’re doing something right. If Kelly and Alec wouldn’t take credit themselves, I’m sure they’ll be thanking St. Francis for a long time to come.

Vendors:

Venue | Wedgewood - Boulder Creek

Dress | Madison James

Floral | Painted Primrose, Sabia Magrun

DJ/Band | Diamond Empire Band

Suit | Generation Tux

Rings | Shane Co.

Hair & Makeup | Serenity Salon- Arvada

Cake | Kelly Leigh Cakes

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Oh Hey!

It’s us at the end of the night having the best time with Kelly & Alec.

Mercie & Dan’s Rollins Pass Engagement Shoot in Nederland, CO

Mercie & Dan’s Engagement Session | Rollins Pass Nederland, Colorado | Mountain Engagements | Apollo Fields

As night gave way to day, rays of sunshine swept away the shadows on the trees, lifting golden purples and greens to contrast with the muted blue sky. The morning chill still lingering in the air brought our breaths and bodies closer together as our reflections shivered upon the reservoir’s still surface. Movements warm our bodies just as emotions stir our souls; and there’s always that one look during these engagement sessions that reveals this inward dance in the eyes of our couples—a sort of intimate revelation—that leaps from their irises like the first light over a dark horizon. 

Mercie and Dan were first set up in high school and their relationship still shines with an optimistic and exuberant young energy. Bolstered by their strong and confident characters, it’s hard not to be enamored by the story of how Mercie asked Dan to prom by spelling it out in sushi at Dan’s first experience with the Japanese culinary tradition. Cuter still is how Mercie doubled down on this romantic gesture when asking Dan to marry her! (If that doesn’t immediately make you think of a scene in a romantic comedy I don’t know what does.) Their happiness during their engagement shoot in Nederland was as palpable as the smiles on their faces. Kind of like what Dan said about the first time she told Mercie she loved her (at prom), “[the words] just sort of fell out of my face.”

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Bearing witness and documenting relationships like Mercie and Dan’s is just one of the many reasons why Heather and I love running Apollo Fields. Whether it’s the privilege of connecting with such loving people, or appreciating a love in an idyllic yin-and-yang, conditional-meeting-unconditional balance that serves as a reminder for Heather and I’s own symbiotic relationship, or perhaps the most practical and paramount point— what these photos mean to them. Around every corner of every moment of these engagement sessions are parts of life to be appreciated. We promise to never to forget that. For our sake—and for Apollo Fields’ sake.

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Mercie and Dan aren’t sure where or when they are going to get married, but we hope to be there. They’re moving to California in a couple months and we’d follow them coast-to-coast, hell maybe even continent-to-continent if they asked us. We’re so excited for them to start this next journey together and know that they have all of the support they will ever need.

Sometimes in life you take leaps and sometimes you take bruises. “You learn to figure things out,” Mercie said, “I am who I am through trial and error.” I believe that the freedom to explore the world inside and outside ourselves is the key to finding enduring happiness and supportive partners. By staying close to home, or refusing to acknowledge the movements of the emotions inside our bodies and minds, our worldviews become myopic and close-minded. Learning to take risks and choosing to be brave opens an entire world of experiences, so if you’re looking for that little push—just remember—that first light is just on the other side of the dark horizon.

Here’s to you Mercie and Dan!

Colorado Engagement Photography:

Colorado Wedding Photography | Apollo Fields

Running a Business with Your S.O.

Running A Business With Your Significant-Other | Husband and Wife Photographers | Destination Weddings Lifestyle Blog | Apollo Fields

I woke to the sound of a sweeping rain over Montauk Lake, spraying the French doors of our friend’s guest bedroom like the ocean smashing against a cluster of coastal rocks.  White caps shifted about the marina like tiny crowns of the sea as the wind buoyed the boats with a sort of smooth violence. Emerging from beneath the clean and warm white sheets of the bed posed a difficult task as Heather and I have been traveling up and down the eastern seaboard the past few days, but such is the hustle of the life of wedding photographers.  

Since this past Friday, Heather and I have spent over 20 hours in the car together.  As much as I love her, anyone who’s traveled that much with their significant other can imagine the frustrations that might arise.  Now imagine that your significant other is also your business partner.  Those 20 hours now sound like they could be that much more tense—and they absolutely can be. Yet as tired and frustrated as I have been (and still am) I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The sounds in our car during a road trip vary from Kendrick to talk radio, from laughter to earnestness, and business to barking dogs.  The mood shifts from conversation-to-conversation, state-to-state, and from day to night. Long road trips with a significant other are common litmus tests to see if the relationship is the real deal; but a long road trip for a professional and romantic partnership is an endless loop of perfecting the way you communicate.  Heather and I’s flare-ups range from disagreeing on something as trivial as choosing where to eat or when to stop, and something as serious as our next big business move.  But the most important thing is to keep the conversation going.

Ironically, sometimes the best way to do that is to embrace a silence.  So often we are quick to fill a void in time with mindless chatter, a podcast, or background tunes and we forget that our seemingly restless minds just wants us and our senses to shut the fuck up.  Silence can be a great teacher, and giving the space for the tensions of our relationships to dissipate into the air can prove to be much more productive than spewing whatever our egos or inner selves are dying to say.  Sometimes in a disagreement—no one person is right—and sometimes you both are. Taking the time to share a few moments of silence together has helped us more times than I can count.

This morning was one of those mornings when you wake up after you’ve traveled so much that you forget where you are.  The constant waves of rain gently splashing against the doors gave me a sense of ease amidst the chaos, reminding me that there’s always beauty to be found in any given situation.  Sometimes we don’t realize how fast we’re moving until we stop for a moment to look at how far we’ve come; then after we wipe the sweat from our brow, rest a little, and take a deep breath, we can go back to bouncing up and down in the tide, moving naturally with the wind through time with a sort of smooth violence.  

– Terrence

Anet & Ian's Engagement Photos on a Farm

Anet and Ian’s engagement photos | hunterdon county wedding photographers | apollo fields | New York wedding photography | farm wedding photographers | wedding writer

There’s something about looking out into a field from the wooden porch of a farm that makes you want to take a deep, full breath.  Maybe it’s the way that twilight seems to color the evening sky a little longer than it does in the city. Maybe it’s the smell of dinner from the stove that sweeps through the house and makes the screen door squeak.  Or maybe—it’s just the company that we find ourselves in.

Heather and I plan to create such a life on a farm together one day...but it looks like Anet and Ian are going to beat us to the punch!  We can’t wait to photograph their wedding next May at The Farmhouse at the Grand Colonial in Hunterdon County, New Jersey because we love being on farms with wandering animals, freshly cut grass, and seasonal vegetables.  And if it’s up to Heather, we’ll being feeding our horse, Limbo, through the kitchen window from the palms of our hands one day. 

Funny enough, Heather met Anet over 10 years ago in the—you guessed it—horse world.  As an equestrian novice, I’ve learned that the bond between a rider and their horse should never be underestimated; and apparently neither can the social ties between horse people.  It’s one of the everybody seems to know everybody kind of communities; a blast to be a part of and an absolute mystery to the rest of us.  In the years to come I hope to be integrated into the community through meeting people like Anet and Ian, who is also apparently a pretty deft hand at polo.  (I, on the other hand used to think that the players hit the ball with the small end of the mallet. facepalm.)

For us, one of the most alluring aspects of the living on a farm is learning to utilize fresh produce all-year round. Whether you’re storing, preserving, pickling or crunching into a spear of asparagus fresh out of the soil, there ain’t nothing quite like biting into some really fresh, homemade food.  Despite the fact that both Anet and Ian are afraid of birds, they’re also excited to start a farm and get some chickens—and we’re excited for them!  (We miss our little Colorado flock!) Anet and Ian’s plan after their wedding is to begin their family farm in the hills of Ireland and we couldn’t be happier for them.  As long as they share their vegetables.  

    Shooting weddings on farms feels like we’re part of a family or something.  Like we can hear the dinner bell and remember to hide the grass stains on our knees.  It’s the comfort of a shared table, the waves of chatter, and the clanking of glasses and silverware.  It’s the raucous bursts of laughter. There’s so much warmth in my thoughts when I think of farm life that it makes photographing weddings on farms one of my favorite things to do.  It may be because of the fresh food and long summer evenings—or maybe—it’s just the company we find ourselves in.

Our First Colorado Wedding Weekend of 2019

Colorado Outdoor Wedding Photographer | Apollo Fields | Long Island Wedding Photographer | Golden, CO | Longmont, CO | Altona Grange Hall | The Pines at Genesee | Clear Creek |

Wow. What a weekend. Two weddings, an engagement shoot, a maternity session and all of the friends, outdoors, and craft beer in between.  Back when I was bartending in New York City in my mid-twenties, my older regulars would always say, “your twenties are great—but just wait for your thirties,” and I never quite believed them because my life was dope AF.  But now as we come back to New York after this epic extended weekend of professionalism mixed with genuine connections and long-lasting friendships, I’m beginning to understand what they were talking about.

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    At Apollo Fields we like to be as connected to our couples as much as possible.  That means spending time with them and their families, laughing through the embarrassing stories, and working through the inevitable bumps in the road that hosting a wedding brings. At Naomi and Johnny’s outdoor wedding in Colorado this past weekend at the Pines at Genesee, we saw some familiar faces (Naomi’s cousin is Dylan Kintish, whose wedding to Alli Bell we shot in the August 2017) and embraced new ones.  We’ve sort of become their family photographers and we’re loving every second of it!  Every wedding we shoot we get a little better at inserting ourselves into these wonderful intimate circles that envelope our couple’s lives; and every wedding we shoot our storytelling ability gets that much stronger, especially as we develop these long-lasting relationships with our couples and their families.

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    Speaking of lasting relationships, we captured these maternity shots of Lindsey and her husband, Jeff, who got married in November 2017 at Grant-Humphrey’s Mansion. It humbles us to know that our previous couples trust us to continue to document the most pivotal moments of their lives. In the coming weeks, once Lindsay and Jeff’s baby is born, Heather will also be their newborn photographer and storyteller, and it’s these deeper connections that enrich our hearts long after we hear the couple say, “I Do.”    

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    Another wonderful couple of ours, Casey and Thomas, had an outdoor wedding in Colorado at Altona Grange Hall in Longmont this weekend.  Our trusted photography associate, Sara, captured their destination wedding beautifully, telling us of their community-centric approach.  Casey and Thomas held a two-hour cocktail hour to offer more time to connect with their guests who traveled a long way to enjoy their special day.  They even gave a personal heartfelt toast to express their gratitude to all who made the trip. We love when our couples explore the customizations of wedding planning and cater to their values rather than outdated traditions.  

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    Then there was this engagement session in Golden Gate Canyon State Park with our dear friends, Kat and Brett.  I developed a great relationship with Kat while bartending at Oasis Brewing Company in Denver, but it was this session that made me realize our friendship is in for the long haul.  Kat and Brett are goofy but professional, serious but light-hearted, and celebrate their rough edges with a self-deprecating elegance. Documenting these intimate moments brought us all closer together as we helped them conquer the shyness that freezes most couples when they pose in front of the lens.  “We couldn’t imagine anyone else taking these photos,” Kat said.  Funny thing is, I couldn’t imagine anyone else taking them either.  It made me think, who else should document these intimate moments in your life other than people who make you feel most comfortable, most yourself, and most happy?  I don’t mean to toot our own horns (OK, maybe I do), but this entire trip set in cement what Apollo Fields is all about.

    At Apollo Fields, we connect with our couples. We embrace the raw and the genuine. We don’t settle for anything other than what your soul carries. We don’t just want to be a part of your wedding day, we want to be part of your lives.

So if my twenties were about exploring the world to find myself, then my thirties are about finding who I want to spend my life with.  And I gotta admit—after this trip—our lives are looking pretty damned good.