Heather Erny

Jenny & Tara's Epic Mountain Engagement Session at Pikes Peak

Jenny & Tara's Epic Mountain Engagement Session | Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs | Denver Engagement Photographer | LGBQ Weddings 

I was so excited when I first heard from Jenny.  She is friends with Lindsey, one of my beautiful brides from 2017 and happened to be looking for a wedding photographer when I delivered Lindsey's photos.  She loved them and immediately reached out to have me photographer her own wedding!  So much of my business is word-of-mouth and I am so grateful for my awesome couples who refer me and connect me to their other awesome-couple-friends.  

I met up with Jenny and Tara and immediately clicked with their fun personalities, and the sweet way in which they interact with each other.  They have a great energy, and I knew right away that I wanted to be their photographer.  They must have felt the same way, because I asked them at our meeting, "Do you ladies have any questions?" and they seamlessly responded with, "How do we book you now?"  Love it!

They initially weren't looking for an engagement session, but I'm so glad that they decided to do one because look at how epic these mountain backdrops were!  A photographer's dream.  I had never been to Pikes Peak before, so I was just in awe of the landscape the whole time.  We caught golden hour (my favorite!) just in time before the park closed.  Literally, they were closing the whole roadway up for sunset and we were being swiftly shuffled out of the park by the time we had captured every last golden ray that we could!  

They also brought their three children and new puppy along for the shoot.  I have quite a few couples that have children and while it might not seem obvious at first to have them present for engagement photos, I feel contrary to that old-fashioned traditional expectation of what it means to be an engaged couple.  Marriage is about partnership and family, and if kids are already part of that equation, I feel like they should be included in some of the pictures.  Oh, and if you have a cute puppy too... that doesn't take any convincing!  We are animal lovers to the core, and have an impossible time keeping our composure around tiny pups.  

Colorado Adventure Photographer:  Erny Photo CO | Apollo Photo

Location:  Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs 

Mary & Brad's Hudson Gardens Winter Wedding in Colorado

Mary & Brad's Winter Mountain Colorado Wedding | Hudson Gardens | Apollo Fields Photojournalism 

Springtime weddings in Colorado can mean flower blossoms, cherry trees blooming, tulips sprouting, or blizzards.  Mary and Brad got a little bit of everything on their wedding day in March at Hudson Gardens.  The day began with full blazing Colorado sun, and by the afternoon had grown ominous and cloudy, then the skies broke into rain, which became hail, which became snow.  It was crazy, but sort of perfect for them because they got SO many different looks for their photographs.  And Mary, especially, wanted snow.  So when the sun went down and we finally got these big huge snowflakes, we couldn't help but to run outside and snap some dreamy romantic snow pictures. 

I loved the modern and simple touches of Mary's lace wedding dress.  Personally, I've always loved lace sleeves, I think they are so classic and surprisingly sexy.  Less isn't always more, and I just love the way that a delicate sleeve can flatter our brides.  Her veil was also simple and classic, it was so fun to photograph through because of the shapes and textures that it creates, and her updo looked great with it on and off.  Modern boho braids showed off her blonde highlights and beautiful cheekbones. 

Their friends and family gathered for a sweet and heartfelt ceremony.  We got to snap fun photos of their friends all gathering together to celebrate and toast their new journey, while kids got to run around and play, and a big fireplace kept everyone toasty as the weather began to turn.  A cozy dinner and then dancing wrapped up their perfect night together, and everyone had such a great time coming together to celebrate their love. 

Hudson Gardens is a great venue for weddings year round because they have acres of countryside gardens with awesome mountain views.  There is a quaint red barn in the back of the property, which is one of my favorite rustic looks.  The farmhouse feeling on one side of the property is perfect for country brides and the cabin in the front of the property is a warm and rustic mountain look.  When the weather is nice, they have plenty of space to celebrate outside, among the trees and flowers and gardens.  With manicured paths and woodsy retreats, there are so many different looks that can be photographed at this venue!

Hudson Gardens Winter Wedding

The day started out as many Colorado days do in March:  A strong sun brought the daytime temperature well into the 60s and I got to ride my horse outside before heading out to shoot Mary and Brad's wedding.  

By the time the afternoon rolled in, so had ominous rain clouds that lingered, but stayed at bay while Mary and Brad arrived at Hudson Gardens with their family and bridal parties.  They say that rain on your wedding day is good luck, but Mary had her heart set on snow instead.  

Here's what I love about shooting in Colorado though.  By the time the night ended, we seemingly had all of the seasons in one day.  Soon after the ceremony, the skies opened up into a hard rain that felt like every element of spring, which was right around the corner, as the little flowers that have recently popped up through the mulch have suggested.  Then, for just a moment it seemed, the rain turned to hail, and then as soon as it started, morphed into big beautiful snowflakes.  Mary got her wish. 

Her elegant and timeless dress was so flattering, and classically beautiful.  I am a sucker for lace dresses with sleeves because I just think they photograph so well, especially when they flow on the bottom without being this big cumbersome and heavy dress.  Mary was able to dance and move effortlessly in her wedding gown.  And her veil was light, simple, and classy.  

The cabin at Hudson Gardens is cozy, with big fireplaces that were adorned with eucalyptus and other woodland greenery.  The floral design was modern, with little roses peeking out around the bolder flowers.  The gardens are beautiful, even in the off-season.  It seems rare to find cactus growing around the evergreens, but feels natural there.  

The big red barn in the back of the property rounds out the property to remind us of the working landscape and rural nature of a garden.  With big open fields and manicured tree lines, we just loved this space for bride and groom portraits.  Rustic details weren't forced in this setting, and the wedding guests had an amazing time celebrating and dancing the night away with their friends.  

Photography:   Apollo Photojournalism shot for Laura Anderson
Venue:  Hudson Gardens 

Bethany & Jono's DIY Wedding in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Bethany and Jono - Intimate DIY Wedding in Colorado Springs, Colorado | Union Printers Home | DIY Wedding Photographer

            When Heather needed me to second-shoot a wedding down in Colorado Springs I wasn’t particularly excited to spend a day in a predominantly conservative town, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Bethany and Jono’s DIY wedding in the Springs reminded me of several unexpected benefits of working in the wedding industry: exposure to different belief systems, the immersion of oneself into the intimate moments of another person’s life, and the power of a family to come together to get things done.

            The morning of Bethany and Jono’s wedding I found myself drinking coffee and eating biscuits in a stranger’s (Bethany’s mother) home, talking to a stranger (Jono) about his relationship with God.  While some cower away from polarizing topics like religion, my background in philosophy piques my curiosity into the mindset of believers. I quickly noticed that Jono was intelligent and relatable, making this dense conversation easily navigable as I openly questions and he provided thoughtful, honest answers.  Jono’s relationship with God was not based in fear but rather a means to hold himself accountable to the decisions that shape his life—it was refreshing to hear such clear insight to such a complicated subject.

            There we sat as the sun poured in through the living room windows as Heather snapped Bethany’s first portraits in her wedding dress.  Jono and I continued our conversation where just a few moments before he peered over the sunflowers in Bethany’s mother’s garden in her backyard during their first look.  It’s crazy that Heather and I are welcomed into intimate moments like these and even crazier than we can have substantive, meaningful conversations amidst the stresses and logistics of the day.

            In the garage, Bethany’s family were putting the finishing touches on the wooden benches that would serve as the seating for the ceremony and the reception.  The image of family members carrying the benches from site-to-site still hangs in my memory to this day like a glimpse into an Amish community or something.  It was like everyone was living in a town and each person had a role and did their part because they are part of a community rather than working for a wage.  That day the sun danced between the clouds, casting shadows for moments but never leaving us for too long.

            The day ended when Bethany and Jono hopped into an old, refurbished 1940’s car with their hands raised into the air.  We said goodbye in the parking lot and when Jono embraced me I saw a real sense of gratitude in his eyes as he appreciated the comfort of our exchange hours earlier.  His family stayed in South Africa and our conversation occupied his otherwise running mind and I felt tears welling behind my eyes.

            Open minds lead to connection and connection can alleviate the unceasing operations of our thought processes.  I’m grateful to meet kind people like Bethany and Jono and hope their families can build little towns like the one I watched them create on their special day in Colorado Springs. 

Apollo Fields: Let Us Tell Your Story

Apollo Fields Wedding Photography | Wedding Writers | New York City | Colorado

            It’s officially launch day for Apollo Fields, Heather and I’s new photojournalistic approach to wedding storytelling!  After working together on The Immeasurable Cookbook: An Ode to the Dirty Apron and countless weddings in between, our new installment, Apollo Fields, represents an extension of our brand, relationship, and ideology. 

            With a literal interpretation of photojournalism, Heather and I will work your wedding, capturing every moment in photo and word while we laugh and smile along the way.  Equipped with an intimate understanding of how to communicate with others both professionally and personally, Apollo Fields is a wedding experience that turns your wedding day into the story it deserves, providing a creative and hospitable service available nowhere else.

             Through creating The Immeasurable Cookbook and working on-site together, Heather and I have developed a love for telling stories.  Whether it was writing our first recipe together or dancing in Chautauqua Park with one of our favorite couples, Alli & Dylan, we couldn’t get enough of putting onto paper the stories that make our lives worthwhile.  Things come and go and people change, but we’ve learned that the way you feel at pivotal points in your life are the peaks of your personal story and they deserve to be more than fleeting memories.  Apollo Fields is a wedding service that eases your mind on the day of your wedding and delivers a handcrafted memento that brings you back to it in the years that follow.

            Invite us to your wedding and let us tell your story through the eyes of your loved ones.  Allow us to help navigate your experience photo-by-photo and sentence-by-sentence until your cheeks hurt from smiling and your stomach hurts from laughing.  When we arrive on-site we are less like vendors and more like family members, immersing ourselves in dance circles and listening to grandpa’s stories for the hundredth time.  Our goal is to let you spend these precious hours floating about your family and friends, sharing stories and reliving the memories that are usually tucked in the back of your mind next to your dreams.          

            Don’t let planning, logistics, or traditions get in the way of the celebration of your love.  Honor the people and institutions that have given you the smiles you wear today and don’t look back.  Keep your eyes towards the future and the adventures you will embark upon.  As for your wedding day – enjoy yourselves – and let us at Apollo Fields tell the story of your love.     

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Andrea & Arash's Destination Wedding in Punta Cana, DR

Andrea & Arash | A Story of Connection and A Relaxed Destination Wedding in the Dominican Republic

            The first time you meet someone you have no idea how big a role (if any) they are going to play in your life.  When I met my friend Mitch at SUNY Cortland, a state college in upstate New York, who would’ve guessed that several years later my fiancé and I would be the photographers for his wife’s sister’s wedding in the Dominican Republic—but as Kurt Vonnegut would’ve said about life’s unpredictability, “and so it goes.”

            In February 2017 Heather and I stepped off a plane into an overcast, muggy day in Punta Cana to head towards a resort complete with the canopied huts and aquamarine waters that define vacation prizes on game shows.  Eager to dip our toes into the warm water, we made it to our air-conditioned room, dropped off our stuff, threw on some flip-flops and swimming trunks and headed to the beach.  As we approached, Andrea and Arash were standing among family and friends, laughing and smiling in a relaxed circle of reclined beach chairs. 

            Between the telling of stories, their eyes lifted to meet ours and they gently drifted towards us with open arms.  I remember their skin being sandy and a little sticky but when you meet someone for the first time and their first move is to hug you rather than shake hands—you know you’re in good company.  We grabbed a couple of drinks from the poolside cabana and joined the circle as we quickly felt like part of the family. 

            We captured Andrea and Arash’s first look beneath an opal dome made of stone, it’s curves and edges as clean and crisp as the vest hugging Arash’s body.  Andrea’s smile shone like the bright glare reflecting off of the white granite floor—almost too beautiful and overwhelming to look at directly.  When they embraced and his arms wrapped around her lower back they whispered into each other’s ears the words reserved for lovers and their eyes slowly drew closed as their smiles pushed their eyelids into a happy recession. 

            Andrea and Arash carried this intimate gentle air all around the resort, strolling on scorching hot stones with the lightness of a breeze flowing across a rippling pool of water.  When they stood at the altar during their ceremony, the guitar strums of Somewhere Over the Rainbow followed suit and the stride of passersby slowed in relaxed admiration of a scene so serene. 

            To think that we would’ve never been in attendance of such an occasion without the meeting of two 18-year-old college kids in upstate New York over ten years ago is an idea that’s hard to wrap your head around.  It shows that life can bring you all sorts of places if you are mindful about the connections you make and the people you decide to keep in your life.

                          Dedicated to Andrea, Arash, and Kayla; Mitch, Diana and Maya.

We love you all.

Caribbean Destination Weddings | Andrea and Arash have their winter wedding in the Dominican Republic

I'm always up for a good destination wedding, but *especially* one in the Dominican Republic during the winter!  The weather was perfection and the company even better.  No better way to break up the cold months than a trip to the islands.

The best part about a destination wedding is that you are surrounded with the friends and family that you will probably have for life.  People make that extra effort to be there, and literally go the distance with you.  Plus you get multiple days with the people you are closest to, rather than just one day with everything packed into the course of a few hours.  

Planning a destination wedding can be surprisingly easy!  Andrea and Arash had an intimate wedding with small wedding parties.  The resort took care of a lot of the moving parts that usually weigh down the planning process.  Catering, cake, decor, room rentals, hotel blocks, DJ, and other vendors were essentially taken care of.  

Hiring their wedding photographer was one of the few vendors that they did not want to use the venue for, however.  It was really important to them to have timeless wedding photography and beautiful albums to look back on, and this was not one of the areas that they wanted to compromise on!  I couldn't agree more.  

Terrence and I flew down a few days early to ensure that we wouldn't have any problems with travel since international flights in the winter can sometimes get a little tricky.  Lucky for us because that is exactly what happened to a few traveling guests.  We flew from Denver International Airport to JFK to Punta Cana.  Little did we know, we just missed the big snow storm in New York!  Unfortunately, a few guests did get stuck in NYC airports and missed the ceremony.  

PLANNING AN INTERNATIONAL DESTINATION WEDDING?  

Always leave extra time for travel!  Flight delays, rental cars, all of these moving parts can go wrong.  We were so glad that we got down there early!  And it meant that we got extra time hanging on the beach and going snorkeling so that was also a bonus! 

Enjoy some of our favorite shots from the day!

Destination Wedding Photography:  Erny Photo CO | Apollo Fields Photojournalism
Venue:  Melia Caribe Tropical Resort | Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Jon & Jen's Destination Wedding at the Chateau De Frontenac in Quebec City

Jon & Jen's Destination Wedding at the Chateau De Frontenac in Quebec City

             Heather and I love road trips.  Being trapped in a car with someone for several hours is the ultimate make-it-or-break-it for a relationship and after the first one you pretty much know how the relationship is going to go.  We like to fill ours with silly games to pass time with the occasional deep talk about various human rights issues or whether we’d prefer to be a reincarnated as a carrot or an apple.  Our eight-plus hour drive from New York City to Quebec City was no different.