Wedding Photographer

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

The Davin's: Revisiting One of My Favorite 2016 Couples

The Davin’s Family Photos | Blauvelt, NY Portraits | Piermont New York Photography | Apollo Fields Wedding Photographer

I had such a great time revisiting one of my favorite couples of 2016 to do their family photos this weekend in Blauvelt, NY! It has been over three years since they’ve been on the other side of my camera and it was so much reconnecting and catching up with this fun and dynamic family! I shot their wedding in Blauvelt, NY which is where Alex grew up. Rae is a dancer from Norway and they met on the basketball court, which is one of Alex’s passions as he used to be a pro basketball player. They own and run AD3 Fitness in NYC and are a total power couple.

They are also one of the sweetest — and obviously gorgeous — couples! They have two daughters, Denise and Jackie, who are both so outgoing and fun to be around. It is definitely a house full of strong women which I obviously love, and Alex is just so in love with his family that it is great to shoot! We met up at their house in Blauvelt and Jackie was just finishing up her nap. She was so sweet when Denise woke her up to do pics because she was obviously still half asleep, but the minute we got to Piermont in the park she immediately livened up!

The girls had a great time running around and playing with the snow, and it was quickly Jackie’s favorite thing to do. She would get quickly distracted (the woes of being 2!) so we eventually realized that the best way to get her attention, get her to hold still, and smile for a pic was to have big sis Denise pretend to fall! Something about that just made Jackie crack up and became our secret weapon. Luckily, Denise was a great spot and was totally game to keep pretend falling to get a reaction out of her little sister.

Denise is also full of beauty and attitude. I was telling Rae that I’ve never photographed a 13 year old kiddo who knows their angles better and can work a camera more. I remember her bringing the same energy at their wedding when she wasn’t even 10 yet, so it’s no surprise that she’s growing up to be such a confident and photogenic young lady.

I had a great time shooting this fun, athletic, and energetic family in NY this weekend and I can’t wait to do it again soon!

Photography: Heather Huie for Apollo Fields

Location: Piermont, NY

Jamaica Honeymoon - Day 6

Apollo Fields Photojournalism | Wedding Writer | Jamaica Honeymoon | Destination Wedding Photographer | Farm Wedding Photographer | Wedding Blog

Final Day in Jamaica – Pam’s Birthday

Mid-flight en route back to New Jersey – Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

When I opened my eyes on the last full day of our honeymoon in Jamaica, the pale blue sky peered over the balcony and climbed into our four post bed into the space between dreaming and reality. Light and ethereal, each blink revealed a bit more of the world I’ve come to love, inviting me to ease down the floating wooden staircase one more time. I didn’t know then, but in those fleeting moments, the lens through which I’ve viewed the world finally lined up with the way the island of Jamaica communicates to your soul.

I started the day by setting down a steaming cup of coffee on a table right outside of Pam’s room. It was her 61st birthday and I knew that that would be the first thing on her wish list. Stepping outside into the blaring sun, we gently made our way down to the volcanically-formed cliffs of Negril at Sun Down Villa, careful not to spill any of our precious liquid energy along the way. We stumbled upon Rick and Steve lounging, plucking at a ukulele as the notes drifted and eventually faded into the warm, Caribbean air. Pam and Rick decided to take a cruise on their Vespa down to the beach where their love of the island first began over thirty years ago.

Heather, Steve, and I abruptly made a move towards Just Natural Fish and Veggies, the local food joint in the bush of Westmoreland. Our first trip there, Pam had her eyes on a locally-crafted blue canvas bag with a crudely-but-beautifully painted sunset and we knew we had to get it for her. We enjoyed another meal and chatted with our favorite hosts, Theresa and Christine, as they shared unsolicited marital advice about loving one another and your children. Our favorite anecdote was Christine’s memory of when she first got married: “oh in those times, we would make love anywhere it was dark — in the bush, in our bedroom, it didn’t matter. But remember, always lock your door and wear a nightie!” Satiated in body and mind, we scooted from the richest Jamaican experience we’d had to date.

All of us eventually regathered and began our trip to various cliffside resorts. It began at the Tensing Pen, where we were met at the gate by a security guard who stared at us like we stole her lunch money back in high school. After authoritatively mumbling into a walkie-talkie, she granted us access with a stern finger wag in the general direction of the bar. Nonetheless, the resort was cozy, kind of like the Lost Boy’s huts in Peter Pan, connected to one another by rope bridges and shaded winding cobblestone paths. We originally planned to go to there to jump from one of these wooden bridges suspended over the sea, so Pam could wave her proverbial finger to the process of aging, but we were told by the security guard that we weren’t allowed to enjoy any of the amenities. After quickly slugging our round of Red Stripes, we were on to the next one.

Lucky for us, the next stop was much more accommodating. No finger-wagging security guard, no restrictions, only a large modern lobby to welcome us like something out of Forbes magazine. We normally wouldn’t expect genuine hospitality from a place as lavish as the Cliffs Resort, but two men changed it all. Trevor, who went by Johnie Walker, and Omighty, shortened to Omight, rolled out the Jamaican equivalent of red carpets. These two healthy, young, vibrant Jamaican men made drinks while they sang to their favorite tunes like they were bartenders out of the movie Cocktail, giving us free shots and asking us if we wanted to snorkel on The Cliff’s private coral reef. Nothing like any of the other resorts we visited, we felt the camaraderie that’s typically found in Irish pubs in New York City, like you can have any conversation with the person next to you (for better or worse), all while gazing out at a pink Caribbean sunset.

Our final stop on our invasion of all-inclusive resorts was a place called Xtabi. The dining patio was sprawling with empty candlelit tables and vacant chairs, making the space seem sad with lost opportunities of romance. A small cat meandered between the legs of our chairs, quietly mewing and purring with the hopes of a free meal. Pam and Rick ordered their favorite dish, lobster thermidore, which I consider a cheap (albeit expensive) favorite, because anything would be delicious smothered in butter, garlic, and cheese. Steve ordered the shrimp scampi which strangely came with rice and it made me wonder how available pasta is on the Caribbean islands. I ordered fried chicken because my ambition at trying local cuisine hit the roadblock of Americanized resort food. The best part of the meal was walking beneath the resort in the caves, listening to the waves slam against the tunneled walls, echoing their strength into our ears. I felt like I was in a scene from the Goonies.

The first couple days in our AirBnB we were a little hesitant to walk the streets as motorcyclists tore by the vendors and local restaurants with reckless pride. We wanted to engage with the real Jamaican culture, but were not sure of a proper access point for two under-informed tourists. Yet like those hummingbirds in Barney’s garden, Heather and I hovered from place to place, learning to stop and trust the people inside those brightly colored shacks one at a time. We made friends at resorts, Johnie Walker and Omight, and local spots, Theresa and Christine, learning that there are friends all around us if only we are open enough to look. Upon our initial arrival, we stayed behind the high gated walls of Sun Down Villa, but in the end, we saw that the sunrise and sunset, in all of their naturally beautiful glory, were just as welcoming as the pairs of eyes that greeted us behind all of those brightly colored doors.

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Our Mala Bead Ceremony: A Non-Traditional Wedding Idea

Mala Bead Ceremony | Rehearsal Dinner Ideas | Non-Traditional Wedding Idea | Apollo Fields | Yoga Weddings

PSA to all couples who are getting married and looking for non-traditional wedding ideas: do a Mala Bead Ceremony! Originally a suggestion from a close hippie friend of ours (we love you, C!), we decided to do it for our wedding and everyone loved it! It was a heartfelt, engaging experience that was perfect for our rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.

We first decided to do a Mala bead ceremony because neither of us were raised with any religious beliefs and we wanted to find traditions that resonated with us. The basic idea is this: ask your closest friends and family to obtain beads of any make, whether natural stone, wood, decorative, or otherwise. Then ask them to charge each of their beads with their intentions for your marriage and write them down. When everyone is together the night before the wedding, have each person present their beads and written intentions to you, describing why they chose those beads. Now, one-by-one string them onto your Mala bead necklace, beginning with a guru bead of your own.

The Guru Bead

The guru or anchor bead acts as the center of the necklace just as you will stand at the center of your family and friends during your wedding ceremony. In total, a traditional mala bead necklace contains 108 beads (not including the guru bead). After everyone has shared their beads and intentions, tie off the necklace. This personalized piece of jewelry is now ready for you to give to your officiant to wear during the ceremony.

Heather and I had no idea how our family and friends would respond to the ceremony, but their participation far exceeded our expectations. Our families aren’t particularly open with emotional conversations but somehow the subtlety and genuine nature of the mala bead ceremony created a comfortable space for them to share their feelings (so much feels, so much safe space). Some spoke with tongue-in-cheek comedy, while others stumbled through words that are usually left unspoken, but they all spoke.

They all shared their thoughts on love and what they think makes a good relationship. Unexpectedly insightful and heartfelt, I’d never felt closer to everyone in attendance. It was like one of those icebreaker team-building activities but with more on the line and less bullshit. I can’t recommend the ceremony enough.

Incorporating the Mala into our Ceremony

The day of the wedding we gave the necklace to our officiant, David “Killer” Miller, and he explained the significance of it to our guests while it gently hung around his neck. He also passed our wedding rings around in little nests for everyone to see, feel, and put their thoughts upon. Heather and I really wanted our wedding ceremony to be as interactive as possible because we feel most ceremonies are too exclusive rather than inclusive of those in attendance.

After all, why would you invite all these people to your wedding if you didn’t want them to participate in one way or another. We are the communities we are part of and I’ve never felt more in place than when I looked around at the faces in ours. Let this message be a reminder that your wedding day is whatever you want it to be, even if, especially if, it includes some random hippie ceremony.

The Intentions That Everyone Charged Our Beads With:

  • May you be LOVE (blood stone)

  • May you be LIGHT (amazonite)

  • May you be TRUTH (smoky quartz)

  • May you be COMPASSION (jasper)

  • Live today like there is no tomorrow.

  • Trust yourself to do the right thing!

  • Be truthful and honest in all that you do!

  • Have faith in yourself because you’re a good person and can solve anything that you encounter.

  • May you appreciate and encourage one another.

  • May you realize every moment is a gift.

  • May you have an open heart and therefore, an open mind.

  • To cherish your creativity and originality. It is hard to get it back (unicorn bead)

  • To live healthy and balanced. Everything in moderation (heart bead)

  • To be resilient at all times. Like a dragon (dragon bead)

  • To continue adventuring, thriving, and having a good time (flower bead)

  • The football shaped bead is pretty and reminds me of Heather

  • The barrel shape: Keep laughter in your lives. “A barrel of laughs”

  • Round cherry: From a necklace Heather made me. I wish you many happy days in your future

  • Yellow bead: Mom, Nana, and Pop all have this same bead to represent the strength in family

  • Stay classy

  • Be kind before being nice

  • Rosary Bead: May the breeze blow new strength into your beings

  • White Rosary Bead: May the moon softly restore you both by night

  • Brown flower bead: Was picked by me in a bead ceremony to represent RESILIENCE

  • Red squiggle bead: Keep traditions + make new traditions. It’s a Christmas bead. Believe in order to receive.

  • Strength: Although the nuts are individuals, they are strongest when they come home and are joined by the bolt.

  • Longevity: The darker nuts are from my fathers tool box. He understood partnership. M & D celebrated 66 years together last year.

  • Happiness: It has many components – Humor, Honesty, Humility

  • Growth: You are just starting your journey. You may need a bigger bolt as you grow more nuts!

  • Red beads from a necklace Heather made me. Makes me think of a ruby, represents my love for you both.

  • Teal bead: From a necklace Gram gave me. My intentions to keep the Girls Club alive forever.

  • Yellow bead: Dad, Nan, and Pop have this same bead to represent the strength in family.

  • Oval Silver: From a bracelet Heather made me. Silver represents sophisticated and modern, riches and wealth. May you have it all.

  • Black bead: Keep negative energy out of your life.

  • Yellow bead: To show strength in family.

  • Lead barrel: Like a bullet with gunpowder, continue to chase your dreams.

  • Black and white: Remember there are many other colors in the world.

  • For Nature

  • For Passion

  • For Play

  • Take time to listen with the mind and the heart

  • May you have patience with each other through the hard moments.

  • I will ALWAYS remember that I am strong and have the support of my extended family (we love you guys)

  • I will not do hard to others and accept the moment for what it is.

  • I will not end my day on an angry note; I have much to be grateful for.

  • I will have the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  • I took this from Nana’s necklace. Like Nana, always find goodness in all people (Turquoise and Silver)

  • Pop, your father, and mom have the yellow bead to represent the strength in family.

  • This was from a necklace Heather made Nana. Hold the memories of both Gram and Nana (Teal)

  • Keep a transparent window of your future (Glass Bead)

  • What ever your wishes are!

  • Go forward.

  • My mom’s love of family.

  • Honeymoon Acres.

  • For memories.

  • For love.

  • To hold space for love even if it is small.

  • For a long, happy, ever-growing bond that gets stronger with time.

  • For you to find the joy even when you have to look for it.

  • For you to keep your uniqueness as individuals and as a couple.

  • May you have kind words, a loving heart, and good intentions.

  • May you take time every day to sit and quietly listen.

  • May you live in a constant state of amazement.

  • May you march to the beat of your own drum.

  • Winter – Teamwork. It takes two to build a snowman (snowman bead)

  • Spring – Pace, don’t rush through life like a speedy bunny. Slow down, enjoy the moments (bunny bead)

  • Summer – Freshness, a happy and fulfilling relationship (strawberry)

  • Fall – Harvest, enjoying the benefits of a long commitment (yellow tube)

  • Jade Tear: Jade is for luck and fortune.

  • The Bull: Bulls are strong. Willed with stronger personalities. Be mindful to see the bull in yourself and moo-ve on :)

  • The Frog: Frogs, while seemingly adaptable, are in reality quite fragile. Remember to nurture your relationships so it doesn’t dry out and be willing to shed your skin and try new things.

  • Flower on a White Background: This was the first bead I chose. It reminded me of traditional European embroidery motifs, which makes me think of our families as they have moved across this world, allowing for so many things, like you two getting to meet. Flowers make me think of spring and regrowth. The blank background is for possibility. I hope only the best in your new family, and everything that will come from it.

Venue: Honeymoon Acres, Private Farm | Ramsey NJ

Officiant: David Miller

HMUA: Jennifer Belle // Sandra Wittner

Photography: Alexis Cohen shooting for Apollo Fields

David & Sadie's Beautiful Buena Vista Mountain Wedding

David & Sadie’s Wedding | Buena Vista, Colorado | Rocky Mountain Weddings | Destination Photographer | Apollo Fields

It was 6:00am last Saturday and I was driving on the long empty roads through the Colorado countryside. After spending the last few weeks in the cramped and crowded boroughs of New York and New Jersey, I felt the stark contrast of the open plains even more than usual. It was unseasonably cold that morning: a chilling 21 degrees when I first set out, and I watched the dashboard temperature rise with the sun as I cruised along the foothills.

I got to Buena Vista ahead of schedule and was able to pop into a local coffee shop before the wedding kicked off. The sleepy little town was enjoying it’s off-season, but the cafe was busier than ever with locals. I pulled up a seat next to a stranger because there were no empty tables, and got to enjoy a little old-fashioned small talk with a bundled-up hiker who was about to hit the mountains for the day.

Our day began at 9:30am at Spring Canyon, a quiet venue tucked away past the hot springs. Everybody was happily abuzz with last minute wedding prep, and I settled right into shooting details and scouting our first look location. The property boasts epic mountain views, but the sun was already high and with no clouds whatsoever, I had to be a little more creative with our locations.

I consider myself a bit of a light-junkie and I really felt the different between the East Coast light (which had been ultra-diffused from days of nonstop rain and heavy grey clouds) versus the big Colorado skies (at altitude with no atmosphere or humidity to break up the strong rays).

Sometimes you have to work with what you got, so we took advantage of the aspens that were still boasting their gold leaves and leaned into the full sun. I’m so happy we did, because we got those truly epic autumn mountain shots! I hadn’t seen any aspens with their leaves still on the whole trip, so it was the best surprise to find these groves still going strong! Colorado had a big snow storm later that night, and I have a feeling that we captured their last hoorah which makes the shots that much better to me.

David and Sadie had a sweet and tender way about their relationship. Amidst the bustle of the wedding morning, they still found time to have these long quiet hugs as if nobody else was around. I spend a lot of time watching my couple’s body language during their first looks to see how they naturally interact with one another and try to capture that throughout the day. David and Sadie were so fun because they would share these sentimental moments with each other, but then be able to goof around and be silly at the same time. They balanced these lighthearted fun times with the seriousness of a wedding perfectly.

Their families were also gracious and loving. I felt as much like a photographer and vender as I did a guest, and those are the days that make me love my job as much as I do. I was especially excited to photograph this wedding because there were going to be a few familiar faces in the crowd — one of my favorite couples from last year was family and the whole reason that I crossed paths with David and Sadie! In this business, referrals and word-of-mouth are everything, and I am so grateful for my clients who carry the Apollo Fields name from season to season. I’d like to give a big shoutout to the Danielson family for the connection, and also throw in a little vendor love to their awesome companies, Tentrix and Poc-a-Poc Catering who kept me happily in a cheese-coma for the reception.

Venue: Spring Canyon, Buena Vista CO
Photography: Apollo Fields

Published on Wedding Wire: Sadie & David’s Wedding

Heather loves to travel – especially to the mountains – for weddings! Get in touch for your photography needs: CONTACT

We're Making Big Moves!

            To our dinner guests, climbers, fellow hikers, and craft beer drinkers,

...consider this our farewell, our “see you later” and the remorseful announcement of our departure from Arvada, Colorado.  

To those of you in the front range of the Rockies, expect an invite to our going away party on Sunday, September 23rd, 2018, location and time TBD.  Our official push off date will be September 28, 2018. 

Huge transitions like these always make me feel dramatic, like it will be the last time I have this beer or hike this trail or do any of the other quintessential-and-eventually nostalgic activities of Denver that I will long for once I’m gone.  Anytime my life changes this drastically my body fills with nerves, like I’m tiptoeing towards the edge of the high dive at the public pool all over again.  The fear is real and paralyzing, “you should just turn back,” it says, but part of growing up is hearing that voice and diving head first into the deep end anyway.

Of course I will miss the breweries, the tubing trips, the dinner parties, and the lifelong friends we’ve met out here, but when a logical opportunity brings growth, family, and financial viability to the forefront, it’s hard to turn it down.  I’ll think on these last two years in Colorado as the time where Heather and I mastered our ability to work together, both professionally and personally, while laughing up the roads into the mountains and floating down the rivers in between.  I will think of the friends who we’ve hosted and the friends who’ve hosted us, especially the ones who took care of our canine and equine counterparts when we were away and kept them safe (the chickens were a different story…we still love you!!) Perhaps most of all I will miss having the silhouette of the Rockies as an everyday backdrop, always there to gaze upon while I let out an “it-gon’-be-alright” sigh as I listen to Kendrick on I-70.

And I know everything is going to be all right because it always is.  Any of you who’ve spent any amount of time with me know that my optimism is as incessant as it is annoying because my positivity has all the love and no fucks to give.  Heather and I will road trip across the country, get married in October, and then move to Long Island for a pit stop as we property hunt for a farm with a stone house and a fireplace.  The idea of creating a wedding venue to celebrate love in all its forms while being surrounded by our animals and family is as close to a storybook as I think our lives can get.  We aren’t just going to be all right, we’re going to continue being happy.

When Heather and I created The Immeasurable Cookbook we learned that the storytelling and photography was just as important as the recipes.  It gave us the idea to combine her photography with my writing to launch Apollo Fields, our holistic approach to documenting weddings.  As we now begin the search for our venue, Apollo Fields will evolve from capturing weddings to hosting them: planning everything from logistics to the shot list and all the unforgettable moments in between.  Just like The Immeasurable Cookbook, the storytelling and photography at Apollo Fields will be just as important as the recipe, only this time we’re looking for the right couples rather than the right ingredients.

We invite you all to celebrate the things in life that make you happy even if this decision puts some geography between us.  We invite you to follow us on our journey as we celebrate artistry, communication, love, and hard work in ours.  Finally, we invite you to embark on your own trek into the unknown where nothing is familiar and everything is exciting.

To our next adventure,

Terrence, Heather, Rumor, Riddle, & Limbo

 

P.S.  We've already booked weddings under Apollo Fields in Colorado next year. We will be back! If you are one of those couples, DO NOT WORRY, we're not tacking on travel fees or forgetting about you guys  :)  

P.P.S.  We love traveling!  Destination weddings are our jam.  We are happy to work with your budget, so don't let our home-base keep you from reaching out!  It doesn't matter if your wedding is in NYC, Denver, San Fran, The Italian Countryside, or The South Of France (a girl can dream, right) hit us up.  We have some sweet connects in a lot of places that allow us to work as locals, which saves everyone money.  

P.P.P.S.  If anyone wants to buy our chicken coop, let us know.  We put a lot of hard work into that bad boy and would love to see it go to a good home.  Not joking...

Photo cred / magic goes to the unbeatable Sam Hines 

Allison & Michael's Wedding at the Highlands Ranch Mansion in CO

Allison & Michael's Wedding | Highlands Ranch Mansion | Colorado Mountain Weddings | Denver Photographer

Alli & Mike didn't miss a beat with their beautiful Highlands Ranch Mansion wedding.  Everything was gorgeously planned and executed, and the day was spent amongst friends and family.  They had a first touch where they prayed, back-to-back and hand-in-hand, with the sweetest whispers of their love for each other.  The ceremony was just as beautiful.  Alli and Mike exchanged their handwritten vows in front of the people who mean the most to them.  They made promises to each other, and held hands while tears fell silently.  

Their reception was so much fun.  You could feel the love from all of their guests and family members, as heartfelt speeches filled the space, and they lovingly cut the cake with a little smash to top of the fun.  They danced and partied, and when the sun begin to set into the mountains, I snagged them for the most epic golden hour light.  The way the beams of light fell through the tree leaves was magical, and Allison and Michael enjoyed their own private dance out behind the mansion while the light began to fade.  

This fun couple met in the Air Force and are devoted to their service work.  They lived in Colorado Springs while finishing their degrees from the Air Force Academy.  I don't know how she pulled it off, but Alli actually graduated just a few days before their wedding!  Impressive, to say the least.  They honeymooned at Disney Land and then made their way off to Hawaii to soak up the beach and sunshine.  Seeing their pictures in Hawaii made me so jealous and now I'm dying to visit myself!  What a dream... 

Allison's big, bubbly personality shined throughout the day.  She just beamed with joy amongst her bridesmaids.  You could tell that their bond is tight, the whole group was smiling and laughing the whole day.  Michael is more stoic, but it was easy to see how is quieter bond with his groomsmen was just as genuine.  Their family members showered them with well-wishes, and the love was palpable.  They had the most fun dancing, mingling, and making silly faces in the Photo Booth.  An epic day to say the least!  

Venue:  Highlands Ranch Mansion | Highlands Ranch Colorado

Event Planning:  Jennifer Wetterlin | Denver Event Pros

Videography:  Lavender Haze Wedding Films

What's In My Camera Bag (That's Not Camera Equipment): Capturing Smiles Instead of Stresses

A little behind-the-scenes of me attaching the sleeves to a wedding dress in the midst of photographing my bride getting ready.  

Being a wedding photographer doesn't necessarily mean shooting pictures throughout the whole day.

It means getting the shot no matter what it takes.

Sometimes that means putting the camera down for a second to help my brides get into their wedding dresses. Sometimes it's folding pocket squares, opening bottles of wine, showing them where to sign their marriage certificates, or bustling a train.  The reality is, I am with my couples all day, and very much so on the front lines of whatever action takes place.  Weddings have a way of bringing out the best and worst in people – emotions are high, sometimes there is family tension, a lot of opinions, and various moving parts.  

My job is to take beautiful and compelling pictures.  

It is also to make sure that my couples feel excited, at ease, and most of all PRESENT in the moment.  The day goes by so quickly, and it is easy to get wrapped up in greeting guests, checking on the caterer, and obsessing about timelines.  Now, I am by no means a wedding planner.  I am not a day-of coordinator.  And I have no intentions of ever becoming one... but sometimes the planners are busy doing their jobs and situations arise.  In those moments, it's about serving my couple.  Sometimes that means taking pictures and sometimes that means lending support to keep things running smoothly, camera-in-hand.  

The Importance of Hospitality...

I've worked as a bartender while building my wedding business cause you know, girl's gotta eat, and I do believe that it helped me become a better photographer.  It has made me more sensitive to my client's needs.  It could be as simple as realizing that my out-of-town couple from sea level is getting dehydrated up on top of a mountain in the Rockies and grabbing them a few waters.  Basic needs sometimes go out the window when weddings are in motion and catching small stuff like that can prevent much bigger problems.  It has given me a better sense of where the action is at in a busy room while only visually seeing things through my small viewfinder on my camera.  

Additionally, being a great wedding photographer also means caring about your couples.  So many of our clients have become friends, and this has just as much to do with the pictures themselves as it does with the ability to provide good service.  It's also about empathy, understanding, and the ability to listen closely and read between the lines.  Being able to put small fires out as the day unfolds is oftentimes what sticks out to couples as above-and-beyond the call of duty.  It is something that really shows that we care about them as much as we care about making beautiful pictures.  As a result, I always throw a few things in my camera bag to keep the day running smoothly:

What's in my camera bag besides camera equipment?

  • A wine key.  No, I'm not a raging alcoholic.. this is actually out of utility.  I've had countless couples want to pop a bottle to celebrate or toast with, and find themselves without a bottle opener.  Pulling one of these out on a whim is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser and keeps the good times rolling!  Also, the knife edge on them has come in handy for a myriad of non-alcohol related tasks.  
  • A lighter.  Another crowd-pleaser!  Sometimes, it is as simple as somebody wanting to step outside for a quick smoke.  But mostly, I find this super helpful for staging my detail shots before the room is actually set.  Venues and rental companies usually prefer to light the candles last (because they don't last that long), but I cannot wait until last minute to do my room shots and details because it is already too late.  So I'll light a few candles on the table, snap the shot, and then blow them out.  No hassle and no harm. 
  • Oil blotting sheets.  Summers are hot and sometimes wedding dresses are even hotter.  Nothing ruins a shot like a shiny face, but after your makeup is set, the last thing you want to do is take a tissue or cloth to your face.  Oil blotters are easy, compact, and so helpful in these moments.  
  • A sewing kit.  Why would a wedding photographer need a sewing kit?  You wouldn't believe me if I told you how many dresses that I have last-minute mended!  Nothing puts out a fire like being able to repair a dress right before the ceremony is about to begin.  Buttons pop off, beads snag, zippers jam.  Knowing how to solve these mishaps can prevent a full blown crisis in the moment. 
  • Bobby pins, hair spray, safety pins, small scissors, and rubber bands, fashion tape, and white duct tape.  I literally wear half of these on my expodisc around my neck when I shoot!  This is how frequently I find myself needing these items.  Hair pops out, wind takes over, bow-ties are too big, tags need to get cut off... And the white duct tape?  Let's just say that sometimes wedding dresses are more see-through than we realize and the built-in bra doesn't do the trick ;)  A little square of duct tape can work wonders.  

 

Again, stuff happens.  To be able to put these fires out quickly keeps my couples happy and on schedule.  If they are happy, the pictures are better.  If we stay on the timeline, we have more time for pictures and we capture smiles instead of stresses.  

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 

Clean & Classic: The Importance of Timeless Wedding Photos

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Hey guys!  Heather here...

It's a balmy -2 degrees F here in Denver, so I'm calling it a snow day and have gone ahead and rescheduled all of my clients (trust me, it's no fun being outside in this weather).  

Snow days used to be highly anticipated events, huddled up in bed watching the flakes falling from the window, listening to the radio station with your fingers crossed, toes crossed, pajamas inside out, and any other superstition that you thought might help the chances of your school being announced on the list of cancellations.  

But now, twenty years later, I don't get that same luxury.  Being a business owner means that you have to be the one to make those calls, and it's not always as easy as just wanting to stay in your sweats all day drinking hot chocolate and watching movies.  

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Clean & Classic

It seems that the wedding photography world has been dichotomized into two categories and photographers are pressured to define themselves as either "dark & moody" or "light & airy".  

Now, don't get me wrong... I personally love both of these styles.  I frequently find myself scrolling through the work of some of these masters envious of their well-crafted brand.  As for myself, I know how-to and can shoot "dark & moody" as well as "bright & airy" while still properly exposing for my subjects.  Sometimes it is fun to play around and push my own artistic boundaries, it keeps my eye fresh and it a fun challenge.  

But I think there is a risk involved in subscribing to trendy editing techniques and why I shy away from them: they will one day be out-of-style.  I would hate for someone to look back at photos I shot of someone's wedding and go, "eek, that's so 2018".  

Let's all take a moment to remember when super-desaturated photos were in, or the all black-and-white except one color splash was considered artsy; circa early 2000's.  Or a real life example:  My parents got married in the '80s and let's just say their wedding photos are "so 1980's".  Sepia-washed prints and shoulder pads.  Oh my god, so many shoulder pads.  

This is why if I had to categorize myself, I will confidently say "clean & classic".  I want you to look back at your wedding photos and love them ten years, twenty years, and fifty years from now.  I don't want your kids laughing at them.  I mean, they can laugh a little, because that's what kids do, but it should stop there.  I want to give you timeless photos that withstand the test of trends, fads, and increasingly savvy technology.  

Here's a fun one: we have such a great time with our grooms and want to give them the attention they deserve. This photo captures our groom at a very flattering angle, but shows off his personality – fun and easygoing – to give it some uniqueness.

Here's a fun one: we have such a great time with our grooms and want to give them the attention they deserve. This photo captures our groom at a very flattering angle, but shows off his personality – fun and easygoing – to give it some uniqueness.

Another classic photo that I love. My couple is so happy in this moment and the photography stays really true to the season, their decor, and the overall mood of the day. Even though it is posed, it doesn't feel forced. I love when something feels candid even if it's not.

Another classic photo that I love. My couple is so happy in this moment and the photography stays really true to the season, their decor, and the overall mood of the day. Even though it is posed, it doesn't feel forced. I love when something feels candid even if it's not.

I love this photo because it has beautiful soft and warm light. There is still a lot of emotion, and yet in some ways it is also a classic bridal portrait. As an artist, I want to keep my viewer's eye on the image which is exactly what you get here.

I love this photo because it has beautiful soft and warm light. There is still a lot of emotion, and yet in some ways it is also a classic bridal portrait. As an artist, I want to keep my viewer's eye on the image which is exactly what you get here.

It’s okay to not perfectly fit into either the “Bright and Airy” or “Dark and Moody” Categories

I love when I am building out my albums and I feel like I can re-live the entire day.  Depending on the season, weather, venue, dress, florals, and other design and natural factors, there will be some variation in my photographs... and I think that's a good thing!  I don't want my couple's to ever feel like they are just being plopped into posing placeholders, trying to replicate some picture they found on Instagram.  I want uniqueness and storytelling, without compromising correct exposure and composition.  

I think the mark of a true artist is to have your work become distinctive enough that the viewer no longer needs a signature or a watermark to know who created it.  For me, I prefer not to categorize my work into somebody else's style.  I would say "clean & classic" if I had to label my work, but in some ways that feels boring.  Even the word "timeless" can begin to stale.  My photos aren't stale or boring, and I am constantly searching for new ways to craft my art into true storytelling and bold narration.  That is my pledge as an artist to all of my clients and viewers alike.

Photography By:

Apollo Fields & Melissa Hirsch

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. 

Monica & Kevin's Arrowhead Golf Course Wedding in Littleton, CO

Monica & Kevin’s Wedding | Arrowhead Golf Course | Littleton, CO Weddings | Apollo Fields Wedding Photographer

This wedding had it all – beautiful Colorado mountainscapes, big western blue skies, red rocks, traditions, and celebrations! With 300 days of sunshine (one of CO’s favorite boasts), outdoor weddings are a must in my opinion. Arrowhead is a beautiful golf course and country club located in Littleton and is right in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Mountains make some of the best backdrops for weddings, especially the rockies! The light hits the rocks in beautiful ways and I just love wedding venues that have amazing views like Arrowhead. Especially when the landscape is so beautifully manicured and the grounds are filled with flowers are grass (grass can be tricky to get to grow in CO because of the hot sun and dry conditions).

Monica and Kevin celebrated in style with their closest friends and family. They had a beautiful wedding party who was ready to dance and have a blast together. It is always so fun when wedding parties are good friends because it brings such great energy to the wedding. Monica and Kevin had a beautiful ceremony with the epic red rocks in the background and the sun shining.

Cocktail hour was out on the greens and was filled with lawn games, signature drinks, and a golf range setup. Everyone was mingling and chatting with each other, playing corn hole and hitting golf balls. As they sun began to set, the party started with special dances, toasts, and lots of dancing! It was a beautiful night and it was great getting to capture this special day.

Heather loves shooting Colorado weddings so please contact her to get in touch!

Littleton Wedding Venue: Arrowhead Golf Course
Adventure Wedding Photography: Apollo Fields, shot for Trevor Gass

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.

Samantha & Chase's Central Park Engagement Photography in New York City

Samantha & Chase's Central Park NYC Engagement Session | New York City Engagement Photographer | NY Wedding Photography | Apollo Fields Wedding Photographer 

Central Park makes for the most iconic and epic engagement photos! You get the best of all worlds – some nature, some skyline, and the beautiful architectural details that are classically NYC. I was so excited when this awesome couple got engaged, and even more excited when it happened in the city! They were visiting family for the holiday and had traveled from their hometown in Tennessee to celebrate Christmas.

Samantha’s family owns EJ’s Luncheonette in the upper east side, so we began the afternoon catching a little snack there together and chatting about life and love :) Then we strolled over to Central Park and made our way to Bethesda Fountain. I love this area because it is just such an icon of NYC. There’s nowhere else in the world quite like it.

We did photos in the arches which can be a bit tricky to time because of foot traffic, but I was so excited when the crowd lifted for a minute and we were able to jump in and get that epic silhouette shot! I love being able to shoot on the stairs and the other embellishments there too. This couple has such a fun vibe together so it made my job easy! They had only been engaged for a few days so it was really great to piggy back on their excitement from celebrating the big news together.

NYC Engagement Photographer: Heather Huie for Apollo Fields

New York Engagement Location: Central Park