wedding photographers

Anna & Jeff's Colorado Engagement Session at Mount Falcon

Anna & Jeff’s Engagement Session | Mt Falcon Engagements | Morrison, Colorado | Red Rocks Photography | Apollo Fields Wedding Photographers

I’m so excited to be working with Anna and Jeff because they are both outdoorsy, laid back professionals who are very much so our ‘vibe’ of people! I first met them through a dear friend, Kerry, since they had just relocated from the East Coast to Colorado for work and were recently engaged. Anna was in the beginning phases of wedding planning so we were chatting about some of my favorite venues in the mountains. They were between Colorado and Maine and of course, I was down for either location!

They ultimately decided to have their wedding in Maine at the Granite Ridge Estate & Barn in Norway, Maine which was a totally win-win for us! We love barn weddings and I’m a huge fan of Maine :) so we jumped at the opportunity. But I still loved the idea of doing an epic Colorado mountainy engagement session to represent the different parts of their lives, so in December, we set up an awesome photo sesh at Mount Falcon in Morrison, Colorado.

I love this location because it’s easy to get to, puts you right in the mountains, and you have Red Rocks Amphitheater in the background. Red Rocks was one of the big things that ultimately drew us to CO so I just love everything about the energy there. We met up and Anna and Jeff had such an awesome energy together that I immediately knew we’d be a great fit. They are a lighthearted and easygoing couple, but we were quickly able to connect about our mutual friends and East Coast boarding school life. They both transplanted from Taft School which was part of the same New England consortium that I was a part of in high school (I went to Ethel Walker for four years in addition to working for a boarding school so I can totally relate to this industry!)

This engagement session was so much fun because they had such a great time hiking and hanging with each other in the mountains while the sun set. I loved wrapping up the weekend with these guys and I am so excited to shoot their wedding in just a few months!!!

Photography: Heather Huie for Apollo Fields
Location: Mt. Falcon | Morrison Colorado

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.