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Kevin and Ellery || Engagement Photography

You would think that fall colors — the changing of the guard from green leaves to yellow— would be something one could come by in a town called Aspen, in the mountains of fair Colorado. After all, the town shares the name of our favored and most famous* autumn-hued tree. Sadly, it seems there’s some sort of rule that dictates you will not be able to find such colors when you’re hoping to use them as a backdrop for an engagement photo session. At least not very easily.

Luckily, the couple in question are among the loveliest you could ask for and worked with us to find the perfect setting, rally against the fading light (and quickly dropping temperatures of a mountain valley in late September), and come up with some photos that I love. Particularly this one.
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I love the in between moments of photo shoots. Brides and grooms spend a lot of time posing for pictures from the time they get engaged through their wedding day. We work hard to make those poses comfortable, natural and beautiful. But there’s always something to be said for the moments that are off script. There’s a realness to them that can’t be directed.

We shared several more photos from Kevin and Ellery’s session over at A&D Photography. But as I was looking through my take again and thinking about engagement photography and weddings and the role we the photographers play I thought I would go ahead and share this one with you. So that’s that for now.

(*I have no statistics to back up this declaration. It just seems like it’s probably a true fact. How’s that for the scientific method?)

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dance me to the wedding now

When Dan and I were preparing to get married (two years ago already, ay caramba), we had this naive little vision of gracing the dance floor with all four of our feet firmly under own command. We were going to take dance lessons. We didn’t want to choreograph a whole musical number, we simply wanted to have a might more grace and elegance than came naturally to us. An aura of knowing what we were doing. Essentially we wanted to know just enough to make everyone else think we knew it all.

But then we ran out of time. More accurately we procrastinated to the point of no return and decided simply to wing it. Of course that is a horrible idea when faced with actually having to stand in front of all your family and friends, a deejay, two wedding planners, caterers, serving staff, two or three bartenders, and, oh yeah, six photographers. In heels! (Me anyway. Dan had sturdier footwear.)

Luckily, Dan made the ultimate choice in best men and had by his side a BFF/former college roommate/all-around good guy and “most interesting man in the world” trainee who took us aside 15 minutes before our grand entrance and gave us the quickest lesson in dancing ever undertaken by humans anywhere. Probably.

Dan Petty and Anya Semenoff are married in Denver, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. Photo by Justin Edmonds

With our new moves (this term applied loosely) firmly in hand, we took to the floor for our first dance as husband and wife. No one fell over. All toes came out the other side present and accounted for. It was a success. (Me up there: “We’ve made it this far, it’s time for you to lift me over your head like that scene from Dirty Dancing.”)

While editing one of our recent weddings I started thinking about first dances and wondering about the significance of this tradition. Does it stem from the ancient times, signaling a newly formed union through a shared rhythm and knowledge of the latest dance craze sweeping the nation? Was it merely a chance to hold your beloved close in a way the weeks of courting wouldn’t have allowed in the Victorian times of amiable respectability? I set out to find the answers.

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the tale of two brides

There is perhaps no planned moment in your life that will be more personal than your wedding day. What you wear, where you are, the loved ones who are with you, the food you eat, the music to which you dance, and most importantly the person with whom you share the whole event have all been chosen by you. And when the elements all come together just right, it beautifully reflects that which distinguishes you among all others. It’s something that I most love about wedding photography. At each and every wedding I get to witness all those precious details that you hold dear.

Over the past two weeks we photographed two different weddings — one in the rocky mountains of Colorado, and one in a quintessential east coast town on the bank of the Delaware River in New Jersey. As you can imagine, entirely different locales. One on the cusp of wilderness, the other within reach of some of the largest urban areas of our nation. One in the dry air of the Colorado west, the other in the very humid air of New Jersey east. I was organizing and editing photos from both events and came across these two photos. I wanted to share them with you, side-by-side.

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I love the similarities — the classic white dresses with similar necklines; the bright, happy faces and grace in their stance; bouquets of fragrant flowers. And I love the differences — the way their dress fabric cascades to their feet with different texture and style; the regal veil and flower crown; the greenery, natural and man-made, that frames them.

It’s a distinct pleasure to be involved in each wedding we photograph, and to have the opportunity to memorialize these women, exhibiting their individual characters presented to the world with such strength and joy. Thank you for sharing these moments with us.

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amy beth and chris || engagement photos

Hello, my darlings. I have some beautiful people to share with you today. We are very much looking forward to photographing Amy Beth and Chris’ wedding this Saturday. They will be wed on the same patio on which they got engaged, at a friend’s house in the mountains. After the ceremony we will be jumping on some chair lifts and fly to the top of said mountain to take photos of them and their wedding party. It’s going to be magical I’m sure of it.

For now, Amy Beth and Chris, everyone.

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Andrea & Dave || engagement photography

It is possible to tumble head over heels for a photo shoot. Let me tell you. We met up with Andrea and Dave last month for an engagement session in preparation for their November wedding. We hit up the theater district in Denver (yes, Denver is totally hip enough to have a theater district) and then wandered around the LoDo area (“lower downtown” for those in the know) for the second half of their session. Let me tell you, guys, Andrea and Dave were an absolute dream to work with. Genuine, relaxed, full of laughter, excitement, and willingness to wander down the “least scary alleyway in Denver” with us. (Or so Dan dubbed it.) (I’m all about the parentheticals today.) (That’s not even a word.) We couldn’t have asked for a better couple to hang out with.

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 Can’t wait to celebrate your wedding, Andrea and Dave!