Being in your senior year of high school is easily one of the most exciting times of your life. Everything in front of you is enticing, unknown, and an adventure. Graduating high school and heading to the rodeo, however, has to be one of the coolest transitions that Nathan has in store for his senior year. When I first met Nathan, I knew he was an awesome guy. He shook my hand and walked over to me with his horse, Huck (ironic that his name was Finn and that’s what we named our paint horse!) Their relationship was one that I just adored documenting. The pushed each other, nudged the other out of the frame, and I could tell that Huck was just as excited about leaving for college as Nathan was. We walked around their ranch in Nathrop, Colorado, where we have recently planted our own roots, and shot as the sun set over the Collegiate Peaks. I’ve got to say, I’m so excited to see where Nathan’s future takes him. His passion for what he does and commitment to his riding is unparalleled and I’m honored to have been there to document these sweet moments during his senior year. Congratulations, Nathan (and Huck)!
Meeting couples for the first time the day before their wedding day is always nerve wracking. We always want to make sure our couples love us and that they feel comfortable with us. With Zach and Mahala, despite not meeting them until their rehearsal dinner, we knew we had met an awesome couple. Their rehearsal dinner was a quick glimpse into their lives with the people the love most: their family, close friends, and distant relatives who traveled all the way from Germany to celebrate this exciting day with them. We were so excited for their wedding day and it was nothing short of an incredible refection of this awesome couple! Mahala grew up and went to school just up the road from their wedding venue, the Evergreen Lake House, and their dog Ryder joined them for their first look. We are so honored to have been a part of this amazing day. Thank you so much, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, for having us document your wedding day and a huge congratulations on your marriage!
Taylor and Mike
• How did you two meet? “We met at a Halloween Party at a mutual friend’s house. Zach was one of two Zach’s I met at the party but he was dressed like a bear so I decided to call him bear the first 6 months I knew him.”
• Tell us about your first date! “We went camping in New Mexico! Very unusual first date – but we hit it off and have been together since. We’ll always have Questa.”
• When did you know you wanted to marry each other? “Funny story – we were out at dinner for my birthday last year and Zach gave me this beautiful jewlery box. He had just told me he was going to move to Denver and a big reason was because he wanted to be able to spend more time with me (he was living in Vail at the time.) I thought he was going to propose (we hadn’t talked about it at all yet.) I got really nervous, opened the box and he had given me Golden Bear earrings from Vail. We’ve always been really open with each other so I told him how I had thought he was going to propose, then he asked me what I would have said if he did and here we are!”
• Zach, how did you propose? “We went on a trip to Portugal and I didn’t have a set time I was going to propose, I was just waiting for the right time. Finally, on day 3 of me carrying the ring with me everywhere we went, the moment arrived. We went hiking along the coast to find some beaches and after scaling down this crag, we eventually found one with no one on it in this beautiful cove. We had a picnic and about 30 minutes in I got on my knee (although Mahala was sitting) and asked her to marry me.”
• What was the most fun part of wedding planning? “Getting each other rings!”
• How did you chose the Evergreen Lake House for your wedding? “It’s a beautiful place down the street from where Mahala grew up! It’s always been a special place for her family.”
• Tell us about your first look. Having done one, would you do it again? “We would absolutely do it again! It’s actually really nice that it’s less people when you see each other for the first time on the big day! We were so happy to see each other after such a busy morning.”
• What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? “We’re going to have to go with two moments – when Zach dipped Mahala for an incredible first married kiss. Also, when Mahala got really hot from dancing so we went outside to get air, then the whole dance party followed us outside and we all sang Journey and danced on the deck.”
• What is one quirk you love about the other? “I love that Zach randomly sings all the time – on one of our first dates we went hiking and sang the whole Sound of Music soundtrack. I love how she can never find any of her belongings. In general, the keys end up in the bathroom, a purse might be under a chair, the shoes will be hiding in the living room, and there may be a phone in the fridge – it keeps it exciting!”
• What advice do you have for couple planning their wedding now? “People remember most how you treat them at your wedding – not what flowers you had on the table or what food you served them.”
• Are you going on a honeymoon? “If so, where and what do you have planned? We’re going to Germany so Mahala can meet Zach’s grandparents. Then we’re going on a small boat cruise through Croatia and finishing up with a few days on the beach in Montenegro.”
I am so excited to share this amazing couple’s wedding with y’all on this Friday! The just tied the knot on Sunday, but with such an amazing day, I just couldn’t wait to get to editing their photos. Cheryl and Janaka are easily two of the most amazing people we’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. From our first phone chat to when they came over to our place for drinks and snacks, we hit it off immediately! Their story is one of the stars aligning perfectly and following their hearts that ultimately lead to each other. Their passion for adventure and love of all things outdoors made their wedding day at Mount Princeton Resort in Nathrop, Colorado one to remember! With 30MPH winds but a blue bird sky, these two were down for anything, including getting into the river! To you both, we just love you and are so excited for our friendship what has blossomed these last few months. We can’t wait to see where your marriage takes you!
Love you guys!
Mike and Tay
• What advice do you have for couples planning their wedding now? “If you don’t love it, find something else. You have to pick the things and people that match your personality.”
• How did you choose Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort for your wedding venue? “We already felt a magical connection with mt Princeton Hot Springs as a family, so when we found out we could actually get married there, it was easy. Everyone there was so wonderful.”
Venue :: Mount Prince Hot Springs Resort | Nathrop, Colorado
Sound :: Continental Divide Productions
Cake :: Abigail Vierling
Hair :: Ashley Costa
Grooms Suit :: JoS A Bank
Brides Dress :: David’s Bridal
For the last few years, we have been trying to put ourselves “out there” more. By “out there”, we mean making ourselves a little more vulnerable. This year was only the second year that we entered into the Shoot & Share Photography contest. This contest is one of the most highly anticipated events in the photography community (I’m not even kidding when I say there are copious Facebook groups and “watch parties” dedicated to this event). This year was the biggest yet! How it works, is everyone and anyone is allowed to participate. Here were the numbers for 2017: 10,000 PHOTOGRAPEHRS submitted photos, 330,000 PHOTOS were submitted, 60 MILLION VOTES were cast, 1 MILLION IMAGES were favorited, 10,602 DAYS (29 YEARS) spent in the contest, 156 COUNTRIES were involved. This contest is voted for by anyone, but there are tons of photographers who spend countless hours voting and getting inspired by others images. So, needless to say, we are ecstatic and so proud that 18 of our images placed in their categories. We are also thrilled to share that one of our images, which was in the WANDERLUST category, placed in the TOP 100! Thanks for sharing in our excitement!
Mike and Tay
We. Love. To travel. When I (Tay) was in college, I traveled abroad a few times a year and took road trips whenever possible. My entire college experience revolved around buying plane tickets and taking my camera, along with my backpack, to see the world. From Italy to France, London to Patagonia, Chile, Iceland to New Zealand, my heart has always been a jet-setting one. When Mike and I met, I was elated to find out that he too had a huge passion for traveling. One of our first and earliest trips was a cross country drive to West Virginia so he could meet me family. Since then, we’ve spent the last five years trying to do as many road trip and see as many states together as possible. Undeniably, the two hardest states to get to are Alaska (which we visited last year in 2016) and Hawaii. I figured going to Hawaii was a long shot, at least for another 5 years, but when we found a couple cheap tickets while the snow was coming down in Colorado, we quickly booked our trip and secured some heat and a little R&R.
As a couple, this was our first warm and relaxing vacation we had been on. All of our other trips (New Zealand, Iceland, and Alaska to name a few) revolved around road tripping to see as much as we could, and we always nailed a cold, rainy month. Don’t get me wrong, these places were so unique, beautiful, and amazing in their own ways…we were just ready for a little sunshine. Needless to say, some 80º temperatures, misty rain on our faces during some epic hikes, and relaxing by the ocean sounded incredible for this vacation! Some of our favorite places we visited and things we did were:
• Exploring the Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park for amazing hiking and views (and where we’ll one day go back to finish the hikes we couldn’t this time around)
• Cafe hopping and finding Java Kai in Kapaa
• Hitting up endless farmers markets on the daily
• Enjoying the best hot dog we’ve ever had in our lives at Puka Dog
• Hiking at Waimea Canyon State Park
• Again, cafe hopping, and enjoying my first kombucha and some tea at Ha Cafe
• And enjoying the incredible hospitality from the folks at Kauai Shores
We are honestly already planning our next trip back to Kauai!
Mike and Tay
Oh, you guys. This couple is truly an unbelievably perfect match! We just love meeting awesome folks through our amazing friends at Prive Events, and Molly and Matt certainly were one of those couples. From the first time I chatted with Molly, we clicked. I’m not normally a spazz case, but the morning we were supposed to chat, I was rushing Mike to the hostpital for what we hoped was just a stomach ache. Little did we know, that we were just about to find out that Mike was going in for an emergency appendectomy. Honestly, hearing Molly’s voice and hearing her crack jokes on the other line was truly a relief from the craze at the hospital. I learned quickly that she and Matt were a perfect match, and that I wanted to be a part of their wedding day. I honestly ran into Mike’s waiting room after I got of the phone with her to tell him what an awesome couple they were and that I hoped they’d want to have us at their wedding!
Molly and Matt met at a running club (which is really everyone’s goal when they join a running club, right?) and that their first date was at a winery, which also happened to be where Matt proposed (people after my own heart). When we finally met them for their engagement shoot a couple weeks ago, we immediately hit it off and had a blast climbing rocks, hiking through the trees, and braving the cold that morning. We are SO excited for their Deer Creek Valley Ranch wedding this summer and can’t wait until they visit Colorado again from Texas. Molly and Matt, you guys are incredible and we are so thrilled and honored to be a part of your big day! Thank you for inviting us into your lives to document this time.
Mike and Tay
• How did you two meet? “Matt and I met in a local running club. We were training for a marathon and both in the same pace group. A few weeks in, I moved to a faster group–I had to ask for his phone number so we could still keep in contact. From then, the chase was on!”
• Tell us about your first date! “Our first date was to a winery-Times Ten Cellars. It was terrible weather that night-the truck slipped on ice patches a few times. We listened to live jazz music and had good conversations over wine and pizza.”
• How did Matt propose? “Matt actually proposed at the same winery we had our first date, Times Ten Cellars. We had come on a Sunday to listen to the jazz music, drink wine and eat pizza. Matt made an excuse that he forgot his wallet in the truck. When he came back in, we asked our server if we could tour the back tank room which was where they produced the wine. We were looking around by ourselves and I turned around and Matt was on one knee with a ring!”
• What’s one fun quirk you love about each other? Molly : “I love how when Matt is concentrating on something really hard, he sticks his tongue out to the side and scrunches his face. Matt loves the way Molly sometimes snorts when she laughs.”
• What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day? “I am looking forward to walking down the isle to Matt so we can spend our forever lives together. Matt is excited to be celebrating with family and friends.”
• What’s been the most fun part of wedding planning? “I love coming up with my own ideas and showcasing my personality. Getting married out of state lets me be creative and have some fun! I also love planning the small details from my hair piece down to my shoes. Matt’s favorite part was the dessert and food course tastings.”
Seeing familiar faces in my new state was what helped get me through the first few months after my big move across the county in 2011. To this day, six years after moving to Colorado, the feeling is still the same.
Lindsay and I met when were were in kindergarten and were inseparable for the majority of elementary school. I was the oldest of six, and Lindsay was an only child, so I think we secretly loved getting an inside look (and at times for me, an envious look) of each others lives. I can remember Lindsay hosting “gymnastics lessons” on the playground at Easton Elementary, where I tried desperately to learn how to do a round off, and our attempts at planning matching outfits for school the following day.
Needless to say, I was so excited when she got in touch with me a few months ago to let me know that she was surprising her wonderful husband, Matt, with a trip to Colorado for Christmas. She went on to tell me that they had never had professional images done before and that they’d love to do their portraits when they came out for a long weekend. Like I said before, seeing a familiar face in my adopted state brings back lots of nostalgic feelings and it was such a treat to have her and Matt out to our ranch during their short stint here. Despite the cold, we had a wonderful time shooting and catching up, even standing on a dirt road after the sun went down and we were chilled to the bone!
Lindsay and Matt, it was SO wonderful to see you guys! Thank you so much for planning a little stop at our home on your trip to Colorado. You guys are truly amazing together and we can’t wait to see you again!
Mike and Tay
Watching a couple go from “boyfriend / girlfriend” to engaged, is one of the most magical, indescribable moments we get to witness. When Jon contacted us a couple months ago to tell us about he and his girlfriend, Brittany, and their story, we were immediately on board with his proposal to marry her! These two fell in love in Winter Park, Colorado on one of their first dates together. Jon was teaching Brittany how to ski and said that their relationship immediately solidified after that first trip. He went on to tell us that they had been dating for three years and were coming to Colorado from Nebraska in February. It was there, at Winter Park, that Jon wanted to ask Brittany to be his wife. (Insert all the feels!) Despite a blown tire during their eight hour drive, Jon had his sites set on making this trip a memorable one!
You guys, this proposal was simply magical. We got to know Jon quite well over the last couple of months and knew this moment was going to be perfect for Brittany. As he lead her to a beautiful spot amidst the Rocky Mountains, he distracted her with a selfie to get her to take her gloves and goggles off, and immediately following got down onto one knee. Brittany’s reaction was amazing as she giggled, squealed, and grabbed her new fiancé for a huge hug! Brittany and Jon, it was an honor to be a part of this moment with you! We are so excited for your incredible journey into marriage and can’t wait to hear about wedding day plans! Read more about their love story and enjoy their wintery Colorado proposal photos below!
Mike and Tay
• How did the two of you meet?
“We had mutual friends watching a Husker football game in the Railyard in Lincoln, Nebraska, so we had both been invited to join. It was really crowded, so we didn’t notice each other at first, then a random girl came up from behind, wrapped her arms around Jon and yelled, “Scott!” and we all turned around to see the astonished and puzzled look on Jon’s face, and the girl run off, likely mortified. So our first conversation stemmed from him clarifying his name was in fact Jon, not Scott.”
• We know Winter Park holds a special place in your heart. What history do you have here?
Brittany : “A few months after we met, we went to Winter Park with a couple of friends. Jon is an experienced skier and grew up skiing at Winter Park with his family. I had never skied before but Jon thought he could teach me, and for some reason I thought that would be a great idea. When we arrived, Jon and I went to the rental shop at the base to pick up my gear. The guy at the rental counter asked if I’d ever skied before, to which I answered, “No,” with a laugh that hopefully masked my terror. He asked if I needed lessons, and Jon and I both told him Jon would be teaching me. I’ll never forget the look on that guy’s face as he cautioned us of the many fights and breakups he’d seen on the mountain when significant others assumed the role of “ski instructor.” This should’ve made me second guess our plans, especially since we had only known each other a few months, but I fully trusted him.
Nothing can adequately describe how terrified I was going up the lift for the first time, and I seriously contemplated being “that person” who rode the ski lift back down. But, Jon calmly coached me through the entire run, skiing backwards the whole way as he broke down every component of how to turn and stop. Even though I was scared out of my mind and my hip flexors were on fire from snow plowing, he never once showed frustration. We were able to turn something scary and stressful into something humorous, and by the end of that first day, I knew he was the one for me, and we’ve been coming back ever since.”
• Brittany, what were you thinking when Jon started to lead you to take a photo and when did you realize what was about to happen?
“We knew the weather was perfect, and Jon seemed pretty antsy waiting for the lift, which I attributed to his excitement for a full day of skiing. On the ride up, he casually mentioned we should take a picture at the top before the day got away from us and we forgot. Once we got to the top for our first run, we went off to the side and I figured we were in a good place for a picture. Then he told me we should take off our skis and walk up a little higher. I was so confused because this was taking time from skiing, and it seemed like an awful lot of hassle for a selfie, but I went along with it. Then he asked me to take the picture because “it was a better angle,” which conveniently required me to take off my left glove. I just kept thinking, this is odd, but tried not to read into it. I took a quick picture then as I handed him his phone, he paused and gave me a look, and at that point I knew. He held both of my hands, looked me in the eyes, and I think teared up before he even started speaking.”
• Jon, how were you feeling the morning of your proposal?
“I was super excited the weather looked better than it had been the day before. I was also super anxious to get to the spot and also nervous that I would somehow slip up in the hours before and give the surprise away.”
• What do you two remember most about your proposal?
Jon : “Brittany’s answer, ‘Yes!’ Then I remember thinking to myself just don’t drop the ring because I was kneeling in a couple feet of fresh powder. The rest was a little bit of a blur.”
Brittany :”I remember being so excited I could barely contain myself. As he was down on one knee in the snow, it was all I could do to keep myself from wrapping him in a big hug, which I knew would likely cause us both to fall into the snow, but I didn’t know where the ring was and I didn’t want to lose it in the powder, so I kept my composure the best I could! I then heard a camera snapping away, and I remember saying, “Oh look at that! That nice lady caught all of this on camera!” Then Jon told me he hired Taylor and her husband (Mike)! So cool!”
• What did you guys do for the rest of the day?
We stopped at the lodge and immediately called our parents and siblings to share the news, then we skied the rest of the day because the weather was gorgeous! At the end of the day, we left the mountain and headed to Fort Collins to surprise Jon’s grandma, aunt and uncle. We even caught the end of the Super Bowl before crashing for the night.
• Jon, where did you get Brittany’s ring?
“I had the ring custom made at Sartor Hamann in Lincoln, Nebraska, which is also where Brittany’s parents bought their rings 33 years ago.”