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.”
Wow, you guys. 2016 was simply put…insane. It was insanely amazing, beautiful, crazy, stressful, and awesome. It started the way all years do, in January. We visited two of our favorite places in the world, Buena Vista and Salida, Colorado. While we were vacationing, we went out looking at land, which wasn’t far from our normal. We’d been looking for land to purchase since we started dating in 2012, however, we weren’t prepared to fall in love with one in particular. When we stepped out of our truck onto our now ranch, we felt it. We were home. There were eagles flying over the property, elk tracks, quietness, and of course, the mountains. There was also a voice saying, “You’re here. You’re home.” I (Tay) resisted that voice. I was scared to leave our home in Conifer––our safe one acre home that we had worked so hard to renovate and love. After five years of living in Colorado, my siblings had finally decided to move out here with me and now we were moving further from them again. I spent the next 3 weeks (yes, 21 days…that’s how long it took to list and sell our house, buy a camper to move into, and move everything to the ranch) crying and terrified. I knew we were supposed to make this move, but everything in me wanted to stay safe and complacent. However, I discovered a quote that said, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.” For the next few months, that was my motto. By March 1, we were moved into our camper, Lois, and wondering what in the world had just happened. The rest of the year was filled with renovating the 1800’s cabin on the property (amazing blog post with reno images to follow in March), restoring all of the buildings at the ranch for our chicken coop, hay shed, and storage, purchasing a tractor, and building an arena and barn for our horses.
Just two weeks before we were going to finally move our horses, the inspiring reason behind buying our ranch, to the 43 acres, our sweet horse, Timber, fell ill and passed away suddenly. We had never ever dealt with anything like this as a married couple. The death of a pet, I would never wish on my worst enemy. The death of a horse, something so majestic and perfect, hurt physically. Every bone in our bodies felt this loss. We cried for weeks, but moved Finn and eventually, through grace and the big heart of a friend, we were gifted an amazing horse, Legend.
In June, we had a freak couple of weeks off (which never happens for photographers in the summer), so we took advantage of that time and went to Alaska for a couple weeks. It was unbelievable, and everything we had hoped for. Mike had gone in 2010, riding his motorcycle from Denver to Deadhorse, AK, but was amped and ready to go back for a relaxing vacation in the mountains! Check out our blog here : Fishers Take Alaska 2016
In September, we got to witness my mama marry her college sweetheart, Ted. Our trip back to West Virginia was a much needed refresher: there’s something about going back to your roots and being reminded where you came from and where you’re going. Poor Mike got put to work, but documented their wedding day perfectly (I love you!) I gained a stepdad, stepbrother, stepsister, and became a step-aunt (that’s a thing, right?) to Miss Emery.
^^Photo credit :: Lauren Webster Photography ^^
And then of course, our passion and career, the blood in our veins, photography. We had the honor of being a part of some amazing moments last year: we met incredible families and documented exciting moments between mothers, daughters, sons and fathers. We watched our couples welcome their first born into the world. We made new friends, reconnected with old friends, and passionately documented over 30 weddings across the state of Colorado and up to Oregon.
(We purchased a photo booth, which has been so much fun for our couples, their guests, and our own personal entertainment.)
This year may have been one of the most insane, but it definitely takes the cake for one of the most memorable either of us has had. The goals we set for ourselves in January 2016 far surpassed what we ever thought we’d accomplish both in our personal lives and in our professional lives.
To our families : thank you for your unconditional love and support for our crazy dreams, crazy schedules, and crazy house projects. We couldn’t do what we do without you.
To our friends, old and new : thank you for being there for coffee dates, hysterical phone calls, hilarious selfies, and being such a huge part of who we are.
To our 2016 couples: y’all are incredible. We can never thank you enough for inviting us into your lives and allowing us to serve such an intimate roll in your wedding day. It’s an honor we take very seriously and we cherish each and every one of you.
To the families who invited us into their homes: your trust and excitement for what we do and how we capture your loved ones is astonishing. We are continually humbled by your actions when you open the door to your home, offer us a coffee, and let us work our magic. Thank you for being you and for allowing us to play a small part in your lives.
To our 2017 couples: this is your year and it’s going to rock so hard! We are thrilled and honored you have chosen us to be your wedding photographers.
^^Photo Credit :: Autumn Twilight Photography ^^
We love you all!
Thank you, once again, for allowing us to pursue our dreams and do what we love. Capturing you and your lives brings us more joy than you will ever know.
Mike and Taylor
There is just something about high school love that is so sweet, innocent, and captivating. The pressures of dating, starting college, and moving are challenging in their own respect. However, finding the one who will go headstrong into all of those challenges with you, and ask for your hand in marriage, is a whole other element! Haydn and Jake met while they were in high school and when they started thinking of college, they were both relieved to know that they had found the one who would go through all of life’s challenges with them. “When you are dating, there are two options – to continue the relationship and eventually get married or to break up. Once Jake and I started talking about the fact that we wanted to stay together in college, despite being at separate universities, we knew that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.”
During their engagement shoot, these two were all smiles, giggles, and cuddles while the snow flurries blew around us at Sapphire Point in Breckenridge, overlooking Lake Dillon. The sincere love that they share is not only refreshing, but encouraging to watch as they finish college, move in for the first time together, and plan their 2017 summer wedding. Haydn and Jake, we are so excited that you have found each other and we absolutely can’t wait to be there with you as you say, “We do!” next summer! Congratulations!
Tay and Mike
How did you two meet? “Jake and I met in high school – well, not as much “met” as texted. We had a history class together our junior year and he texted me for the first time on November 28, 2012. Since then we have never gone a day without each other.”
Tell us about your first date! “We went to Red Robin to eat dinner on our first date. I got a half of a salad and Jake got mini burgers (which is definitely not what we would normally get – we were just nervous). We ended up having a great time and talking like crazy!”
When did you know you wanted to marry each other? “When you are dating, there are two options – to continue the relationship and eventually get married or to break up. Once Jake and I started talking about the fact that we wanted to stay together in college, despite being at separate universities, we knew that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.”
How did Jake propose? “Jake and I went to the Turks and Caicos Islands this summer. One night before dinner Jake and I went on our nightly walk along the beach and when we got to a sandbar he told me to walk away from him. When I turned around he was on one knee asking me to marry him. I was crying like crazy and after taking in the moment finally said, “YES!”
What has been the most fun element of wedding planning? “We loved being able to pick the venue together. It is such an amazing place and we cannot wait to get married there!”
What’s a fun quirk you love about the other? “Jake and I have the ability to have fun together no matter what the situation. We don’t care what is going on around us as long as we together we are having a great time!”
What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day? “We are most looking forward to seeing each other for the first time on our wedding day. That will be the time when it all sinks in and we will be able to begin an amazing day where we say, “I do,” and start our lives together.”