Mike & Taylor
life with a shared passion
We often get asked, “how do you live together and work together?”
At first, we chalked it up to the honeymoon phase. Then we figured it was because we were both able to avoid daily office commutes and edit without pants on. But after nearly a decade of living , working, and playing together, we’ve come to the realization that we simply wouldn’t have it any other way.
For both of us, the urge to create began at early ages.
I got my first camera when I was three. Nine years later, my parents finally gave me the batteries and some film. Although nobody would believe it now, I was painfully shy and equally awkward in my Hanson Brothers t-shirts and confetti-filled hot pink glasses. Photography immediately became not only a passion, but a social and creative outlet that allowed me to connect with people in a way I fell in love with.
To this day, I come alive at weddings. Brides become some of my dearest friends, florists and planners come to our home for dinners, and bridesmaids call us years later to tell us they’re tying the knot or adding to their family. Photography has not only fulfilled a career for me, it’s fulfilled my entire being.
When I turned four, my parents brought home a motorcycle that resembled a small, gas-powered banana. Like Taylor’s hot pink glasses, my full-face goggles and matching elbow guards completed my stylish wardrobe. My love for two wheels quickly led me to discover a love for two interests: photography and videography. It turned out you could ride a lot faster when you put yourself in fast motion afterwards.
That enthusiasm would eventually lead to a career as a creative director at a motorcycle magazine, setting the groundwork for the next chapter of my life: instead of documenting two wheels, I would spend the next decade with the honor of documenting two people.
Our couples come from all walks of life, but the one thing we always have in common is that we have found our best friends in this world, and they’ve agreed to marry us. Photography has always been my passion. But the anticipation, elation, and camaraderie of the wedding day, as well as the friendship that results, are the reasons I will always shoot weddings.
Let’s cover the important stuff… like how we ended up with seven alpacas and a llama.
Literally moments after we snapped this photo in Glacier National Park, a ghost-white family rounded a bend and yelled at us, “There’s a grizzly bear behind you!”
Hearing movement in the brush, and ignoring all wisdom when it comes to facing a bear, Mike (with our then 18 month old on his back) and Taylor (then 6 months pregnant), covered the 3.5 miles back to the truck in a little over 3.5 minutes. And Colter said his first sentence: “Hey bear!”
BEST CRAIGSLIST PURCHASE
Initially in search of a table saw, Mike (naturally) came across a herd of alpacas for sale on Craigslist. To clinch the already screaming deal, they were including a free llama. Who could pass on that offer?
Without a shelter or any idea what we were getting into, we were driving home with seven new family members. Since then, our girls have birthed three baby alpacas at our ranch.
CRAZIEST WEDDING EXPERIENCE
Early in our career, we shot the wedding of a Russian couple we adore who threw a wedding unlike any we’d ever seen. Prior to the ceremony, Mike was secretly ushered downstairs into a dark basement.
Walking into a closet and opening a hidden door, the groom began handing out shotguns, AK-47s, and gold-plated Desert Eagles. “Don’t worry. They’re not loaded,” came the heavily-accented reassurance. “But do not show our faces in this photo.”
BEST DECISION UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL
You don’t see those words together very often. But after a bottle of wine on a weekend getaway to Buena Vista, Colorado in 2016, we ended up calling a realtor.
Three weeks later, we had sold our home in Conifer, bought our 43-acre ranch, and moved into our camper while we renovated the 1885 homestead. It was a dream that we had long talked about, but just needed a little liquid courage to act on.
THE CAMPER LIFE
It all started with a 1960’s vintage camper we picked up on Craigslist (noticing a habit yet?). That eventually led to a camper that had a furnace, which ultimately led to a camper that had the crème de la crème: an actual toilet.
Over the past five years, we’ve spent over 600 nights in our camper, traveling to destination weddings, desert elopements, epic mountain biking singletrack, and breathtaking Walmart parking lots. You can take comfort in knowing that our camper now has a shower, so you’ll never smell us coming.
Leaving the National Western Stock Show but reluctant to end our date night, Mike dropped me off at Union Station while he searched for downtown parking. Moments later, Mike rolled up on one of the ridiculous looking rental scooters and swept me up. Or, more accurately, awkwardly attempted to squeeze both of us on a scooter made for one.
It was 15º outside but we explored the city until midnight, stopping only for hot chocolate in hotel bars and any excuses we found to warm our frozen hands.
MOST MEMORABLE CAMPSITE
We all have those special places that we think about when we’re stuck in traffic. Or facing a global pandemic. For us, that spot is 20 miles south of Moab, Utah, and an additional ten miles down a desolate four-wheel drive road.
But the rough terrain is worth it: a hidden slice of heaven in the desert, perched above a thousand-foot canyon with La Sal mountain vistas serving as the backdrop.
No campers here. Just a tent, a campfire, and the company of two million stars.
The Beginning of Us
“Cute pup,” said Taylor in 2012 in reference to Mike’s Golden Retriever. Little did we know at the time, of course, but those two words would end up marking the beginning of a relationship and marriage that would forever change not only our personal lives, but our entire careers as well.
After a first date spent devouring churros and cheesecake, we immediately knew we had both found love worth pursuing. The next year would prove to be a lovebird whirlwind spent camping every weekend, dog parks every day, and endless days spent exploring dirt roads by motorcycle. We officially moved in together just three months after our first date, in a small town outside of Boulder, Colorado.
And so began the beginning of us.
The End of Us (almost)
Thanks to way too many episodes of HGTV (aren’t we all guilty?), we decided it was time to buy our own fixer upper. With the 30-minute episodes making it look easy, Taylor casually spoke of tearing down walls, adding bathrooms, and making ceilings higher. Mike, not one to let an opportunity pass by, used Taylor’s optimism as an excuse to buy more tools.
Except instead of ripping out carpet and finding immaculate hardwood floors underneath, we found mold. And rotten joists. And walls without studs. And so began the next chapter of our lives, putting our relationship to the ultimate test, as any couple who has renovated together can attest to.
It turns out laying flooring at midnight isn’t as romantic as it sounds. But our relationship prevailed.
IN THE MOUNTAINS
On September 14, 2014, we tied the knot in front of our dearest family and friends. The ceremony and reception took place at a barn in Grand Lake, nestled against the Colorado River on the border of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Marriage has been the greatest adventure of our lives, and has reaffirmed everything we love about what we get to do for a living. We wake up every day filled with endless gratitude.
EACH of our couples has a different love story.
We just have the unique honor of getting to capture them ALL.
“Taylor and Mike are absolutely incredible people and photographers. Don’t believe me?
Check out their work and you will be blown away. Their talented is unmatched! Chris and I had so much fun working with them on our engagement shoot and wedding day. Taylor and Mike provide the perfect amount of direction and encourage couples to have fun and be creative. I appreciated Taylor asking for my input throughout the day and for making sure that they captured all of the photos I was hoping for.
On our wedding day, Taylor and Mike were EXTREMELY helpful and kept the wedding party and family on schedule. Taylor even helped bustle my dress when all of my girls ran off to cocktail hour! Needless to say, these two are the bees knees and they earn our HIGHEST recommendation. Chris and I were blessed to find such genuine professionals to help us capture our most cherished moments. Now, we are happy to call them friends.
-Jenny & Chris
Remember what matters
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re in the thick of it. The thick of planning the day that you will remember for the rest of your lives. The day you feel must be absolutely perfect. It feels like a lot of pressure. And it can feel overwhelming at times.
But it’s important to remember what actually matters. Because perfection isn’t about sunny skies, elaborate bouquets, or food served on time. It’s about the person in front of you, and the vows the two of you will make.
Make time for what matters
We know, we know. You’ve heard it before: your wedding day is a blur and goes by in a heartbeat. And they’re right. But what you may not expect, though, is that unless you diligently carve out the time, you may not have any time alone together. So my advice?
Make time for what matters. Schedule 15 minutes during the day for just the two of you. No parents. No friends. No vendors (not even us). Just fifteen minutes to remember what matters and soak it all in.
It would be an honor to be a part of your love story.
Colorado Husband and Wife Wedding Photographers
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