Grand Lake, Colorado: The Next Place You Should Visit

So, I have had the pleasure of traveling to the opposite side of the globe (Australia) and back, been honored to capture photos though out France and England and had my share of awesome stories along the way. One of the biggest regrets I have now in adulthood is having not learned photography until I was in my 20's and not having some of my larger trips documented correctly. But I have vowed to come home with at least a few keepers every time I go somewhere. As you may know, I recently got married to the love of my life who is so supportive of my passion and I can't thank her enough for being the muse that she is to my work.

Well for the honeymoon, we headed to a mountain house in Grand Lake, Colorado. It's a sleepy little mountain town that buzzes with activity during the summer season and winter skiing season. But just like Myrtle Beach, when the tourists leave, the town goes in to a bit of a shut down mode. Unlike Myrtle Beach though, the people that are left are the sweetest people that seem like they never have visitors. I know that sounds strange, but I mean it in a good way; everywhere we went, we felt like honored guests who they were happy to play tour guide with.

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We did go hiking up on a trail right out of grand lake, which is in a valley, and started making our way up the mountains on this path. The path led to Adams Falls and Lone Pine lake where we found plenty of places to enjoy the wonderful views and great air we were able to take in. Nothing beats hiking up a mountain. We went 14 miles without even knowing it! All in all it was an absolutely wonderful trip and I am so glad we were able . Hope you enjoy the photos!

Bridal Portraits - A Walk in Downtown Conway

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So, now that the coast is clear and Hillary and Brent are now married, I can finally post Hillary's Bridal Portraits!

First of all, CONGRATS to Hillary and Brent! And secondly, I would like to thank Hillary for such a wonderful shoot. This session took place in downtown Conway, starting in the same place the groom's mother had her photos taken and then ending down near the train tracks. Conway is one of my favorite places to shoot just for the fact that it's so historical. I love brick building and ivy fences and luckily for me, Conway is built on those things! Enjoy!

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Recording History: The Pastor's Pen

I am getting married very soon! It's finally becoming very real! See, Annie and I are the last of three couple in my church getting married within a 6 week period and I had the pleasure of photographing one of them. While shooting this wedding for a long time friend Kim, and, her now husband, Kevin, I was able to practice a little for how we would like to set up the church for our ceremony. Bonus Points! With all jokes aside, it was a beautiful ceremony and an absolute joy to shoot. Everyone was relaxed and able to have fun and enjoy the day. Here is a little taste from the photos afterward.

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More photos after the jump!

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My pastor married Kim and Kevin, who happens to be Kim's uncle, and after the ceremony and the formal photos were done, it was time for the marriage license to be signed.

Pastor Buddy pulled his pen out of the breast pocket of his suit jacket. Many forget that a pen is similar to a watch;  a piece of functional jewelry for a man. A piece of his own personal history that holds genuine and amazing history that signifies what he has been through in his life. Well Pastor Buddy's pen is absolutely one of those types of constants throughout his life. After joining the ministry, he was given this pen. a beautiful, slender work of art that he has always kept. A pastor has many jobs; he brings us all together for sermons, marriages, funerals and more than I could tell you. But this pen has a special story because after having it for over 30 years, it has only ever been used for one thing: signing marriage licenses.

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This pen has only ever graced the hands of people on the most important day of their lives as they spiritually, emotionally and, with the pen, legally bind themselves to one another. This pen has one job, and that is to permanently mark a contract of two people's love for each other.

Call me a romantic but I think this pen has an awesome story!

Did you have an item used in your wedding that has a significant meaning? How about something you keep with you every day? Let me know in the comments below!

Photo Of The Day: Surprise Engagement

So, this is the first blog post of it's kind. I just recently had the wonderful opportunity to share one of the largest moments in a couple's life: their engagement. After a few brief coded phone calls, I was enlisted to help Justin surprise his girlfriend on the beach with a special not in a bottle on the beach and a beautiful proposal. They were such a treat to work with and I am very excited to present their photos to them. Hope you enjoy the photos and the video! [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP5lfu4DeP4&w=640&h=360] Engagement-24

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5 Tips for Beach Family Photos

Excited about your upcoming vacation to the shore? How about some professional photos taken while you are there to commemorate the occasion! Now there are a few things you need to know before booking your family photos with a local photographer. Here are a few tips to help you along the way:

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1: Dont just pick anyone
- Picking your photographer is the largest hurdle for you to face. Not every professional in the area you are visiting is right for you. If you check for someone on Craigslist and that is their only way of showing you your work, don't be surprised if they seem inexperienced or unprofessional( I am not talking down on this type of marketing, Lord knows I received some very good jobs through Craigslist starting out. We all have to start somewhere). On the other hand, if you decide to use a company that is highly commercialized, be prepared to be up-sold with high pressure sales tactics. Many that work at these types of establishments know you came to spend money and want you to spend as much as possible of it with them. Find someone who seems easy going with you, personable and willing to immerse themselves in the family.
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2: Be relaxed and dress accordingly
- As a vacation/resort town native, I know how many people have their photos taken in matching outfits: Blue and Khaki, White and Khaki, White and denim. There is nothing wrong with this, in fact I kind of like it. You may be very comfortable in a white shirt and khakis, but maybe someone in your family isn't. An alternative would be to use complimentary patterns and colors, or different shades of the same color family. Uncomfortable dress is a dead giveaway when in front of the camera.
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3: Be understanding about lighting, timing and location
- A perfectly sunny day on the beach is great for splashing around in the surf, but in most cases, bright sunlight is a photography killer. The best time of the day for photos on the beach is in the evening in the hour before sunset. Especially on the east coast where the sun sets opposite of the beach which is easier to control than water over the beach. So, even though your photo time may hog a little more time before dinner than you would have hoped, it is totally worth it with the quality of light you are allowing your photographer to use for your photos.
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4: Let your kids be themselves - I know everyone has a different style of discipline and I am not Doctor Phil, I will not even try to tell you how to raise your kids because I have no idea myself! But what I can say from experience is that kids have a hard time sitting still and parents normally lose their cool at least once during a session because their kids are doing something crazy. That's ok! As long as they are just being kids and enjoying themselves the way they know how, most photographers are perfectly content with sitting and waiting until a toddler is happy to smile and look at the camera. If you force them, they will looked forced and Mr./Ms. Grumpy Gills will be forever captured in the 8x10 on the mantle.
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5: Plan your photos for early on in your stay - I know it may sound like a great idea to wait until you have a tan, but the risk is tremendous when dealing with the sun. When you want to spend your time on the beach soaking it in, the chances are you will have tan lines and your skin will look red when photographed
Hope this helps you understand and prepare for your beach photo session! Remember when in the Myrtle Beach area to contact me for your vacation/wedding photography needs!

Switching Roles

So today, I figured I would share some photos from my time in front of the camera instead of behind it. I got engaged last year and as you might know, I will be getting married later this year to my wonderful fiance, Annie. Last weekend we spent some time down in Charleston, SC with our good friend Mary King (fellow photographer) taking some photos for us. It is such a different experience being in front of the camera! I don't really care for it myself but I enjoyed spending some time with Annie and getting all dressed up and having fun. I feel like I learned a lot as a photographer and gained a ton of respect for my past and future subjects. Taking a photo is a difficult thing to do well, but getting your photo taken takes patience, confidence and trust of your photographer. Thanks to all my clients for trusting me! Enjoy!

 

If you would like to see more of Mary's work, you can check her out here!

http://marykingphoto.wordpress.com/

Facebook: Mary King Photography

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I had the honor of photographing my cousin's wedding in December. This would be my first Christmas themed wedding and I enjoyed every minute of it! Everything was so relaxed and good. They had the opportunity to enjoy their entire wedding without any major mishaps! They are both very fun, loving people and you can see it through everything they do! Heather and Troy-150 Heather and Troy-163 Heather and Troy-127 Heather and Troy-213 Heather and Troy-30 Heather and Troy-301 Heather and Troy-152 Heather and Troy-29

Please comment below and let the lovely couple know your favorite photo!