Blog

groom laughs as he dances with his bride for the first time
Avoiding Disaster in Fort Collins
Jamie held it together like no bride I've known. She watched as the skies over the Fort Collins Marriott threatened to dump rain on her wedding day. Then rumors of a tornado warning circulated the hotel room where she and her bridesmaids primped for the ceremony. I even overheard someone worry about the integrity of the dam that held Horsetooth Reservoir's water back from flowing into the prairie where the ceremony would be. Such was the atmosphere as I photographed this stoic bride on one of the biggest days of her life. It was only when the rain came - and it came in buckets - that she let her tears fall. I heard the rain before I saw it ...
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wedding portrait
Jamie and Chris Casual in Fort Collins
There were a few frightening and tense moments as the skies over Fort Collins opened up dropping buckets of rain and hail to the near continuous rumble of thunder. There were even tornado warnings. Miraculously it only sprinkled a bit at the venue and the ceremony and reception went off with out a hitch for Jamie, Chris and their two-year-old son Cole. We had a great time at the outdoor wedding near Horsetooth Reservoir in Fort Collins. The venue was the backyard of family friend Junior Garza and they couldn't have picked a better spot. There was a wooded area for photos, plenty of space for kids to play and a dance floor and two cove ...
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DIY Wedding Details
You you might get the impression that we aren't fans of detail photos, especially if you've read our recent blog post Spare Me the Details. It's true, we would rather shoot people than inanimate objects - that comes from years of telling visual stories as photojournalists. But, when it comes to some weddings like the one we shot for Amy and Aaron that included so many unique touches, we can't help ourselves. Amy created many of the things you see in the photos from the bouquets and boutonnieres fashioned from french magazine text and pheasant feathers to signage that peppered the reception tent, helping to guide guests through the event. E ...
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Engagement Session with a 2 Year-Old
When does a free engagement session turn into a family photo session? When a 2 year-old comes along! Jamie and Chris will be getting married soon and before we shoot the wedding they wanted to include their son Cole in the engagement session. No problem! Chris and I are both parents, one of my kids is two and we also do family portraits. So we both know how to work with small children and frankly really enjoy them. They are however always a wild card. The thing about kids and especially little ones is that no matter what is going on around them, in their minds they are the priority. Cole was acting every bit his age, so what are w ...
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DIY Done Right: Amy and Aaron’s Wedding
I come from a long line of DIYers. My family is known for putting things together on a shoestring budget, not only to stretch a dollar but to look back at a well-planned event with a sense of accomplishment. Such was the feeling I got as I photographed Amy and Aaron's DIY Country Wedding. Amy did a fantastic job creating her own bouquets and decorations and Aaron made sure her vision was carried out as planned. Eric and I knew going into it that it would be a photogenic affair at Stillroven Farm but it's always good to see just how the plans manifest on the busy day. I was tasked with photographing the groom before the event so I arrived e ...
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Bride runs in the country
DIY Country Wedding: Amy and Aaron
Ever been to a wedding with gun play? Amy and Aaron had a shotgun wedding of a different sort.  The bride and groom met while working at the then Colorado Division of Wildlife and their courtship played out in duck blinds, camouflaged turkey calls and in the fruitless pursuit of elk for their freezer. So it should be no surprise that they decided to marry at a private pheasant hunting reserve. The rustic beauty of Stillroven Farm made a great backdrop for the country style wedding. Amy and Aaron exchanged vows under a snow ball bush on the farm house lawn, then walked over to one barn to shoot portraits, then to another barn for the BBQ di ...
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Medieval Games and Weddings
A long time ago, way before I became a photojournalist or a wedding photographer I was asked to shoot a Medieval wedding. I jumped at the chance. The only caveat was that I had to dress the part. I didn't mind. Dressing up as a Medieval monk seemed more appealing than donning a suit and tie. And the outfit doubled as a Jedi costume for the next Halloween. Recently, I was asked to photograph another Medieval event - this time the Waldorf School Medieval Games. My daughter, Sequoia, is a 4th grader who goes to Shepherd Valley Waldorf School and this event is a rite of passage for the 6th graders at all the regional Waldorf schools. Student ...
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photo of barn through fence.
Engagement Portrait Scouting
Eric and I have scoured the corners of Larimer and Boulder Counties while on assignment for the various papers we worked for. It always surprises me that while scouting for engagement photo locations, we always seem to run across a place that's familiar but seems startlingly fresh. While scouting around Horsetooth Reservoir I was reminded of the many feature hunts I went on while at the newspaper in Loveland. Photographers were often sent out to come up with a pretty photo to fill a hole in the paper. These photos usually had little news value, but they were always fun to look at and made the reader think about their world a bit differentl ...
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Bride looks at wedding venue
Scouting the Wedding Venue
Do you have a vision for what your wedding will be? Does your photographer share your vision? Has he/she shot at the venue before? Every bride has a vision for what her wedding will be and we at Stark Bellamy want to see the venue through your eyes. Whenever possible we like to visit the wedding venue with the bride and groom. Even if we have shot there before we like to be on the same page with the stressed er.... happy couple. There is always a lot going on as you approach your wedding day, but I think it is very important that you tour your chosen venue with your photographer. Chris and I don't like to be too involved in the pl ...
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bridal party walking along snowy path
Location, Location, Location
Probably the most important decision around planning your wedding day is picking the perfect location. We have shot weddings on mountain tops in Estes Park and at recreation centers in the city. And, at the end of the day, no matter where the marriage happened, the happy couple loved their photos. Either way, taking the time to think about how photogenic the location can really help when selecting the right venue. Eric and I love photographing mountain weddings. The light is plentiful, the scenery is amazing and we both spend a lot of our free time in the great outdoors anyway, so the more the better. Couple that with a group of happy peop ...
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