Groom’s First Look
There is something special about the moment of a groom's first look, that split second when he sees his bride for the first time. Whether it is as she is coming down the aisle or in an orchestrated first look before the wedding ceremony it is a moment absolutely filled with emotion for a man about to be married. At least it was for me.
Groom's First Look
There are essentially two ways to do the groom's first look:
Groom's First Look #1:
The good old fashioned way of making him wait until his bride comes down the aisle. We prefer this method as it is the most natural way for the first look to play out. You also have the added drama with al ...
June 1, 2017
Maternity Photos | Benson Sculpture Garden | Brittany and Nick
Benson Sculpture Garden Maternity Photos
We love it when our clients reach out to us to photograph them after the wedding. In this case, Brittany asked us if we could do some photos for them but didn't reveal the reason. We just thought they missed us and might want some updated portraits now that they had been married a whole year. We were pleasantly surprised when she revealed they were expecting and wanted us to help them spread the news through maternity photos.
When they showed up at Benson Sculpture Garden in Loveland, Colorado, I had already scoped out a good spot. In our days as photojournalists at the Reporter-Herald we had bot ...
October 13, 2016
Mountain Engagement Photos | Stacy and John
Stacy and John were going to have a mountain wedding at Stacy's father's house outside of Lyon's, Colorado so why not get their mountain engagement photos done in the same stunning and personal location? The only problem is the tricky Colorado spring weather.
Stacy and John's Mountain Engagement Photos
These two decided early on that they where going to have a mountain wedding at the home where Stacy grew up so why not do the mountain engagement photos in the same location?
We started out shooting their mountain engagement photos on a beautiful spring evening but the weather quickly started to change so we used an old Ford truck to kee ...
September 1, 2016
Star Wars Wedding Photos | It’s all in the Details
Star Wars cufflinks, check, Star Wars Converse, check, Star Wars underwear... So what do you do when the groom wants to do a Star Wars wedding and the bride wants a casual farm to table food truck wedding? Larissa and Aaron got married on May the 4th (Star Wars Day) at Lionsgate Event Center and they had it all!
Larissa and Aaron had several themes for their Lionsgate Event Center wedding and they nailed it on all of them. Today we'll focus on the Star Wars Wedding Details.
Star Wars Wedding Details
Aaron is a big Star Wars Geek so he wanted to have their wedding on May the 4th and Larissa took the idea and ran with it. She even surp ...
August 18, 2016
Evergreen, Colorado Lake House Wedding Photos
Last Summer about this time I had the privilege of shooting at one of the great Colorado wedding venues, the Evergreen Lake House. If you haven't seen it yet you really need to check it out!
Evergreen Lake House Wedding
I had the opportunity to shoot the Evergreen Lake House wedding of Emily and Dave with wedding photography veteran Steve Tinetti. Recently, I had been in my brother's wedding there, but until then I had never shot at this awesome venue.
Emily and Dave just had a low key wedding with family and friends in the log cabin style venue. Every thing was decorated beautifully, drawing attention to the rustic charm of the Lake ...
August 4, 2016
Intricate Details from a Stanley Hotel Wedding
Christina had this wedding dialed in. She knew the location was gonna be great - and how can you miss with an iconic location like the Stanley Hotel. But she also put a ton of thought into the details and it really shows! Read on for more info about these Stanley Hotel Wedding Details.
Stanley Hotel Wedding Details
Christina's wedding dress from Encore Bridal in Fort Collins was a classic choice with a lot of buttons. Remember the crochet hook for this one! Kenny's suit from Men's Warehouse provided the perfect balance to her beautiful dress.
Christina and Kenny purchased their rings at Fred Meyer Jewelers. ...
July 28, 2016
Dramatic Wedding Photography | Colorado Wedding Photographers
How to use strobes in Dramatic Wedding Photography: So you see those photos of a bride and groom against a dramatic sunset (like the one here) or a couple sitting in a wine cellar and they are lit a different color from say the dramatic blue light of the cellar shelves and you wonder how you can make a photo like that at your next wedding...
Dramatic Wedding Photography Using Strobes
I believe one key to Dramatic Wedding Photography is using off camera strobes. The problem may be that you have mostly used on camera flash and are a bit intimidated by off camera flash. You read blogs and all the talk of TTL and dynamic range and blah blah bla ...
July 21, 2016
Same Sex Wedding Photos Shot in Downtown Denver
When we first met Nicole and Asher we knew their same sex Downtown Denver wedding was going to be different than any we had ever done. Asher is a therapist and Nicole a dominatrix so odds were that they weren't looking for a cookie cutter wedding.
Same Sex Downtown Denver Wedding
Downtown Denver was always going to figure into Asher and Nicole's wedding plans and we were glad to hear it. We love shooting in urban settings. It gives us an opportunity to work in an environment that can lift the event to a new level. A couple, dressed to the nines, pop against the stark harsh landscape that an urban downtown offers. And when we heard about N ...
July 14, 2016
Black and White Wedding Photography in Colorado
Color is distracting! There I said it! When you look at our site you may notice something, there is probably more black and white wedding photography than color. Why is that? Well the answer is pretty simple...
Black and White Wedding Photography
Depending on the photo, there are a lot of things going on: People are dressed in bright colors, flowers are every where, green grass, trees, etc., you get the picture, right? In that same photo is a woman in white and a man generally in black or grey. The white pops out but has to compete with all the color (by definition white is the absence of color) and the black blends in. This is why we like ...
July 7, 2016
Rustic Farm Engagement, Mead | Colorado Wedding Photographers | Larissa and Aaron
Larissa had a vision for an engagement session photo shoot with her fiance Aaron. She wanted a rustic farm setting with just the right amount of personality. Luckily, Eric and I had photographed a wedding a couple years back and knew just the place for their rustic farm engagement session in the plains town of Mead, Colorado.
Perfect Rustic Farm Engagement Location
Stillroven Farm, a private bird hunting preserve, immediately came to mind. The farm is set just the right distance from the majestic backdrop of Mount Meeker and Longs Peak. The farm's barns and various outbuildings had just the right amount of character to fit Larissa's visio ...
June 30, 2016
Back in Print – Gay Weddings and Marriage Magazine
We were pretty jaded back in the day. Chris and my photos have been published in national and international magazines and newspapers in addition to the local papers we worked for but this... this is different!
Gay Weddings and Marriage
Gay Weddings and Marriage Magazine saw Asher and Nicole's wedding on Two Bright Lights and asked if we'd like to have it published in their glossy and beautiful magazine. Of course we would! It was hard waiting to see the finished product but it was worth it! What a great spread. We even got a double truck (one photo across two pages) and it's in black and white. Who publishes b& ...
February 24, 2016
Estes Park Engagement Session
Many weddings happen in Estes Park and we’ve shot a few. But, Brittany and Nick liked the idea of engagement photos done in the small town at the base of Rocky Mountain National Park. After making photos in town we talked about heading toward the National Park or perhaps to the Chapel on the Rock at the St. Malo Retreat Center. We loved the idea.
We met behind the shops along Big Thompson Avenue and made our way along the walking plaza that follows the river, stopping whenever a background caught our eye or the light was just right.
Once we exhausted all the spots along the river, we decided to chase the light to the Chapel on the R ...
February 9, 2016
Heartfelt Wedding at Beautiful Arrowhead Golf Course
It was a whirlwind weekend making photos with Kent Meireis, another wedding photojournalist. We pulled a double header, shooting a Saturday wedding for Sara and Eric at beautiful Arrowhead Golf Course, then it was onto Edwards for a Sunday Mountain Wedding with Mimi and Lauren. It was a bit of a blur but it was fun to see how two couples put together weddings so differently. Here's a link to Lauren and Mimi's Edwards wedding if you would like to see the contrast.
The weather was great. A hot day gave way to a warm evening. Her non-traditional flowered dress set the tone for this wedding. But Jewish tradition was in full effect as the c ...
January 26, 2016
Lauren and Mimi’s Beautiful Same-Sex Mountain Wedding
This is day two of my whirlwind weekend with fellow wedding photojournalist Kent Meiries (take a look at day one here). But this time we got to photograph a beautiful same-sex mountain wedding in Edwards. Lauren and Mimi are such a fun couple and their Jewish faith was front and center during this warm, late summer Mountain Wedding.
What a beautiful day we had to celebrate their day. The crisp mountain air gave way to a warm afternoon that provided the perfect atmosphere for their union. From the signing of the Ketuba, the traditional marriage document, to the ceremony under the chuppah, the ceremony was steeped in faith and tradition. ...
January 26, 2016
Hip Urban Wedding – the Studios at Overland Crossing Denver
I had the good fortune of working with fellow photographer Hardy Klahold for Carly and Drew's beautiful urban Denver wedding at the Studios at Overland Crossing. We have a big network of friends that do what we do and, occasionally, Eric and I like to shoot with other photographers.
It always feels strange shooting with someone other than Eric (at one point I texted him that I felt like I was cheating on him). We've shot together for so long, I kind of take what he contributes for granted. We have a way of communicating without words that can't be duplicated if you don't know the other photographer. That being said, working with Hardy ...
January 20, 2016
Favorite Wedding Photos of 2015: Part 2
In my newspaper days I never liked doing "best of's". I always preferred to look forward not back at the year. Since Chris and I started our wedding photography business my feelings on it have changed. It is great to look back and see how far we've come over the year and even from the very beginning. These photos also bring a lot of joy. I love seeing happy people and it brings a bit of warmth to think back on couples reactions to our photos. Now it is my turn to pick my favorite wedding photos of 2015, the Chris Stark edition...
Ok, so this is not a typical wedding photo (above), but it is probably my favorite photo that Chris shot all ye ...
January 8, 2016
Favorite Wedding Photos of 2015: Part 1
One of the most painful and best parts of being a photographer is forcing yourself to look back from time to time to get a sense of where you are as a photographer; to see how far you've come and to get better at what you do. Even though the New Year is really an arbitrary mark in time, we usually take advantage of this moment to reflect on the past season's work and reset for another busy year. This year Eric and I decided to switch things up a bit in our year end wrap up. I've taken a look at his work and selected 10 of my favorite wedding photos of 2015 and he'll do the same.
Starting off, Eric made a great photo of Nicole and Asher w ...
January 5, 2016
My Engagement… From My Wife’s Perspective
So I'm blushing already! My wife Khalana had a great idea. She wanted to share her engagement experience with everybody out there. She accuses Chris and I of always being guys and what can we say she's right. But her point is that Stark Bellamy needs a feminine touch occasionally and what can I say, she's right (see how said "she's right" twice already? I learned to say that after 10 years of marriage)! So without further maleness... Here's her memory of when I proposed to her:
StarkBellamy wife here... You may not be able to tell by Eric Bellamy's cool exterior, but he's actually a bit of a romantic. Our 10 year anniversary is coming up in ...
December 9, 2015
One Wedding, Two Photographers-Here’s Why
Ever wonder why there are two photographers at a wedding? Why do even one photographer businesses hire a "2nd shooter" for most weddings? Its because there is way too much happening at one time for one photographer to get it all. But there are other more important reasons...
You simply can't be in two places at once! How can one photographer get the bride and groom getting ready at the same time in separate locations? He/she can't so either the groom gets neglected or there needs to be another photographer. And, that's just before the wedding, what about the ceremony and reception?
During the ceremony there are multiple things going on ...
October 28, 2015
Rain or Shine- How to Prepare for a Rainy Wedding Day
Planning a summer wedding in Colorado? If you are, take a look at Brittany and Nick's rainy wedding, these two are proof that you can plan everything perfectly, have mother nature throw you a curve ball and still hit it out of the park with your wedding! You just have to accept that Colorado weather truly can change in 5 minutes and be ready for it.
Summer weddings in Colorado are always a bit of a gamble. The weather here is quite gorgeous most of the time, unless of course you plan to have your wedding ceremony between 2:00 and 7:00PM and any day between May and August. If you are from the mile high state then you know that there is a be ...
October 23, 2015
Kathryn and David’s Mount Vernon Country Club Wedding
David and Kathryn’s wedding stretched from the busyness of the Denver to the tranquil setting that is Mount Vernon Country Club just outside of Golden, CO.
David and his groomsmen got ready at the Downtown Hyatt where they played dice and had a few cocktails before getting ready for portraits near Buffalo Bill’s Grave on Lookout Mountain high above Golden. David had a relatively large crew - 6 including his friend who doubled as the officiant - so I knew it would be a bit of a challenge to wrangle them into a good portrait. But these guys surprised me. They did their share of goofing off but they were all game for doing whatever it too ...
October 8, 2015
Caitlin and Larson Heartwarming Brookside Gardens Wedding
We knew we would have fun at Caitlin and Larson’s wedding after shooting their engagement photos earlier in the year, but we weren't quite prepared for the heartwarming day that they had planned.
The stage was set for their Brookside Gardens wedding in Berthoud, CO. The venue bursts with color and the new arbor is a beautiful backdrop for any wedding, but the couple made it as much a part of their wedding day as if they were at their own home. Caitlin’s dress had hearts sewn into it made from the flannel of her grandfather's shirt and Larson wore a belt that was part of his grandfather's baseball uniform. The belt had broken a year bef ...
September 28, 2015
Lexy and Jonathan Family Brookside Gardens Wedding
Weddings are more than the joining of two people. They are also the joining of two families. That couldn’t have been more apparent than what I witnessed at Lexy and Jonathan’s wedding at Brookside Gardens in Berthoud, CO.
The couple also brought their Faith to the forefront during the ceremony with communion, prayer and worship. And a beautifully symbolic gift of keys from the father of the Bride to the Groom added a wonderful warmth to the union. The couple looked stunning. Jonathan, looking dapper in his dress blues, courtesy of the US Navy, didn't hurt.
Of course Lexy and Jonathan shared a quiet moment after the ceremony in one o ...
September 20, 2015
Adam and Nicole Pi Fort Collins Wedding
Adam and Nicole are chemists and they are also "planners and savers" as they told us when we first met about their Fort Collins wedding photography. They booked Stark Bellamy two years before their Pi themed Fort Collins Wedding. Yup scientists had a wedding themed after a number, but not just any number, 3.1415...
No wonder they planned ahead, March 14th, 2015 - Pi Day - was also the scheduled date of their wedding. They didn't stop there, instead of cake there were pies that were round, and, of course, plates are round. If you think about it, there are a whole lot of circles at a wedding, some intentional and others coincidental. Could ...
September 11, 2015
A New Look for Our Wedding Photography Website
So, you may have noticed that things are looking a lot different here at Stark Bellamy Photography. Over the last year we have changed our wedding photography website, our logo, letter head and just about everything else. I even grew a beard!
Our new site is big, bright and responsive. It is more easily navigated on whatever mobile device you choose, as well as in a browser on your laptop or desktop. We hope you will like the new site as you look for your wedding photographer.
After going through many different options for our new logo, we landed on what you see before you. Thanks to Rianna Riegelman at Riegelman Design for the new look ...
August 25, 2015
Our Best Wedding Photos of the Year: 2014
We want to thank all the happy couples out there. It was great year for us at Stark Bellamy Photography and we couldn’t have done it without you! So we have put together a months worth of our favorite photos. We used to do this every year at our respective newspapers so we thought it would be a fun tradition to continue.
So without further ado, here are our favorite wedding, portrait and engagement photos, one photo a day for the next 30 days...
Day 31: David jokes around as he places the ring on Kathryn's hand the final photo for our Best Wedding Photos of 2014. We love making photos of moments like this. It really brings out the ...
January 1, 2015
Fort Collins Backyard Wedding
I've learned not to rely too much on preconceived ideas before going into anything I shoot. As a young photojournalist I would spend hours poring over coffee table books filled with images from the masters. I would try to mimic them the best I could. If I was shooting a dog show, for instance, Elliott Erwitt's famous images of dogs would bombard me and I would try to come away with a photo on par with his great work. I would shoot hundreds of photos from every angle imaginable but the take always fell short and each time I felt crushed. Was I setting the bar too high? Expecting too much from myself?
With the benefit of hindsight, I see tha ...
November 6, 2014
Lets Get Technical: Using Strobes on the Dance Floor
I see a lot of photographers posting on social media and around the web asking how to light a wedding reception dance floor. This is something that we at Stark Bellamy Photography do on a regular basis. We honed these skills lighting dingy high school gyms and run-and-gun portraits in our newspaper days.
First of all let me apologize to the couples out there looking for a wedding themed blog, I am a lighting geek and some times I like to write about this stuff and help out my fellow photographers. Though this may give you an idea of where we come from and how we shoot your wedding, particularly the reception.
Disclaimer: To all ...
October 30, 2014
Photojournalist for Life!
Well kind of. When Chris and I started this business we went into it knowing that we would shoot journalism/editorial style weddings. There was no changing that. When you shoot a certain way five days a week for 12-years, it becomes as natural as breathing.
We always planned to keep shooting journalism style weddings, but in the marketing department we were advised to generalize our approach. So we went with a "we are wedding photographers first and our style comes later" approach to attracting new clients. We have found that many brides are not looking for our unique style.
Editorial style wedding photography was all the rage sever ...
October 10, 2014
Adam + Nicole E-Session in Old Town Fort Collins
I had spent a lot of time around Old Town Fort Collins while working at the paper but it was my first engagement session there. Going into Nicole and Adam's e-session, I thought I would have to see differently than I used to as a photojournalist wandering the streets looking for photos. Instead, I realized I had the opportunity to make photos I never had the time to make as a photojournalist.
As a news photographer who was constrained to an ethical code for years, I wasn't allowed to interfere with the situation I was photographing. With the exception of when I was making portraits, I couldn't ask a subject to act a certain way or move the ...
September 25, 2014