Category: Blog

bride and groom kiss between columns
Why not make it a Denver Wedding
Denver rocks for weddings. I'm saying that because I grew up there and I married my lovely bride Jane in the Romantic Gardens at the Denver Botanic Gardens. But, I'm also saying that because I know a growing list of people are making it their destination. Denver might be their home city and it's a good way to keep it local for friends and family. Or maybe they're attracted by the craft brewing, fine dining and chic hotel boom that Denver finds itself in the middle of. Either way, the Mile High City is full of places to stage your perfect Denver Wedding. Aside from planning my own wedding in Denver, I have been in, attended and shot several ...
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Sunrise on St. Malo Catholic Chapel near Estes Park, Colorado.
A Romantic Weekend in Estes Park
My wife is amazing and patient! On Friday afternoon we headed up to Estes Park for a romantic weekend without our kids. This is the first time we have had more than one night away since our 4-year-old was born. What did I do? I woke up at 4 A.M. and headed out with my camera and a lot of warm clothes on. I can't help it photography isn't just a job, it is a passion that has been with me since I was twelve and developed my first roll of black and white film. That is what made me leave the warm bed and condo to head out and look for coffee and a good spot for sunrise. After hitting the coffee shop my brain started working better and I ...
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bridesmaid with parasol
Fly-on-the-Wall
I thought becoming a wedding photographer meant losing the relative anonymity I enjoyed working as a photojournalist. I loved going to an event, blending into the wallpaper and making great images. Before making the leap I thought I would have to change my approach as a photographer. In my mind a wedding photographer helped orchestrate the wedding day and kept the pace of the wedding. I didn't like being part of the story so working this way didn't appeal to me. But, becoming a wedding photojournalist has given the ability to make photos much in the same way I did when I filled the pages of the newspaper. It was as simple as deciding how w ...
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bride and groom silhouette and spotlight
Beware the Flasher
Beware the flasher! How many times have you seen a photographer at a wedding or graduation blasting away with their flash or worse the little popup flash on their camera. There is a common misconception about the use of a flash and being necessary indoors or in a darkened room. Many people including some photographers believe that you need flood a room with light from the flash to shoot indoors or in mixed light. There are several problems with this beyond falling in a fountain. Without getting too technical, one problem is that the light is on the lens axis which can have several undesirable results including red-eye and drop shadows ...
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bride and bridesmaids pose in front of blue door
Formal Wedding Portraiture and Photojournalism
One thing we get asked a lot is, "do you shoot formal photos." The answer is: "Of course!" As photojournalists we love the spontaneous moments that happen right in front of us as people live out their lives. But even during the fast and ever-changing landscape that we inhabited in the newspaper world, we relished the slower moments of the job where we were able to step into the studio to photograph a model or set up lights for a location shoot. Many couples choose us for our ability to get those candid moments. But the question of formals always comes up. Some family members of the bride or groom might expect more traditional photography o ...
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father gives away the bride during ceremony
Eleven Things to Know About Your Wedding Photographer
Colorado wedding photography can be tricky! Especially if you are thinking of having a mountain wedding. We've all heard the expression "if you don't like the weather in Colorado, wait five minutes" and if you've spent much time in the Rockies you know that those summer storms come rushing in quickly or that beautiful crisp spring/fall day can turn into a blizzard overnight. In addition there are many other considerations when choosing a wedding photographer. We want you to be well prepared when you look at photographers and start making contact with them. Whether you choose us or not, here is a list of some things that you should be thi ...
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bride and groom kissing with mountain backdrop
Estes Park Wedding Photography
I love photographing weddings in Estes Park for one reason; It is an amazingly beautiful and special place especially with Rocky Mountain National Park as a backdrop. I grew up in Westminster, Colorado, just 40 miles from Estes. As a child it was one of my parents favorite locations for family picnics and camping trips. As a teenager I would go rock and ice climbing in the "Park" as we called Rocky Mountain National Park. Also in those days I would take my dates there. What can I say, winter, spring, summer or fall, it is romantic and beautiful place. There aren't many places where you can drive an hour and be in one of the most gorg ...
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touching up brides hair and makeup
Weddings and Window Light
To blast away with a flash or NOT! A good measure of a photographer is how they use the light available to them; like a window, door or light bulb. Do they expose for the light that is there or do they use supplemental light (flash or strobe) and do they use it well? I'm going to address window light for this blog because I think it plays a very large role in the weddings we shoot at Stark Bellamy Photography. We have never photographed a bride getting ready for her wedding outside, but in my experience around 90% of the dressing rooms, hotel rooms, and even one gift shop in Mexico, where a bride was getting ready, have had at least ...
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father kisses the hand of his daughter before her big moment
The Decisive Moment
Ever since Henri Cartier-Bresson put down his paintbrush in favor of a camera, photographers have searched for peak moments in their work, whether they are a photojournalist, landscape shooter or wedding photographer. The renowned French photographer, best known for Paris street photography from the 1930s to the 1960s, is considered the father of photojournalism and the idea of the Decisive Moment. Cartier-Bresson composes his images with the subject and their surroundings in mind while searching for that exact moment that gives the photograph meaning. Cartier-Bresson was more interested in "seeing" what happened and capturing that on fi ...
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Moment on the dance floor
What Kind of Wedding Photographers We are – And What We are not.
Some wedding photographers try to be everything to everyone. The best photographers I have know who have come closest to being all things to all people have been photojournalists. For me, photojournalism translates well into wedding photography. I think it comes from shooting so many different assignments in rapid succession while learning their craft at newspapers or magazines. The sheer volume of work coming at you on a daily basis is enough to separate the wheat from the chaff in a short amount of time. That being said, there are so many photographers with such different styles out there that it is important to do your research prior ...
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stylized portrait of volleyball athlete near net
Shooting for ESPN’s High School Magazine
While preparing for the launch of Stark Bellamy Photography's new site I was going through my portfolio looking for photos of high school seniors that I shot for ESPNHS.   The high school sports magazine gave me a chance to meet athletes that were at the top of their respective games. All of them on their way to college and some probably to the pros. It was called High School Sports Magazine when I started shooting for them in 2006. Since then the magazine was bought and sold several times changing its name to Rise, Rise/ESPN and finally ESPNHS before its demise. In that time I photographed athletes in, football, soccer, v ...
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bride and groom dance in silhouette
Light, Exposure and Beautiful Wedding Photography
I love light but I lust after the perfect exposure! To me, a wedding photo is never more beautiful than when light and exposure come together with moment. Photographing weddings in Colorado we are blessed with amazing and intense light. It can be pretty harsh and then dull then gorgeous all within a matter of minutes. We’ve all watched a summer thunderstorm come racing in, changing a bright day to overcast. Knowing how to adjust for these extremes is important when shooting weddings because the harsh light can make a bride’s white dress nuke out or a heavy overcast can make a groom’s black tux turn into a black hole. In other word ...
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