November 6, 2014

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 that I was relying too much on the ideal image and not being true to the situation I was photographing. I kept this in mind when I stepped into Brian’s parent’s backyard in Fort Collins.

Suzanne and Brian came to us with the idea that they wanted a simple backyard wedding that reflected who they were. The guest list was small, just immediate family and a few close friends. I’ve shot many backyard weddings so I immediately my mind went to the hundreds of photos I’ve shot or seen from backyard weddings. I let myself mentally look through these images in the weeks and days before the wedding but when it was time to shoot, I shut that part of my brain off and allowed myself to see the moments happening in front of me.

I’m glad I did. I was really happy with how the wedding unfolded. Eric made some great photos of the bride as I got the groom getting ready. The ceremony was a heart-felt affair and then the bride and groom got a chance to spend some time alone (albeit with two photographers in tow) walking along a lake at an open space near his parents house. The warm atmosphere contined as the couple joined their reception. Toasts were made, dogs were fed (I channeled Elliott Erwitt just a little bit) and we came away with a nice collection of photos that told the story of a lovely backyard wedding.

If you’re looking for a photographer to document your backyard wedding, feel free to drop us a line. We would love to talk about what it will take to make your day memorable.

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Chris Stark
Wedding Photojournalist at Stark Bellamy Photography
Chris Stark is an award-winning photojournalist and former news photographer who honed his craft at several Colorado newspapers. Documentary wedding photography translates perfectly into Chris' fly-on-the-wall style. Chris lives in Longmont, Colorado with his wife and daughter and spends his free time on the bike or hiking with his family.