Let’s Celebrate! | Elizabeth Jane Photography Turns 9!

Let's Celebrate

Elizabeth Jane Photography Turns 9

It’s hard to believe that 9 years ago I was fresh out of high school and preparing for the fall to head off to college and get my first taste of adult life. It’s also hard to believe that 9 years ago, Elizabeth Jane Photography was born!!

I grew up as a 4-h’er and started showing sheep when I was little, then eventually horses, and by high school I was taking photography as well. By the time I graduated I had taken all the levels of photography available except for one, Self-Determined. So I decided that I would take that level and create my business and develop a plan. And that is when Images by Elizabeth was born. I was planning on getting a degree in graphic design when I went to school in the fall, so I thought that “Images” worked well for both photographic images and graphic design images.

From that moment my business has been growing and evolving with every day! I went to college in the fall, and by the end of the year I was working with another photography company and photographing 20+ weddings a summer and getting a lot of experience under my belt!

For my senior final for my photography class I decided to rebrand Images by Elizabeth and developed Elizabeth Jane Photography. I decided to make it a little more personal by including my middle name, and also because I didn’t want to include my last name because no one would ever know how to spell it!

By the time I graduated college I had photographed over 60 weddings. And had 7 years of experience under my belt.

Elizabeth Jane Photography has had some rocky points. Some highs, some lows, and some growth! After college graduation my plan changed a bit and I got an office job a few weeks after graduation. I was commuting 120 miles round trip each day and had little motivation to work on my business and eventually my battle with depression got worse, and Elizabeth Jane Photography took a spot on the back burner for a few months (Ok, almost a year) and I took some much needed time for me. Mental health time is the most important time. Ever.

That soon changed! By June of 2015 I was able to go part time at my office job and by June 2016 I quit my job and took Elizabeth Jane Photography on full time!!

July 1st marks my 2 year anniversary of being self-employed full time and July 10th marks the birthday of Elizabeth Jane Photography (previously Images by Elizabeth). It is kind of hard to believe that its only been 2 years, but yet seems like just yesterday that I started all of this!

I couldn’t be where I am today without the love and support of all my friends, family, and fans! So this July I raise my glass to a crazy, fun, adventurous, stressful, and most of all, rewarding 9 years!

Preparing for your Headshots | Fort Collins Headshot Photographer

Headshots

How to prepare

Miss Darcy Photography
Elizabeth Jane Photography | Fort Collins Photographer | Headshot

What is your "look"?

Your Headshot is the photo that gives off the first impression of you as a business owner, employee, consultant, or whatever the situation may be. So you have to think about what you want people to think of when they see your photo. I wrote a little blog about "What does your headshot say about you" to give you an idea of the impact your headshot has on the people who see it.

Often the first question I get when people are getting ready for their session is "What should I wear?" and that is hard to answer because it changes for everyone based on how they want to appear. Do you want people to see you as a professional in a suit and tie or as a casual jeans and button up kind of person? Picking out your outfit is something that is so subjective depending on the purpose of the photos. But I do have a few tips about things to think of and avoid for your headshots.

Elizabeth Jane Photography | Fort Collins Photographer | Headshot
Elizabeth Jane Photography | Fort Collins Photographer | Headshot
Elizabeth Jane Photography | Fort Collins Photographer | Headshot

What not to wear

It's hard to say a general "You should wear this for your session" so it is easier to say what you SHOULDN'T wear.

  • Wrinkled shirts. Yes, I can do some photoshop and smooth your shirt out, but it can be difficult, time consuming, and not natural looking, so just do me a favor and pull the iron out in the morning and give it a little press for me.
  • Clothes covered in lint and hair. If you have a furry friend, make sure to run a lint roller over your shirt or jacket before our session to get rid of all the hair that may be on there. Those are little things that will make your photographer very happy! 
  • Ill fitting clothes. I know sometimes suits and jackets can be a little small, tight, and busting at the seams, but when you get ready for your session in the morning, make sure that it doesn't LOOK small. If you are testing the limits of some of your buttons, it is probably best to pick a different outfit. If your bra straps show, or your shirt doesn't stay tucked in, pick out something else, because you will have to be doing lots of adjusting throughout the session to make sure everything fits right.
  • Be comfortable. If you are wearing a shirt that you are very uncomfortable in or doesn't fit well, you are going to feel uncomfortable and it is going to show in the photos. So make sure that above all else, you feel comfortable.
  • Avoid very bright colored shirts. If you wear a bright (think neon colors) shirt it may reflect a little color off your shirt which will cast a weird color onto your face. So it is best to wear colors that are a little more mellow.

 

Elizabeth Jane Photography | Fort Collins Photographer | Headshot

Locations

I have lots of suggestions for locations we can go to for you photos, but if there is a place that would better fit you, your brand, your "look" then let me know! Think of what people associate with you. Do they picture you in your office or outside or with an outdoorsy look or an urban look? We can always toss around ideas, but think of a place that says "you". And I can scope it out and see if it will work for your session.

Something Old, Something New…. | Northern Colorado Wedding Photographer

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

The reasons for this fun tradition

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, something Blue | Fort Collins Weddings Photographer | Elizabeth Jane Photography

History of Something old, new, borrowed, and blue!

This tradition actually comes from an Old English Rhyme..

Something Olde
Something New
Something Borrowed
Something Blue
A Sixpence in your Shoe

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, something Blue | Fort Collins Weddings Photographer | Elizabeth Jane Photography
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, something Blue | Fort Collins Weddings Photographer | Elizabeth Jane Photography
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, something Blue | Fort Collins Weddings Photographer | Elizabeth Jane Photography

What does it mean?

As we have learned by now, there is a reason for everything. Whether its a symbol or a superstition or whatever, everything in weddings seems to stand for something! 

The Something old is a symbol of Continuity 

The something new represents your future

Something Borrowed is borrowing someone else's happiness. Typically a bride will borrow something that from a happily married bride. (So, if you want to keep this tradition true, you might want to borrow something from a friend or family member who is happily married)

Something Blue represents the brides faithfulness and purity. 

The sixpence is the most forgotten part of the poem! The brides father is supposed to place a sixpence in the brides left shoe to attract wealth for the new couple.

The bride is typically given these items right before her wedding to wear on the wedding day, but as tradition goes on, some acquire them sooner and some get them for themselves.

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, something Blue | Fort Collins Weddings Photographer | Elizabeth Jane Photography
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, something Blue | Fort Collins Weddings Photographer | Elizabeth Jane Photography
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, something Blue | Fort Collins Weddings Photographer | Elizabeth Jane Photography
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, something Blue | Fort Collins Weddings Photographer | Elizabeth Jane Photography

What can you use?

Something Old

Jewelry is usually what I see as the something old. Wearing a grandmothers old necklace or moms ring. Anything that is a family heirloom. I had one couple who had a cake topper on their cake that had been in the family for over 75 years! Talk about a tradition!

Something New

Typically a brides "something new" is her dress, or shoes, or veil, or anything she bought to complete her wedding day attire.

Something Borrowed

The most unique item I have seen for this is mom's wedding dress. They always say "Save your wedding dress so your daughter can wear it some day!" and I have to admit that out of the 100+ weddings I have photographed and been to, I have only had one bride wear her moms wedding dress (the photo of the smiling bride and groom). And it was gorgeous!

The bride in the above photo wore a neighbors pearls as her "something borrowed"

Something Blue

Shoes, garters, and underwear are typically what I see for the "Something Blue". I had a bride wear sapphire earrings and necklace once, but for the most part I haven't seen anything too crazy on this one!

Another thing that I see often is brides including something of a loved one who has passed in their bouquet. The bride above included a locket of her mother and a little bottle with her ashes in it, so her mother could still be with her on her wedding day!

Cortney + Zach’s Wedding | Younger Ranch | Colorado Springs, CO

Cortney + Zach

06.23.2018

She pulled up her black and white “cow” socks as she said, “This is what my life revolves around, cows” spoken like a true ranchers wife. But the truth is, her life revolves around the two blond, curly haired boys standing next to her. THEN it revolves around cows.

Cortney and Zach’s wedding was gorgeous and the weather was perfect! No rain, a little cloud cover during times, and even a couple deer made their appearance after the ceremony and we tried to grab a couple photos with them!

One of my favorite things about photographing weddings is when I get to be a part of the family. I met Cortney at her sisters wedding, that I also photographed. Now, two years later, here I am with the same family members and knowing a little more of the story! It makes me so happy when “grandpa” comes up and starts talking to me without having to make small talk.

That’s what I love about my job. Watching families evolve. Photographing families one year, and coming back a couple years later to see how they have changed, grown, grieved, feared, hurt, and laughed. There’s something special about that. About feeling like I’M part of that family. It make me so happy!

I am obsessed with this wedding, and come on, look at Easton’s cute smile and those little curls!

If I were to pick a favorite photo from this wedding it would be from the end of the night as Zach and Cortney were playing the “shoe game” and Easton climbed into his dads lap, took off his own boot, and joined in on the fun!

Vendors

Flowers- Sara Andolsek

Officiant- Kevin Weatherby

Wedding Coordinator- Hannah Miller

Stephanie + Devin | Fort Collins Backyard Wedding

Stephanie + Devin

06.05.2018

I should point out that I am so awkward around people I don’t know. Which makes for a tough job when you are in the business of sales, especially for yourself! When I first met Steph and Devin I felt like they weren’t strangers at all (but that doesn’t mean I still wasn’t awkward) and I loved their story, their wedding plans, and not to mention their adorable son, Walter.

As Steph was telling me their plans for their wedding I wanted to yell at her (somewhat like a 8 year old jealous girl) “No! That’s my dream wedding!!” and when we showed up at Steph and Devin’s house, it was everything I pictured it to be!

Steph and Devin had a backyard wedding at their home, which they have bought from Devin’s grandparents. They were surrounded by their family and friends and had a dance floor set up on their lawn with market lights dangling over. Throughout the whole day my team and I kept saying, “I love this.” “This is perfect!” “They’re so adorable!” and we may have thrown in a few “Oh my gosh it’s so hot” here and there, but it was a BEAUTIFUL wedding day.

Steph and Devin, thank you SO much for trusting me to document this special day. It seriously means the world to me! I hope you’re having fun in Hawaii. Lucky ducks!

 

 

Brittany + Joe | Northeastern Colorado Wedding

Brittany + Joe

06.02.2018

Brittany and Joe both came from the same small town, but it wasn’t until a mutual friend introduced them that their story began. I LOVE hearing people’s story about how they first met, and with Brittany and Joe I heard the best parts of it at their wedding from their officiant (Joe’s uncle) and the Maid of Honor (the mutual friend AKA Matchmaker).

Once Brittany and Joe started dating I thought to myself, “Why didn’t I think of that?!” and I loved seeing photos of the two of them together from day one. Their smiles are both so big every time they are around each other. Not to mention their smiles are also contagious. When I left their wedding my cheeks were hurting!

Brittany and Joe’s wedding was a lovely afternoon wedding on the driving range at Riverview Golf Course in Sterling, CO. They spent the day surrounded by family and friends, and even Joe’s two-day-old nephew!

I can’t wait to see where life takes these two! Joe and Brittany, thank you SO much for asking me to be a part of your day!

Vendors

Venue- Riverview Golf Club

Officiant- Rodney Bellinder

Florist- Countryside Gardens, Sterling, CO

Caterer- Melody Hime

Cake- Melody Hime

DJ- Gordon Avenue, Golden, CO

About Me | Reflecting on the past 12+ years! | Fort Collins Photographer

About me

Reflecting on the past 12+ years

November 2018 will mark 12 years since I photographed my first wedding. Sometimes I think, I don't know if I've made many accomplishments in my life, or even my time as a photographer, then I look back at my photos from that first wedding (where I assisted my sister and probably made more work for her than less) and realize how far I have come!

11.5 years, 100+ weddings, and two degrees (high school and Undergraduate) later, here I am, looking back on it all. This May marks 5 years since I graduated from college and 9 years since I graduated from high school. 9 years ago I started my last 4-H project, and started the first of many, MANY steps in my photography business.

For that project I officially started my photography business. I started doing jobs for money in 2008, as a high school senior, but didn't officially kick things off until the summer after high school. So this summer marks a LOT of milestones for me! It will be my 9th year in business, and will kick off my 3rd year of being a full-time, self employed photographer. Two years ago I said goodbye to steady pay, benefits, and a 40 hour workweeks to have rollercoasters of income, pay crazy amounts for "benefits" and work 60+ hour workweeks, but I wouldn't change it for the world!

It's hard to believe that all of this has happened in the last 9 years, but I am SO lucky to have been able to do this, and so amazed by everyones love and support through it all.

Here's to another 9 years!

How to Prepare for your Senior Session | Fort Collins Senior Photographer

Senior Sessions

How to prepare

Fort Collins Senior Photographer
Fort Collins Senior Photographer

Clothing

The question I get all the time is "How many outfits should I bring". Depending on which senior portrait session package you choose will determine how much time we have, but I typically tell my seniors to bring 3-5 outfits that they love. We may not use all of them, but it at least gives us some options based on the weather, the location, and how you're feeling. For ALL of my sessions, senior or not, I tell my clients the biggest thing is to make sure you are comfortable because it will show in the photos and you don't want to be tugging at your shirt and trying to make sure everything is all in the right place.

Don't be afraid to wear something fun and out of the box. If that's who you are, do it! I also tell my seniors that they can do some casual and some dressy outfits if they would like. Your senior photos are about YOU. What makes you, you? Keep that in mind when picking out your clothes. If you are a skinny jeans and Chuck Taylor's kind of person, wear that! Don't be afraid to express your personality! 

Do you know where you're going to school or what your will be majoring in or sports you will be playing? Include that! Bring a shirt with your future school's mascot or something with their colors. 

Girls, don't forget to accessorize! Bring options of necklaces and bracelets. Even bring scarves, hats, jackets. Whatever you like to wear, bring it. That is probably the one thing that most clients forget is the jewelry. And while I'm talking to the girls, don't forget the appropriate bras and underwear for your outfits! If you need a strapless bra for an outfit, bring it!

Fort Collins Senior Photographer
Fort Collins Senior Photographer
Fort Collins Senior Photographer | Senior boy | Senior Photo with Car

Props

Props are quite possibly the most important part of your senior session. Whether you enjoy music or sports or animals or underwater basket weaving, we can work to incorporate your hobbies into your session. Let me know what some of your interests are and we can make sure that your location and outfits match your props you may have. If you want photos with your horse, I will want to select a location that has some good space. If you want to include your dog, toto, I will make sure to bring some of my "tools" to get his attention. And if you want to include books or basketballs or cars, we can do it!

I LOVE when seniors incorporate their interests. If you're not creative and don't know how, lets chat and we can throw some ideas back and forth on what you like and how we can turn that into a fun and creative shoot! I can't stress enough about how these photos are about YOU and the things you love and that mean a lot to you. Even if you think it might be odd or tough to make look good, let me know and we can always try something. Maybe you're into art, we can do pictures in an alley with fun murals or find some cool sculptures.

The options for your senior photos are endless, so lets make it fun for you! And if you're having fun, I'm having fun! I love when seniors get into their photos!

Fort Collins Senior Photographer
Fort Collins Senior Photographer
Fort Collins Senior Photographer
Fort Collins Senior Photographer

Locations

Your location for your session is what is going to bring it all together. I typically ask clients if they have a location in mind and if not, I ask if they prefer outdoorsy or urban. Depending on your outfit choices and prop options, this will influence the location we choose. If you're an outdoorsy or country person, I would likely not put you in an alley downtown because it might look out of place. 

I do have a couple requirements on locations as a comfort and liability for both of us

1- We have to have permission to use the location. Whether its private property or a park with permit requirements, we have to follow the rules and make sure we are allowed to use this location.

I know that a lot of seniors use train tracks as a location for their photos, but railroad tracks/crossings are private property and taking photos on them would be trespassing and subject to punishment. Not to mention it is not a safe place to take photos. So, unfortunately I will have to nix any photos suggested on railroad tracks.

2- It has to be a safe location. The last think I want is for anyone to get hurt so if something doesn't feel right or the scene looks unsafe, I will suggest another location. I've heard horror stories of photographers not trusting their gut when it comes to safety and I will learn from their mistakes.

I know that now I sound like a rule stickler and lame, but other than those two simple requirements, I am option to all kinds of options for photos. Whether it is your family farm, your school, a cool alley, or a beautiful park, I am open to getting creative and having fun!

Mazie’s First Year HLHS Warrior | Fort Collins Kids Photographer

Mazie's First Year

HLHS Warrior

Oh Mazie. This little girl stole my heart from the very beginning and if I could give her my heart, I would!

Mazie was born with HLHS (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome) and underwent heart surgery at just three days old and has since been fighting and getting stronger every day.

I met Mazie for the first time when she was about 2 months old, when we did her first session and I was amazed at her mother’s amazingness (that is a word, for this blog’s sake), Mazie’s strength, and her sisters patience while her parents tried their best to take care of Mazie and their little 2 year old.

Mazie was admitted into children’s hospital the evening of our shoot and after a lot of struggles and ins and outs of the hospital, they ended up doing her second heart surgery a little earlier than expected.

A few months after Mazie’s second surgery we did a little mini session/almost 6 month old session, and she was doing great! Her incision had healed up nicely and she was doing so much better!

I stay in touch with Mazie’s family and always have her on my mind while her family is back in Children’s, waiting for tests and answers. I don’t know how they do it! They are my heroes! I watch videos of them taking Mazie via flight for life to the hospital and they are always so strong and faithful. It seriously amazes me!

For Mazie’s first birthday, my intern and I spent the afternoon with the girls, taking photos of mazie and her sister. I stayed for dinner with the whole family, and I can confidently say that girl has an army of love and support to help her through this!

It has been a tough year for Mazie and her family, but I believe whole-heartedly (see what I did there??) that if they made it through the last year, they can make it through anything.

Happy birthday miss Mazie! I can’t wait to see where you go in the next year!

Wedding Traditions | Bridesmaids | Northern Colorado Wedding Photographer

Why do Brides have Bridesmaids

The reasons for this fun tradition

Country Wedding | Fort Collins Wedding Photographer

History of the Bridesmaid

When one of your close friends gets married you may wait around to see if they will ask you to be one of the bridesmaid, but the sad truth behind the history of bridesmaids is that they are actual evil spirit decoys. Many wedding traditions come from wayyyy back and they were often scared of evil spirits. The bridesmaids dressed up like the brides to try and trick the evil spirits. So, next time you are asked to be a bridesmaid, just know that you're really the brides evil spirit decoy!

Northeastern 18 | Sterling, Co | Fort Collins Wedding Photographer

Why do we continue??

There are several other reasons for the continuation of the bridesmaid. In this article in the Reader's Digest they said "There’s evidence of this custom {bridesmaids dressing like the bride} dating back to ancient Rome and feudal China, where a bride may have been required to travel many miles to her groom’s town, making her susceptible to attack by bandits or rival suitors. With a host of bridesmaids all dressed alike, it became that much harder to target the bride on the road or at her ceremony".

So the next time you're asked to be a bridesmaid know that you may be in charge of more than just making sure the bride has a good day! You may need to risk evil spirits and kidnapping!

McC Ranch | Loveland Colorado Wedding Venues

But what about the groomsmen??

Remember how the bridesmaid tricked evil spirits and kidnappers? The groomsmen, or Bride's knights, were there to protect the bride on her journey to meet the groom. It is also believed that in some cases these bride's knights were actually the kidnappers who stole her from her family to get married.

There are also sources that state the best man was often the best sword's man and he would stand next to the groom to protect him and the bride. I also read that the reason the groom stands on the audiences right is so that he can easily draw his sword if he is right handed and being attacked. 

So maybe you'd be better off asking the Man in Black or Inigo Montoya to be your best man than your best buddy from college who may be really good at drinking. Although, he may be the best option as a bridesmaid as in some cultures they are to drink all the drinks brought to the bride on her wedding day.

It is crazy to see how some traditions began and have evolved over time!