Chris + Karlie Reception | Fort Collins Wedding Photographer

Chris + Karlie

August 4, 2017

Chris and Karlie had a destination wedding, but had a reception once they returned to Colorado. I'm bummed they didn't hide me in their suitcase so I could work on my tan on the beach, but it was so fun to be a part of their Colorado reception.

I first met Chris and Karlie during their engagement session they won from my "How he Proposed" contest and had so much fun during our session. It's funny to think that I grew up in the same community as these two, but didn't meet them until after our high school and college years! Even our little communities hold some strangers!

Chris and Karlie had a fun reception, and even despite the rain, some of the guests continued dancing away on the outdoor dance floor! 

Congrats you two! And thanks for letting me in on your special party!

Vendors

Venue

Northeastern 18
Sterling, Co

Caterer

Chip Steger

DJ

Joe Marrick 

Fort Collins Wedding Photographer

Breana + Lance | Fort Collins Wedding Photographer

Breana + Lance

September 16, 2017

I think I've said this before, but I get all sorts of emotional when the girls I grew up with get married! When we were little we used to plan our future weddings and play MASH to find out what our future would hold. Now here we are, living it!

Breana and I have known each other almost our whole lives and it was so great to be a part of their big day!

Bre and Lance had a beautiful fall wedding and it couldn't have been  a better day in Northeastern Colorado! When you get married in Colorado you know the weather could change at any minute, but when you get married in Northeastern Colorado you know it could change at any minute. Peetz isn't anything fancy by any means, but for those of us who grew up there, it means more to us than anything! I have to admit that Breana and her mom made our new little community center look the nicest I have seen it look!!

Congratulations Bre + Lance! I can't wait to see where life takes you!

 

Vendors

Venue

Ceremony
St. Patricks Church
Sidney, Ne

Reception
Peetz Community Center
Peetz, C0

Officiant

Father Mike

 

Wedding Coordinator

Cindy Curtis
(Mother of bride)

Florist

Julie Blankenbeckler
Shelby Roelle at House of Flowers

Cake

Sue Hiett

DJ

Hitchin' Post Productions

Jarod + Denise | Centennial Village Wedding Greeley, CO | Fort Collins Wedding Photographer

Jarod + Denise

September 23, 2017

These two. I don't even know where to start. When I first met these two I fell in love with them (that's not weird, is it??) These two are the kindest, most loving couple I have met and I loved every part of their wedding.

When I asked them to share their story it sounded like a story from a romance novel. The two started dating just before Denise left for an extended stay in Asia. While she was there, Jarod and her mom came out to visit her, and it was then that she knew he was the one. She bought a custom made dress while she was there, before there was a ring, but she knew she was meant to be with him. 

Overtime I hear these stories it makes me so happy to be a part of the beginning of the story. I love documenting weddings for future generations. This is where it all started, and this is just the beginning of something so much more.

Shannan + Eric | McC Ranch | Fort Collins Wedding Photographers

Eric + Shannan

August 5, 2017

I reached a big milestone in my career this summer; I photographed my 100th wedding in August. I don't say this to boast, by any means, but to thank the 100 couples that have trusted me to photograph one of the most important days of their lives together. To the clients who have turned into friends, and the friends who have become family, I thank you!

There is an old wives tale that says that it is good luck for it to rain on your wedding day. In all my years of shooting weddings I've only had rain at a handful of weddings, but Shannan and Eric's was a new adventure where we had not only rain (during the most important parts of the day at the first look and during the ceremony), but we also had the fun of a little Colorado hail storm. It started to sprinkle as we were getting ready for the ceremony and we decided to make it quick and continue as planned with the outdoor ceremony. Eric had said his vows when it started to hail and everyone scattered and made their way inside.

One thing I always tell my brides is that no matter how much you plan and try to prepare for everything, it is a wedding and SOMETHING will most likely not go as planned. Whether its something as simple as a mishap with the flowers or cake, to something as big as stopping the ceremony halfway to move indoors and out of the rain, you have to go with it and accept it.

As we moved inside and started to get ready to start the ceremony back up, I saw Shannan frantically looking around the room, and I soon realized she was looking for me. She looked at me with a look of panic, I said "it's all good!" and she looked relieved and shrugged with an "it is what it is" look and we made the best of it.

In my early years as a photographer I would get really nervous when things didn't go as planned, but after 10 years as a Colorado Wedding Photographer I've learned that Colorado weather never goes as planned, and you have to be flexible.

Shannan and Eric's wedding may not have gone as planned, but I have no doubt that their marriage will. I am so honored to have been a part of your big day. I am so glad that through this adventure we have become even closer friends, and I can't wait to see where life takes the two of you! Congrats friends!

 

What does your headshot say about you?

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Headshots. No I'm not talking about sniping someone. I'm talking about the photo that you put on your linkedIn profile or website to show the world who you are. We tend to cheap out on headshots. Whether that means hiring an amateur or using a selfie from your phone, I think sometimes we forget what we are trying to convey with that image.

Your headshot is probably the first impression you will make with people. If they are shopping around for someone, they may try to find someone that looks trustworthy and friendly, but if your headshot does not convey that you could be losing business.

After spending about 10 minutes on LinkedIn the other day I was amazed at the quality (or lack there of) of some of the profile photos some people have. I am LinkedIn with recent College graduates, people that work for S&P 500 companies, and some small business owners. Some of the photos are made up of selfies, lots of cleavage, and photos of people eating a sandwich or chugging beer. Now, please don't take this the wrong way, but unless you are trying to get a job as a beer taster at Budweiser or as a sandwich taster at Subway, those photos are not showing off what you have to offer. QUIT CHEAPING OUT ON YOUR HEADSHOTS! Hire a professional and I can guarantee it will pay off in the end.

As much as I would like to share some of the "bad" photos I have seen on LinkedIn, I decided to spare those people the humility and decided just to share some of my favorite headshots.

If you're a dentist, you want a photo that is going to show that you are friendly, personable, but professional.

And the same with an optometrist. And why not show a part of your office in your photo? Who said headshots all had to have a solid black or white backdrop with a cheesey smile and silly pose. Don't be afraid to show off your profession and your personality.

Think of your headshot as a way to tell a story to your target market. If you are using your headshot so that clients, patients, etc. can see what you look like, then also show what your business looks like. And never be afraid to show what your personal values are. If you are an outdoor loving person, why shoot inside? Why not enjoy the outdoors in your photos too?

I am a Colorado native and absolutely LOVE this state. In the photos I did for my Christmas card I decided to wear some clothes to support my Denver Broncos, because to be honest, my business revolves around the Broncos games during football season. But why not also show off some of the beautiful weather we get here in the centennial state?

And if your job is a business coach, then take a photo that shows that you are approachable, yet confident and motivational!

And lastly, if you are putting photos on LinkedIn, DO NOT put photos on your LinkedIn profile that you would also put on your online dating profile. Don't show any cleavage, make sure you have a good background, and please, no selfies. When you take a professional headshot your goal is to end up with a professional photo that is clean, classy, and makes you look like the trustworthy and beautiful person that you are!

Out with 2017 and on to 2018

Out with 2017

On to 2018

Another year has come and gone and when I sit and look back at the last year I can't help but think of how much I have grown. I have grown as a business owner, as a photographer, and as a person. As always, 2017 brought some unexpected turns, but they only make me stronger in the end.

2017 was my first year as a full time photographer and I have to admit that it definitely tested me. I learned that sometimes you need to cry, and sometimes you need to put on your big girl pants and deal with it. If I said I did those two things at all right right "times" I would be lying. More times than not I just cried.

In 2017 I photographed my 100th wedding as a photographer. After about 10 years in the industry, I feel like I hit a major turning point in my business. It has definitely been so rewarding and I have SOO many people to thank for that!

 

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It seems like every year I say goodbye to more friends, and it never seems to get any easier. I said goodbye to two friends this year. One from college and one from my post-college years. Both of them were 26, and its moments like that that make you realize how short life really can be.

I said one really tough goodbye this year to my fur-niece. We had to put Nina down this year and it was so tough to go through that, but to see her in pain was so much harder than the pain we have dealt with since then. Nina was the dog that taught me to love dogs and the dog that protected me and got me through some really tough times. It has definitely been tough getting through the last few months without her (and her stinky breath and farts) by my side. 

 

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Jarrett Lee "Kansas" Bellendir

January 31, 1991
- March 15, 2017

 

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Michael Reuben Martinez 

October 11, 1990
- May 20, 2017

 

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In 2017 I continued to following my traveling heart.

In January I went on a girls trip with some friends to New Orleans and LOVED it! Everyone has told us all these scary stories about New Orleans, but we had zero bad experiences while we were there! It was so much fun and I fell in love with the food and the music! We stuck around Bourbon Street and the French Quarter for the most part but did adventure over the Mississippi on a Ferry and took a bus ride to the swamp and did a tour there. They told us it was one of the coldest weekends of the year for them, but being from Colorado, it was nothing for us! I definitely want to go back sometime! 

I took a trip to Chicago this December. It was a quick 72 hour trip, of which I spent about 23 of those hours in the hotel room sick with the stomach flu. From the time I did have there, I loved it, but I will go back and have a flu-free adventure with lots of good food!

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I can't wait to see what 2018 has in store for me! I have been working hard on setting my business goals for the next year but haven't taken any time to make any resolutions for myself!! So on that note, I am going to go write some goals about losing weight and being fit, then get on to the good goals!

As always, thank you so much to everyone who has supported me in every way throughout 2017. I don't know where I would be without y'all!!

Love, Elizabeth Jane 

Tyson + Jordan’s Wedding | Brookside Gardens | Fort Collins Wedding Photographers

Tyson + Jordan

7.15.2017

One of the perks of my job is that I get great relationship advice every weekend when I am shooting weddings. At Tyson and Jordan’s wedding I got some more advice that was explained in a way I hadn’t heard before. Relationships are about balance. I loved that about Tyson + Jordan’s ceremony. The pastor told them that their marriage is going to be a balancing act. It’s not about giving and taking, but about balancing out the other. It’s about the differences that help make you equal.

I was so happy when Tyson and Jordan asked me to photograph their wedding. I got to be a big part of one of my friends big day and got to document the whirlwind of a day for them.

Every couple I talk to after their wedding day says “It was all a blur” and in the end your photographs are part of what helps you remember all the minor details of that day, even if it is the funny fact that your groomsmen’s suits didn’t fit or that you spilled spaghetti on your wedding dress. It’s the unexpected moments that make the best memories.

Shannon + Michael’s Wedding | Stonebrook Manor Wedding | Fort Collins Wedding Photographers

Shannon + Michael

07.08.2017

There are three words that you should say to one another when starting your marriage. I know, you’re thinking it is “I love you”, and during Shannon + Michael’s ceremony I thought those were the three words the pastor was going to say, but I was wrong.

“I choose you”

I know, my heart just melted too. Marriage is about choosing who you are going to spend the rest of your life with. For Shannon and Michael it’s about who to go on adventures with and who to love for the rest of your life. Who to grow old with. Who to love forever.

“I choose you”

Shannon + Michael are starting off their marriage with a big leap and moving overseas to follow their dreams of teaching abroad, and I couldn’t me more excited for them!

Best of luck to you two! I can’t wait to see where life takes you!!

Megan + Norm Wedding | Fort Collins Wedding Photographers

Megan + Norman

06.24.2017

As I am nearing 100 weddings I think about all of the things I have seen at weddings, and surprisingly, Megan + Norm were a first for me on many different levels. They were the first wedding I photographed without a wedding party. Megan is the oldest of 5 and Norm is one of 4 boys and their siblings all played a big part in their wedding without the title of “wedding party”. I love seeing all the family members involved in their wedding!

This was my first wedding in the town of Holyoke, Colorado, which is surprising since I grew up close to that area and know many people in the community! It was also the first time I had seen that started with a German style wedding march. It was so awesome to see ALL their guests participating in the march and then surrounding them as they shared their first dance together.

Their wedding may have had a lot of firsts for me, but it also just the beginning of many firsts for Megan + Norm. This is just the beginning of your lives together! The first step of many as husband and wife!

Thank you again SO much for the honor of documenting your big day!

Jade + Jake Wedding | Fort Collins Wedding Photographer

Jake + Jade

07.01.2017

There is something about riding on a party bus with the wedding party and taking pictures in a field of wheat that takes me home. To some, that wouldn’t be a very exciting part of your wedding, but for those of us that grew up in the country, nothing beats a country road and a wheat field at the end of the day.

One of my [many] favorite parts of wedding is watching all the couples dancing and seeing how there are so many different kinds of love, and love is for all ages. At Jade + Jake’s wedding I watched them dance alongside their parents and in the background was their grandparents dancing with each other. It makes me so happy to see these couples as role models for our generation. Jade + Jake really have some great examples of love in their family and I am so happy to see them walk in those footsteps!

Jade + Jake, thank you so much for selecting me to document your big day! It was so great to meet you guys and I am excited to see where life takes you!