I've done some photos in the Vail area before, but I had never ridden the summer gondola and photographed at the "Eagle's Nest" before. It is stunning. I now understand why it is such a hot spot for weddings and elopements! The overlook pad and accompanying bench seating where Vail generally has folk's wedding ceremonies is spectacular and offers exceptional views of the surrounding mountains and national forest land.
Directly next to the pad is a great meadow for group photos and couples photography with a more rustic, wilderness look which made getting all of the photos I wanted a simpler task than usual. They also provided golf carts to ensure that Nicole wouldn't have to walk back and forth from the gondola since the overlook is about a 1/4 mile away.
I will say that it is a bit of a gamble having a mid-summer wedding up there due to the likelihood of monsoonal thunderstorms! It was a bit of a close call for our party and the gondola shut down for about half an hour, but it honestly worked out perfectly because it gave us extra time up top to take photos before the next group had the overlook reserved.
The cloud cover from the nearby monsoonal thunderheads made for fantastic lighting!
As you can imagine, Vail also has a LOT of lodging so accommodations were conveniently close to the bottom of the gondola.
Danny and Nicole booked a horse drawn carriage to guide them back to the reception and the carriage was much more beautiful than I had anticipated.
The wedding was beautiful, the bride and groom were gorgeous, the weather was fantastic, and I couldn't have asked for a better day of photography. Thanks you two.
When Haley told me that her and Seandor wanted me to be the photographer for their Durango, Colorado, wedding at Anarchy Brewing company I couldn't have been more ecstatic! I love weddings because everyone tends to be in a great mood, love is in the air after all, and everyone is there to celebrate and have a good time! Couple this event with a brewery and it is bound to be a fantastic time.
This wedding did not disappoint. It was held at Anarchy Brewing which already has a great vibe and this was their first private event. The owner, Matt, and bartender, John, couldn't have been more accommodating. These guys are absolutely amazing and I couldn't recommend them more! They are in the photo below.
We started the day with a photography session outside of town by a nice waterfall with a bit of an elopement feel.
After this it was basically party time. Everyone met at Anarchy Brewing Company around 5pm and there was a quick ceremony.
Wedding rings were exchanged, the paperwork was signed, and the party was back on!
Appetizers were build your own nachos featuring a queso fountain and the main course was Juicy's Shanty, a delicious local food truck. www.juicysshanty.com/
This was my first ever brewery wedding and man oh man I would love to do the photography for events like these more often! Please contact me if you are in need of a photographer for your awesome, fun wedding! Contact
I had a feeling that doing photography for this Durango, Colorado wedding was going to be an absolute blast and it certainly lived up to my expectations! I am honored to have been Sam and Maura's photographer and it is going to be tough to photograph a more enjoyable Southwest wedding! We decided to get some couples photos before the wedding and they wanted to stay in town so we made a quick pre-wedding stop at the river at one of my favorite spots.
Afterwards it was on to the Smiley Building where we took advantage of some shade because the weather was hot!
Sam and Maura decided to book a Durango favorite, the Smiley Building, for their festivities. This was the first time that I've done photos at this location and it went smoother than I had anticipated.
The building has an excellent lawn in the back situated above downtown that is great for views and for all of the typical wedding accouterments including a bar, ceremony spot, reception and dining tent, and yard games. There is always a nice shady wall to be found which is fantastic when the midday lighting gets too intense! The interior of the building is also interesting and provides lots of good photography opportunities.
The ceremony spot faces Northwest Durango which provided a great backdrop and good afternoon lighting.
The reception was a wild rumpus as I assumed that it would be knowing these two.
I highly recommend this venue. It is a fantastic location centrally located in downtown Durango and a perfect spot for any outdoor event or wedding. For more information about me, Durango, or the Smiley Building please refer to the following links:
The Smiley Building
Southwest Durango Photography
Sometimes weddings work out perfectly. This was one of those weddings. Abbi was great to work with from the start; we spoke on the phone and she basically left all of the planning to me regarding where we should go for their ceremony, reception, and photography.
We made some general plans and wanted to go up high in the mountains, but due to this elopement being in May it was hard to predict the weather so I kept some alternate plans in the back of my mind. Sure enough, the weather at our location (12,500 feet elevation near Silverton, Colorado) wasn't ideal. It was forecasted to be rainy, snowy, blustery, and generally cold! We did some photos at our original low-elevation location and then decided to bail on the high-elevation plan and go with my plan-B.
The temperature was great, no sweating, no shivering, and we got some nice cloud cover with no rain! The ceremony spot was fantastic and only an hour drive from Durango. Everyone was comfortable and our extra layers turned out to be unnecessary.
I would like to give a big shout out to the bride, Abbi, and groom, Matt, for being absolutely amazing to work with. A photographer's dream couple. Cheers you two!
If you are looking to elope in the Durango, Silverton, or Telluride areas please feel free to contact me! Whether you would like a beautiful vista on the side of the highway, want to get married on top of a mountain, or want a quick, beautiful spot to hike to, I am your guy. I have live and explored here for over 15 years and would love to take photos of you getting married at one of my favorite spots!
To book elopements or weddings please feel free to contact me via the following link: Southwest / Durango Photography
For area information regarding Durango and it's surroundings click this sentence.
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You never know just how a winter wedding is going to turn out as a photographer. It is challenging to photograph a white dress on a white background and it is difficult not to over expose foregrounds and backgrounds. Finding the right contrast is an on-going battle and the weather can hardly be counted on. Will there be low visibility? Will the sun be overly bright?
However, sometimes winter weddings, or elopements, just turn out perfect. Jefe and Chloe's ceremony and reception were exactly that, amazing! The weather was partly cloudy and the entire ceremony was amazingly lit and shadowed. The guests were required to ride snowmobiles and over 40 were rented in order to get everyone to the grounds. The snowmobiles were then organized into rows and used for seating during the event. One was also used to aid the escape of the newly-weds!
The lighting couldn't have been better, and neither could the backdrop.
I was impressed with how well everything worked out considering the outlandish circumstances. This elopement / wedding would be hard to match. I've been to this location several times during the fall and weddings here during that time are absolutely amazing, but I never imagined to see one during the winter!
The reception was held at Elk Avenue Prime in downtown Crested Butte, Colorado and was absolutely fantastic. It was the perfect spot for a small to medium size wedding party to celebrate downtown and get loose on the dance floor!
If you are considering getting hitched in the Crested Butte area I would definitely recommend this venue!
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North about an hour via car, or taxi, from Puerto Vallarta there is a beautiful little town by the name of Sayulita. Be warned: if visiting, the road from Puerto Vallarta can be a bit harrowing! The road is tight and serpentine for several miles as it winds through the coastal hills and jungles. I had the pleasure of experiencing this town for several days thanks to Cody and Leah hiring me to take photos of their little wedding, or elopement, that they planned in March (a great time to be there, by the way).
They rented a lovely beach-side cabana to stay in with their small party, as well as to host their wedding ceremony, just North of town. We employed a few golf carts to shuttle guests to and from town which was perfect for the sandy and cobble-filled streets of Sayulita.
The carts were also fantastic for whisking away the bride and groom for some candid sunset photos up the beach from the casa! The beach. Sayulita is in the midst of a large bay with a spectacular beach running from end to end for several miles. The town is on the Southern side of the bay, while our lodging was closer to the Northern end. The crew surfed every day that we were there. Several species of seabird were present in the bay and it was exciting watching them fish throughout the days.
The neighboring architecture, flora, and fauna also made for some great photography spots!
I couldn't be more pleased with my whole experience in this lovely section of Mexico! The town is cute and small, the lodging and airfare were very reasonable, the food was delicious, the beach was massive, the views were stunning, and everyone had an excellent time. The perfect wedding locale.
I was very excited when Danny and Nicole contacted me with a plan to take their engagement photos on Kebler Pass outside of Crested Butte! We were hoping to snowmobile to some stunning landscape views; however, the weather had a different plan for us..
A storm blew in the evening before our photography shoot and dropped a quick foot of snow on the ground. We were hoping that it might clear out during the day, but the snow continued to fall so we were forced to go into the forest for our photo session. Luckily the storm let up enough for us to take photos without snow clothes on!
The Crested Butte area is a great place for wedding and engagements all year long, as long as you are adequately prepared. Getting to and from CB in the winter can be a challenge depending on the weather. Most people drive 4-5 hours from Denver and the route requires vehicles to summit Monarch Pass which tends to be snowy and icy in the winter time so I recommend 4-wheel or all wheel drive if headed that way!
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Wedding / Elopement Gallery
There is a place near Silverton, Colorado, that is absolutely stunning and breathtakingly beautiful. A photography haven. If you are reading this post you are probably already aware of it's existence. This place is known as Ice Lake Basin. If you are looking to elope this is one heck of a place to do it.
My long time friend Justin "Lucky" Lavender contacted me a few years ago and told me about his epic plan to elope in this beautiful basin. I was honored to be his photographer and couldn't think of a more beautiful spot in the Southwest region to plan an elopement. We met at the trailhead early on a Saturday morning, Lucky and his fiancee packed their dress clothes and champagne into their packs, and we started hoofing it up the trail. After about two hours we arrived at the basin, around 10am, and began the lovely event. Luckily we had tied up the whole elopement around noon because the storm clouds were already brewing. Summer monsoonal thunderstorms tend to frequent this basin most afternoons so photos and visiting is best done in the morning hours. Be warned, this is not a roadside attraction and you will need to procure a permit before hiking over 2,000 vertical feet and 3 miles to this locale. From Silverton drive North on Highway 550 and take your first left onto South Mineral Creek road. The trailhead is about 10 minutes up this road on the right. Be adequately prepared! Weather and elevation can drastically affect hikers at this location. Check the weather and make sure you are acclimated as you will be hiking to 12,000 feet.
I have spent many days in this basin since moving to the area in 2006 and I absolutely love taking photos up there! Please feel free to contact me if you'd like to schedule a session.
Durango is an amazing place to take portrait photography. Make sure you are dressed appropriately depending on the time of year as the temperatures can range drastically. Whether you are looking for photos on the river side, downtown, scenic vistas, fall colors, winter scenes, meadows, or woods; Durango has it all. I love taking photos in and around the Durango area, but especially in the fall! Will you be in Southwest Colorado looking for photography work this summer? Your photographer is right here! I shoot elopement, wedding, family portrait, event, and landscape photography in the Durango area (Silverton, Ouray, Ridgway, Hesperus, and Pagosa Springs)!
There is an argument for saving money at your wedding or post elopement party by supplying your own alcohol via kegs and letting the guests struggle to pour their own beverages, but is it worth it? Only if you do it right. Kegs are always a pain unless you have a CO2 setup of some sort that you are confident with. If you aren't doing kegs you will be creating a lot of trash from bottles and cans, and good luck leaving guests unattended with liquor to self-pour; sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. Let's face it. It is worth it to at least have someone to dole out the drinks and make sure Uncle Dwayne isn't over doing it. Personally, for a wedding in or around the Durango, Silverton, or Telluride areas, I would hire the The Thirsty Rooster. These two will not disappoint.
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What My Clients Are Saying:
"My husband and I have known Andy for years and when we got married he was our first choice for photographers for so many reasons. We wanted someone who would capture our big day without it feeling intrusive, or forced, he was so fun and easy going and put us and our guests/wedding party at ease. His natural ability to capture and highlight landscapes made for pictures that showcase why we choose to get married in the mountains. He paid close attention to details, and got candid shots we absolutely love. Additionally he was so organized and got every posed shot we had asked him for, without us having to worry or keep track. He got the pictures back to us quickly and has been so fun and professional to work with. I highly recommend Andy for any occasion." -Nicole Patrick