I knew there was a reason I bought a telephoto lens this year and that reason became blatantly obvious during this particular photoshoot. Justin and I wanted his girlfriend, now fiancé, to be surprised; which meant that we didn't want her to see me when he bent his knee and produced the ring. As it turns out, it isn't always easy to hide and still snap great photos! In this particular setting there was no where for me to hide within at least two hundred yards. Luckily I have a 150-600mm lens that did the trick.
I dawned all of my snow clothes and arrived an hour early to find my hiding spot. I felt like a spy in enemy territory. The ebb and flow of the snowstorm during my wait added a bit of anxiety to my predicament; however, the snow treated us well and added an amazing touch to the final product. Luckily I wasn't spotted until after the proposal! As it turns out Durango photography isn't always straightforward, especially mid-winter.
Whether doing photography for a fall wedding with impending rain storms, spring High School Portraits with freezing temperatures, or completing a challenging high mountain Colorado elopement package, I have never been as nervous about messing up a photo shoot as I was for this particular Durango Photographer's mission! Thank goodness I didn't screw it up and was adequately prepared.
These two were amazing to work with and I'm really glad they didn't turn around before arriving at the proposed proposal location because the trek in was much more difficult than we originally expected. Their proposal turned out to be incredibly beautiful and very much worth the difficulties; probably as gorgeous or more so than the majority of my elopement photography shoots that I have done, in my humble opinion. As a Colorado elopement photographer I couldn't ask for a more majestic day.
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Wedding / Elopement Gallery
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So far this blog has been concerned with the following concepts: Durango wedding photography and Durango elopement photography. Well, if you are here looking for those things please view my previous posts or check out my elopement/wedding gallery here: Wedding / Elopement Gallery
This post is going to be focused on my original photography passion, landscapes.
Durango photographers have a diverse skillset and this is likely due to the environment surrounding us. It is beautiful, it draws tourism, it is the Southwest and the San Juans. People come here to have their events and we take their photos! Personally, it would be impossible for me to just be a Durango family portrait photographer, High School senior photographer, Durango wedding photographer, or Durango elopement photographer considering the stunning areas that I tend to do those types of photography in! Sometime I just want to take photos of the things behind the people.
Honestly, if I had the money I would open up a landscape gallery in downtown Durango and never look back; however, I don't have the money for such an endeavor! It's expensive... so I do portrait photography to pay the bills. Don't get me wrong, I love taking photos of people, but they just aren't as majestic. I would be surprised if you disagreed.
When I moved to Durango, Colorado, in 2006 I started exploring. In a short time I saw many beautiful sights and regretted having no ability to capture the moments. Eventually I bought my first camera. After photographing the local landscapes I started taking photos of people, mostly my friends. I then started hauling my gear into the backcountry while skiing to try to get some "powder shots" and this fascination with action portraits led me to general portrait photography and Durango wedding photography.
The Southwest is a great place for all types of photography. It turned me into a photographer; I wasn't one beforehand, but I most certainly am now. If you are interested in booking a shoot, or purchasing some large-scale art for your home or business please contact me! Contact
For more information on the area in general please visit: https://www.durango.org/
For more of my landscapes check out this gallery: Landscapes Gallery
The timing was perfect. The fall aspens were at their color change apex and the surrounding mountains had just received a light dusting of snowfall. Conditions couldn't have been more gorgeous... And then there was the storm.
As a Durango photographer I am constantly concerned about weather in the local mountains which tends to be erratic at best; Ally and John's wedding was no exception to "Murphy's law." The weatherman said "it's gon' rain," and I would be lying if I told you that I was not concerned. Photography in the rain is not ideal and when I pulled up to Purgatory it was a deluge! Luckily, as Coloradans know, a typical rain storm in the Southwest does not tend to last long. After a quick conference we decided to keep the ceremony on time and the wedding photography was a go! The clouds were dark, the background was ominous, and the photos were stunning. It did not rain again.
Luckily, as Coloradans know, a typical rain storm in the Southwest does not tend to last long. After a quick conference we decided to keep the ceremony on time and the wedding photography was a go! The clouds were dark, the background was ominous, and the photos were stunning. It did not rain again.
Spirits were high, temperatures were moderate, and the cloud cover was low. It was a Durango photographers dream. The lighting was absolutely excellent.
If you are planning and a trip to Purgatory and want to check the weather this is my go to web page: NOAA
Purgatory is a quick 20 minutes from Durango, it has beautiful views, plenty of amenities, and makes for a great venue for your event!
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Wedding Photography Gallery
If you are looking for photographers in Durango you can book me or talk to me about your wedding, elopement, or event click here:
Catie and Dan's Purgatory Wedding 2022
Fall weddings and elopements in the Durango area are absolutely spectacular. My favorite photography, whether it be portraits or landscapes, is during the autumn colors. These photos are especially excellent when complimented with lovely people and Catie's wedding did not disappoint. We had an excellent time whilst traveling around the Purgatory and Cascade Creek areas and capturing this awesome couple's love for one another.
They could not have timed their small wedding's date any better. The colors around Purgatory were at their peak.
Purgatory Ski area is roughly 20 miles North of Durango in the Southwest corner of Colorado and it's elevation is about 2000 feet higher than Durango's, situating it at approximately 8500 feet above sea level. This means that the fall colors tend to start changing 3-4 weeks before the city of Durango's trees which translates to beautiful yellow trees around the Purgatory and Cascade Creek areas in late September.
Catie and Dan got married just South of Purgatory Ski Area near Elbert Creek, under the Hermosa Cliffs, and in front of a very large aspen grove.
Their ceremony site was beautiful and so were the decorations. The photos were splendid!
The bride and groom were transported to and from the ceremony site via a horse drawn carriage which made for some lovely photography.
Weddings and elopements like this are a photographer's dream and I can't wait for fall to return next year! For information about Purgatory click the following link:
Purgatory Ski Area
If you would like to book me for your future event click the following link:
Cascade Village is a nice wedding venue nearby if you are looking:
Danny & Nicole's Vail Wedding 2022
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.
Seandor & Haley's Durango Wedding
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
Sam and Maura's Durango Wedding
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.
To check the weather for your upcoming event click here.
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.
Andrew F High
Durango / Southwest Photography's photographical journal.
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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