Leona Campbell Blog | Colorado Wedding & Elopement Photographer
Colorado elopement and wedding photographer specializing in creative wedding photojournalism for adventurous couples. Based in Denver and Boston and available for engagements, weddings, and elopements worldwide.
When I walked into Alex’s getting ready room and was greeted by a chill group of bridesmaids lounging about in alpaca onesies, I knew it was going to be an awesome wedding day! But that wasn’t really a surprise—I adored Alex and Neil from the first time I met them. Their laid-back, no-nonsense vibe won me over immediately, and I was thrilled when they hired me to photograph their wedding at the Pines at Genesee.
After some getting ready shots at their respective hotels in Golden, we made our way to Clear Creek Park for their first look and portraits. Then, it was into the limo and up the road to the Pines, where guests gathered on the evergreen terrace just after sunset to witness Alex and Neil exchange their vows. It was a beautiful ceremony beneath the evergreens, the golden lights twinkling overhead as the last light faded in the sky to the west. Afterwards, everyone headed indoors to warm up and enjoy a wonderful reception, with delicious food, heartfelt toasts, and an excellent dance party. Here are a few of my favorite images from the day.
I met Alex and Neil (and their beautiful dog, Buxton!) for their engagement session in downtown Denver on an early spring morning in April. The trees were just beginning to bloom, but the day was warm enough for a leisurely stroll. We had a wonderful time exploring Confluence Park, the Denver Millennium Bridge, and the streets of downtown Denver. This weekend, I’ll be photographing their wedding up in Genesee—can’t wait to see these two again in a just a few days!
When I arrived at Gedney Farm on Emma and Issei’s wedding day, amidst low clouds and a steady rain, I entertained what was almost certainly a vain hope that they would not be deterred from having their ceremony outdoors. The forecast predicted a clearing just before their ceremony, and I knew that it would make for a beautiful sky and dramatic light; I also knew that most couples would be unwilling to make a call like that while the rain still pattered overhead.
But one should never underestimate the stubbornness of a couple whose relationship has spanned nearly a decade and multiple continents. These two have built and sustained their relationship over time and distance that would discourage less determined souls. So what was a little rain on their wedding day?
They made the call. And as predicted, the rain cleared; it was the sun that accompanied them as they made their way across the fields to the ceremony. Surrounded by their closest friends and family, they exchanged their vows amid smiles, laughter, and joyful tears.
That laughter and joy carried through the night, with some of the funniest and most heartfelt wedding speeches I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing. Not to mention the dance party! What a privilege it was to document all of the wonderful moments of this day, and the treasured relationships they represent.
I love it when couples are up for a bit of adventure on their elopement day, especially when it includes hiking to the top of a beautiful mountain at sunset! When Robin and Anthony decided that they didn’t want the stress of a big wedding day, they decided to elope to Colorado where they knew they could have a low-stress but adventurous celebration that was just right for them. I feel so fortunate that this lovely pair invited me along to document their elopement! Here are a few of my favorite images from their mountaintop adventure.
It was a surprisingly mild winter’s day when I met Emma and Issei for their engagement session in the arboretum—perfect for a leisurely stroll through a beautiful grove of conifers. We meandered on and off the path, enjoying the rich evergreen scent and the soft afternoon sunshine, amid laughter and protestations that they weren’t quite sure what to do, how to pose…and yet proving to be experts at the things that make for the most beautiful photos: simply being themselves, in love, enjoying each other’s company. I can’t wait to photograph this lovely pair again on their wedding day!
When I first met Kaylin and Aaron, they told me about their plan for their wedding day—which was really that they didn’t have much of a plan. As much as they wanted to celebrate with their closest family and friends, neither of them were particularly interested in spending too much time planning or deciding on a lot of unnecessary details. This is true of so many of the couples I work with, and it’s an approach that I have great appreciation for. Couples who don’t get caught up in planning lots of little details are able to focus on what really matters—each other, family, friends, and creating a welcoming and enjoyable celebration (which, contrary to popular belief, has very little to do with decorations). And because they haven’t spent hundreds of hours planning out every last detail, couples like Kaylin and Aaron don’t get fazed when the unexpected happens—like an epic thunderstorm in the hour before their ceremony, when they had planned to do all of their portraits!
As I waited at Denver Botanic Garden’s Chatfield Farms for Kaylin and Aaron and their families to arrive, watching the water flood the farm fields and parking lot around me, I crossed my fingers that the storm would pass—but it wasn’t looking good. Within minutes the sky had darkened so that it almost felt like night. I started setting up my lights in the farmhouse to take photos inside, as Kaylin and Aaron went about preparing for the wedding day around me, pinning on boutonnieres, peeking out the windows at the storm, and chatting with their family and friends as the thunder crashed outside.
And then…the thunder stopped. The rain started to taper off. It looked like the storm was finally passing. Despite the unseasonable chill in the air and a slight drizzle, we all dashed outside to take some family photos. (I love it when couples aren’t afraid of a little rain!). The last of the rain soon passed, leaving behind a brilliant rainbow to usher Kaylin and Aaron to their ceremony.
And what a ceremony! Kaylin and Aaron self-officiated, and they had clearly spent significant time preparing their vows, which were infused with so much feeling, warmth, humor, and love. That warm feeling carried through the evening, from dinner, to toasts, to drinks and dancing under the stars. I feel so fortunate to have been asked to document such a heartfelt, beautiful celebration. Congratulations Kaylin and Aaron!
When Sarah and Kevin first contacted me about photographing their elopement/micro-wedding, they told me that when they got engaged, they started off planning a typical, big wedding celebration. However, like many of my elopement couples, they soon became disillusioned with process of planning such an elaborate event, which seemed far removed from what was most important to them about their wedding day. So, instead of stressing themselves out for months planning a big celebration that wasn’t really them, Sarah and Kevin traded in a typical big wedding for an casual, intimate wedding celebration amidst beautiful scenery, with only their closest friends and family. They traveled from Wisconsin to Colorado, where they exchanged their vows beneath the Flatirons, at Chautauqua Park in Boulder. Following the ceremony, we headed up to Lost Gulch Overlook to admire the stunning sunset, before making our way to their reception at a hip, local food truck park, the Rayback Collective. Everyone enjoyed delicious food and drinks, while mingling with the locals (and their dogs!). It was an incredibly beautiful, relaxed celebration. Thank you, Sarah and Kevin, for inviting me to document such a wonderful day!
Ceremony: Chautauqua Park, Boulder, CO Officiant: Jane Gorman Portrait Locations: Chautauqua Park & Lost Gulch Overlook Reception: Rayback Collective
Rashmi and Sam’s wedding was a confluence of cultures and rich traditions of celebration that drew on their American, Indian, and Nigerian heritage, with guests from around the world gathering to celebrate the union of two remarkable people. The day couldn’t have been more perfect. Being there to capture the many wonderful moments left me feeling incredibly uplifted. And what moments there were! The Bharat in a golf cart decked out with flowers, ceremony under generous oak trees, a quiet retreat together through rolling hills, toasts with riots of laughter, choreographed dances that Rashmi’s sisters put together with all of their friends, traditional oblation in honor of ancestors present in memory, dance party that was humming for hours—all of these, taken together, were like the blossoming of life itself. Here are some of my favorite images from the day.
The crisp air by Twin Lakes foretold the changing of seasons, anticipating winter with a dusting of snow in the mountains. As for Vanessa and Marcus, they had been anticipating long enough. Wanting to unite their lives with minimal frills and maximal beauty—in short, with the authenticity of their love—they drove from Chicago to Colorado for a self-solemnization elopement high in the mountains. I have no idea what they vowed to each other (in such moments I give couples their space), but the thoughtfulness and care with which they approached this moment gave everything the feel of being exactly as it should be.
As the sun dipped behind Mt. Elbert and company, the dusty blue of the sky changed to electric pink all around. And then, we made our way to Periodic Brewing in Leadville, where they signed their marriage license and broke into a doughnut cake, pints in hand, savoring the moment and the promise of all that lies ahead.