Oh man we woke up in a good mood this morning!! Marla and Jay’s stunning Red Sky Ranch Wedding was featured over on Wedding Chicks and we couldn’t be more excited about it!! The florals and design on this Wedding day were over the top beautiful and so bright, bold and unique, and we are so glad that the team at Wedding Chicks loved this one as much as we did.
This vendor team was such an A+ to work with, and the talent they brought to the day is such a huge part of what made it so special.
Event Planning: Jessica Gillespie with White Birch Weddings / Ceremony and Reception Location: Red Sky Ranch / Bride’s Hair:Jen Plocharczyk / Bride’s Makeup: Michele McKamie / Dress: Yoav Rish / Dress Salon: a&be Denver/ Groom’s Suit: Austin Hauck / Paper Goods and Design: Amy Kitt / Floral Design: Abbie Turner with Flower to the People/ Catering: Red Sky Ranch / Cake: Nothing Bundt Cakes / DJ: Greg Garman / Transportation: Timberline Tours / Accommodations: The Pines Lodge in Beaver Creek
These two. These two are incredible. A quick story about meeting them: we saw them in a crowd, I was immediately drawn to their connection, and I ran as fast as my little legs would carry me could back to Graham and told him (with ZERO chill) that I was going to shoot their Wedding. Lucky for me they think people with zero chill are cool, and a few weeks after that fateful day I got to photograph their Colorado Springs engagement shoot. As much as I know that we were meant to be friends (forever guys, ok? FOREVERRRRRR!!!), I also know that these two have such a uniquely beautiful love that I am so so happy to get to celebrate.
Justine and Danielle – You two are actual magical unicorns and the world is a better place because of people like you and the love you share (and shower on everyone around you). Thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my Scobey heart, for inviting me to take some photos of you. Love Love Love – A+G
Most of the country knows about Colorado’s weather last week. It was bananas. There was a snow cyclone and power outages and it was insanity. Before the storm, though, there was a trip out to the mountains for this Vail Mountain engagement shoot. It snowed exactly the right amount and we got to hang out in this amazing couples’ happy place.
Jessica and Cory – We LOVE knowing Atlanta people who find peace and joy in the mountains like we do!! Thank you so much for letting us hang out in Vail with you. We hope that you got plenty of time to shred while you were here, and we can’t wait to celebrate your Wedding this winter!! Much Love – G+A
One of our favorite things in the world is getting to know a place based on its meaning for another person. The landmarks take on more meaning, the stories are more personal, and a place becomes a bit more special when we get to see it through the eyes of someone who loves it. That’s how it was last week for this beautiful Seattle Municipal Court Elopement. Each place we went had some beautiful significance to these two and their story, and it made us love Seattle in a whole new way.
To see the rest of Blaine and Tye’s Wedding images when they become available, sign up here.
Blaine and Tye – We are so grateful to have gotten to know you both. Your hospitality, kindness, and deep love for each other have been such a joy to experience. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for inviting us to document your celebration. We can’t wait to follow along and watch the next beautiful chapters unfold. We adore you!! Love – G+A
This has been the week of the bomb cyclone. Or bombogenesis. Or biggest snow storm ever. Really you can call it whatever you want. But before the snowpocalypse there was a beautiful boulder engagement shoot with this two love birds. They flew in from Los Angeles and we spent some time hanging out in the spot where they met and fell in love.
Stephanie and Adam, you two are the best. Thank you so much for taking time out of your week to hang out with us and skate (literally… skate) down icy hills. You two are the best and we can’t wait to celebrate with you this Summer!!
You’ve taken the leap and decided to upgrade to a DSLR or Mirrorless Camera. This is a HUGE step. No more blurry, flat iPhone photos. You are moving towards creating really beautiful, crisp images that capture feeling and moments in a way that a phone just can’t. We are throwing confetti in your honor. You are a rockstar. So how in the world do you decide what camera to buy for your family vacation? Where can you find the best deals? Is an upgraded lens a good option? Do you want fries with that shake? SO MANY QUESTIONS!
First answer: Yes. You always want fries with your shake. The salty just makes the sweet sweeter, ya know?
Which BRAND should you choose? Much like the Jets and the Sharks in West Side Story, there has been a longtime rivalry between Canon users and Nikon users. For ages, Canon cameras took the lead in their color and their video capabilities, while Nikon boasted better low-light features and sharper, more accurate focus. For years, if you wanted a nice digital camera, buying a Canon or Nikon DSLR was the way to go.
More recently, though, brands like Fuji and Sony have made huge strides and are producing mirrorless cameras that can give both Nikons and Canons a serious run for their money. Bottom line, don’t choose a camera based on the brand (unless your Aunt Belinda has worked at Nikon for 20 years… then maybe choose a Nikon to make her smile). Instead, choose a camera based on the features that will help the camera do what you’re wanting it to do.
DSLR vs Mirrorless? What’s the difference?
Digital Single Lens Reflex Cameras (or DSLR’s for short) came on the scene in the early 2000’s, taking the popular design of film Single Lens Reflex cameras and dropping in a digital sensor. It was the beginning of the digital boom in photography, and as the technology got better and the prices came down, DSLR’s became the go-to camera style for people who were looking to up their photography game. DSLR’s have a series of mirrors that allow the photographer to see through the lens of the camera while they compose a photo. When they push the shutter release button, a mirror swings out of the way of the shutter, the shutter opens, and the image is captured on the digital sensor, all in a matter of seconds.
Around the same time DSLR’s were beginning to make a splash, companies like Olympus and Leica were experimenting with taking the mirror out of the camera. By taking the reflex mirror out of the camera, companies could create cameras that were smaller than DSLR’s, and because these cameras had Electronic Viewfinders (EVF’s) photographers were able to monitor their exposure in realtime, rather than relying on a meter and/or the screen on the back of the camera. These cameras had some pretty big downfalls, however, and didn’t really catch on in the professional world until the mid twenty-teens when companies like Fujifilm and Sony started pushing the technology to a place where they were competitive with DSLR’s.
Great Image Quality
Fast and Responsive
Great in Low Light
Bigger than Mirrorless
Relies on Meter for Exposure
Older Feature Set
Small and Compact
Preview Exposure in Realtime
Cutting Edge of Features
Slower Autofocus (though improving)
Shorter Battery Life
Not as good in low light (depending on camera)
What FEATURES matter most? Megapixels, frames per second, video features, wireless control, LCD screens, sensor size. A girl can easily get overwhelmed by all of the bells and whistles being offered by camera companies. Well, we are here to tell you which ones to focus on, and which ones would be the equivalent to having square cup holders – maybe they look cool… but in reality, we don’t need them.
Megapixels – This is a number that, for over a decade, camera companies have been touting to sell more cameras. It refers to the resolution, or “size”, of the photo that the camera takes. These days, though, unless you plan on printing your photos on billboards or cropping your photos to 1/10th of what they were before, the megapixel competition is relatively unimportant. Almost every DSLR or Mirrorless camera that is coming out has more than adequate resolution to print huge prints without any pixelation, so don’t get caught up in this marketing ploy.
Frames Per Second – This is another number often used in marketing new cameras. It refers to how quickly the camera can take photos on its highest continuous setting. This is an important number to pay attention to if you are photographing things that move quickly; sports or birds, for example. But again, most cameras are going to have a more than adequate FPS for capturing those fast moving toddlers
Low Light Performance – This is one that we really want to pay attention to. Sometimes marketed as “High ISO Performance”, this will determine the quality of our images when we are shooting in low light environments. This is helpful because it allows us to use higher shutter speeds when we are in a dark environment without adding noise or artifacts to our photos.
Sensor Size – “Full Frame” and “Micro 4/3rds” and “APSC” all sound like mumbo jumbo created by nerds in a lab (and probably are), but they also refer to the size of the sensor in the camera. The sensor is the part of the camera that captures light and turns it into a digital image. The size of the sensor is important to pay attention to for a few reasons. First, it will determine what, if any, focal distance conversion you will have on your lenses. For example, a 50mm lens on an APSC sensor camera is actually about a 85mm lens. Also, the bigger the sensor, the shorter the depth of field you can achieve, meaning you can take a photo where just a small part is in focus, and the rest of the photo falls off into soft, unfocussed area.
Other Bells and Whistles – You will see a lot of other features touted on the front of camera boxes. Things like video features, articulated pop out lcd screens, film simulation modes, and built in wifi all sound like great features, but in reality you won’t use them all that often. Everyone has different needs and wants when it comes to a camera, so it’s important to ask yourself how you’re going to be using the camera and let that guide which features you’re most interested in.
Where can you find the best PRICES? One of the most important things to consider when buying a camera is your budget. You can easily spend $4,500 on a camera if you want, but that might mean that your family has to eat ramen for the next 12 months. By zeroing in on a realistic budget, you can start to figure out which cameras best fit your needs from a feature perspective and a money perspective. We’ve found that an all-in budget of $500-$1,000 tends to be a pretty realistic investment for entry-level DSLRs. You’ll want to consider the cost of things like batteries, lenses, warranties (if you’re into that kind of thing) and memory cards when looking at your budget. Amazon, Adorama, and B&H have fantastic deals on DSLRs. The beginning of the year (after the holiday rush) is a great time to buy a camera as the deals are typically some of the best.
Should you buy a lens? Your DSLR will likely come with one lens (which is called a kit lens in photographer speak). A huge advantage of upgrading to a DSLR or Mirrorless camera is the ability to change lenses. If you have money left in the budget, the first thing we recommend is buying a 35mm or 50mm fixed focal length lens to go with it. These lenses are great for shooting in low light, and have a great focal distance that encourages you to get creative with your framing.
Our DSLR recommendations:
Canon Rebel T6i: This camera is likely the most popular beginner camera of all time. People love it, and it offers some great features like a tilting touchscreen and wi-fi. It also has 5 frames per second (fps) speed when you’re shooting on continuous, so it’s a great option for sports photographers. The pricepoint for this camera is around $580.
Nikon D3500: This camera is being hailed for its quick and responsive autofocus (something that we think is super important – especially when you’re chasing down toddler for that quick photo-worthy moment). It’s got a fixed rear screen, a quick 5fps continuous speed, and built in bluetooth (no wifi on this camera). This camera is the least expensive on the list, coming in at around $400.
Our Mirrorless recommendations:
Fuji X-T100: Mirrorless cameras are all the rage right now, and for good reason. They are lightweight, portable, and just look really cool. We love Fujis for their vintage style and high functionality. The X-T100 comes with a really cool film simulation feature, 6 fps continuous shooting, as well as wifi and bluetooth capabilities. The downside to going with this lower profile mirrorless system is that the auto-focus and shooting are a bit slower than the Canon Rebel T6i and and Nikon D3500. But, hey, the fact that it can fit in your purse might just make it our favorite camera on this list. It rings up at around $600.
There are some really great options out there for your first DSLR or Mirrorless Camera, and the good news is that, if you do your research, you really can’t go wrong. Upgrading from an iPhone to DSLR or Mirrorless Camera for your family photos is a life-changing decision. You’ll find that your moments are captured more beautifully and that you’re creating a legacy that will allow you to remember the feeling of your most precious times together as a family for decades to come. Your kiddos won’t stay in this phase of life forever – remember it well.
Last week we got to spend a snowy afternoon with these two lovebirds doing what they love best: reading The New Yorker and visiting their favorite brewery. Elizabeth and John’s RiNo Engagement Shoot was so much fun. From the photo-booth to the painted murals, we loved getting to visit their neck of the woods.
Elizabeth and John – We adore you two!! Thank you for braving the cold and being so fun to hang out with. We are counting down the days until your Wedding!!!
Earlier this month we got the news that we’d been given the Wedding Wire couples’ choice award for 2019. The reason that this particular award makes us so excited it because it’s based solely on reviews from our actual amazing couples. Their kind words and trust in us mean more than anything, and we are so incredibly grateful for every moment that we get to spend building relationships and documenting celebrations of love. What a gift!! Thank you to our awesome couples – you guys are the actual best in the entire World!!
Friends, find you someone who looks at you like Andrew looks at Molly. Eyes wide with happy tears, like he’s seeing the next 60 years play out and feeling like the luckiest guy alive. This Devil’s Thumb Ranch Wedding was filled with moments like that: joyful gratitude and sincere happiness. It was the most beautiful day from beginning to end, and we couldn’t’ be more thankful to have been a part of it.
To see the rest of Molly and Andrew’s Wedding images when they become available, sign up here.
Molly and Andrew – You two are WONDERFUL. We are so grateful that we got to know you both and see you in your two elements – Santa Monica and the mountains of Colorado. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for inviting us to document your celebration. We can’t wait to follow along and watch the next beautiful chapters unfold. Love – G+A
We’ve been in the business of documenting celebrations for almost 11 years. ELEVEN YEARS. That’s over 500 first kisses, 450 cake cuttings, 125 sparkler exits, and probably 12 minor burns from said sparklers. We’ve gotten to be a part of so many beautiful moments… and we’ve gotten to see some serious amounts of stress and pressure come out totally sideways because of a rogue peony in the bridal bouquet or uplighting that was the wrong color. Friends, Weddings can be stressful and and they bring out a whole mess of feelings for people. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are other options.
You are not stuck with a big Wedding if that isn’t the thing you want. You are not stuck with being the center of attention in front of a huge audience of second cousins twice removed if that isn’t the thing you want. You do not have to spend money on things that will be thrown away in 12 hours if that isn’t the thing you want. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CUT A CAKE AND FEED IT TO EACH OTHER IF THAT ISN’T THE THING YOU WANT.
You can choose to do things your way. Whether that means an intimate wedding with 15 of your favorite people or hiking up a 14’er just the two of you, bucking traditional norms can mean getting to start your life together with the joint declaration that you you want to live life on your terms – not someone else’s.
Whatever you decide, we always encourage couples to hire an awesome photographer for even the most intimate of weddings. Elopement photography matters because, at the end of the day, you want to go home with each other and the memories of what made your day special. Photography has this beautiful, magical ability to reach into time and pull a moment out. Photos are a portal to the past, and if done right, they allow us to experience some of life’s most poignant moments over and over again.
We want our couples to not just have pretty pictures to show their friends and family back home. We want our couple to be able to go back and feel exactly what they felt in the moments that they read vows to each other on top of the world, or walked hand in hand out of city hall as a married couple. Choosing to write your own story is a really big deal, and we want to tell this part of your story in a way that you can carry it with you throughout the rest of your life. These images are for you, yes; but they’re also for all the people still to come. They’re for your children and their children – so that they can see the story you wrote and feel permission to write their own, too.
Choosing an experienced elopement photographer also means that you have buddies (that’s us!) to hold your hand throughout the process. We adventure and explore a lot, so we can find a spot for your wedding that feels beautifully, uncompromisingly, unequivocally you.
It’s your story. The only one you get. We want to tell it well.