I met Jill through Art as Action. She is a gorgeous dancer, and a beautiful woman. I love the way she laughs, how her presence brightens any room. I was ecstatic when she asked me to photograph her wedding, and we started with her engagement session in Boulder.
Courtney and Tony have known each other for two years and are the most unique couple I have ever met. Courtney is a permanent make up artist while Tony is a motorcycle riding, comic book loving electrician. When Tony decided that he was going to propose to Courtney, he poured his heart into it and it took him six months of secret planning to finally pop the question (and the black diamond ring). For six months Tony learned how to ride a horse and joust, sword fight in heavy armor and play the part of the “Black Knight”. Under the cover of helping his friend with dance lessons for his wedding (this friend was not going to get married, it was all pretend!), Tony spent every weekend practicing and had to show Courtney his new (made up) dance moves after long days of rolling in the dirt. Then the big day came and in the tiny town of Wellington a group of performers gathered for a jousting tournament. Courtney and Tony showed up along with 100 other friends and family members (Courtney was quite perplexed to see so many people she knew!!). As the fighting and jousting took place, Tony stayed in the audience until Courtney was selected to hold a box that would be the grand jousting prize. She was given the key to the box and was instructed to keep it locked until the remittance of the prize to the winner. Courtney sat with her box as the black knight walked right past her and proceeded to win the tournament. The knight had a very tough time winning as tears (of joy) started to stream down his face as soon as he put his helmet on! At the end, Courtney was led to the podium and opened the box while Tony took of his helmet. There were many more tears shed, both on Courtney’s side and by the audience. The rest, as we say, is history and Tony and Courtney are now happily engaged 🙂 Congratulations to the two of you!!
The first time I met Katie was during a meeting for Art as Action’s show “Break Open” . The first thing she told me was, “I like to work with fire. Can you photograph fire?”
I had no idea how, but went “Sure!”
Hey, why not…right? So we did a fire session as practice for her engagement.
But on the day of the engagement session, it was so windy that we didn’t get to the fire. Instead there was Katie and David, me, Brian (my trusty assistant), a bike, and a bed.
Katie (Mesmerie) is an aerialist, hula hooper, and fire breather artist.
David (aka The Fermentor) is a foodie who is completely fearless. He rides his bike everywhere, loves passionate people and risky behaviors. Katie loves to say that he is the dangerous one 🙂
For this session I wanted to give them some classic, colorful, and timeless images.
I also enjoy sneaking secret messages and dates in my images 🙂
Because she is a performer and he is happily joining her on stage, I thought a bit of a cinematic feel was in order.
Denver can be very windy, which can also be a very lucky thing.
David’s bike is very important to him. They told me that we had to find a way to have it in our shoot 🙂
I agreed to the bike and then thought: If we are going to have a couple, a photographer, an assistant, and a bike with a trailer, we might as well carry a bed!
So we did.
We walked two blocks with a headboard, footboard, side rails, bed slats, pieces of plywood, mattress, bedding and pillow. In the wind of course.
It was so worth it!
The “bed” shoot was important to me as I wanted to add a fine art feel to the session, and after all, that is why they hired me! (little did they know about carrying all that stuff, but never mind..)
The bed was set by the Rialto. We built it in 5 minutes, the shoot lasted 10. By that time, an uncomfortable amount of onlookers started gathering on the side walk and it was time to move on. We only had one homeless guy try to lie down. Not too bad!
After the bed episode, we were so tired that we stopped for a beer. I convinced them to do one more shot (not of Tequila! ) and we settled down in the middle of Larimer street.
This shoot was CRAZY.
I loved it because it was completely fearless.
I also loved it because Katie and David understand that images become art in the hands of passionate people. There is no way to create something awesome without a bit of hard work, but it was their priority to do whatever it took to turn this session into a series of unique, artistic images. They also understood that this shoot was a collaborative work where every creative idea was welcome and tested. There was no right or wrong, no judgement, and the process was exactly the same as the one described in my fine art portraiture blog.
Needless to say, I can’t wait for their wedding on August 9th!
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