YMCA of the Rockies Wedding

YMCA of the Rockies Wedding | Estes Park, CO | Jamie + Kristen

I first met Jamie and Kristen because they were searching for a Tahoe based photographer on Thumbtack that would be willing to photograph an unconventional engagement session in which a yeti attacked them in the woods and their dog rescued them and thus, they all lived happily ever after.

I was the perfect fit.  Duh.

After that, I was so enamored with these two that I couldn’t imagine not photographing their YMCA of the Rockies wedding in Estes Park, CO.  While we briefly flirted with the ideas of ziplining in wedding attire, climbing mountains and etc, in the end, we decided we didn’t have time and you know what, that was ok.  Their day was absolutely perfect just as it was: complete with rubber animal masks (not a first), berry cobbler instead of cake (be still my heart), a ring bearer dressed as Frodo, incredibly wonderful friends and family, and a relaxed atmosphere.  Kristen’s former advisor expertly relayed stories from when the two first met in her lab in college as she officiated a ceremony peppered with quirky hysterical readings.   The YMCA of the Rockies is an epically beautiful location that offers an exceptional place to hold a wedding on a DIY shoestring budget.  Your friends and family can all rent cabins or rooms for reasonable rates and very little decor is needed when you’re standing on a hilltop gazing at Rocky Mountain National Park.  At the end of the day, this wedding was exactly what I think a wedding should be: a day where you surround yourself with the people you love the most and you don’t worry about the rest.

I frequently get compliments on the days of weddings from guests who watch me work, or who have recently been to a wedding where the photographer was a nightmare not fun to work with, which lead to stories that are both fascinating and educational to hear.  Generally I am told things like, “You are working so hard!”  And, “You’re so great at family formals, that wasn’t terrible at all!”  At Jamie and Kristen’s wedding, one of their guests gave me both a new compliment and the best compliment I’ve ever received: “I can tell by how much you’ve been smiling and laughing today that you really love your job.”  

I do really love my job.  I really love my job because it means I get to hang out with wacky people who love their friends and family that aren’t afraid to buck tradition and be themselves.  With mixed wedding parties (because why should it be girl vs boys?), with friends who sing songs for their first dance, or run around in circles in animal masks during their portraits, or dance even when they are the only one dancing.  I love surrounding myself with awesome and Jamie and Kristen are definately in that category.  

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Venue and Catering: YMCA of the Rockies | Musicians: Ptarmigan String Quartet | Bride’s Attire: White Lace and Promises | Groom’s Attire: Jackson & Connor | Wedding Party Attire: Convertible Wrap Dress and Jackson & Connor

Mountain Bike Fruita | Sneak Peek

I’m currently on a kick ass mountain biking vacation with friends in Fruita, CO and Moab, UT.  You’ll have to wait til later for the full write-up but here’s a sneak peek to hold you over.  Just know this: mountain bike Fruita is awesome.

Texasfest

Last summer, my friend Liana called me up and asked if I wanted to join them on a ski trip to Steamboat this winter.  She was turning 30 and there happened to be a Texas Music Fest in Colorado the week of her birthday.  I don’t get to see Liana very often anymore since she lives in Austin and, as she said, I’m always up for anything, so I of course said, “hell yes.”

The trip was for Musicfest or, as I was to find out later, the locals in Steamboat call it “Texasfest.”  Run by an Texas production company, it’s essentially a ski vacation for Texans, to Steamboat, with Texas music.  For me, it was a bargain: five nights of lodging and four days of lift tickets at Steamboat for $600.  The music was just a bonus.

It was hysterical.

But, as Pocket pointed out the other day, so is my life.

True story.

Imagine thousands of overgrown frat boys trying to ski.

Gapers.  Everywhere.

The ones who did try to ski, essentially had NO idea there was an upper mountain.   It felt as if I spent every day with most of the mountain completely and totally to myself.

On most nights, we would head out to check out some of the music.  Most of the acts were Texas Country, a sub-genre (and the only good genre in my opinion) of country.  It is, essentially, the music of  Waylon Jennings: traditional country roots combined with the out-law spirit.   We saw some AWESOME musicians throughout the week.  I totally loved The Dirty River Boys, who played quite a few times over the course of the week.

The best night was the evening we rode the gondola up and saw a small acoustic show that included Cody Morrow, Kyle Park, and Cody Johnson, the latter of which totally blew all of us away.

Cody Morrow, Texasfest, Musicfest, Steamboat Springs

Overall, I had such a great time.  If you weren’t from Texas, you would have never heard of this trip.  It really is such a good bargain and it was such a wonderful way to spend time with Liana and her husband Terry.  I also got to ride at a new mountain, hear some really amazing Texas Country.   Overall: trip success.  I would definitely consider going back, especially for the price and to be honest, it would be really nice to be in Steamboat when there was some sweet pow in those trees of theirs.

These are some of my favorite photos from the week, but you can check them all out here.

Red Rocks!

At the beginning of August, Boyfriend and I flew to Denver, CO for a quick two day trip to see Jack White at the famous (and rightfully so) Red Rocks Amphitheater. Our flight was at a ridiculously early 6 am, which meant an ungodly 3 AM wake up call so after a breakfast at Luciles full of grits, shrimp and everything creole, we ended up at the Denver Botanic Gardens taking a nap on the grass under the trees.

The Kizuna Exhibit at Denver Botanic Gardens

Lily Pads at the Denver Botanic Gardens

Here comes the sun!

Red Rocks is EVERYTHING that EVERYONE says it is and more. It’s phenomenally gorgeous with amazing acoustics and unbelievable setting. There is no other show I would have rather seen there than Jack White, who is an absolute favorite of mine in any of his projects.

In addition, I got to stay with good friends, play with other good friends and dine with other friends. Such a whopper of awesome packed into two days! I didn’t take too many photos, but you can check out all of them here.