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Bonnie & Clyde’s Wedding – A Styled Shoot in St. Louis

April 15, 2016

“This here’s Ms. Bonnie Parker.  I’m Clyde Barrows.  We rob banks.”

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Bonnie & Clyde were America’s gangster sweethearts of the depression era.  They were smitten immediately with each other, yet never married.  Even though they robbed and killed people, I have always been captivated with their story and their legend.

When I was accepted to teach at the annual, kick-ass, photography convention Shutterfest in St. Louis, I knew I had to do a class on styled shoots.  St. Louis is such a historical place, with the coolest old buildings and urban decay, every where!  What a perfect opportunity to make Bonnie & Clyde’s wedding come to life!

I love styled shoots because it gives me a chance to be creative and perfect my craft & practice, gives me a great excuse to build relationships with other industry professionals, and gives me fresh work to submit for publication (I’m obsessed with getting published, and thanks to Two Bright Lights, it’s easy and efficient).  Yes, wedding styled shoots are a lot of work, but I think they’re totally worth it if done right.  My semi-OCD will allow for nothing else…

So, what if Bonnie & Clyde did get married? What would that look like? What props do I HAVE to have?  Where will I get these props, especially since I don’t know anyone in St. Louis?  The answers to these questions is what keeps me up at night.  I can think of nothing else until it’s executed – the “curse of creativity” I call it…

The one thing I couldn’t live without was a car.  One of the most iconic props in the Bonnie & Clyde story is the car.  I searched for months, googling, emailing, contacting car clubs, museums, etc. in the St. Louis area.  Finally, the stars aligned and I found Steve and Diana Thum of the St. Louis Model T car club.  They offered their 1926 Model T to use and I couldn’t be happier!

Most of the props I put together myself, borrowed, or found at thrift stores, and was fortunate enough to have a friend from Denver driving to the convention that let me throw my stuff in her trunk (Thanks Nikkie!).

Of course, I couldn’t take a full table, chairs, etc., so I found the wonderful ladies at An Affair to Remember out there to help out with the flowers and the table scape! Blakely was absolutely wonderful to work with!  She listened to my ideas and threw her own flair in there to make it stunning and it tied everything together perfectly.

The models were fantastic – Josh & Monica are a real couple and they looked and acted the part flawlessly!  Thanks to my friends at d’Anelli Bridal here in Denver, I had a dress and jewelry.  I also got the suit from Jos A. Bank and it fit Josh like a glove…not bad considering he wasn’t here to try any of it on (he lives in Iowa!).  GREAT work by my friend Tammie at the Cherry Creek location…bravo!

Everything worked out wonderfully and somewhat painlessly, except for one thing…  Here we are the day of the shoot, and the forecast calls for rain…NOOOOO!!!!  Well, rain it did…buckets of it.  Steve & Diana were so sweet – they brought the car on a trailer and waited for 2 hours to see if the weather would let up…yet it did not.  It pained me to have to send them away, but by the time the class was scheduled to start, there was no end in sight.  I am so grateful to them for their flexibility, time, and understanding!  Half of the story board had to do with the car, but oh well, what are you going to do?!  #pivot

We shot everything in the lobby at the beautiful Union Station Hotel, and I am thrilled to share with you the photos from Bonnie & Clyde’s wedding…enjoy!

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What do you notice about the date?

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Thanks to my friend Peggy who let me borrow her fur!

bonnie & clyde wedding flowers

An Affair to Remember even spray painted some of the “filler” to bring the gold into it!

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Raw cotton was used to tie in the fact that they rampaged throughout the South…

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I made sure to get the exact .40 caliber of Clyde’s 1911

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A beautiful Old Fashioned made by my buddy at the bar – Thanks Danny!

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I love the use of green depression glass and gold mercury candle holders with brass…looks stunning against the black sequin and green tile!

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The cake should have been something like snickerdoodle or spice, but for the sake of the shoot, we went with styrofoam, fondant, and hot glue.

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Venue:  Union Station Hotel  |  Models:  Joshua Brett Adams & Monica Grewell  |  Hair & Makeup:  Jewels Gray  |  Dress, hairpiece, & bracelet:  d’Anelli Bridal  |  Other jewelry:  Jewels Gray & Model’s own  |  Formalwear:  Jos A. Bank, Cherry Creek  |  Invitations, printed:  Jewels Gray  |  Flowers, rentals, &table scape design:  An Affair to Remember |  Prop Guns:  30 Black, LLC.  |  Cake:  Jewels Gray  |  Assistance:  Amanda Baker & Traci DiCampo


J.W. Marriott Wedding Denver | Karen & Larry

April 12, 2016

Karen & Larry’s Denver wedding at the J.W. Marriott was full of emotional touches and lots of fun…

Karen was a Rockette for 14 years, and is now the Creative Director.  Larry moved to NYC with a backpack and made his way into Theater/Film/TV as an Actor, Producer, and Director.  They met while working at Radio City, at a dinner party where Larry was the only straight guy there.

Larry thought Karen lived in an entirely different world than he, but he watched her and saw a fierce leader fueled by the love of what she did.  Karen thought Larry was charming, sexy, smart, and funny, and had a way of seeing right through her, even though he was a little awkward around her.

Their relationship began as friends as they were at very different places in their lives.  They genuinely enjoyed spending time together and could talk for hours and they always wanted to hang out.  Larry says, “Time passed, things changed in our lives and suddenly we realized that “chemistry is chemistry is fucking chemistry” and boom goes the dynamite and all that shit”.

Larry knew she was “the one” when he jumped on a plane on a day’s notice to go see her, got off the plane and saw her standing there waiting for him…boom, done.  Karen knew he was “the one” when she was able to sleep like she hadn’t in 5 years.

Their proposal, written in Larry’s words, is absolutely priceless – see below for the full story….

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The wedding was especially emotional because Karen’s mother passed away only 10 days after Larry’s father.  They chose to get married in the park behind the house Larry grew up in, a place his father cherished.

Their reception at the newly remodeled event space, Fireside at the J.W. Marriott in Cherry Creek, was stylish, fun, and chic. “Fireside features two walls of glass doors that open up to an enchanting outdoor space complete with two roaring fire pits, lounge seating and festoon lights. The Fireside space features LED chandeliers with color enhancements and can be utilized year-round thanks to both heating and cooling. ”  Contact Leorah Young for more information at (303) 253-3092 JW Marriott Denver

See their wedding film by VisualantiesHERE

Here are some of our favorite photos…

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THE PROPOSAL

(…as told by Larry himself…)

“Myrtle Beach, SC is home to the East Coast’s longest wooden pier…or something to that effect…truth be told, it is quite un-remarkable in its wooden-ness.  It smells like salmon eggs with a waft of cotton candy and the pungent odor of token-op arcade skee-ball video game grease; the perfect place to propose to Karen.

Yet, it was here, when Karen and I shared a completely innocent walk along the beach (we were both there for work) that we ended up first getting to know one another.  Neither of us had been there in about 4 years when Karen was hired to direct a show that was rehearsing there again.  When I found that out, I knew I had to propose on that pier.  But, that is not as easy as it sounds…cause I am a fucking weirdo.  I thought about proposing to her IN the arcade that is attached to the pier…you know, by giving the ring to the person working the counter where you cash-in your skee-ball tickets and having Karen cash in tickets and get a ring.  But, I wasn’t about to give this wacky Carny (love Carnies personally) potential meth-head the ring I just bought and trust that I would ever see it again.  Then I thought I would propose ON the pier…but I kept thinking that I might be so fucking nervous when I proposed…and what if I dropped the ring and it fell thru the cracks of the pier and I watched my money and future plunge into the ocean.

SO….I formulated a plan:  I found a machine in the arcade that dispensed little prizes in those plastic balls.  One of the prizes was this googley-eyed rubber octopus thing.  So, I tied the ring to one of this little googley-dude’s tentacles…(not to be confused with testicles…very different kind of night)…and covered it with the tag.  I then put the googley-dude back into his plastic ball and arranged for that prize to be THE prize that came out when Karen played the game (no, I will never ever tell how I made that happen…I am magic…boom).  We planned to go to the pier on a Sunday and all day I played like I was in a bad mood and begrudgingly went to the pier.  We played skee-ball, some other dumbass games and then finally I said to Karen… “I’m bored, let’s just play this one and get rid of our tokens.”  Sure enough, we played…out popped googley-dude.  But, you couldn’t see the ring thru the plastic…so I took it and played like it was just a normal dopey toy and we walked out onto the pier…it was dusk.

We walked all the way to the end of the pier and climbed stairs to a look-out platform…and sure as shit…there were a couple of people up there.   Well, I waited and we both stared out over the water and then back to the shore.  But, problem is…this is a place where people come to hang out and stare at shit for a lonnnnnnnnnnng time….not talking, just holding hands and staring and creating romantic memories or some crap…don’t they know I need the space???!.  One couple would leave and instantly another couple would walk up the stairs to replace them and gaze out for another 10 goddamn minutes.

Finally, I was going to give up…thinking that maybe this wasn’t the night…and I was pissed!  I sat on the steps and grunted and grumped about wanting everyone to leave.  Karen was confused….and then suddenly…we were alone and she was sitting on my lap.  Oh fuck.  So I said, as casually as possible, “hey, let’s open up that googley-dude”.  We opened up the plastic ball and I had typed a little note that said a phrase Karen and I have often said to one another.  She saw that and said “wow, isn’t that weird?  What are the odds?”  At this point, I felt like slapping my forehead…oh for the love of Christ.  I reached down, flipped the tag and the ring appeared and just sat there like it was in a box.  Karen was floored and became a blubber mess of joy.   It was awesome.”


Colorado Rocky Mountain Wedding | Nicole & Brunza

April 12, 2016

Nicole just couldn’t wait to see her Groom on the day of their Rocky Mountain wedding in Walden, Colorado…

In fact, she was very excited and kept asking questions about him.  “How does he look?”, “Is he feeling ok?”…she just couldn’t wait to walk down the aisle into his arms!

Nicole & Brunza’s wedding at the Whistling Elk Ranch was beautifully rustic and “country”.  Guests were shuttled to the expansive meadow of the ceremony site on the ranch on hay rides, and Nicole arrived on a stagecoach…yes, a stagecoach!  It was incredibly moving to see Brunza’s face when Nicole arrived, escorted by her father…he couldn’t keep the tears away!

The ceremony was followed by a good, old-fashioned bbq, complete with a bonfire, moonshine, and all the events that make a wedding special.

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The venue, Whistling Elk Ranch is amazing and we can’t wait to go back!  Here’s some information from their website:

“We invite you to experience western Colorado as it once was. Stay in a private secluded cabin and take in the large undisturbed landscapes. Fish in nearby ponds, rides horses through aspen grooves, take the family for a stagecoach ride or just witness nature undisturbed in the American west.

Take in the serene peaceful setting. The only lights in the night sky are the stars.  The rustling branches of the pines lull you to sleep. The fragrance of sage covered with morning dew and perhaps some wildlife greet you in the morning.

If you are looking for a truly unique get-away experience you will surely find it here. We offer a variety of cabins, tipis, and camping options that will bring you close to nature. Explore mountain activities such as hiking, fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hay rides….”

We also had the pleasure to work with Emily at Jolly Events out of Ft. Collins and had the best time – this girl is on it!  Despite the rain and distance between the events of the day, she made it all happen seamlessly.

Emily says, “The passion I have for the work I do is matched by my organizational skills, attention to detail, and an unfailing interest in really listening to you. While your needs are always a priority to me, your wants are just as important and I really enjoy making them happen.”

We really enjoyed working with her and always encourage having an experienced and professional planner to help with the details, and make things happen behind the scenes so you can enjoy your day!  Check her and her team out for full & month-of event planning services!

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Downtown Denver Engagement | Elizabeth & Alex

April 08, 2016

Like many Colorado couples, Elizabeth & Alex love beer…

…so doing their session at the Denver Beer Company was the absolute perfect choice for their downtown Denver engagement!  They wanted something somewhat rustic and urban since their wedding will be “mountain-y” at the Flying Horse Ranch in Larkspur, Colorado.

We met on Facebook and feel in love with the idea of doing their session at a brewery!  We had the best time – we laughed over beers, got to know each other, and took photos along the way.  That’s my ideal approach to any engagement session.  I like to choose something the couple enjoys together so that they’re in their element, comfortable, having fun, and it shows in their photos!

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Most people don’t know this, but The Barrel Room at the brewery is available for private parties!

“Lined with exposed brick, stone, reclaimed barn wood and whiskey barrels filled with aging beer, our cozy Barrel Room is the perfect place to hold your next event. With a rustic bar, indoor/outdoor seating and a private beer garden, this unique Denver event space celebrates the art of craft beer and our belief that the best conversations are held over a pint shared in good company.

Our special event staff are excited to help you plan your event, big or small. We specialize in receptions, rehearsal dinners, corporate celebrations, birthday parties and any gathering of friends. A variety of beer offerings are available and are served by certified cicerones. We work with a preferred list of local catering companies and depending on your needs, we can arrange anything from a 5-course dinner with special beer pairings to a casual event catered by one of Denver’s favorite food trucks. We can even incorporate a brewery tour for those groups interested in learning about their beer while they drink.”

Enjoy some of our favorites, and a super special THANK YOU to our friends at the Denver Beer Company for letting us do the shoot there (our fav is the graham cracker porter…jus’ sayin’)!!

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Colorado Engagement | Shaeley & Andy

March 10, 2016

When Shaeley & Andy said they wanted to do their Colorado Engagement session at Red Rocks, it literally made me giddy!

I LOVE Red Rocks – it holds a special place in my heart as I did countless shows there when I worked in the music business, and we are honored to be on their Preferred Vendor List for weddings & events.  Of course it’s absolutely beautiful, iconic, and there’s a wealth of great locations to take photos.  It was a little windy that day, but we went for it and it actually worked in our favor at times!

It’s special to Shaeley & Andy too since they go often, and they brought along their dog Boomer (who was quite well behaved)!  I always recommend bringing an extra person to help out when my couples want to include their fur babies.  This is so that the couple can focus and not be distracted with the dogs, and there’s someone to wrangle them and give them treats when they play nice for the camera.  I absolutely love dogs, and especially when couples want to include them in their engagement photos…precious.every.time.

We can’t wait for Shaeley & Andy’s wedding this September at the Manor House in Littleton …it’ll be such a fun wedding!

Click here to see more Colorado Engagement Photography

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