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Wedding at Ft Lewis Chapel by Durango Wedding Photographers

So there we were, my hubby and I, photographing the bride and groom while they’re getting ready for their wedding day (in separate cabins of course) at the Bar O Cabins part way between Durango CO and Bayfield CO.   It’s May which means Spring for many states, but here in Colorado it can mean Spring, Summer, or Winter.  We look out the window and there it is – winter.  It’s a blizzard and, of course, we had plans of photographing the groom and groomsmen and the bride and her bridesmaids outside behind the cabins by the river.

Of course, we also know that a blizzard can change to sunshine very quickly, so we waited, and sure enough the snow stopped.  It turned to rain for a little bit and then that stopped also and the sun came out.  We were able to do those photographs (with umbrellas to start with), and then we moved on to the Chapel at Ft Lewis College for the ceremony.  Alyson and Bryce had come all the way from Oklahoma and had never been to Durango, but they picked it based on the views, the Chapel, and having their dinner afterwards at Seasons Restaurant (which I had recommended to them because they needed a place to hold around 30 people).

It turned out to be a perfect day and they are now a happily married couple ready to start a family.  We do so many destination weddings here and we always miss our clients because we rarely ever see them again, although we do follow some on facebook.

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Bouquet made from book pages made by her Grandma

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Tattooed bride with sister looking at her

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Bride in wedding dress looking out the window

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Bride and Groom walking thru the bubbles

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Bride and her Dad

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A bride, a Groom, and a Wedding Ring

Thank you for looking at my post.

Luv, Karen

Durango Wedding Photographers

http://www.karenskellyphoto.com

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

6 Tips for Taking Better Photos of Your Children

All parents want to take great photos of their kids, but you know how it is with those kiddos – they don’t stay still for more than a second (sometimes not even that long).   I know, your children smile on command and stay still while you get that amazing picture – yeah right!

It can also be difficult if you have less than a professional camera.  If you’re able to change settings on your camera, that helps a lot, but sometimes you have to depend on the camera to do the right thing and it doesn’t always know what you want to do.  My tips here are fairly generic and may not work with everyone’s camera, but I’m sure you can use some of these tips.

  1.  Get down to their level.  Depending on their age, you can lay on your tummy, kneel, or squat.  Shooting at their level helps them make eye contact, makes them curious (at least for a couple of seconds), and they look more natural.
  2.  Sometimes you will have to photograph them when they’re playing or doing something besides paying attention to you.  These can be really special moments when they’re deep in concentration and not making nasty faces at you.  When they’re sleeping is the absolute best time – haha.
  3. If you have the ability to set the shutter speed, set it at 250 or higher.  If it’s a bright day, you can set it 1000 as a starting point.  Getting nice portraits outside is going to work better for most of you than indoors unless you have a great big window with soft light coming through.  Then you can set them next to the window and see how long they stay put.  Get the exposure right before you try to get the kids posed.
  4. You can also try talking and joking around with them and try to get their minds off the camera.  If you have someone to help out, blowing a bubble gun makes for some really fun photos.  If you have a long telephoto lens, these work great because the clutter in the background will be blurred.
  5. The lighting is what makes a portrait great (the word “photography” means “writing or painting with light”).  When I do family portraits or children’s portraits, I do them in the evening, put the sun behind them, and then use a flash with an umbrella to light the faces.  Don’t use the flash on your camera though, it would be better to face them into the sun when it’s lower on the horizon.
  6.   Get yourself into the picture – use the self timer and a tripod
  7. Durango CO Photographers, Photographers Durango CO, Durango Family Photographers, Durango Baby Photographers

    Dressed in his red sweater and tie for the holidays

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    Two Kids in a Tube

If you need any other suggestions or help with these tips, let me know.

Luv, Karen

Durango CO Photographers

Website

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

Weddings from 2015 by Durango Wedding Photographers

These are some of my favorite images from 2015 weddings.  Tell me which ones are your favorites – I really want to know because it makes me smile big:}  Put them in the comments below!

I love all my couples and am looking forward to the 2016 wedding season, which is coming soon!

Hope you enjoy the video and thank you for taking a look.

Luv, Karen

Wedding Photographers in Durango CO

website

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

Wedding Planning by Durango Wedding Photographers

I Love finding amazing information for anyone who is planning a wedding, or will be in the future.  I’m posing the link to a blog that you can jump on over to and read, but I had a few things to add to her information.

I photographed Monica’s wedding last summer and she had her hair and makeup done by the same gal who does hair and makeup for Stevie Nicks.  Monica knew her thru family, so it was awesome.  Her hair and makeup was so beautiful, I didn’t have to retouch her skin at all.  This is one thing you should make a priority for your wedding.

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Bride getting makeup done

Do a First Look.  This is where the bride and groom meet at a spot that is private and they get to spend a little time together before the ceremony.  They also get a whole bunch of different images for their album.  Believe me, the groom will still have a big ole smile on his face when the bride walks down the aisle.

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First Look Session

Have Fun!

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Wedding Party dancing down the aisle

Go on over to this blog and read some more great information about wedding planning:

http://www.desireehartsock.com/5-tips-for-planning-your-wedding-like-an-industry-insider/

Luv, Karen

Durango Wedding Photographers

Website

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

 

 

 

An Intimate Wedding on the Family’s property by Durango Wedding Photographers

Leici and Gavin said their vows on their family’s property near Vallecito, which is near where my hubby and I live.  It was beautiful with the creek running through it and a small pond.  They had initially set the time for the ceremony at 4 pm, which as it got closer proved to be uncomfortable for the guests because they would be sitting directly in the sun.  I was more than willing to push the ceremony back a couple of hours.

Leici and Gavin were both in the military and were scheduled to be released so it was a great time in their lives.  I loved working with them because they are both adorable, fun, and willing to do anything we suggested.  Enjoy their images!

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Leici’s rings

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Bride and Groom reflection in pond

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Bridal Portrait

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Bride and Groom Portrait

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Bride with Groom and Groomsmen

Thanks for looking,

Luv, Karen

Website

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

 

 

What Do You Charge? by Durango CO Photographer

This is the question I usually receive when someone is making an inquiry about my photography services.  It’s also a very hard question to just answer with no other information.  For instance, if they in asking about wedding photography, I need to find out their wedding date, where they are getting married, how many guests they are inviting, how long the ceremony will take, where they are getting ready, how long they plan to have the reception and is everything at the same place.  Most of this information is to help them figure out a time line so they know how many hours they will need to hire me for.

For weddings I have several Collections as well as a la carte items from which they can choose.  I really want to help them get the most bang for their buck so they aren’t just paying for a few hours and a cd of the images.  While the cd is important in this day and age, I am a firm believer that a wedding album is so important because it is the first family heirloom that will be passed down to their children and all future generations.  Studies have shown that 95% of people never do anything with the cd of wedding images and my unscientific inquiries show the same thing.  I even know many photographers who have never done anything with their own wedding cd.

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The same issues apply to a family who wants a portrait of the wife, husband, and kiddos.  A cd will more than likely be put into a drawer and will become useless in around 5 yrs.  A wall portrait, an album, an image box, and gift prints are so much better than a few 5x7s or 8x10s printed at Walmart (which has terrible prints due to cheap paper and ink and they’re way too glossy).  I realize it may seem expensive if you just look at the total investment, but take that amount and view it as a lifetime of having those memories for yourself, and all later generations.  As my tag line says “Portraits are not expensive, they’re priceless”!

 

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Here’s your CD hanging on the wall:{

Now, I realize there are a gazillion other photographers out there.  Many do terrific work and I have no problem with people hiring them – many of them are friends.  Then there are the “photographers”  who bought a nice camera, set it on auto and let the camera decide the exposure.  They claim to be “natural light photographers”, which simply means they don’t know how to use off camera flash or strobes.  It also means you will probably have raccoon eyes and dark faces, or they’ll face you into the sun and you’ll be squinting.  Neither is a pretty look.  If  you really want to have beautiful portraits, hire a professional.  You really do get what you pay for.

When I photograph families, seniors, wedding parties, and almost everything else, I always use an off camera flash with a white umbrella which makes nice soft beautiful light.  When the flash is off the camera the shadows sculpt the body it makes for a more 3d look instead of flat 2d.   I always put my subjects with the sun at their back or to their side and I try to shoot at the time of day that has the best light.  These are things professionals know how to do as well as using the camera and flash on manual for complete control, how to pose subjects so they look their best, how to instruct them on what to wear and the best locations.  I’ve invested a lot of time and money to learn these things and practice to perfection because I want happy clients.

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Fall Family Portrait

 

So, now it’s your turn.  I would like to hear your opinion on professional photographers, what you have done to get your family or wedding portraits, and anything else you would like to add to this post.  Thank you in advance!

by Karen Skelly, Durango CO Photographer

970.884.5292

www.karenskellyphoto.com

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

13 Wedding Planning Tips by Karen Skelly Photography

Durango Photographer by Karen Skelly Photography

It’s wedding season here in Durango CO, and pretty much everywhere, so I’ve attached a pdf file of suggestions for your wedding planning if you’re getting married, or if you know someone who is getting married.  I know when you are getting married for the first time, there are so many things you don’t know (I remember that time).  I’ve been the photographer at so many weddings now that I have learned a lot of things most first time couples would really appreciate knowing.

I hope you will find these tips useful.  Feel free to comment any other suggestions you may have, or questions you have on the items I have listed.  Thank you for reading my blog.  Let me know what you think.

You can visit my website at http://www.karenskellyphoto.com

13 Suggestions for Your Wedding Planning pg 1 and 2

Luv, Karen

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

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