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Category Archives: Engagement Sessions

How Photographers in Durango CO Work With Couples Planning a Wedding – 2

This is Part 2 of my post about how my husband and I work with couples to photograph their weddings in Durango CO. You can view Part 1 here .

One of the things I missed in Part 1 concerns engagement sessions. As Photographers in Durango CO we love to do engagement sessions because then we are able to get to know our clients so much better and they get to know us as well. We have lots of fun and they have another special day to remember. Many of our clients have us put together a guest signing album using their engagement images. We have hard paged albums where we put the engagement photo on one side of the page and leave the other side blank for guests to sign at their wedding reception. Of course, if you live out of state or are eloping, an engagement session probably won’t work for you.

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What is on my nose?

Now to continue where I left off in the last post. If the girls are getting their hair and makeup done, I try to keep everything on schedule by letting them know how much time they have left because it’s so easy to lose track of time and get behind. Sometimes we do a First Look with the bride and groom, which I find to be super special because we’ll have the bride walk up behind the groom and maybe put her hands over his eyes or tap him on the shoulder. He then turns around and gets to see his soon to be wife in all her beauty. After we take some photographs, which adds more to the couple’s collection, we let them be alone for a few minutes. This definitely does not take away from the way the groom reacts when he sees his bride coming down the aisle. If the bride and groom don’t want to do a First Look, sometimes we’ll do it with the bride and her dad.

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Bride and Groom First Look

Sometimes we also do some of the family or wedding party portraits before the ceremony, depending on how much time we have and the time of the day. If the sun is high in the sky, we need to find a shady spot to put everybody in so they don’t have raccoon eyes and they’re not squinting. Both of those are not acceptable. During the family/wedding party/couple’s photos, my husband holds our umbrella with a flash so we can light everybody’s faces so they all look great. Ken, my husband, calls himself my lighting technician:)

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Ken holding the umbrella with flash during a family portrait session

During the ceremony, both Ken and I take photographs of everything going on. We love to capture all of the smiles, the tears, the emotions, and any other moments that happen. Some couples have a special thing such as a sand ceremony, an exchange of roses, or something else special to them. This is one of the things we ask about in our Wedding Information form so that we’re prepared when it happens. We make sure to capture the vows, the ring exchanges, and the first kiss. Sometimes we have to yell out “slow down the kiss” so we can capture the moment – haha. Then as the couple is walking back down the aisle, I have them stop at the end of the chairs and do another kiss. This usually gets an applause from their guests.

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Wedding Ceremony at Dalton Ranch

Stay tuned for Part 3 where I’ll talk about the portraits of the family, wedding party, and the couple.

Long Live Love

Karen Skelly Photography

Photographers in Durango CO

https://www.karenskellyphoto.com

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

Get in touch for more information about having us photograph your wedding or family portraits

 

 

Sara and Bobby’s Engagement Session by Durango Photographers

My husband and I are Durango Photographers and Sarah and Bobby hired us to do their engagement session. They live in Durango, but unfortunately for me, they’re getting married in the Denver area, so we won’t be able to photograph their wedding.

Bobby is a software engineer who loves dogs and cars. Bet you couldn’t tell that they both love dogs – haha. He loves to work on his car, racing cars, playing video games, biking, hiking, and kayaking. Wow, he’s a busy guy.

Sarah is a full time student who loves dancing and art.  She loves pole dancing, singing, and creating digital art drawings. I’ve seen some of her drawings and they’re amazing. They like to go for fun drives, take the dogs out to play, enjoying local restaurants, and having laid back time together.

We had a lot of fun, but I gotta tell ya, trying to photograph 3 doggies is not the easiest thing in the world. So happy there were no babies in the mix:}

Enjoy their images.

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The Fur babies announcing the wedding date

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Sara and Bobby walking with beautiful fall colors and mountains

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He’s whispering sexy nothings into her ear

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Sarah and Bobby with their fur babies

Long Live Love!

If you have a wedding, family portrait session, boudoir session, or high school senior session that needs to be photographed, get in touch and I’ll be happy to give you all the pertinent information that you need.

Thank you, Karen

Karen Skelly Photography

www.karenskellyphoto.com

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

 

 

A Bagpipe Playing Engagement Session by Photographers in Durango CO

My husband and I photographed Laurie and Chris’s engagement session along with their fur baby, Rico.  Rico is a little young and very active – it was not easy to get him to sit still. It’s like trying to get a toddler to stop moving for a few seconds – haha. I had made a sign for them so Rico could announce their engagement and wedding date. We propped it in front of him and he leaned over to read it. While reading it, he drooled right down the chalk board. Luckily, it ran between the words.

Both of them work for the US Forest Service in the Bayfield CO office. Laurie is an administrator in the office, and Chris is a wildlife biologist. They are both great, loving, and fun people.  Chris put his biology skills to work by naming the type of squirrel that had left a pile of poo on the rock they were going to sit on, then he promptly brushed it off.

Laurie plays the bagpipes in a Celtic group and Chris loves to bird watch. They both love to hike, have 3 dogs, and one cat. The cat is the boss of the household. I understand that perfectly because we have a cat as well.

They were married at Ridgewood Event Center in Durango on 6/21 and I’ll be posting their wedding photos soon.

Enjoy! and thanks for looking

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Feel the Love

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Cuddling by the river

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Laurie, Chris, and Rico

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The three of them are officially engaged

Rico drooled on the sign

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He’s the ring bearer

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Chris has his binoculars and Laurie is playing the bagpipes

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The three of them hanging out on the rocks

Luv, Karen

Durango CO Photographers

http://www.karenskellyphoto.com

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

Engagement Session with boy, girl, and snake by durango co photographers

Yes, A Snake – a bull snake to be exact. We were up at the Lion’s Den near Ft Lewis College in Durango CO, and just as we were leaving a bull snake came slithering by our feet. We all jumped a mile, and then Matt said “do you want to take a photo with us holding the snake”, and I said “hell ya”. So he picked it up behind the head and they had a great time, and then wanted to take him home. Kristie’s mom and dad were with us and they vetoed that idea – haha.

We also went to the little park by the Chapel just down the road from Lion’s Den and had a fun time with Matt throwing Kristie over his shoulder, then doing a piggy back ride, and them sitting on the bench overlooking the town. We went to the river and did some photos with them sitting on rocks, and to another small park where there’s a creek running through it and they sat on a log and a park bench.

They’re getting married in September at Dalton Ranch Golf Club. They signed up for that venue at the Wedding Expo back in January. I had the booth right next to them, but Kristie doesn’t remember meeting me there. Here mom just happened to contact me by phone after a google search for durango photographers. So happy we got together for their engagement session and their upcoming wedding.

Enjoy and Thanks for Looking.

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Sitting on a log at Brookside Park

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Piggy Back Ride

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Sitting on the Rocks at Lion’s Den

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Laying on the grass having an interesting conversation

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Sitting on the bench overlooking Durango

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Holding the bull snake

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Sitting on the bench at a small park

Luv, Karen

Durango CO Photographers

http://www.karenskellyphoto.com

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

 

 

 

Engagement Album by Durango Wedding Photographers

This is the cover and a few pages from Lexi and Michael’s Engagement Album.  It is also a Guest Signing Book for the wedding day.  Their wedding guests will be able to sign their names, leave their congratulations, and send their love to the couple.

These guest signing albums are amazing keepsakes and since they are professional high quality pages that are thick and lay flat when opened, the coffee table is the perfect place to display it for everyone to look through.

I’m excited to photograph their wedding next Saturday and then they’ll have a Wedding Album, which will be more pages and larger than the engagement album, so they’ll need more room on that coffee table.

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Cover for Guest Signing Album

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Engagement photo in the album

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Engagement photo in the album

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Engagement photo in the album

Here’s a few more of their Engagement Images that are also in the Album

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Engagement Images

Thank you for looking

Luv, Karen

Karen Skelly Photography

Durango CO Photographer

http://www.karenskellyphoto.com

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

13 Wedding Planning Tips by Karen Skelly Photography

Durango Photography 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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Wedding Planning Timeline

I found this awesome Wedding Planning Timeline on Pinterest given to us by Marry This.  Most couples planning a wedding have never been married before, so this is super helpful information.  I think it also helps bite that procrastination bug right in the behind, if you know what I mean.  The only change I would make is to add doing an Engagement Session 5 months before so you can use one of those images for your Save the Date cards, and also have a guest signing book made using your engagement photographs.  These are super popular with my wedding clients.

Another thing to think about when booking vendors is that they want to be able to plan their summer vacation, so if you wait until a month or two before your wedding, they may already have set your date aside to be gone.  Vendors appreciate having the dates booked way in advance so they can do their own planning.

You can feel free to share this with anyone you know who is getting married.

Enjoy!

Luv, Karen

Durango Wedding Photographers

Website

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Monica and Nick’s Fabulous Wedding in Durango CO

We met at the Wedding Expo in Durango two years ago.  I knew right away that they were fun, funky, and fabulous – my kinda people.  They entered and won the complimentary Engagement Session, which we did last summer.  It was a blast (see the post here).

Their wedding was held at Silver Mountain Guest Ranch in Durango CO.  Flowers were from Amy’s Garden and Flower Shop.  The wedding dress was from Occasions Bridal in Durango.  Catering was provided by The Red Lantern.  Monica’s hair and makeup was done by the woman who does Stevie Nick’s hair and makeup (one of my fav musicians).  She did a wonderful job – I didn’t have to do any editing on her face at all.  Everything was perfect – well, except when one of the groomsmen accidentally spilled red wine on the bride’s dress during his toast.  Now that took some editing work.

Monica and Nick are self-proclaimed nerds – they have a favorite tv show that is specifically targeted to nerds (sorry I can’t remember the name of it right now).  I think this is what makes them so funky.  Their entire wedding party was made up of friends and family who are also fun, funky, and fabulous.  I loved everyone at this wedding, especially both of their parents who were so sweet and lovely.

Monica is the manager at the Claire’s Boutique at the Durango Mall and Nick will be graduating from Ft Lewis College in December with a degree in Graphic Design.  He’s hoping to retain a position he has at the college (right now as an intern).  I hope he does, because otherwise they may have to move away from Durango :{

Enjoy their wedding images (I know there are a lot here, but I had so many good ones to choose from).

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Groom shows off his bow tie

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First Look Session

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Wedding Ceremony at Silver Mountain Guest Ranch

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Bride and Groom dance down the aisle after the ceremony

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Wedding Party dancing down the aisle

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Bride with Groom and Groomsmen

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Looks of Love

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Groom admires bride’s blue suede boots

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Bride and Groom portrait

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Groom carries bride off over his shoulder

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Groom kisses bride’s forehead

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Back of Bride’s dress with flowers

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Wedding Rings with rocks that guests wrote notes on

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Silhouette of Bride and Groom

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Bride was the last man, uh woman, standing

Thank you for taking a look.  Want to see more images from this amazing wedding?  Go here to view them.

Luv, Karen

Durango Wedding Photographers

Website

 

 

Engagement Session Tips by Durango Wedding Photographers

You and your significant other have taken the giant leap of getting engaged – WooHoo!  Now you’re going to figure out a wedding date and start making plans.  Stop!  Well, don’t stop completely.  Do get a date set up and then start planning an Engagement Session.

An Engagement Session serves a few different purposes.  First is that you and your photographer get to know each other, become friends, and feel more comfortable together.  Second is that you can now get a guest signing book using your engagement images (this is my most popular item with engagement sessions).  Third, you get an amazing professional image to use for your Save the Date cards.  Speaking of Save the Date cards, you can check out some great cards here, as well as these wedding invitations.

The professional photographer will help you with posing and they use beautiful lighting which makes you look awesome.  The images I am showing here are a combination of natural light and off camera flash.  The main thing you need to be focused on is your clothing.  The clothing can make or break the sessions look and feel.

Here are some things to consider:

Seasons:

Winter:  You will want to wear darker and/or brighter colors which looks good against snow and the brown trees.  Wear chunky sweaters, gorgeous coats, scarves, hats, and gloves.  These are fun and keep you comfortable.  Some great colors include red, black, blue, green, and purple.

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Spring:  Clothing in the spring should be light and pastel.  This couple wore blue and pink, a cute black dress with boots, and jeans with a jean jacket.  Most of my couples are very casual because we’re usually walking around in the landscape, climbing mountains, and going into tall grass.  If the girl is going to wear a cute little dress, I would suggest a necklace or scarf and earrings that compliment the dress.  I also love hats.

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Summer:  Most colors work well in the summer.  This couple loved to be goofy and playful.  I had them roll their jeans up and get in the creek, which they loved.   Ask your photographer to send you photos of the locations where you will be going so you can see the colors that you should compliment.  I have my couples bring at least 6 different outfits so we can mix and match and figure out which outfits will look best in which environment.

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Fall:  Most of my wedding couples don’t have engagement sessions because the weddings I photograph are around 90% destination weddings and the couples don’t come to Durango CO until their actual wedding day.  So for fall clothing, I’m showing you a family session image.  I love the colors they wore – turquoise, light blue, light green, and pinks.  Other nice colors are coral, black, yellow, and maroon.

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Other Tips:

1.  Avoid large, loud prints and logos, and the tiny stripes (they look wavy in photos).  You and your partner should be color coordinated, but not necessarily matchy-matchy.  Lay out your clothes to see which colors are pleasing together.  You can even email photos to your photographer to get her opinion.

2.  Choose clothing that is comfortable and that you can move around in if you will be walking, climbing, and sitting on rocks.  Layering works really well.  Iron the clothing that has wrinkles – photoshop will not remove wrinkles (or at least it’s very difficult).

3.  If you’re going to purchase a wall portrait, decide where you want to hang it, then look around at the colors in that room.  Try to find clothing that will compliment the decor.

4.  Bring along props:  balloons, pets, instruments, hobbies, sports, or a chalk board to use for your save the date art.  Don’t forget to have your engagement ring shiny and clean for the close up photo.

5.  Most important – Have Fun!

Luv, Karen

Durango Wedding Photographers

Website

Nick and Kelli’s Engagement Session by Durango Wedding Photographers

These two are adorable and lots of fun.  They wanted to have snow in their engagement photographs because, of course, their wedding will be in the summer.  We got some great shots of them frolicking in the snow and/or kissing (which I kept telling them to stop doing that:}  Just kidding – it was difficult to get them to stop though once they got started.  They brought their doggie, who is, of course, part of the family.  He’s an older pup, but he was full of energy – we had a hard time getting him to sit still.

Here’s what they had to say about the engagement session with me and my hubby:

What did you like about our photography that you didn’t see in portraits from other studios?

“We liked the overall natural feel of the photos and that they didn’t feel staged.  Also, a great presentation”

(Once the session was complete, we had them come back to view the images on a big screen tv.  They were presented on a slideshow set to music)

How would you describe your session?

“A fun and interactive session”

What did you like best about your portraits?

“The natural feel and overall creativity with an excellent use of color.  The professional touches really came through in the photos”.

So here’s a few of their images to enjoy (well a little more than a few).  You must go all the way to the bottom to see the adorable doggie photo.

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Kissie Face

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He loves this woman

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Snow blowin

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Snuggling

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More kissie face

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Telling Dirty Jokes

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Getting on board for the Piggy Back Ride

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Piggy Back Ride in the Snow

Piggy Back Ride with more kissie face

Piggy Back Ride with more kissie face

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Dog kisses his own face while mom and did kiss each others faces

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Did you know dogs can write

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What is on my nose?

If you have a wedding coming up in or near Durango CO, give me a call or email me so we can go over your wedding plans and see if my photography would be a good match for your vision.

Luv, Karen

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Email

970.884.5292

 

 

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