Wedding Photography Boulder | Green Blossom Photography, LLC » Intimate photography for couples who aren't afraid to be themselves

Earlier this year I published a rundown of some of my favorite Colorado Wedding Vendors. But in case the preview left you wanting to know more about these amazing women (yes, all the vendors on my list are women), I’m taking the time to do some more in depth introductions to these talents.

Hayley Styles, The Classy Pick

Hayley is one of my favorite hair stylists and I’m always excited when I find her name on a vendor list.

You can follow her on IG here.

The Not Wedding_027How long have you been in business?
I have been doing hair for almost 11 years now and I started doing weddings heavily 6 seasons ago!

What made you decide to get into the wedding industry?
When I first started doing hair at the salon, we would have wedding parties come in and I always loved working with them;  its such a fun day to be a part of and I love styling hair.  I had a mentor who asked me to help her wedding business and I really learned a lot from her and about the environment of doing weddings during that time.

What is your favorite part of owning your own business?
I love that the sky is the limit, that I get to go whatever direction that I want with my business and that I can change it anytime I want.  I also love that I am the person who gets to create the vision and values and execute them how I want!

Who is your ideal client? Who inspires you in your work?
My ideal client is the bride who trusts me and my work…I love it when brides and bridal parties have visions for themselves, but then allow me to fine tune it.  The style turns out the best when people trust me! I am often inspired by celebrities but I don’t ten to love the avant garde type looks.  I am inspired by classical beauty.

Describe the process of working with you. How would a client interact with you from start to finish?
Usually it starts through email with an inquiry about their wedding…the wedding date is usually already set…the bride will usually reach out to see if I am available and we go from there! The folks that really want me to participate reach out to me as one of the first vendors to solidify the date…I am fairly easy going about the process and like to make people feel comfortable with however they want the process to go.  The date is booked once I have a contract back in hand but there is no deposit until the trial run and I am always inviting people to come to the salon for a consultation before the trial run (sometimes before the contract) to get cozy with each other!

What trends are inspiring to you right now?
I love the vintage romantic look that brides are going for these days…along with the intense lip color.  I just find it so beautiful! I also think braids are just awesome and super fun but most people don’t have enough hair to pull it off (that’s where extensions come in!). They just add so much fun texture!

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Hands down, cookies and cream

Where would you most like to travel?
South America…I have been dreaming of going to Patagonia and Santiago, Chile! I have been fortunate enough to travel quite a bit and haven’t been to South America yet; it’ll happen soon!

To see Hayley’s work check out The Big Fake Wedding 2014, Jessica and Mike’s Denver Museum of Nature and Science Wedding , and an intimate styled shoot at Piney River Ranch (featuring braids!).

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  • Christie Matherne

    Cool vendor feature! I love getting to know the folks in the industry.ReplyCancel

  • Sunshine Lump

    Love this! I love getting to know other vendors in the industry!ReplyCancel

  • Kristina

    This is such a wonderful post Jennie! Love this!ReplyCancel

Earlier this year I published a rundown of some of my favorite Colorado Wedding Vendors. But in case the preview left you wanting to know more about these amazing women (yes, all the vendors on my list are women), I’m taking the time to do some more in depth introductions to these talents.

Mandy Hess, MJM Designs, Florist Queen

Follow along with Mandy on IG here.

How long have you been in business?
4 years coming up in July!

What made you start MJM Designs?
I worked for other florists prior to my brother’s wedding and I wanted to be able to create the floral pieces for his big day.  So, slowly I pieced together what I needed and MJM Designs sprouted!

Mandy Hess, MJM Designs

Portrait by Theresa Woodhull

What is your favorite part of owning your own business?
My favorite part of owning my own business is the flexibility. [I choose] how many wedding and events I would like to do a year.  I get to create my own schedule and I have control over the decisions I make about how I want to run my business.  For example, I can choose to donate funds or products to charities I am passionate about helping.

Who is your ideal client? Who inspires you in your design?
My ideal client is someone who is super excited for their big day! They know what they want to focus on for their wedding day while keeping the wedding day true to themselves and and fun for their guests.

My designs are inspired by my clients as well as the blooms being used.  I take into account ideas and visuals sent by my couple, then let the blooms dictate where they want to go and how they want to be featured in the design–no two items are exactly the same.  There are a few fantastic floral designers that I look up to and follow on Instagram – Amy Osaba and Ariella Chezar.

Describe the process of working with you.  How would a couple interact with you from start to finish?
After reaching out via email or through my contact form on my website, we would start with a free consultation at my Englewood studio.  I love chatting about what the couple is envisioning for their wedding day.  After that meeting, I create a customized floral proposal that goes through everything we discussed.  After signing a contract and paying a retainer to hold their date, we keep in contact throughout the next few weeks/ months until the wedding.  About a month out from the wedding day I talk to the couple and the wedding planner to get the final table counts, then check in with the venue on any final items.  The day-of, my team will be there to deliver and set-up pre-wedding, then clean up at the end of the night.

I love communicating with my couples and keep the lines of communication open throughout the process!

What trends are inspiring to you right now?
Being land-locked in Colorado, I’m loving tropical flowers and foliage! Also, I’m digging the use of bold colors in designs as well as installation pieces.  I would love to create something different for you and your guests to awe at!

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Chocolate chip coffee/ espresso

Where would you most like to travel?
My ultimate DREAM is to go to Rome; my husband and I are finally planning a trip for next May to celebrate his graduation from engineering school.  I cannot wait!!

To see more of Mandy’s wedding work, check out Mike and Jessica’s Denver Museum of Nature and Science wedding.

Then  make sure you stay tuned for more interviews with my go-to wedding vendors!

In case you missed one, you can check out my other vendor features below:
Janie Rocek – Hair and Make-up

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Earlier this year I published a rundown of some of my favorite Colorado Wedding Vendors. But in case the preview left you wanting to know more about these amazing women (yes, all the vendors on my list are women), I’m taking the time to do some more in depth introductions to these talents.

Janie Rocek – Hair, Make-up, and Style

To start things off, I’d like to introduce you to Janie Rocek, a super talented hair and make-up artist who doubles as a stylist and blogger.

You can follow her on IG here.

I think Janie’s site gives a perfect intro, so I’ll let her speak for herself:

Hi, I’m Janie.  Last name pronounced Row-check.  I am an artist, stylist, and designer.  Hair, makeup, wardrobe, props, and more.  If I don’t have a makeup brush or a curling iron in my hand, you might find me in a ball cap with a paint brush in one hand and a power tool in the other.

I am a national freelance artist based out of Northern Colorado & Denver.  I provide products and services for weddings, events, commercial, editorial, and lifestyle with the following experience…

Janie Rocek - Hair, Make-up, and StylePortraits by Marcus Edwards Photography

How long have you been in business? What made you decide to get into the wedding industry?
Thirteen years.  I love styling!

What is your favorite part of owning your own business?
The flexibility [of the schedule] and teaching my daughter.

Who is your ideal client? Who inspires you in your work?
[My ideal client is] one who can share with me her lifestyle and wedding style and then let me run with matching the hair and makeup based on my knowledge and expertise.  I love it when she has an idea of what she wants but doesn’t put me in a box.  When that comes together, magic happens!

My eight year old daughter definitely inspires me, as well as nature, art, and lifestyle. I love the detailed works of artists such as Ulyana Aster, Linda Hallbergs, Kandee Johnson, Pat McGrath, and Georgiy Kot.  But my style tends to be more organic and free these days.

IMG_5037-2

Describe the process of working with you.  How would a couple interact with you from start to finish?
Visit janierocek.com/weddings. Poke around to see if you think we’d be a good fit.  Reach out to me through the contact form or direct email and I’ll get back to you with pricing and other important information.  If that all looks good, we will have a consultation over the phone or over coffee.  A detailed contract will be written out to review, deposit will be taken, date will be locked in, yay!

From then, its a bridal trial run at my studio (if wanted).  We keep it chill and fun but I want to make sure you feel completely comfortable and confident before you leave me that day.  I document everything for the wedding day reference and to look back on in case either of us wants to make any changes.

Then come the wedding day! I/ we (my team) want to blend in or add to the setting, never stand out or take away from the atmosphere of your day.  We are always ready to have run with you and your crew and are trained to work fast and efficient.   We are totally flexible, but we’ll work hard to keep you on schedule to eliminate any unneeded stress. We make sure wants, needs, and desires are met before we leave! As far as personal interactions, read what our past brides have to say.

bride prepping for colorado mountain wedding photo

What trends are inspiring to you right now?
Whimsical, romantic, organic, intimate settings.  Elopement.  Oversized, wild bouquest.  Effortless hair with hair vines and over the face veils with headbands or flower crowns.  Day after wedding portraits.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Salted Caramel, but I haven’t met an ice cream flavor I haven’t liked 🙂
Where would you most like to travel?
Too many places to name!
To see Janie’s wedding work, check out Meghan and James‘ wedding and Samantha and Joe‘s wedding.  Both took place at my favorite intimate Colorado Wedding Venue, Piney River Ranch.
Make sure you stay tuned for more interviews with my go-to wedding vendors!
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  • Jenae

    good stuff Jennie! Such a great idea to show some awesome vendor relationships and help your brides out!ReplyCancel

  • Janie Rocek

    Thank you Jennie! Blessings and success to you this wedding season. I know all your brides/grooms will love you. I hope we have the chance to work together again soon.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa

    this is great – i feel like i know her now! and amen to the favorite ice cream answer 😀ReplyCancel

  • Melissa

    Awesome post! Behind the scenes artists definitely deserve their spotlight!ReplyCancel

  • This is such a great idea Jennie! Love getting to know the vendors better (and I totally agree with Janie – salted caramel ice cream is the best!)ReplyCancel

  • Amanda

    What a great idea! And she’s super stylish, which I appreciate in a stylist!ReplyCancel

  • Valeria

    What a wonderful idea for a post! Loved reading this 🙂ReplyCancel

You’re getting married? Yay–congratulations!

If you haven’t realized it yet, you’re soon to discover that there are a plethora of wedding vendors in Colorado in every corner of the state.  Its easy to get overwhelmed with all the choices out there and to get bogged down looking at website after website.

In my five years in the wedding industry in Colorado, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with some amazingly talented artists. Their skills range from floral design to coordination (which totally speaks to my love of organization) and everything in between.  One thing they all have in common is their love for weddings and their love for creating a fantastic experience for their clients.

Below you’ll find my list of 2017 Best Colorado Wedding Vendors.  I’ve worked with each and every one of these artists and can vouch for their professionalism, passion, and creativity.

I hope this list helps you start the navigation process of your own planning.  If you need more details on any of these artists, have additional questions about their work, or just want to hear me gush about their talent, please reach out.

Best Colorado Wedding Planners

Full wedding planners and day-of coordinators can make your planning process so much easier.  They are fantastic at taking care of the little details, creating a timeline that lets you enjoy your wedding day, and helping your refine your vision.  The best ones (like those below), get a sense of how you want your wedding day to feel and then help you build from there.

Sara Brown – Sara Brown Weddings

Sara and her team specialize in full day wedding planning and design. She has a “love for flawless logistics and pretty details, but also a desire for deep, meaningful relationships.  [She] believe that a wedding day should reflect the spirit of what’s to come – a beautiful, happy and inspired marriage.”

I think Sara is my spirit twin 🙂

game piece escort cards photoHeather O’Connell – Good Ol’-Fashioned Party

Heather loves adding vintage touches to a relaxed wedding day and has a personal stash of fantastic vintage furniture and decor to elevate indoor and outdoor events.

Head table at intimate colorado wedding photoLauren Smith – Hourglass Productions

Lauren and her team love fabulously hip weddings and thrive on planning city weddings.

www.greenblossomphotography.com, Colorado wedding photo, Denver wedding photo, Boulder wedding photo, Buddhist wedding photo, Sunrise Amphitheater wedding photo, Hana Style Designs wedding flower photo, Hourglass Productions wedding photo, CHAC art gallery wedding photo, Denver Sante Fe Art District wedding photoMichelle  – Brindle and Oak

Michelle has an eye for textures, shapes, and patterns and works with couples up and down the west coast. Her business partner, Megan is based in Michigan if you’re planning in the Chicago/ Detroit area.

Great Sand Dunes National Park wedding table photo

Best Colorado Wedding Florists

I am in constant awe of florists because their method of artistic expression is so foreign to me.  Their knowledge of flowers (even those you’ve never heard of) is inspiring and I’m always amazing at what they create for our clients.  This list is my longest because I’ve worked with some truly amazing florists.

Holly Kerr – Love Letters Floral Design

Holly is SO talented.  She creates massively complex, yet simply beautiful bridal bouquets that are to die for.

Lyons Riverbend wedding photo 5Lace and Lillies

Lisa and Lacey of Lace and Lillies are “not your average florists” and believe in unique, custom, designs.

blanc Denver wedding Civic Center Park portraits photoLilli Black – Bella Calla

I’ve seen Lilli progress from a tiny shop through two storefronts and a growing staff.  Her work is modern and highly sought after! She also runs a paralell planning business (Sweetly Paired), so clearly loves everything about weddings.

Deer Creek Valley Ranch medium format film wedding photoMandy Hess – MJM Designs

Mandy draws her inspiration from nature and her designs are natural and fresh, with an artistic twist on them.

MJM Designs pink wedding flowers photoLauren Evans – Project Floral

Lauren and her team are dreamers and planners.  Not only do they work closely with their couples to design their dream, they’re consious of using local, in season flowers.

Orchid Princess Floral photoHana Style Designs

Brittany creates wild and free-spirited bouquets with plenty of motion.  They are feminie and she’s a master with texture.

www.greenblossomphotography.com, Rocky Mountain wedding photo, Denver wedding photo, Boulder wedding photo, lesbian wedding photo

 

Best Colorado Wedding Paper

Jennifer Dinges – Anthologie Press

Jennifer’s work is highly customized and she obsesses over textures and patterns and unexpected elements in her work.  Its bold, its creative, and its fun!

www.greenblossomphotography.com, The NotWedding Denver photo, , McNichols Building wedding photoMeagan Broadway – Whimsy Design Studio

I have so much admiration for the paper artists I know and Meagan is no exception.  Whimsy Design Studio is the complete package and Mesgan uses all the tricks in her work: graphic design, hand lettering, illustration, and painting. I’ve even seen her work on glass, y’all.

Great Sand Dunes National Park wedding invite photo

Best Colorado Wedding Hair and Make-up

Hayley – Hayley Styles (hair)

If I had one word to describe Hayley’s work, its classy.

Piney River -95Janie Rocek (hair and make-up)

Strangely enough, I run into Janie most often at weddings in Vail….and am always glad when I do.  Another classy option for your wedding and Janie does both hair AND makeup.

Piney River Ranch wedding bridal party photoNicole Toledo (make-up)

Nicole’s work is fresh and clean.  Perfect for a peachy, summer bride.

2017 Best Colorado Wedding VendorsNicole Ramirez (make-up)

Nicole is another vendor that I’ve known from the start and I love running into her at weddings.

Film Files 2015-44Kim Jundt (hair and make-up)

Kim is creative and professional and so much to hang out with!  She does both hair and make-up

sweet kisses between bride and groom photo

Best Colorado Wedding Dress Shops

Emma and Grace

Emma and Grace is hands down my favorite shop.  I love that they feature up and coming designers and the styles they carry are always fresh, flowy, and unique. You won’t find “standard wedding attire” here.  Plus their staff is wonderful and their space is cozy, modern, and cute.

Great Sand Dunes National Park wedding photo

Best Colorado Wedding Boudoir

Melissa Mullins Portraits

If you’re looking for an off-beat kind of boudoir that is a full reflection of your personality, look no further than Melissa’s milk bath portraits.  Its an amazing, relaxing, subtly sexy experience.  And its full of color–which I am always a fan of.

celebration boudoir photo

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On this first day of spring, when we’re already experiencing temperatures in Denver in the 70’s and 80’s, I thought I’d take a look back at a January trip to Tabernash where Heather and I spent a weekend Snowshoeing at Devil’s Thumb Ranch.

Heather and I love hiking in the Colorado mountains, but prefer to do much of our outdoor time in the summer.  Its kind of ironic, because Colorado is known for its winter sport enthusiasts, but we just haven’t made the time to invest in gear and passes to take on snowboarding or skiing.  To be fair, Heather has never done either, so there would be a bit of learning involved if we hit the slopes and it just isn’t something we’ve tacked yet.

However, we did get a couple of pairs of snowshoes for Christmas two years ago and we’ve managed to break them out several times for winter mountain excursions.

This past January, when we were up in Tabernash for Jamie and Chesley’s elopement, we had the opportunity to go snowshoeing at Devil’s Thumb Ranch AND spend the night in their fantastic lodge.

It was a gorgeous sunny day on the trails, so even though it was only in the 20’s we managed to stay warm just by  moving.  The mountains got hammered with snow this December and January, so much so, that if you stepped off the packed trails, you were in danger of being knee deep in snow, even on snow shoes.  This was baby E’s first snowshoeing trip and we managed to keep him warm and snuggled and sleeping for most of the 3.5 mile trek.

Devilsnowshoeing in Tabernash, COtons of snow in Colorado photosnowshoe trail at DevilSnowshoeing at Devilsnowshoeing with a babyWinter in the mountains photo
Devil

 

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Piney River Ranch Intimate Wedding photo

If you’ve been following along, you know that Piney River Ranch is one of my favorite intimate wedding venues. So it’s only fitting that when Chris Loring Photography and I were dreaming up a mountain styled shoot, we chose Piney River Ranch as our location.

The approach to this shoot was a little different. While both Chris and I love mountain weddings, we cater to different clients, so naturally our visions weren’t 100% aligned.  That’s okay though as we were both able to highlight different stories within the same scene.  We both photographed Haley and Brian in a handmade wedding dress that Chris made herself (say what?!), but we told very different stories.

For my story, I really wanted to focus on the couple who craves quiet, intimate time together on their wedding day.  They want to wake up together in a tent by a glacial lake, then spend their morning sharing breakfast in bed. They cuddle, eat, and share notes and thoughts about their upcoming life together.  When its time for the ceremony, they join their friends by the lake, say their vows, then take the time to wander off to revel in the fact that they’re married.

You can see Chris’ vision of the day over on Rocky Mountain Bride, were we’re thrilled to be published today.

One final note before diving into my favorite photos: I shot this entire shoot on film.  Its been a goal of mine for awhile to do an entire shoot on film and I took the plunge with this one.  And I’m oh so so happy!

I shot all of these photos on my Pentax 645N on Portra 800 film.  I think the colors are to die for.

I started my day off photographing in the cozy glamping tents on the Piney River Ranch property.  Those tents are made for cuddles and breakfast.

The we moved on to photograph with Piney’s iconic lake and mountain view.

Piney river ranch welcome packet photoPiney River Ranch glamping tents photobreakfast in bed glamping tent photowedding morning in the mountains photoblueberries and donuts in bed photobride getting ready on wedding day photowedding day donuts photowedding welcome packet photobride in blue floral robe photowedding day champagne photobride and groom toast on wedding day photowedding day champagne toastlove note to bride photocouple having breakfast in bed photobreakfast in bed wedding day photoberries and donuts breakfast in bed photobride and groom breakfast in bed photobride and groom breakfast in pjwedding weekend itinerary photocupcakes at colorado mountain wedding photobride and groom at Colorado mountain wedding photocheckered bow tie and lace wedding dress photo
french braid wedding updo photoColorado mountain lake wedding photo
rustic ivory and copper wedding bouquet photowedding couple walking barefoot on rocksromantic kiss by colorado river photofrench braid bridal updo photobride and groom wading in river photorocky mountain colorado wedding photosunset photo at colorado mountain wedding romantic wedding day kiss photobride and groom laughing barefoot wedding photobride in lace dress colorado mountain wedding photobride and groom with feet in lake photocarefree colorado mountain lake wedding photoIntimate Piney River Ranch wedding photobride and groom barefoot in lake photoblue and copper wedding dessertsromantic colorado wedding portrait Piney River Ranch summer wedding photo
bride and groom snuggling at colorado wedding photofrench braid bridal updo
intimate colorado mountain weddingintimate and romantic colorado mountain weddingcolorado intimate wedding photointimate colorado mountain wedding photo

Vendors that helped us realize our vision:

Make-up: Nicole Toledo
Bow-tie: Knotty Tie
Invitation: Anthologie Press
Rentals and Florals: Quintessential Events
Love Letter: Abigail Oxford
Dessert: Fluffed and Frosted
Dress: Original, handmade
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  • Jenae

    Jennie!! These are so so gorgeous!! Love the concept and your compositions! that light!!ReplyCancel

  • I obviously love them so much they went in an album!! You and Chris did such an amazing job and it is SO crazy how unique of stories you can tell in the same setting with the same details and same couple! Beautiful – you did Piney River Ranch more than justice too!ReplyCancel

  • WOW these are just gorgeous, I love the pink tones on the mountains!ReplyCancel

  • Erica Swantek

    Wow, Jennie! These are seriously incredible. I love the story you told and the fact that you ahoy this entire styled shoot on film, eeek! I am totally in love with this!ReplyCancel

  • Wow, what an amazing place! I love all your photos and your website too!ReplyCancel

  • These are absolutely STUNNING! Congrats on the feature!ReplyCancel

  • How awesome! It’s like every detail is perfection, down to the bagels! The location is so pretty. Really lovely story telling.ReplyCancel

  • Alissa

    I LOVE all of these photos and those mountains are so beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Oh my gosh these photos are absolutely beautiful! The colours are so stunning! Great work!ReplyCancel

  • I LOVE the blue! It’s so beautiful. the mountains are perfectReplyCancel

  • Brittany Slaughter

    JENNIE!! these are absolutely breathtaking! And Haley, you look like a freakin goddess! In LOOOOOVE with this!
    The colors, the composition and all of the details, goooodness, your film work is just insane lady!ReplyCancel

  • amber

    this backdrop is stunning and makes me miss living near the mountains so badly! Great styled shoot.. job well done!ReplyCancel

Though its been awhile since my last cinnamon roll post, never fear: I have not given up the search. If you’ve been following along with the blog, you know that I’m on the hunt for the Best Local Cinnamon Rolls.  For this post I ventured a little further to Heck’s Tavern on the campus of Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa in Tabernash, CO.

I suppose for any comparison to be fair, there need to be guidelines. So here are my top priorities when sampling cinnamon rolls:

  1. Is it warm?
  2. Is there a good cinnamon to bread ratio?
  3. Is the bottom burnt?
  4. Is the outside overcooked?
  5. Is the center still gooey?
  6. Is the icing cream cheese based?

Heck’s Tavern Cinnamon Roll
Location: 3530 County Rd 83, Tabernash, CO 80478

Known for: A cozy, rustic, lodge restaurant at the heart of Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa

Heck

Cinnamon Roll Grade: A

 

I really enjoyed this cinnamon roll.  It featured a twist to the traditional cinnamon roll, upping the ante with maple bourbon cream cheese icing.  The fact that it also came in a hot cast iron skillet (undoubtedly baked in the skillet) was an added bonus as it kept my cinnamon roll warm for my entire breakfast.  The cooking in the skillet also prevented the outside from becoming overcooked and I found the entire roll to be evenly baked and the perfect amount of cooked and gooey.

I only ate half of this roll at breakfast, but enjoyed the rest after our afternoon snowshoeing adventure and it was just as good at room temperature as it was warm.  I say this fact alone solidifies my “A” grade and I hope to have the chance to eat it again!

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My week has gotten away from me, so I will make this recap short and sweet, mostly picking out key points and observations, rather than doing a full recap.

The Bachelor Nick Recap: Episode 9.1

I said last week that I enjoyed the 1 hour episode that only highlighted Raven’s fantasy suite date, but this week I missed having three dates to watch.  Given that this episode actually ended with a rose ceremony made me wish we had been able to digest all three dates at once.  Other than the brief morning after segment we got with Raven in a super good mood (we’re supposed to conclude that Nick gave her an orgasm, right??), she was absent all episode and it was very easy to forget all about her.

Both Rachel and Vanessa’s dates were sponsored by Lapland Safaris, as evidence by the numerous times the cameras focused on their signs.  I fully approve of all of the date activities including cross country skiing with Rachel and ice bathing with Vanessa.

Rachel and Nick had a phenomenal, easy, captivating date with honest conversations and a reassurance from Rachel that even though she’s slow to open up, she does feel very deeply about Nick.  During the date, Nick said “I’m totally falling for you too”.  They even showed footage of the two of them cooking breakfast after their fantasy suite portion and it was so natural and normal and awesome to watch.

After their date I thought there was no way he would send her home.  Which had me all worried, because if he didn’t send her home, then that meant she was in the final two, and since we already know she’s the Bachelorette, the ending of this season would have been given away right then and there.  I suppose if she had ended up in the final two then ABC wouldn’t have announced her as the Bachelorette yet, but they had me seriously concerned for the rest of the episode.

Vanessa’s date involved running back and forth from ice baths to saunas, which doesn’t sound like that much fun to me, but I love how into it Vanessa got.  By the end of this part of their date, I think Vanessa was ready to make polar bear plunges part of her morning routine.  It gets cold enough in Montreal for that, right?

One thing I do really love about their relationship is that they’re not afraid to have tough conversations. I really feel that Vanessa is 100% herself around Nick, which shows she’s not just looking to please someone to be the final one, but that she really wants to find someone to spend her life with.  She cusses, she pushes back, she asks honest questions, and she challenges what Nick says when he’s not expressing himself very clearly.

I was surprised to see that Nick is worried about them being too similar in personality.  Up until this point it hasn’t been discussed, but suddenly Nick thinks they might both be two passionate and stubborn to make a lasting relationship work.  I would argue that you should have some similarities and as long as you’re both willing to compromise on some things along the way, these similarities can bring you to a very deep relationships.

One thing that I feel could still be a sticking point between Vanessa and Nick is where they would live.  Vanessa is very tied to Montreal and Nick didn’t seem too sure about having a life in Canada.  However, I’m encouraged by the fact that he said numerous times that he’s willing to compromise and do anything for the women he loves.

I think what really needs to happen if Vanessa is Nick’s choice, is that the two of them should date long distance for awhile.  It looks like Nick is doing Dancing with the Stars so he’ll be in LA for awhile after the finale, and the two of them would have already been doing the long distance thing to keep the ending a secret, so I think they should continue. They should really give themselves time to make sure that this is going to be a lasting relationship before making any drastic moving plans.  Once they’re sure, I’m 100% confident that they’ll be able to make the best decision for their relationship.

Which leads me to my final prediction: Vanessa will be the last one standing.

As much as Raven is growing on me, I just don’t see them having the deep, challenging relationship that Vanessa and Nick have.  At this point, its either Vanessa or no one.

One final note from the rose ceremony–I’m totally not satisfied with Rachel and Nick’s goodbye.  He gave absolutely NO reason why he sent her home. If I was her I wouldn’t have taken his “It’s hard to say goodbye and you’re amazing” speech without some push back.  Clearly she has closure now, but I would have been so confused because he gave her no answers.

The Women Tell All

I muted much of the women tell all (because honestly, I couldn’t listen to Taylor and Corrine any more), but I did tune into the couch time with Kristina and with with Rachel.

The Bachelor Nick Recap: Episode 9.1

One thing was very clear with both of these interviews.  Kristina and Rachel are clearly loved by every single woman on the show.  The cheers, the tears, the reassurances, and the hugs that these two women got from their fellow contestants was so heartwarming.

The interview with Rachel was awesome too and I think she’s looking to be one of the best bachelorettes we’ve ever seen.  She knows what she wants, she clearly over Nick, she’s humbled for the opportunity, and I don’t think she’ll get caught up in the drama.

All I have to say is ABC better give her at least 20 smart, confident, mature men to meet and date.  They can reserve 10 for ratings and interest if they want, but she better have a damn good crop of men because she deserves it and I don’t think she’ll settle for anything less than the perfect match.

Three hour finale next week!

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Devil

Jamie and Chesley have been together for 17 years and though they committed to each other a few years ago, they never had a legal wedding.

After much deliberation about what they really wanted for their wedding day, the two of them settled on a romantic, intimate, Devil’s Thumb Ranch Winter Elopement in the snowy mountains of Colorado.

They rented a cabin at Devil’s Thumb Ranch, invited only their closest family and friends, and said “I Do” by the fireplace in a cozy indoor ceremony.  And it could not have been more perfect.  From start to finish, Jamie and Chesley reveled in the moments.  From lighting the unity candle to their dance celebration after their first kiss, the room was fill with emotion and pure joy.

They even brought their beloved dog, Ravi, with them and decked him out with a flower crown (which he promptly tried to eat).

After the ceremony, we ventured out into the snowy forests for photos with their guests before taking the time to wander the trails together.  They were goofy, full of laughter and happiness, and so excited to be legally married.

Jamie and Chesley, it was an honor to be present at your ceremony and I wish you years of happiness and joy in your continued life together.

lovebird wedding decoration photoDevildog with flower crown wedding photocozy colorado cabin wedding photointimate colorado mountain winter wedding photointimate mountain winter wedding photolesbian wedding photowinter wedding ceremony in cabin photocozy colorado cabin weddingsame-sex winter colorado wedding phototwo brides married in Colorado mountains photochampagne toast at winter wedding photowinter colorado wedding family photo brides with dog on wedding day photofamily photo colorado winter weddingDevilDeviltwo brides married in colorado winter forestsame-sex winter elopmentbrides in short dresses and cowboy bootscozy colorado winter wedding photo
same-sex colorado winter elopement photointimate colorado winter elopementcolorado mountain winter wedding photo

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I’m actually rather okay with the fact that this week’s episode was only an hour long.  For one thing, it means I caught Episode 1 of the new ABC mini-series When We Rise, which took over the 2nd hour timeslot for the Bachelor.  And it was a fantastic first episode!

Secondly, only having one hour of the Bachelor means that this episode wasn’t cut off right before a rose ceremony.  By only showing one fantasy suite date, we’re left with TWO dates next week AND the Women Tell All.  So three hours of Bachelor to dive into, which as long as the women are captivating at the Women Tell All should be quite enjoyable.

So, onto some brief thoughts for this weeks episode.

The Bachelor Nick Recap: Episode 9 – Ice Ice Baby

To start the episode, we dive into the surprise conversation with Andi. You could tell they were both uncomfortable at the start, but frankly, but the time they finished their chat I felt weirdly okay with it.  It almost seemed like closure for the both of them, finally getting to wish the other person well and actually mean it.

I do like how Andi asked Nick point blank if he was planning to sleep with all of the women.  Up until Kaitlyn’s season, sex was kind of the unspoken elephant in the room of all Bachelor seasons.  Did they or didn’t they? Should they or shouldn’t they? No one talked about it in any certain terms (well, maybe Jillian did a few seasons ago, but she was a little more unconventional of a Bachelorette, too) until Kaitlyn and Nick hooked up well before the fantasy suite dates.  I also loved the maturity that this conversation had, the agreement that sex is a two way street, and that each relationship should be judged independently as to where they’re at.  All very rational, absolutely crucial parts of a committed, safe, relationship, but conversations that we never really see in this context.

On to the rose ceremony where Corinne goes home.

I’m not surprised at all as there was absolutely no way that she would end up with Nick in the end. Her breakdown right away shows just how much I think she did care for Nick and I felt bad for her that she started apologizing for anything she might have done wrong to upset Nick.  Their goodbye interaction highlighted the huge difference in maturity levels between the two of them and it almost felt like Nick was comforting a little sister.

Corinne’s exit limo speech about never catering to a man again was good to hear from her.  I’m not sure her habits will be that easy to break, but it shows that there is potential for growth there.  The sooner Corinne realizes that she has to know, love, and trust herself before worrying about finding a husband, the more successful her future relationships will be.

So we’re headed to Finland!

Raven’s Fantasy Suite Date

Okay, so I’ve liked Raven for the last few weeks and she’s totally emerged as a dark horse, but I LOVED her this episode.  I love her candor and her eloquence in expressing how she feels.  And their date felt perfect.  I barely even noticed the helicopter ride because their dart throwing and chilling in front of the fire at a local pub was so normal and natural and easy.  I find their conversations to be honest and real (even raw, which Nick loves).  And I LOVED raven’s style.  Her relaxed owl sweater for the daytime portion of the date, paired with her cozy Sorells, was the perfect outfit for a low key date.  I could picture myself wearing the same outfit on a date.

The night portion of their date in a cozy cabin fostered more honest conversations where Raven told Nick that she loved him in an emotional, unforced manner that is refreshing on this show.  I also loved how much she talked about their relationship being easy, which is a word that Vanessa also uses when discussing their relationship.  Relationships as a whole are not easy, but in a good relationship its easy to commit and easy to want to work through the tough times.  As someone who has been happily married for six years and with my better half for eleven, I can say that this description of a relationship is so important and I’m excited to see it emerging in multiple places.

The one thing that I’m not sure Raven needed to tell Nick over dinner is that she’d never had an orgasm.  While this is important information that they should have undoubtedly discussed in the fantasy suite away from the cameras, the admission earlier on feels producer prodded.  It doesn’t matter in the long run and I feel it’s just making Raven put added pressure on herself where she doesn’t need to.

We don’t see the conclusion of this date (that will come next week), but I can’t really imagine it going south.  I absolutely predict that Raven will be in the final two, and that she will be there with Vanessa.

Because, honestly, as much as I love Rachel and Nick, the fact that she’s the Bachelorette means that there is absolutely no way that she makes it to the final two.

We have yet to see Vanessa’s Fantasy Suite Date, but based on previews I’m worried that Vanessa is getting in her own head too much.  There is a lot for the two of them to discuss for sure, but I hope she doesn’t let her own emotions get in the way.  While there is definitely a certain raw-ness to being emotionally vulnerable, I hope its not too much for them to work through.  Right now Raven’s confidence in herself is making her look like the perfect finisher.

Until next week!

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So, my week got totally hectic and I didn’t get a chance to blog about last week’s Episode 7.

Here are a few closing thoughts from last week and then I’ll jump right into Episode 8:

  1. Did we for one minute think that Nick was going to throw in the towel on the entire experience? Yeah right.
  2. Nick and Vanessa’s 2nd one-on-one felt very down to earth and real and I really appreciated the adult conversations they had on the boat.
  3. Vanessa tells Nick she’s falling in love with him and his reaction is less than what she hoped.  In most instances, the lead simply reciprocates the feelings with a kiss (since they can’t say they love someone yet), or says something lame and vague like “thank you for telling me, that means a lot”.  In this instance Nick says (in so many words) “I like you a lot but can’t say I love you yet”.  Obviously this isn’t what Vanessa wanted to hear in that moment, BUT the fact that this is so outside the norm of what a Bachelor would normally say puts it at a much more real and genuine reaction.  You shouldn’t say you love someone at this point, especially with so many women left (hint, hint, BEN), but it is totally reasonable to tell someone that you really like them and you want to see where things go. I think it sets up a great final rose when you can actually freely express yourself.  If you say you love someone then, you really mean it.
  4. I’ll miss Kristina and I thought her and Nick had a great connection that far surpassed Nick and Corrine. Did you see Nick cry in front of Kristina and cuddle in for some comfort? That’s a great connection right there and I was expecting Kristina to be the dark horse of the season. I don’t know if I would have realistically seen them ending up together, but I liked her a lot and was hoping to meet her family.
  5. I’m sad to see Danielle M go also, but she wasn’t the one for Nick.
  6. Why was Vanessa so absent from all the tearful goodbyes at the villa?
  7. The new Bachelorette is announced and its Rachel!  I love Rachel and think she’ll make a fabulous Bachelorette, but WHY did they have to announce it so early?? She’s still on the show! And I had her in my top two as well…

And with that, we’re on to….

The Bachelor Nick Recap: Episode 8

At the end of the last episode, we’re left wondering if Nick will only give out three roses and go to three hometowns, but lo and behold, four women will have the pleasure of taking Nick home to meet the family.

Raven’s hometown: Hoxie, Arkansas.

Holy  moley, Raven’s hair is really long!  I wonder if she got extensions for the show or if its really that long.

raven and nick muddin

 

To start the day, Raven takes Nick muddin’.  Now, I love that we’re getting to see a different side of Raven and the two of them look like they’re having fun, but Nick doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who would enjoy four wheeling on a regular basis.  If this is a big part of who Raven is, will she be disappointed if the two of them don’t get out and dirty every weekend?

I absolutely love Raven’s family and I was so happy to hear that her dad is in remission from cancer.  The reactions from the whole family, Nick included, was so emotional and raw and real and beautiful to watch.  We didn’t see a ton of Nick’s time with the parents, outside of the requisite “do I have your blessing” question, but I did really like how Nick phrased this question.  Instead of asking for permission, he says “if at the end of this, if Raven and I decide we’re ready for an engagement would you be okay with that?”.

Yes! Perfect phrasing! I’ve always hated when people ask permission to marry someone’s daughter.  I know its traditional and to some people it means a lot, but I’ve always seen an engagement as a real decision between a couple and no one else should have a say.

Overall, great start to hometown week.

Rachel’s Hometown: Dallas, Texas

Rachel starts their day in Texas by taking Nick to church.  I get why she took him there–her faith community is clearly important to her–but I’m not so sure Nick is much of the religious type. He mentions that faith was important to his parents and that he grew up in church, but he doesn’t allude to anything about how church fits into his life now.  I’m speculating, but I don’t get the impression that it does.  Maybe it won’t matter in the long run, but it very well could.  I’ve noticed that faith can be a very binding part of a relationship and if you don’t share it, it’s one more hurdle to get through.

We don’t even get to see Rachel’s dad–what? I guess we’ll have to wait for her season to meet the intimidating federal judge.

I love Rachel and her family and the fact that they come right out and ask the hard questions about what it would be like to be an interracial couple in today’s climate.  As Rachel aptly says “You don’t need to have black skin, but you need to have thick skin” and that would most likely hold true if they were to end up together (but of course, they don’t….).  They didn’t show much romance, but again, maybe its because we know Rachel is the Bachelorette so why lead us on?

I do think that Nick and Rachel have amazing chemistry and they are clearly very relaxed around each other, so I wonder at what point Nick decides she’s not the one for him and sends her home.  While I hope its not after hometowns, I almost kind of hope that it is given that the sooner she goes home, the more suspense we’re left with at for the ending of the show.

Corinne’s Hometown: Miami, Florida

Corinne takes Nick shopping. Everything about this date is over the top and rather ridiculous.  We get that Corinne’s family has a lot of money and she probably shops extravagantly all the time, but there is no way that Nick (a self-proclaimed “budget shopper”) could support Corinne’s shopping habits.  She’d have to come to the marriage with a significant trust fund or huge paycheck from her dad’s business.

Corinne also proclaims that she’s in love with Nick, but I suspect she’s in love with the idea of Nick.  They have phenomenal physical chemistry but I still don’t see much beyond that.

It is also insane that Corinne made it to hometown dates without ever having a one on one date with Nick.  If he was really interested in her, he would have given her the one on one time earlier on, so he’s clearly not interested in a real long term future.

I’d like to say she goes home this week, but because of the wild card of Rachel as Bachelorette, we might see her in the top three.

I did appreciate that they painted Raquel as a part of the family (she even ate dinner with the family) and tagged her as a “2nd mother”.

Vanessa’s Hometown: Montreal, Canada

Oh my gosh, Vanessa is an absolute gem.  Her students love her, she has a phenomenal career, and she has a family connection to die for.  I’m starting to think that Vanessa is way too good for Nick.

That being said, I still really love their relationship and think they have the strongest, most mature connection of the remaining four women.  HOWEVER, Vanessa is clearly very rooted in her life in Montreal and I don’t see her being willing to pick up and move easily.  I do think she could find a job working with special needs adults in any big city, but would she be willing to leave her family?

As someone who has visited Montreal and fell in love with it, I would jump at the chance to experience a new life in a new country.  But is Nick?  Clearly Nick and Vanessa need to have some really serious conversations in the coming days.  I expect her to make it to fantasy suites and I fully expect them to have some raw, adult conversations behind closed doors.

The ONLY thing holding me back from pegging Vanessa as the one is that I’m not sure Nick is ready to move to Canada and I truly think that will be a sticking point.

The Bachelor Nick Recap: Episode 8

We finish the week with yet another “to be continued” and a surprise visit from Andi Dorfman, Nick’s first Bachelor love.

I was under the impression that they didn’t really speak anymore, so this is clearly a producer driven stunt.  But what could she have to say to him of any value?  We’ll see next week!

My tops this week are:

  1. Vanessa
  2. Raven
  3. Corinne (based solely on the fact that Rachel is the Bachelorette)
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The Bachelor Nick Recap: Episode 6

We pick up where we left off, with Taylor tracking down Corrine and Nick on their after-date.  I found this scene very unnecessary.  Nick is clearly annoyed at having to take a break from kissing Corrine and Taylor had to have known that nothing would change.   No necessary at all.

I did pick up on one thing during Nick and Corrine’s after-date, though: their conversations have no depth to them.  I’m not entirely suprised, given that mostly all we see them do is make out, but boy does it feel awkward.  And surface level.

Rose ceremony time.  I’ve seen enough episodes of this show to know that when every single voice over talks about how important it is to get time with Nick at this cocktail party, the cocktail party will be cancelled. Cue the arrival of Chris Harrison with just this piece of news.

Roses go to Kristina, Raven, Vanessa, Danielle L, Jasmine, and Whitney.  Daniell M, Corrine, and Rachel have roses already which means we say goodbye to Alexis, Jaimi, and Josaphine.  Dang it, I’m sad to see Alexis go.  She’s by far one of the most genuinely entertaining of the group.  She better end up on Paradise this summer.

Next we’re off to St. Thomas.  Topics and bikinis, oh my!

First one on one: Dig Deep

Kristina is up! Jasmine starts to self destruct.  Its got to be hard to get to this point without much on-on-one time.  As a viewer, you know if they haven’t gotten it by now, its not happening.  Its got to suck to know that as a contestant too.

Kristina has a deep and varied past.  She’s adopted–her parents have four biological kids and four adopted kids.  And then she has a sister back in Russia.  Kristina grew up very poor in Russia and at 5 or 6 she left her mom and ended up in an orphanage.  She stayed there for 7 or 8 years until she was adopted to the US.  At 12 she he had a choice to come to the US and be adopted.  She had to leave everything behind, but chose to do it because it would be better for herself.  I can’t imagine having to make that kind of decision as a 12 year old.

I like Kristina, she seems genuine.  I don’t see her using her past for attention–it’s jut a part of her.  I think there is a level of maturity there based on experience and I think that’s attractive to Nick.  I’m not sure she’ll end up at the end, but I like her a lot.  Plus she’s naturally beautiful.

Group date: Life on the beach
Rachel, Raven, Vanessa, Corrine, Danielle M, Jasmine

The groups takes a boat to an island beach where Nick hopes they can just hang out. But with so few women on this group date, it gets awkward fast.  I think Nick should have prioritized more individual time with each women throughout the day, but he keeps it light and loose.  At this point, no one appreciates being on a group date and it goes down hill fast.

The women play a competitive volleyball game, which seems to have no reward and just serves to piss everyone off further.  Rachel, Vanessa, and Danielle M end up in tears by the end of the day.  Not only are the women annoyed that Corrine keeps going off and Nick keeps going after her, but Jasmine starts to self-destruct. The final scene of the day shows every woman sitting by herself and Nick by himself in the ocean.  That certainly doesn’t bode well.  Lost opportunity Nick….

Later, on the night portion of the date, Rachel is straight up with Nick that she felt devalued by the group date and thought about leaving.  You can see on his face, Nick is like “oh shit, Rachel is thinking about going??” (Cue Nick’s downward spiral of the week).

You know Nick, you’re disappointing me.  I thought you had the emotional maturity to know that you have to give everything to each individual relationship.  While you do it well one on one, you kind of suck at the group date thing.  Rachel’s one on one time is the only one we really see during the evening portion, except for Jasmine.

Jasmine also calls Nick out on the lack of attention, but unlike Rachel, she doesn’t have the foundation of anything deep and all she does is scare Nick into sending her home.  She starts talking about being so frustrated with Nick she wants to choke him (which weirdly segues into something sexual), but all this does is make Nick look at her like’s she’s crazy.  And bam, its over.  Jasmine’s exit limo speech is huge foreshadowing for the weeks to come: “I don’t think its going to work for him”.

Apparently Jasmine’s exit is so dramatic that they don’t even show Raven getting the group date rose.  Isn’t this the 2nd time that’s happened?  And to Raven too?

*Pause while I rant*

Nick, get out of your own head! Stop analyzing everything! You’re sabotaging yourself.  And you’ve been through this before–you know you can’t analyze everything.  You have to FEEL.

*End rant*

Back at the hotel, everyone seems to be crying this week.  They show Rachel, Raven, and Kristina in bed emotional about the process.

danielle-l

Two-on-one #2: Again?!
So there is another two on one?? Danielle L and Whitney get the unlucky helicopter/ beach date.

They’re both confused as to why they’re on the date. If I was Danielle (or DLo) I would be really confused too.  They had a great one-on-one date and they don’t seem to have gone backwards, so why is he second guessing himself now?

I really wish they’d actually do something on these two on one dates. Do something date-y, don’t just sit there and analyze every little part of your short relationship.  Give each person a chance to further your relationship, instead of making them defend themselves the entire time.  Even for the person that stays, there isn’t really any joy in getting a rose on a two on one unless the person you beat out happens to be the villain.  Which is definitely not the case here.

Nick doesn’t have the chemistry with Whitney, clearly, but now he seems really awkward with Danielle L.  Danielle really likes him, but she also doesn’t seem as comfortable.  She’s really putting herself out there and it just feels awkward.

Nick sends Whitney home and while Danielle and Nick fly away and leave Whitney stranded, he doesn’t outright give her the rose yet.

They head to an evening portion of the date, but at this point I think it’s clear that Nick isn’t as into Danielle as he was a few weeks ago.  I don’t really think they’re the right match for each other–I think she’s a little too put together and not “raw” enough for him (to quote one of the qualities he says is important in a relationship), but I’m not sure why he just realized it now.  She hasn’t changed, but he seems to have.

I kind of wonder if Nick is an introvert at heart.  As an introvert myself, there always comes a point in social situations when its just takes too much energy to keep trying.  To me it seems that Nick just stopped trying with Danielle.  Almost like it became too much to keep investing in the relationship.and he needed someone he could be that introverted, kind of sulky self with.  And he didn’t find it with Danielle. Danielle didn’t let him go there–she kept it too positive and he didn’t feel like he could be himself.

I’m not sure why Nick felt the need to go back sobbing to the women, though.  Maybe he just needed a good night’s sleep? Needed an injection of optimism?  He should have stayed away and processed in the morning.  Especially since he drops an emotional bomb and leaves, not giving himself a chance to process with anyone.  Where is Chris Harrison when you need him??

So we’re down to 6 at the end of the episode? Wow, they dropped like flies this week.   To be honest the smaller group is definitely representative of the people that have been front runners from the start (except Danielle L who I saw as being in the final 4), but I hope Nick doesn’t get in his own way moving forward.  He needs to stop wanting it so much and jut relax.

My top picks? So tough this week as we really didn’t see much in the way of genuine connection with anyone.

Raven
Vanessa (I love Vanessa so I’m keeping her here, but she’s starting to slide down the emotional slide)
Rachel

Final thoughts–anyone think the St. Thomas “nanny” was planted just for Corinne?

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As an intimate wedding photographer for independent couples I am always on the lookout for inspiring venues to explore.  Typically the process goes something like this: see venue, decide I HAVE to photograph there, find awesome couple up for exploring, build a vendor team who is excited about the vision as I am.

This Intimate Colorado Paint Mines Elopement was no exception.

The Paint Mines (so named because historic Native America communities used the colored clay to paint pottery) is full of nooks and crannies and sweeping views. We didn’t feel that it needed much embellishment to be the perfect backdrop for an intimate, romantic elopement.

The barrenness and slight desert feel of the location lent itself to a relaxed boho style and we chose a lace two piece dress that would flow in the wind.  We chose a headpiece that matched the succulent necklace and kept the hair and make-up soft and relaxed.  We wanted to avoid the typical southwest feel, but we sent a not the desert inspiration with tons of succulents, air plants, and feathers in the bouquet.  For the stationary, we played off the rust and pink colors of the paint mines rock formations.  A naked cake with minimal florals perfectly complimented the intimate feel of the shoot and our models, real couple Becca and Hillary, rocked the chemistry out of the park.

One of my favorite parts of the shoot was listening to them read their vows to each other (so sweet!) and then exploring the crest of the mines for fantastic views.  Though the day was windy and there was a threat of rain that had us worried from start to finish, the shoot couldn’t have gone better.

Our entire vendor team is also super excited to see this shoot featured on Burnett’s Boards today.  So after checking out some of my favorite images, head on over to take a look!

Intimate Colorado Paint Mines Elopement photocolorful elopement announcement photonaked cake and succulent bridal bouquet photoWillowby Lanikai top and ruby skirtthree naked cake photos intimate same-sex wedding photobride in pants photocouple in paint mines elopement photosucculent flower bouquet photointimate same-sex elopement photointimate vows at the colorado paint mines photosame-sex couple saying vows at colorado paint mines photobride in lace dress with naked cake photoIntimate same-sex wedding photoIntimate Colorado Paint Mines Elopement photoengagement ring and air plant photonaked cake and bouquet with feathers and succulentsIntimate same-sex couplenaked cake with succulent necklace photorust and peach elopement announcement photosame-sex couple at the colorado paint mines photointimate photo of bride
Vendors:
Rentals: sb borrowed
Dress: Willowby, found at Blue Bridal Boutique
Hair and Make-up: Indie Six Salon
Paper: DWC Creative
We also have a video from the shoot from Mallory Walker Creative:

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  • I’ve been wanting to shoot here so badly. These are so inspiring! They are absolutely gorgeous. What a wonderful couple. They’re going to cherish these images forever!ReplyCancel

I was actually very pleased with this episode. We got another week of incredible dates, saw some “explosive” chemistry, and ended the episode with the dreaded two-on-one.

The Bachelor Nick Recap: Episdoe 5, Jazz it UP

We pick up in the middle of another catfight.  I’m sensing a theme Bachelor nation…

The showdown between Corrine and Taylor that started last week continues.  I’m not sure anyone really wins this one, though Corinne is clearly enjoying getting under Taylor’s skin.

I’m calling out the show on one editing fail though.  During this conversation, Corinne calls out Taylor, saying that people in the house don’t like her because she doesn’t say “hi” to people.  And this is the first we’ve heard of it.  Yet just when I’m thinking that Corinne is grasping at straws, Taylor starts defending herself, so there has to be at least a bit of truth to the accusation.  So why has no one else brought it up?  Clearly we’re supposed to see Corinne as the villian, but it leaves us viewers a bit confused when something is brought up that is clearly a big deal in the house, but we’ve never been given a clue that its an issue.

Fast forward to Corinne’s conversation with Nick and she chooses to spend her time focusing on Taylor.  Dude, focus on your own relationship.  Have you never seen the show? It never ends well to focus on someone else during your limited time with the lead.

And, also, no matter what you say, Taylor isn’t going anywhere for this rose ceremony becuase she needs to be around for the two on one date that we’ve been promised is going to happen later in the episode.

Rose ceremony time!

Goodness it must be cold.  You can see Sarah exhale nervously.  Which is definitely foreshadowing because a few mintes later she’s on her way home.

Roses go to Whitney, Danielle M, Jasmine, Rachel, Jaimi, Josephine, Vanessa, Alexis, Corinne, Taylor.  Danielle L and Kristina already have roses.

Astrid joins Sarah for an exit this week.  I’m rather surprised to see Astrid go home even though we know nothing about her.  But, I know even less about Whitney who isn’t going home.  I’m also surprised that Josephine survived another week.  I started eliminating her from my bracket on week two and somehow she defied odds.  Her and Whitney have to be the next ones gone, right?

New Orleans: The City of Jazz

For once I’ve acatually been to a travel destinaton on the Bachelor.  I visited New Orleans with my high school band (total band geek here), and while we weren’t old enough to get the adult New Orleans experience, it was an amazing trip.  I really want to go back.

Raven thinks Corinne and Taylor will buy voodoo dolls on this trip.  Dun Dun Dun.

One-on-One Date

Rachel gets the first one-on-one and its about damn time!  Kudos to Rachel for being able to hang on and wait patiently for her time with Nick.  Its got to be extrememly hard to get the first impression rose, then sit for weeks without any real quality time.

Rachel is nervous, but super excited to get to know Nick.  She says Nick gives her butterflies which is weird because she isn’t a “butterfly kind of girl”.  I find Rachel extremely endearing and real.

The two of them wander the French Market buying stuff, trying on masks, and eating things.   “Explore the city dates” have got to be some of the most real dating experiences on this show and I’m glad that its Rachel that gets to experience this one.  The stop for beignets at Cafe du Monde where they rightfully down the most amazing powdered sugar pastries in the history of pasteries.  Not the most sexy of treats, especially if you breath at all while eating (either resulting in a coughing fit or covering the other person in a fine white dust), but so so worth it.

Nick says their chemistry is explosive which I think says a lot about where Rachel stands.  And not explosive like it is with Corinne which comes across as purely physical, but emotionally and maturely explosive which is the kind that leads to marriage.

The next thing you know, they’re part of a 2nd line.  I love that Rachel seems very cultured (I myself have no idea what a 2nd line is).  This looks like so much fun! Of course, the 2nd line is engineered to go right below the girl’s hotel room so they spot Nick having fun with someone other than themselves.

After the 2nd line, Rachel and Nick head to a club for live music by Lolo and more dancing.  There is a lot of great music and energy on this date. This is a FANTASTIC date! I want to be out on the streets of new Orleans right now! That looks like so much fun!

The Bachelor Nick Recap: Episode 5

For the evening portion of the date, Rachel and Nick end up at the Mardi Gras Float holding cell/ graveyard.  I’ve been there and its as cool as it looks. What an awesome location for the 2nd part of the date.

Over dinner we learn that Rachel was recently in New Orleans for a funeral and experienced the 2nd line as a form of mourning.  That trip caused her to refocus her life and to go for things that make her uncomfortable, like the Bachelor.

Nick lets it slip how into Rachel he is when he starts asking what it would be like to meet her family.  Even though we’re weeks away from home town dates, this says so much about how Nick feels about Rachel.  Remeber when Lauren and Ben started talking about meeting each other’s family on their first date?  Sometimes its a  natural part of the converstation early on and I take that as a really good sign that what they have is real.

Rachel’s dad is a federal judge in Dallas and is not as “friendly” as Rachel.  Given Nick’s history on the show, Nick worries about what his record of proposing twice will look like to the families he meets. Very very valid concern.  I guess we will see.

At the end of the date Rachel admits she really likes Nick, then seems almost embarrassed by it. But the way she looks at him is so sincere.  Nick pays Rachel probably one of the best compliments ever by saying that when she walks in to a room she owns it with her confidence and self-assurance.  If Nick’s relationsihps with Andi and Kaitlyn taught us anything about his prferences, its that Nick like confidence in a woman.

On a side note, I think its worth noting that all of the top girls at this point are a bit amazed by their feelings for Nick.  Raven, Danielle L, Vanessa, Rachel, even Danielle M on the first one on one of the season.  And I absolutely love this quality about each of them.  To me it means that they recognize the craziness of the situation that is the Bachelor and they almost think themselves silly for feeling this way.  I think its a sign of emotional maturity and level headedness that the final woman needs.

Group date: Don’t touch the dolly

On this date are Josaphine, Kristina, Alexis, Raven, Jaimi, Vanessa, Danielle M, Whitney, Jasmine, Danielle L.

Leaving Corinne and Taylor for the two-on-one.  But who didn’t see that one coming.

The group meets at Houmas House Plantation.  And its haunted.  eek!  No, just no.  I’m not sure if I believe in ghosts or not, but I know that I can still get creeped out by the prospect and staying the night in a haunted house doesn’t sound like my idea of a good time.

Danielle L and Danielle M are nervous.  Danielle L at least believes in ghosts.

Caretaker/ bartendedr Boo brings the group special drinks and I have to wonder:  Do they contain hallucinogens to make people experience things on their visit?

The ghost in residence at the Houmas House Plantation is Mae, 8 years old, who died of yellow fever in 1848.  She roams the halls looking for her doll and apparently is prone to temper tantrums.  Did anyone see how creepy the actual doll looked? I think I’d be more afraid of the doll than the ghost. The women are told not to touch Mae’s stuff, so Jasmine decides to try on her hat.

Of course, there just happens to be a Ouiji board stashed under the sofa so most of the women participate.  Vanessa and Daniell M sit it out, which I think is really smart of them.  From this point on in the date, weird things start happening.  Chandeliers fall, furniture moves by itself, books fly off shelves.  Real or not, in the dark that’s freaking creepy.  I’d have run out of that house fast.

Thankfully all of the one on one chats happen outside the house.   I mean, could you concentrate on romantic feelings if you think you’re being watched by a ghost?

A few key notes from the one-on-one time.  Danielle L expresses that she could fall in love with Nick.  Raven tells Nick “I fell in love with you when…”, which sounds a lot worse upon writing it than it did in the moment.  As early as it is, it actually felt genuine and real and I expect that Raven really meant “I fell for you when…”.  Danielle M and Nick cuddle and reconnect sweetly.  There is good juju music when Nick talks to both Danielle M and Raven.  Notedly absent was any coverage of Nick’s one-on-one time with Vanessa.  I hope that doesn’t mean anything bad.

Danielle M gets the group date rose which has to make Raven feel bad since she utter the L word.

Two-on-one date in the bayou: Land of Alligators
I must say, other than the fact that this is a two on one date and, therefore, bound to be uncomfortable, this has been a fantastic week of dates.

I definitely want to know: Does whoever goes home get left with the gators?

They start with a visit to a voodoo priestess in the bayou then each participate in a terot card reading.

Taylor’s reading says don’t engage with the toxic energy.  Corinne’s reading says her mouth will get her in trouble.

Meanwhile, Corinne and Taylor both talk about the other peron in their time with Nick.  Regardless of how this turns out, this is not good.  In the compressed atmosphere of the Bachelor, you’re only shooting yourself in the foot to talk about other people.  It inevitably pisses the lead off and does nothing to advance your own relationship.

Corinne gets the rose.  I’m not entirely suprised, particularly as Taylor came off as uptight and extrememly guarded in this episode.  Nick says he wants to continue to explore with Corinne, but as history will tell you, the two-on-one date never goes to anyone that has a real shot at being the final person.  Plus, I think Nick’s overall interest in Corinne is waying.  Yes, he likes making out with her, but he doesn’t look at her the same as he looks at someone like Rachel.

Damn, Taylor does get left in the jungle with the alligators while Nick and Corinne take the boat and drive off.  Luckily, the voodoo priestess is present to clenses Taylor of her negative energy.  But wait, it doesn’t work!

Corinne and Nick go to dinner.  Looks like Taylor is going to crash it!

I think she’ll say what she needs to say, but ultimately I don’t think it will change anything this week.

TO BE CONTINUED…again…

Top 4:

Rachel
Vanessa
Danielle M
Raven/ Danielle L

What did everyone else think of this week? Who wants to go to New Orleans with me? Did you see that sunset in the bayou? I need to photograph there ASAP! How much longer can Corinne really last? And will Nicolas Cage haunt your dreams as well as Alexis’?  Will Corinne continue to torment Taylor with her priestess blessed voodoo doll?

See you next week!

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Time for our weekly The Bachelor recap!

I won’t waste any time getting started, so here we go.

The Bachelor Nick Recap: Episode 4

We pick up this week where we left off last week. The end of the pool party and Vanessa grilling Nick about his behavior with Corinne.  I REALLY wish that the show would stop with all the cliffhangers.  All it does, in  my opinion, is make a potentially climactic moment much less so.  They spent all last episode building up to the final moment, but by making me wait a week, I actually care infinitely less.  And really, I know from watching the show for so many years, that what is promised as “dramatic” often isn’t very much so.

Short story: Nick is uncomfortable, but asks Vanessa to be patient.  She’s not happy, but there is no way she’s going anywhere at this point.

All in all, though, I do applaud Vanessa for sticking up for herself.  There is so much of this show that is out of the ordinary in terms of dating, that it takes a bold move to stick up for yourself and demand respect.  It says how much Nick cares about Vanessa that he asks her to hang in there instead of kicking her to the curb.

At the rose ceremony Christen the wedding videographer and Brittany go home.  Honestly, I didn’t see much chemistry there, so I’m not surprised. At the end of the night, Corinne makes some sort of rehearsed sounding toast while the other women stare daggers into her.  I wonder if Nick could sense the tension or if it was just editing making us think the moment was that tense.

Just as tensions are starting to get the best of everyone, we pack up and head to Nick’s hometown of Waukesha, Wisconsin!

Traveling is such a fun part of every season.  Even if I didn’t have a connection with the lead, I’d want to stay long enough to do some serious traveling with my new friends.  Many past contestants say that the experience of the show is why most people sign up and I would have to agree.

One-on-one #1: Walk Waukesha

The week starts off with the arrival of the girls in a rainy Wisconsin and Nick quickly whisks Danielle L off for the first one-0n-one date of the week.

One very side note: why do the leads always stand 10 feet away from the group of girls when making an announcement?  I’m guessing camera angles have something to do with it, but its prevalent in just about all reality shows.  America’s Next Top Model, Top Chef, Project Runway, etc.

So, Nick and Danielle stroll around Nick’s hometown.  I’ve got to imagine that this is actually a great setting for getting to know someone.  You get a glimpse into their past, get to hear anecdotes of growing up, and get a sense of a place that likely had a role in shaping the person you’re dating.

After some cookie decorating (yum) and a very cordial run in with an ex (producer planted??), Nick and Danielle end up at a park, chatting and hanging out on what looks like very wet ground.  I hope the underside of their blanket was waterproof!

Nick and Danielle have a very easy and natural relationship. They make each other laugh, and Nick definitely looks at her with care.  I do see a spark, but I’m not sure its as emotionally deep as what we saw with Vanessa last week.

They reconvene for dinner later (holy date night dress Danielle!) where Nick presses Danielle to open up–to be less put together.  During this conversation Danielle tells Nick that because of her parent’s divorce she’s a lot more guarded when it comes to relationships.  I love that Nick called her out for calling her parent’s divorce a weakness as 50% of marriages end in divorce.  While I do think it can shape a person, it shouldn’t be viewed as something to be ashamed about and contestants in the past have used it as a negative.

I also like that Danielle didn’t do a lot of research on Nick.  Given how much more Nick has been on prime time than a typical bachelor, I think it was smart to avoid it.  This gives Danielle a chance to form her own genuine opinions about Nick.

Danielle gets a rose and a private concert by Chris Lane.  Danielle and Nick seem destined to dance and make out in front of musical crowds.
The Bachelor Nick Recap: Episode 4

Group Date: Poopey

On this date are Rachel, Alexis, Vanessa, Jasmine, Jaimi, Sarah, Whitney, Kristina, Astrid, Taylor, Danielle M, and Corinne

Nick is from Wisconsin, so undoubtedly there are a lot of dairy farms.  As Nick has absolutely nothing to do with the farming industry, this date feels a little out of place.  In case you hadn’t heard, the original destination this week was supposed to South Carolina, but Hurricane Matthew disrupted their plans and they had to redesign the week last minute.  I’m guessing this was the best they could do.  Given the fact that there wasn’t much to this date except chores (no competition a la Sean’s season), the best the girls could do was suck it up and go with the flow.

Corinne, of course, can’t suck it up and proceeds to entertain us with hilarious commentary about Poopey, the need for sushi, and her dislike for “farm chores”, all while sitting out most of the date and pouting.

There were some great one-liners this date including Sarah’s assertion “I don’t know if its cow sh*t or bullsh*t, but I smell sh*t”

Coverage of the day portion of the date was scant, so it reasons that the drama will happen later in the night.  And in fact, there is so much dissension between the women that we barely see any of Nick’s conversation with anyone.  Just enough to let us know that Kristina should soon be getting more one-on-one time (she gets the date rose as well).

Surprisingly, Corinne handled the confrontation with the women fairly calmly and even asked that anyone with a problem come to her directly.  The main cause for discomfort seems to be coming from Corinne’s disregard for some of the cardinal unspoken rules of the Bachelor.  Rules such as stealing a lead first when you already have a rose and sleeping while everyone stays awake for the hours of requirements that every date involves.  As Sharleen Joynt says in her Flare.com article this week:

Her trotting off to sleep while the other girls exhaustedly stick it out isn’t just her being tired. Her actions say: “The rules don’t apply to me.”  It’s a lack of consideration for others, and Corinne is proving to excel in this department.

One-on-One Date #2: Free skate

Raven grabs the last one-on-one date this week. I really wasn’t sure about Raven week one but she’s really grown on me.  As has her accent which I find cute and a nice contrast to her dark haired, anything-but-sweet, looks.  The two of them trot over to a soccer field where Nick promptly introduces Raven to his sister Bella.  Bella has been a standout for Nick since his first season with Andi and its fun to see her return.  Nick and Raven lead the soccer team in drills and warm ups before heading to the sidelines to actually watch the game.  A little later, Nick introduces Raven to his parents, who are also spectators at the game.

The whole date had a very real quality to it, undoubtedly based on the fact that it was planned last minute.  I can just imagine producers approaching Nick’s parents to get them involved and them saying “sure, but Bella has a soccer game, so you better work around that”.

After the game, Nick and Raven hit up the roller skating rink with Bella and her soccer friends.  Did anyone else notice how good of a skater Nick was? Impressive!  They even manage to kiss on skates (while Nick skates backwards).  That’s got to be hard!

At dinner at the Milwaukee Art Museum (which looks GORGEOUS by the way), the two bond over the emotional tolls of being cheated on and the sense of shame they felt at having to tell people about it.  They seem to get each other and Nick clearly likes Raven’s fiestiness (upon finding her ex actively cheating, she proceeded to beat him with a stiletto heel).

Raven is adorable at the end of the this date as she confesses to being so confused because she really really likes him.  Again, another girl who came in with little expectations and is now finding herself in the very real space of falling for Nick.

I think she’ll be around for the long haul, too.

Cocktail Party:

Just before we get to the dreaded TO BE CONTINUED… we get into this week’s cocktail party where the main attraction is a show down between Corinne and Taylor.  I actually have to give some kudos to Corinne for letting Taylor talk as long as she did without butting in and becoming defensive.  I do think Taylor was trying to be civil and give solid reasons for not liking Corinne, but unfortunately she came across as a bit condescending.  Opinions on the interwebs seem to be mixed as to who was worse in this exchange, but I do think it represents a little bit of immaturity on both ends.  Corinne is immature in her actions while Taylor lacks a little life experience maturity.

I’ll wait and see how this plays out next week before making any final calls.

Rumor has it that Corinne and Taylor will be going on the two-on-one date next week.  Apparently something surprising happens, so we’ll have to wait and see!

My top four after this week:

Vanessa
Danielle L
Raven
Rachel

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I made a wish list for 2016 and then life happened and I didn’t go back to visit it until today. I found myself pleasantly surprised that I actually met a few items on my wishlist, and in ways I didn’t expect.

Here is the recap of my 2016 list and how it shook out:

  1. Go back to Piney River Ranch – I went back to Piney TWICE this year, once as a 2nd photographer and once for a styled wedding shoot.  As an Colorado Intimate Wedding Photographer, this venue has my heart.
  2. Shoot a wedding in Palm Springs or Joshua Tree National Park – I didn’t photograph an actual wedding, but the styled bridal and boudoir sessions I did in January satisfied some serious creative juice
  3. Shoot a winter wedding – this didn’t happen in 2016, but I have a mountain winter wedding in just two weeks, so I think I’ll call that a win
  4. Shoot a Wedding in Telluride – this one hasn’t happened yet, but I’m hopeful that it will happen soon!
  5. Photograph a backyard wedding with al fresco dining –  while it wasn’t a backyard wedding, I did photograph a wedding at the Lyons Farmette with al fresco dining and it was absolutely lovely

For 2017, I’d like to leave a version of the above wish’s on my list because they are all things that I would love to have happen in this coming year as well.  But I’ll throw in a few more for good universe juju.

2017 Wish List

1.Photograph at Piney River Ranch

Even though I’ve visited piney several times, there are still areas of the property that I’m dying to explore.  I have visions of an extended session at the Ranch, featuring some hiking to the perfect location.  If you’re an adventurous couple, reach out and lets chat!

Piney River Ranch Summer Wedding Photo2. Photograph a wedding in Palm Springs

This quirky, artsy, deserty, town has my creative imagination and I’m dying to photograph something there.  I’m thinking colorful, whimsical, and fun.

3. Photograph a couple in Joshua Tree National Park

I fell in love with Joshua Tree in January and I want to go back with a real couple.  We’ll need hours to drive and explore, but it will be worth it.  I promise.

Joshua Tree bridal photo4. Photograph a wedding in Telluride

Its still a dream.

5. Photograph a backyard al fresco wedding

I’m still hoping for an intimate backyard affair with outdoor dining.

colorado intimate wedding photo

6. Photograph an elopement in Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain Park has been in my backyard for the last four years and I’ve yet to actually enter the park.  I’ve been all around the outside of it in National Forest and I’ve hiked up to the perimeter, but I’ve never really visited because we can’t take our dogs.  In 2017 I’d love to photograph an elopement (or even an awesome intimate couple’s session) somewhere in Rocky Mountain National Park.

7. Photograph in Big Sur California

I’m in love with the rocky California coastline which is so different from everything I know of both the east coast and the Rocky Mountains.  I want to explore the rocks, the shore, the ocean.

8. Photograph an international destination wedding

I can dream, right? I love traveling and there are so many places I’m dying to go. Italy, Greece, Denmark, Iceland.  The list is long.  I’m already planning to be in Amsterdam in May–anyone want to elope?

What is on your wish list?

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  • Michele Blake

    These are all dream locations!! I think you just said out loud what every photographer is thinking. 😉ReplyCancel

  • I’ve always wanted to go to Joshua Tree Park, so lovely!! And hey that’s Ashley Hepworth, awesome! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Kathy

    What a beautiful wedding!ReplyCancel

  • Valeria

    Inspiring goals and beautiful work!ReplyCancel

  • Your work is so beautiful! I believe that putting it out there helps us to manifest our goals! Love your list.ReplyCancel

I’m a little late on this episode recap because I had to wait until Tuesday to watch episode 3, which I’m fondly calling “Defying Gravity” after a fantastic song from the Broadway musical Wicked. 

This episode was profoundly better than last week’s episode.  The dates were amazing, the chemistry was out in full force, and Corinne took it to a whole new level.

The Bachelor Nick Recap: Episode 3

As much as they played up Liz’s exit and what it would mean for the season, surprisingly little drama surrounded the departure this week.  Nick was matter of fact about what happened, he fielded a few questions, and then everyone moved on.  If Liz had stayed longer there would have been much more drama, but because Nick let her go at the same time everyone else found out he saved himself the headache.

Case closed.

Case opened for the ridiculousness of Corinne.  Whipped cream and a trench coat at the cocktail party?  Nick plays along, though there are moments when he seems to sense that licking whipped cream off Corinne’s boob is too much for a cocktail party setting.  Corrine senses this as rejection (where could you have honestly thought this would lead at a cocktail party?) and goes to bed in tears.  She misses the rose ceremony.  Is that allowed?

Lacey and Hailey go home.

Group Date #1 – Backstreet’s Back!

On this date are Danielle L, Christen, Kristina, Whitney, Taylor, Jasmine, and Corinne.

Now, I’m not a fan girl, but I do love a good catchy tune and I would have been ecstatic to be serenaded in my living room by the Backstreet Boys.  Just an all around cool experience.  The group heads to a warehouse to meet Nick and learn the choreography that they’ll later be performing in front of 500 screaming fans.  Corinne breaks down on this date because she’s a terrible dancer and thinks it will ruin her chances with Nick.  News flash, girl, going with the flow, even if you’re terrible is always better than running away.

However, I did feel for Corinne in this moment.  It was actually the first time I kind of liked her.  I know what its like to be a terrible dancer and to feel like every is watching you make a fool of yourself. At 24 I might have also hid in the bathroom ashamed that I was the worse one in the group.  At 32, I’m now much more likely to laugh at myself and give it my best.  Which is case in point #1 that Corinne is not right for Nick.  She’s 24, he’s 36.  I don’t think that age really matters where love is concerned, but maturity does.  Taylor is 23 but she comes across as way more mature and classy than Corinne.  At some point Nick is going to pick up on the subtle (or maybe not so subtle) cues that Corinne is just too young for the committed relationship he wants.

The group hits up the stage in booty shorts and chokers (flashback to the 90’s?) and dances the night away.

The Bachelor Nick Recap: Episode 3

Then the Backstreet Boys choose Danielle L as the one with the most chemistry with Nick and the two get serenaded on stage. They sway like its a high school dance, then make out in front of the fans.  And the rest of the women.  There has been an awful lot of making out in front of people this season.  I  know Nick just goes for things, but maybe he could try to save a little mystery?

At the cocktail party word gets out that Corinne has a nanny and Danielle gets the group date rose.

One-on-one date: Defying Gravity

My favorite contestant, Vanessa, gets the coveted one-on-one date this week and they get to do something truly cool.

They get to experience Zero G .  Heck yeah this look freakin’ amazing!  How can I get in on this?  Oh wait, its a $5000 experience…maybe when I win the lottery.

Nick and Vanessa look like they’re having a blast being goofy together in the plane. They seem connected (their initial hand grasp as they’re going up is so cute) and totally in tune with each other.  I totally felt for Vanessa when she got motion sick.  Throwing up or not, she looked naturally beautiful the whole time and I loved how nurturing Nick was to her.  He said he didn’t care that she was sick and I could tell he meant it. He just wanted to be there with her and it was so so sweet.

The connection at their dinner was so off-the charts.  Vanessa opens up about her grandfather’s passing and Nick talks a bit about his history with Andi. Throughout their whole conversation you could tell how into each other they were.  It felt natural and like they were opening up because they truly wanted to know about each other’s lives, not like they felt compelled to.  I remember thinking the same thing when Ben and Lauren went on their first date.

Vanessa says she even forgot about the rose, and I totally believe her.  I also love that she gets in on some of Nick’s classic mumbling by declaring “you’re so cute” and going in for the kiss herself.  Not in an aggressive Corinne way, but in a I’m-totally-into-you-and-I’m-going-to-kiss-you-because-I-want-to way.   We saw a more subtle, endearing side to Nick on this date and he even got emotional about the possibilities (remember Ben also got emotional about Lauren when talking to her parents).

I see her going far, but I think the longevity of their relationship will be directly coorelated to how long Corinne sticks around. You can’t have that emotional of a connection to somebody while continuing to mess around hard core with someone else and have it turn out okay.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Nick ends it with Corinne sooner rather than later.

Group Date #2 – Track and Field with Olympians

On this date: Rachel, Alexis, Astrid, Jaimi, Sarah, Brittany, and Dominique.

I am a huge fan of the Olympics so it would have been so cool to hang out with track and field stars Allyson Felix, Carl Lewis, and Michelle Carter for the day.  It was also kind of nice that this was a relatively small group date where the “loosers” don’t have to go home.

Alexis and Rachel are clearly athletic.  Brittany looks athletic, but didn’t move on from round one to round two.

For the final challenge, Alexis, Rachel, and Astrid do a 100 meter sprint for a giant prize ring and more time with Nick.  Rachel clearly wins but is running to fast too grab the ring. She knocks it over and Astrid grabs it, claiming the prize: hot tub time on the track with Nick. Really ABC??

At the after party, Dominique gets in her own head, demands too much from Nick and gets sent home. Rachel gets the date rose.

We haven’t seen much of Rachel in the last two weeks, but she seems very quietly confident in what she has with Nick.  I assume there will be a one-on-one date in her near future.

Pool party, not cocktail party

They’ve been doing these pool parties for the last few seasons and I like them.  The relaxed atmosphere typically gives the lead more time with each woman, and I’m sure women in bikini’s is good for TV.

Before we head to yet another TO BE CONTINUED… Corinne escorts Nick to a bouncy castle where they jump around, then she proceeds to climb on top of him and they make out.  Cue more drama.  Of course some of the women see him and it starts a chair reaction of women coming to Nick to call him out on his overtly public sexual encounters with Corinne.  Honest Raven spills the beans about Corinne’s nanny, then Dominique and Taylor call out Corinne too.

Now, typically, its not a good idea to call out a lead for his attractions to another woman.  The lead usually gets pissed and defends his crush. And those that used their time to talk about someone else rarely make it very far.

However, at the end of the episode we see Vanessa calling out Nick.  She doesn’t judge Corinne, she judges his actions and asks him if he’s there to find a wife or to find someone to screw around with. He is clearly very uncomfortable with her questions, but I really hope he listens.  I hope that their connection is so deep already that she can actually get through to him  and he will hear her.

Corinne is in the previews for next week’s episode, so he definitely gives her a rose, but I hope he starts taking Vanessa’s words to heart.  If you want to get married, a 24 year old girl with a nanny is probably not your best choice.

My top 4:

Vanessa – Vanessa is in a league of her own and I think they have something very real
Rachel – There is chemistry there and I’m eager to see how it goes when they actually get time together
Danielle L – They have chemistry but we don’t know much about her yet.   Nick feels it
Danielle M/ Corinne – We didn’t see much form Danielle M and I still worry she’s a little sweet for Nick, but I think she has more screen time coming.  And based on how physically into Corinne Nick is, I wonder if she will have more staying power than I want.  It’s a toss up at this point.

Until next week!

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sunset in the San Juan Mountains

Since its now the start of 2017, I thought I’d take a minute to look back at my 101 Goals in 1001 Days v. 2.0 list. I only have until November 6, 2017 to finish the list.  A few weeks ago that seemed like plenty of time, but now I think its going to fly by!

I also know that there are things on my list that I definitely will not accomplish by November.  I will definitely be doing another goals list after this one finishes–because I am a check list kind of girl–so some of these goals may resurface again.

Rather than recap what I’ve accomplished (you can see my progress on the original post), I think I’ll take a look at what I have yet to do and see what goals actually seem achievable.  Perhaps putting them out in the universe again will help things along.

1. Purchase a 70-200mm lens – this is a strong maybe for later in the season, but I think there are a few things I’d like to purchase first
4. Photograph an Elite gymnastics meet
5. Go to an elite gymnastics meet
7. Give birth naturally
8. Visit the Grand Canyon
9. Climb a 14ner – I really hope to do this in the summer
11. Pay off our credit card debt – We have a plan and we’re working hard, so hopefully!
12. Run a half-marathon –  I have a June and an August option in my sights.  If I don’t book a wedding on both race days, one of them will happen.
13. Have a spa day with my mom
14. Knit a blanket

15. Grow my own herbs
16. Host a dinner party

17. Go on a business planning retreat

19. Start Figure Modeling again – I’d really like to find a reputable group to model for.  Any suggestions?
20. Go on a wine tour
21. Make monkey bread – Okay I can totally do this!
22. Go horseback riding – Possibly in Iceland?
23. Go apple picking – So doable, just need to be proactive
26. Make crepes
27. Visit Telluride –  I would LOVE to get a wedding booked in Telluride.  Please?
29. Go to the beach – If the glacial lagoon in Iceland counts, this might happen
31. Learn manual white balance
32. Do a shoot with the Ice Light – Possibly in Iceland?
33. Go to a film wedding workshop
34. Do a shoot in a sunflower field
37. Photograph dancers

40. Eat a whole lobster in Maine
41. Have a wedding featured in Style Me  Pretty
42. Go to Iceland’s blue lagoon – September retreat, here I come!
45. Go back to Hawai’i
49. Find a group to sing with – I need to find one and commit. I’m just so picky!
52. Indoor Skydive
53. Road trip to Washington

54. Photograph at Salvation Mountain

58. Buy season tickets to CU volleyball – If I can remember to purchase them, this one is totally doable

59. Go skiing – next year this should probably be “go snowshoeing four times”

61. Visit Moab
62. Climb the Washington monument
64. Go to the women’s college World Series
65. Go to Jackson Hole, WY
66. Make a recipe from our Julia Child cookbook – yes,  I can do this
67. Finish cooking my way through Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution cookbook – honestly, I’ve lost my drive to finish this one.  Oh well.
68. Take macro photos of snowflakes – fortunately I have a few more months of winter, so hopefully!
69. Have editorial work featured in print
70. Go to a DDD restaurant
71. Do yoga on the beach
72. Eat beignets in New Orleans
73. Run a trail race
77. Live in the moment more often
78. Go for a walk on the beach
79. Eat ice cream by the water
80. Go to yoga as often as possible
82. Write letters to my grandma more often – needs to be quantifiable…
83. Go out to dinner and eat dessert first – I’ve thought about doing this multiple times, but haven’t pulled the trigger
84. Start an quarterly email marketing campaign – Still in the plans
85. Pay off half of my student loan debt
86. Join a co-Ed volleyball team
89. Make fish tacos –  Totally doable
91. Do a shoot with red clothing in the snow – as above, there is still winter left
92. Visit 2 National Parks – Just need one more
96. Photograph a wedding in Georgia
97. Go on a hot air balloon ride
99. Check out a local church

So, at a glance, my progress isn’t very good.  Currently I’m at 38/101 goals completed, with a whopping 63 left to go.  Eek.  To be fair to myself, my life has been a bit more hectic since my wife and I become foster parents two years ago.  The time that we might have once spent adventuring together is now the time we spend at home relaxing.  For example, I have many,  many travel goals on my list that just aren’t feasible.  I think in my next iteration I might pare it down to one to two travel goals per year.

I think I also really need to start analyzing my goals as SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-based) goals. I’m been very lax about that within the context of this list.  I basically made it a big wish list of what I wanted to do, but then left a lot up to chance and circumstance.  I’ll do better on my next list for sure.
Until then, I’ll keep plugging away to see if I can get that number up.  There are 24 more items I’m likely to check off (more than I thought actually), I just need to get my butt in gear and do it!
What are your goals?
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  • Sarah G.

    Yesss horseback riding in Iceland?! So cool! These are great goals!ReplyCancel

  • Cara

    This is the best list ever. And one of my favorite elite gym meets is the WOGA classic in Frisco TX every February! ( I use to work there ). It’s an international meet with elite gymnasts from all over the world. It’s absolutely amazing watching them compete. Also.. this list is super inspiring, makes me want to create one of my own!ReplyCancel

  • What a great list of goals! I would love to go on a hot air balloon ride, and visit all of these places as well! Good luck! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • […] was inspired by my fellow photographer friend Jennie of Green Blossom Photography who did a recap 101 goals post on her blog recently. (She also took the photo below of my husband […]ReplyCancel