Photographers in Durango CO Climb a Mountain to Photograph a Wedding

My husband and I photograph weddings in Durango CO, but this one was super special. It involved riding atvs and hiking a long way up a mountain, then getting hit by big hail on the way back.

Sorry there are so many photographs (not really sorry), but this was such a fun and interesting wedding.  Melissa and Chris wanted to get married at the top of Silver Mountain in the LaPlata Mountain range in Durango CO.  We ended up only going to Deadwood Mountain (when I say only, this is an 11,500 ft mountain).  The great thing is that Silver Mountain was in the background.

We (Melissa, Chris, my husband, and I) took atvs part way up the mountain and then hiked (straight up) the rest of the way to the top.  They carried Melissa’s dress and boots, Chris’ clothes and shoes, a wedding cake, two champagne glasses, and other items for their ceremony and celebration.  Melissa and Chris both changed into their wedding clothes when we arrived at the top.  Then we did a First Look which turned out to be kinda funny because Melissa had told Chris that her dress had giant flowers and and bows, so he was surprised when he turned around and saw her in her beautiful wedding dress.

After the First Look, we did the ceremony where they read their vows that were on their phones.  Then they cut the cake, toasted each other, and we did some couple portraits.  About that time, the sky turned dark, and then it started sprinkling.   They quickly changed into their hiking clothes and then it started hailing – and I mean big hail coming down really hard.  It was very painful, especially on the tender ears.  None of us had coats or hats, so we all got wet, cold and beaten up.  The hail lasted for around 1/2 hr while we tried to get off the mountain top because there is no cover up there.  We survived, but don’t think we warmed up for several hours.

They’re going to be getting a beautiful Wedding Story Book as soon as I can get it put together for them.

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My husband made the veil fly so it looks like their really moving

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Hiking up the trail

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The First Look

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During the Ceremony Chris kissed her hand

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They Did It!

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A big dip and kiss

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More kissing

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And more kissing

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Now a kiss on the shoulder

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Eating wedding cake

Hope you enjoyed their story.

Luv, Karen

Durango Wedding Photographers

Website

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

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Durango CO Photographers and Laurie and Chris’s Engagement Session

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

Both of them work for the US Forest Service in the Bayfield CO office. Laurie is an administrator in the office, and Chris is a wildlife biologist. Of course, that’s how they met when they ended up at the same office near Durango CO. They’ve been together for two years and were engaged in December.

They are both great, loving, and fun people.  Chris put his biology skills to work by naming the type of squirrel that had left a pile of poo on the rock they were going to sit on, then he promptly brushed it off.

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

They were married at Ridgewood Event Center in Durango CO on 6/21/17 and I’ll be posting their wedding photos soon.

Enjoy! and thanks for looking

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Feel the Love

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Cuddling by the river

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Laurie, Chris, and Rico

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The three of them are officially engaged

Rico drooled on the sign

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He’s the ring bearer

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Chris has his binoculars and Laurie is playing the bagpipes

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The three of them hanging out on the rocks

Luv, Karen

Karen Skelly Photography

Durango CO Photographers

www.karenskellyphoto.com

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

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50th Wedding Anniversary by Photographers in Durango CO

Anne, her husband, and young son came from AZ, as did her parents to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.  The other couple on the left end of the first image live in Durango.  They rented a house here in Durango, so this is where we did their family portraits.

This, of course, was also a wonderful family reunion. How often do many families get together these days when people live all over the country? Getting together after not seeing each other in a long time is so special. There was lots of love, laughter, and memory making that we loved to capture.

I think 50th wedding anniversaries are going to be a rare thing in the near future, so it’s an amazing feat when a couple is able to celebrate such a milestone.  I hope they have many many more anniversaries.

We as professional photographers in Durango CO love to photograph anniversaries, family reunions, family portraits, high school senior portraits, and weddings. For family and senior portraits we give them suggestions on what clothing to wear, locations to do the portraits, and the best time of day for beautiful lighting. We do these sessions in Durango and anywhere in Southwest Colorado.

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Family celebrating reunion and 50th anniversary

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Family Group Portrait

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Love after all these years

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Group sitting by the fire pit

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Anne and her family

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Anniversary couple hugs each other

I love the couple hugging each other.  They’re still in love after 50 years of marriage.  We should all aspire to such happiness.

Thank you for viewing

Luv, Karen

Website

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

If you are interested in getting more information about a family session, senior session, or wedding, leave me a message and I will get back to you. Thanks!

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Gorgeous Fall Wedding by Durango Wedding Photographers

Who doesn’t love a beautiful wedding location with the gorgeous fall colors in the background? This wedding took place at Durango Mountain Weddings, also known as Purgatory Resort. They have several locations for wedding ceremonies and receptions (it’s a huge ski area) and this one at the very top is one of the most fabulous spots. All Durango Wedding  photographers love to photograph weddings here.

We did a First Look with the couple, which I always love. They get to see each other for the first time without anybody else around (except the photographers), then we leave them alone to spend a few moments loving each other. We are also able to capture some of the portraits before the ceremony so they are able to get to the reception faster. It’s also a great way to have more photographs for the wedding album.

Durango Mountain Weddings also has a large reception area right on top of the mountain with beautiful views all around. The staff are awesome and take great care of their guests. The couple had the traditional first dance, cake cutting, bouquet toss, and garter toss. They actually had quite a few cakes and I personally couldn’t choose a favorite.

This couple, their family, and their wedding party were so sweet and a lot of fun to be around. When I’m laughing while taking photographs, it’s a good time! We got so many great images from this wedding, but I can’t post them all, or you, dear reader, would click away.

 

Enjoy these though:

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Bride getting ready

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Wedding Bouquets with fall colors

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The First Look

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Bridal Portrait

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Wedding Ceremony

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Bride and Groom sitting on a log

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Wedding fun with sparklers and a lot of intoxicated guests

Thanks for looking

Luv, Karen

Karen Skelly Photography

Durango CO Photographers

www.karenskellyphoto.com

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

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How to have a fantastic Wedding Day by Durango CO Photographers

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Wedding Arch

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Tent set up for a wedding reception

 

These are great tips for anyone getting married.  I know lots of couples don’t think about many of these points, but they can make or break your day.

I’ve photographed quite a few weddings that were planned in the middle of the day in the blazing sun.  Not only are the guests uncomfortable, but the sun on faces causes those lovely raccoon eyes and blotchy patches.  Photographers can do some things to help out with that, but the images are still going to be less than beautiful.

http://www.brides.com/blogs/aisle-say/2015/07/how-not-to-plan-outdoor-weddings.html?mbid=social_facebook

My tips here are following their tips, just in a shorter version.

  1.  If your venue doesn’t already have a tent, make sure to rent one. You never know what the weather will be like on your wedding day. If you are getting married in Durango CO, check out Durango Party Rentals:  www.durangopartyrental.com
  2.  The wind can cause lots of havoc. I’ve photographed a couple of weddings where decor was blown over or away (think archways, runners, and floral arrangements).
  3.  If you can schedule your wedding for early evening, the sun will usually be lower and not so hot. The lighting for the couples photographs are also much nicer in the evening.
  4.  If you need shuttle service for a wedding in Durango CO, check out www.animastransportation.com or www.buckhornlimousine.com
  5.  If you have a caterer and/or dj, it’s great if they can include the photographer in the timeline for the day. We don’t want to hold up dinner. If you don’t have either of those, we can help with the timeline to make sure things keep moving the way you want them to. My favorite DJ is Steve at www.mrsoulentertainment.com
  6. Make sure you talk to your florist about the best floral arrangement for the season and your budget. Check with April’s Garden at www.durangoflorist.com, or Cindy at www.wildwoodfineflowers.com
  7. Your wedding dress will probably get dirty if you have an outdoor wedding, so just be prepared and go with the flow. We try to make sure it doesn’t get dirty after the ceremony and will ask the maid of honor or groom to help hold it up until we get to a spot to do portraits. Yes, many girls have experienced the high heel sinking into the ground problem. p.s. I love birdcage veils.
  8. Chocolate is always a great gift for guests.
  9. Bathrooms are a necessity. If you’re the bride, remember to use it before you put your dress on – it will be more difficult later, especially if it’s a port-a-john.
  10. My own tip is to have your hair and makeup people come an hour earlier than you think you need them. Many run late and take longer than you think.

Go check out the article and then if you need more help, give me a call at 970.884.5292 or email me at karen@karenskellyphoto.com

Luv, Karen

Karen Skelly Photography

Durango Wedding Photographers

Website

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

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Durango Photographers and Senior Boy’s Portraits

Brandon will be graduating this year from Bayfield High School. We are Durango Photographers and Bayfield Photographers, which is a small town located near Durango. His favorite color is red (which is also my favorite color), his favorite movie is the Avengers, loves One Republic (the band), and has a dog named Jenny.  I have my seniors fill out a questionnaire before the session telling me all about themselves, and then another asking questions about the session itself. I get great insight from their answers.

Brandon and his mom, Lisa,  described his portrait session as “Easy, Fast, Fun, and Relaxing”. They also loved the great quality of the photography and the vibrant backgrounds. They were referred to us by another satisfied client, which is so special to know that you are appreciated.

He plans to head off to college in the Denver/Boulder area to study pre-med and later go into pediatrics.  He’s on the cross country and track teams and plays basketball.  Like most people in this area, he also loves to hike. He has a great smile and is super smart.

We went to 3 different locations and he brought along different outfits so he would have lots of variety in his high school senior portraits. His mom ordered an 8×8 hard paged album that included all of the portraits we took. She took that album to work to show all of her co-workers and to brag a little on her handsome son. She also purchased Graduation Announcement Cards which we custom design for our clients – they are much nicer than the school provided announcement cards. We can also include information about any graduation parties you may be having afterwards.

The leaves were in full fall color which just makes these portraits pop even more. The lighting in the fall in the evening is so amazing. It’s our favorite time of year.

Enjoy

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We would love to photograph your senior, family, or wedding

Luv, Karen

Website

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

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13 Tips for Wedding Planning by Durango CO Photographers

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An Elopement with Bride, Groom, and their Fur Baby

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Bride and Groom dancing by the light of the mooon

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Bride and Groom on a hand made bench

My husband and I are wedding and portrait photographers located in Durango CO and we serve the entire Southwest Colorado area. We love weddings. They’re so much fun, everybody is happy and smiling. There’s lots of hugging, kissing, and joy (and sometimes drinking – haha). Most of the time a wedding in Durango is when families who haven’t seen each other for a while get together and catch up with their lives.  Elopements are also a lot of fun – we have more time to go to different locations without the time constraints in a bigger wedding.

Engagement season will be coming soon and then lots of couples will be doing research to plan for their wedding, so I’ve attached a pdf file of suggestions for your wedding planning if you’re getting married, or if you know someone who is getting married. Please feel free to share this with anybody you know who might need wedding planning information.

If you are getting married for the first time, there are so many things you don’t know that you don’t know (I remember that time).  My husband and I have been the photographers at so many weddings now that we have learned a lot of things most first time couples would really appreciate knowing.

If you are getting married in or around Durango CO or anywhere in Southwest Colorado, and need help with your wedding planning, get in touch. I know all of the best venues, djs, florists, and other vendors who will make your wedding day special and stress free.

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

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

13 Suggestions for Your Wedding Planning pg 1 and 2

Luv, Karen

Durango CO Photographers

www.karenskellyphoto.com

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

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Durango Boudoir Session to Gift Hubby on Wedding Night

This lovely lady scheduled a boudoir session with me in Durango CO because she was getting married soon and wanted to give her new husband a gift he could never forget and enjoy for the rest of their lives.

She has 3 young boys and was worried about her tummy, but she works out at the gym, and you can tell from the photos that she had nothing to worry about – she’s gorgeous. She was a little nervous, but brought a friend along (which is great – I love cheer leaders), and we had a little bit of wine to loosen up.

She had a pair of black rimmed glasses in the school teacher photo, but I don’t show faces of my boudoir ladies unless they give me permission.

We had a great session, and she has given her new husband an 8×8 hard paged album with the photos that she chose and I’m sure he LOVED it!

Boudoir sessions make great gifts for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and any other holiday you celebrate.

Enjoy and thank you for looking.

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With her bridal lingerie

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In her school teacher outfit

With the American flag

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Silhouette with bridal veil

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Showing off the engagement ring

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Animal print corset

Luv, Karen

Karen Skelly Photography

Durango CO Photographers

www.karenskellyphoto.com

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

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Photographers in Durango CO provide 6 tips for taking photos of your kids

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

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

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

    Dressed in his red sweater and tie for the holidays

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    Two Kids in a Tube

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

Luv, Karen

Durango CO Photographers

Website

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

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Photographers in Durango Colorado LOVE to Photograph Weddings

 

My husband, Ken, and I have lived in Durango CO for a little over 5 years now. We love this town and all of the wonderful, kind, helpful, loving people who live here. Everybody helps each other out when the need arises. We work together photographing weddings and family portraits as well as high school seniors. I also photograph lovely ladies who want a boudoir session for their special significant other.

We live in a mountainous area about 20 miles east of Durango and the people in this community let everybody know what’s going on through a website set up specifically for all of us. We know when there’s a bear roaming around (or breaking into houses and cars), where the mountain lions are, and what dog has gotten loose.

Durango is also a tourist town and a great place to have a destination wedding. We get lots and lots of couples who come here from Texas, Oklahoma, and other states that don’t have the beautiful scenery that we have here. We also love that many of these brides and grooms remain friends on Facebook and we get to follow what they’re doing in their lives. We have many wedding couples from when we used to live in a different part of Colorado who are still friends – that means a lot to us.

The couples we have photographed really appreciate that we can give them names and contact information for other vendors they may need for their wedding. Some couples come here to elope, and others invite family and friends to share their special wedding day. I do believe their family and friends make a vacation out of the event and do some touristy things while they’er here, which is very wonderful.

These are some of our favorite images from 2017 weddings.

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Dawn and Bill toasting in the snow.

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Laurie and Chris share a loving moment

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Susan and Roger by their chuck wagon during the cowboy wedding

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Danielle and Sean couples portrait

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Chrissy and Kevin share a rock by the lake

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Brett removing Janet’s garter after their wedding

We still have some more weddings to photograph in Durango this year, but these are our favorites so far.

Thanks for taking the time to look.

Luv, Karen

Karen Skelly Photography

www.karenskellyphoto.com

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

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