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Jesse & Kenny’s Wedding – Chief Hosa Lodge, Golden, Colorado

On a beautiful October day in Golden, Colorado, Jesse and Kenny tied the knot at Chief Hosa Lodge just outside of Denver. Surrounded by friends and family, the day was full of love, laughter, and later in the evening, some amazing dancing.

They met each other swing dancing at a weekend event on the east coast a few years ago. But as fate would have it, Kenny had plans to travel through Europe pretty much right after they met so a long distance correspondence (aided by technology & cute handwritten postcards) began their relationship. Now, together, they run Swingin’ Denver and teach others how to dance.

Chief Hosa Lodge, surrounded by trees and a view of the mountains, was an amazing venue for an amazing day. Even when their rings fell during the ceremony and rolled away precariously close to the edge of the ceremony site, it didn’t put a damper on the day as a bridesmaid was quick to catch them. After a pause for some laughter, the ceremony went on.

Their reception had some delicious and unique food. Check out the smoking popcorn! The band was amazing and everyone had a blast dancing the night away. Jesse, Kenny, and their friends are amazing dancers and the dance floor was packed until the very end of the night. Enjoy the photos!
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Laurel & Aaron’s Albuquerque Wedding

Laurel and Aaron’s Albuquerque wedding was held in May at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. Words can not express how much joy and excitement was shared amongst Laurel, Aaron, and all of their guests. How many brides and grooms brew their own beer and root beer? And have a belly dancer? And a fire dancer? And some crazy good dance moves?

These two are one of a kind and together make one powerful team. They met and were dating by the time I met them eight years ago. I would like to say all of their closest friends knew they’d end up together, but I’ve never taken an official poll on that. Based on the toasts (and roasts) during their reception I think it’s a pretty safe conclusion to make though.

Their Albuquerque wedding was a true expression of themselves. Held at their church, they managed to work in bits of vintage style here and there, their love of home-brewed beer (and root beer), bright colorful accents, and friends that were there to perform to make the night a real celebration. Dinner was some delicious New Mexican enchiladas and tamales. Throughout the afternoon and night, swing and blues music filled the air when the live jazz band wasn’t performing.

The night ended on a high note with a spectacular fire dance and a sparkler send off under a full moon. There couldn’t have been a more perfect way to end the celebration.

Every time I look through these photos (and I’ve look at them a lot since the wedding) I can’t help but smile as I see two of my best friends on the happiest day of their lives.

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Albuquerque Prep Athletes of the Year – Portraits

New Mexico sunset + Sandia foothills + high school athletes = memorable portraits for this year’s Albuquerque Journal prep athletes of the year.

First of all, congratulations to these two, their accomplishments gained them this well deserved honor. The Albuquerque Journal named Brady Patterson the prep male athlete of the year and Natasha Bernal the prep female athlete of the year. In the fall, Patterson is headed to ENMU and Bernal is headed to UNM.

Each year we try to do some kind of portrait of the two athletes of the year together somewhere in the city. This year we decided we wanted to see the city behind them. We told them we wanted to do a shoot as the sun was setting in the foothills and then wait for the city to glow after sunset, which ended up being a little later in the day than I realized, but they were up for it. The wait was worth it. Thanks again to these two who kept smiling even after we stayed a little longer than we originally planned to get that final city glow photo. The very last frame of the night ended up being my favorite. I saw it on the back of the camera and knew we were done. It’s the first photo below.

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Hiland Dance Studio – Promo Photos

Just a quick post with a few recent promotional photos I took for Hiland Dance Studio in Albuquerque. Looking to learn salsa inside and out? Check out Abdul’s classes! He posts class information on Facebook. I hope these photos show just how much fun his classes are.

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Game of Thrones Season 5 Premiere Santa Fe

In Santa Fe, the city different, at George R.R. Martin’s personal theater, the Jean Cocteau Cinema, HBO and GRRM hosted a Game of Thrones Season 5 premiere with a tiny red carpet on Saturday March 28, 2015. Now I just might be a Game of Thrones fan… so needless to say I was excited to shoot the event for the Albuquerque Journal. This also meant assistant arts editor and UpFront columnist Adrian Gomez and I were able to watch the first episode of the new season a few weeks early. High five!

George R.R. Martin is a very cool cat and extremely generous. I even overheard him tell some fans that were passing by and stopped for a photo with him to wait around to see if any seats opened up so they could come in and view the episode. I don’t know if they made it in or not, but for an invite-only event that was fully booked that was very kind of him. He and the theater also had earlier screenings in the morning for locals willing to wait in line. It was so popular they added an extra screening at the last minute.

Santa Fe is a great place for a celebrity of any caliber to live or visit. The city and state are so laid back that celebrities can really just be part of the community. During the after party a group of actors currently in Santa Fe filming “The Ridiculous Six” stopped by and mingled with party goers and of course took some time to pose on the red carpet, but more importantly, pet and pose with Flurry, an Arctic wolf that was visiting from the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary for the premiere. By the end of the night it honestly felt like the wolf was more sought after for a photo than any of the celebrities.

George R.R. Martin has lived in Santa Fe for many years, before the Game of Thrones empire took off. The theater he now owns, the Jean Cocteau Cinema, closed down in 2006, and he bought it, renovated it, and reopened it in 2013, much to the delight of many New Mexicans. It’s a neat little theater and he pretty much shows whatever tickles his fancy.

Overall the premiere was quite laid back, heck the red carpet was all of 10 feet long. Whereas the season 5 premiere in San Francisco appeared to be what you would expect from such a popular TV show, with a much longer red carpet that stretched past the piles of media waiting to interview and photograph the show’s celebrities. I watched the red carpet portion live on meerkat a few days before our own Santa Fe premiere. They were completely different experiences and I wouldn’t trade ours for anything.

Read more about the premiere in Adrian Gomez’s UpFront column: “Hollywood comes to the City Different.” See more photos on our Albuquerque Journal photo page: Game of Thrones Season 5 Premiere.

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Santa Fe Vintage Engagement Session – Aaron & Laurel

Meet Aaron and Laurel, two of my best friends. I’ve known them since I moved to Albuquerque almost eight years ago. They have been together even longer than that and are finally getting married! Wahoo! Together they make up such a strong team that nothing, not even cancer, stands a chance at weakening their relationship.

They are both vintage aficionados so naturally a vintage engagement session was right up their alley. We decided that the train depot in Santa Fe was the place to start. It was a FREEZING cold Saturday in late February but you can’t tell from the photos. They were troopers and really didn’t let the cold bother them. We did make sure to bundle them up in between shots. Luckily (for us) the Santa Fe Southern Railway service is currently suspended (perhaps because it’s winter?), which meant the beautiful teal train that can be ridden for tours and events, was parked in place and not going anywhere. It made the perfect spot for their photos. We were very lucky. Laurel even brought along a vintage suitcase as a prop! We really hadn’t planned everything so down to the detail, but everything fell into place better than we could have imagined.

During the shoot we all needed a break from the cold and wind and wandered into the Sanbusco mall nearby. There I spied a local bookstore with piles of books. Laurel is a constantly hungry book worm, so I knew this would be a great spot for some photos. With the store’s permission we did a few quick photos in there too. Thank you op.cit. books! We made a few more stops around the area after we had thoroughly defrosted, including outside the Jean Cocteau Cinema and an art gallery with a beautiful blue LOVE art piece out front. Our final stop was to Kakawa Chocolate House for some hot chocolate to warm up. It was a great afternoon with some very dear friends.

Congrats again to you two and can’t wait for your big day! Love you both so much! ♥

 

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SAGE Vintage Wedding – Albuquerque Journal Styled Shoot

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The Albuquerque Journal’s final edition (yes, final) of Sage magazine happened to be the annual wedding (celebrations) issue. Every year, we shoot a stylized wedding session for the main story of the wedding edition. And every year, the shoot day ends up being one of the coldest days in December. This time was no different. The models were troopers dealing with the cold. That fur stole she’s wearing in a few frames I brought from my personal vintage collection at the last minute because the temperature was dropping as the day progressed. I knew the inspiration was a vintage wedding so it worked and kept her warm, a win win. I’ve shot three of these wedding sessions over my years here at the paper and always loved working on them.

 


Location: Albuquerque Press Club
Gowns: Provided by Uptown Alfred Angelo
Tuxedo: Mr. Tux
Makeup: Noel Dalton, owner of The Vanity Makeup
Hair: Hannah Dalton of Stockton Hair Artists
Flowers: Peoples Flowers
Models: Mark Underwood & Marika Sayers
Car: Fiona, 1951 Ford owned by Bob Agnew of Old Car Garage

Read the Albuquerque Journal’s Sage article Ready to Dazzle.