Denver Bridal Portraits: Downtown and Union Station

Revisiting a Trash the Dress Photo Shoot 8 years later!

Rebellious bride climbs walls in her wedding dress in downtown Denver

Rebellious bride climbs walls in her wedding dress in downtown Denver

Lately I have been working on my portfolio, trying to find more images that fit my “Rebellious” and “Free-Spirited” style when I remembered this Trash the Dress photo shoot I did back in 2008.  It was one of my favorite photo shoots yet I never blogged it before, so why not now?!

This bride had bought this wedding dress for a great deal online but when she tried it on in person she realized it really wasn’t what she wanted for her wedding day.  But she didn’t want the dress to just go to waste, sitting completely unused in her closet.  Even though she didn’t wear it for her wedding she still liked the dress and figured it would be fun to do a “trash the dress” style photo shoot in it.  Trash the Dress photo shoots are nowadays often just referred to as “day after” or “Post-wedding” photo shoots.  They consist of doing a fun unique photo shoot in your wedding dress after your wedding is over, so you don’t have to worry about keeping it clean, or all in one piece.  Of course you don’t have to actually trash it, but some rebellious brides look forward to doing just that.

Molly had so much fun wearing this dress around downtown Denver.  She definitely portrays the rebellious and care-free bride that I love to work with too.  Either running around barefoot or sporting her comfy black combat boots, she certainly wasn’t afraid to get her dress dirty, climb lamp posts, or jump on strangers motorcycles.  And we also had a friend with a wedding dress join in some of the pictures so we could capture some unique shots with two brides.

I also love the architectural history captured in these pictures.  The Union Station looks completely different now then it did back then.  Unfortunately I could never get away with these shots around the Union Station today.  Now that the Union Station has been remodeled and is a high traffic area full of travelers and tourists, there is always a herd of people around the entry way, including security guards that I’m sure would yell at us immediately, and likely fined if they saw a bride climbing up the light posts.  Back in 2008 the Union Station was a ghost town, barely even used for train travel with hardly anyone in sight.  Also back then the train tracks we took pictures on were not being used.  Today the tracks have been revitalized and are fully being used so of course doing the track pictures would not only be impossible now but extremely dangerous.

trash the dress post-wedding photo shoot around downtown denver

trash the dress post-wedding photo shoot around downtown denver

 

fun bridal portraits in downtown Denver

fun bridal portraits in downtown Denver

urban bridal portraits in downtown Denver

urban bridal portraits in downtown Denver

running barefoot in front of the Union Station

climbing light posts and running barefoot in front of the once quite Union Station

fun care-free bridal portraits in downtown Denver

fun care-free bridal portraits in downtown Denver

bride wears combat boots with a wedding dress

combat boots go great with a wedding dress

bride with combat boots and a unique Mardi Gras mask

fun unique details with a Mardi Gras mask and combat boots

care-free bride in downtown Denver

care-free bride in downtown Denver *I do not condone using railroad tracks for pictures, these were not active tracks, see disclaimer below

***DISCLAIMER:   I was very hesitant to post the pictures of the brides on the train tracks.  These were un-used tracks at the time, so I knew we weren’t in any danger sitting on them.  However, we were still illegally trespassing (shhh, don’t tell the city), and I do not recommend or condone ever using live train tracks for pictures, and don’t want anyone coming across these pictures to get the wrong idea.   There have been numerous horrible incidents of people getting killed on railroad tracks, either due to naive photographers not aware of the danger, or even by people doing selfies not aware how fast the trains in the background are coming up behind them.   Despite this I do love how these shots show the original structure of the Union Station behind them and figured I could use the images to help spread the word of the danger of playing on live railroad tracks.

trash the dress bridal portraits by Union Station in downtown Denver

trash the dress bridal portraits by Union Station in downtown Denver *I do not condone using railroad tracks for pictures, these were not active tracks, see disclaimer above

Rebellious brides on train tracks in downtown Denver

Rebellious brides on train tracks in downtown Denver *I do not condone using railroad tracks for pictures, these were not active tracks, see disclaimer above

care-free bride by the old Union Station in downtown Denver 2008

care-free bride by Union Station in downtown Denver

trash the dress post-wedding photo shoot around downtown denver

trash the dress post-wedding photo shoot around downtown denver

 

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Morgan - fun!!! I love the angles you got to capture that beautiful dress and train!April 29, 2016 – 10:40 am

Melissa Johnson - Beautiful!! I love the shots of her on the lamppost. Such a fun session!April 29, 2016 – 10:26 am

Nicole Nichols Photography - Thanks Redden, I appreciate your comments, and yes certainly makes our job more fun to have daring locations and subjects!April 29, 2016 – 10:07 am

Redden Wood - I love how candid your style is! I myself try to do fun, daring locations (like climbing that lightpole!) because that’s what makes being a photographer so fun. Beautiful photos, beautiful model, beautiful shoot!! 🙂 Also that dress.. the train is breathtaking! You captured it wonderfully!April 28, 2016 – 9:14 pm

Haley - Love the swinging from the lamppost photos! Reminds me of singing in the rain!April 28, 2016 – 8:53 pm

Suzanne Jakes - These are awesome! I would love to be the person walking by while these were being taken. Beautiful work!April 28, 2016 – 8:26 pm

Sharon - Awww this looks super fun!!!!April 28, 2016 – 8:03 pm

Jess Kornacki - Well, that looks like a ridiculously fun day! So cool to see these locations change so much since 2008. Great photos!April 28, 2016 – 3:55 pm

Ashley - Dang, now THAT is a dress! That train is amazing!April 28, 2016 – 3:08 pm

Personal Travel Adventures: Family Trip to the Paint Mines

Family Lifestyle Pictures & 2nd Birthday: Colorado Paint Mines

2nd birthday pictures Paint Mines in Colorado

2nd birthday pictures at Paint Mines in Colorado

I just recently learned about the Paint Mines located about 1.5 hrs southeast of Denver and knew I had to check it out!  I figured it would be the perfect fun unique location to take a small family road trip to and get pictures to commemorate my daughter’s 2nd birthday.  Well, with toddlers…nothing really goes as planned.  She had much more fun looking for horses and cows out the window along the drive then she did just walking around the Paint Mines.  I think it would be safe to say that she actually hated the Paint Mines.  It was pretty rough terrain with lots of steep inclines and muddy trails.  So we pretty much had to carry her the entire way.  She didn’t appreciate the beauty in the unique colors and textures of the landscape.  It was a fairly warm sunny day, but the high winds really aggravated her off too.  She whined pretty much the whole time and had no desire to explore the Paint Mines.  I even brought some Minnie Mouse balloons and a couple fun toys to entertain her.  That lasted about 3 minutes.  She looked at us like “what the hell are we doing here?!”   I was pretty certain my photo shoot was ruined.  We soon left and when as we made it back to the car a massive explosion of poopy diapers followed…yuck!  Not that you wanted to know that, but it helped explain her sour attitude.  She was at least happy to be back in the car and out of the wind so there was no way we were going back out there.  When I imported my pictures the next day I was praying for at least one good shot.  I loved her outfit and didn’t want our 3 hours of driving to go to waste.  Plus it would be a while till I had another weekend off to spend the time setting up a photo shoot.  Well, I have to say, considering the circumstances I am beyond pleased with what I was able to capture in such a short amount of time!  The majority of these shots were taken in the first 10 minutes, as you can quickly see her mood turn grumpy towards the end.   I never would have been able to capture these pictures without a super fast camera and lens, and of course fast shooting skills and the balloons helped too!   I even managed to capture a decent selfie…in the reflection of the balloon.   We did just have family photos (with me in them too!) taken in the fall, so don’t worry I’m not always left out of our pictures.   But it is time I start planning our next family photo shoot, hopefully somewhere with much more fun terrain for a toddler…and poopy free!

lifestyle portaits and toddler birthday pictures Paint Mines in Colorado

trying to make it fun with props

2nd birthday pictures Paint Mines in Colorado, pictures by Denver photographer Nicole Nichols Photography

2nd birthday pictures at the Paint Mines

 

Paint Mines in Colorado, pictures by Denver photographer Nicole Nichols Photography

Paint Mines in Colorado, pictures by Denver photographer Nicole Nichols Photography

dad plays with daughter at the Paint Mines in Colorado

dad plays with daughter at the Paint Mines in Colorado

Dad and daughter go for a walk

Dad and daughter go for a walk at the Paint Mines

dad embraces daughter along the Paint Mines

dad embraces daughter along the Paint Mines

family selfie in the reflection of a balloon

family selfie in the reflection of a balloon

a cold toddler is not having fun

a cold toddler is not having fun

 

 

 

 

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CO Wedding Photographer: Denver Botanical Gardens & Tivoli

Ashley & Paige’s Fun Modern Wedding at Denver Botanic Gardens

sunset pictures in front of the Tivoli in downtown Denver

sunset pictures in front of the Tivoli in downtown Denver

I knew after photographing Ashley & Paige’s engagement session that these two would be laid back and a lot of fun to work with.  You can check out their engagement pictures around downtown Denver here.  And their wedding day was certainly just that.  These two ladies got married at Denver Botanical Gardens last summer.  We set up a first sight with the brides in the Tropical Conservatory, which was such a beautiful romantic moment it almost brought me to tears.  The first sight allowed us to get a lot of their family and wedding party pictures out of the way, which is always a nice bonus on the wedding day.  Then when it was time to walk down the aisle, they each walked up to the ceremony site with their fathers, coming from different sides of the garden.  They pronounced their love in front of their family and closest friends in the “All American Selections Garden” and then afterwards we walked around the botanical gardens for more pictures.

We then all headed to the historic Tivoli building on the Auraria Campus in downtown Denver.   We did more pictures with the wedding party around this historic landmark which was originally home to the Tivoli Brewing Company.  And then it was time for the party to begin!  Ashley & Paige rented out the Turnhalle in the Tivoli, a unique urban venue with brick walls, a wrap-around balcony, and great views of the Denver city skyline.  They decorated the venue with their wedding colors of navy blue, mint green, and grey, and added modern DIY touches such as painted vases and table cards named after different parts of Denver.  After they did their first dance they each danced with their father and then they swapped and danced with each other’s dads, which was a great personal touch.  The brides and all their guests certainly enjoyed a fun-filled party.  Their friends and family got down on the dance floor, enjoyed the fun photo booth, playing corn hole, and choosing treats from the all green candy bar.  And for their bouquet toss Ashley & Paige each tossed their bouquet of flowers to male and female single guests.  It was fun non-traditional twist to the bouquet toss and gave people two chances to catch the bouquet.  When it was time for the party to end the guests gathered outside for a fun sparkler send-off and the brides were whisked away in a bike buggy.

It was an honor to witness and be able to document the strong endearing love Ashley & Paige share.  And I’m so proud of not only our state of Colorado, but the nation, for finally legalizing gay and lesbian marriages.  All men and women should share the same rights that a legal marriage allows, from getting to file taxes together to being allowed to visit their spouse in severe hospital situations.  Hopefully the rest of the world will soon follow.  Love conquers all.

Officiate Robert Hartman
Caterer Relish Catering
DJ A Music Plus Entertainment
Musician A Lyric Ensemble
Flowers Amore Fiori Flowers
Cake The Makery Cake Company
Bride’s Dress Something New Boutique & Amanda’s Bridal
Bridesmaid’s Dresses ARIA by Tak Hau
Men’s Suits Men’s Warehouse
Hair  Elegance By Design & Studio Salon
Makeup Sonya Sharp Splitt
Wedding Venue Denver Botanical Gardens & Turnhalle in the Tivoli
two brides wedding dresses at Denver Botanic Gardens

two brides wedding dresses at Denver Botanic Gardens

first sight in the Tropical Conservatory

first sight in the Tropical Conservatory

two brides emotional first sight

emotional first sight

 

two brides first sight in Denver Botanical Gardens

a romantic moment at the Denver Botanic Gardens

 

two brides bouquets at Denver Botanic Gardens

matching but different bouquets

gay wedding at Denver Botanical Gardens

lots of emotion and lots of love

lesbian wedding at Denver Botanical Gardens

sealed with a kiss

lesbian gay wedding marriage license

in love and legally married

bride wedding pictures around the gardens

bride portraits around the gardens

bride wedding pictures around the gardens

walking hand in hand around the gardens

fun wedding pictures in front of the historic Tivoli landmark building

fun pictures in front of the historic Tivoli landmark building

fun, bold, and modern wedding details

fun, bold, and modern wedding details

wedding detail pictures at the Turnhalle at Tivoli on downtown Auraria Campus by Denver wedding photographer Nicole Nichols Photography

bold and modern DIY table decor

2 brides have a first dance at their wedding

enjoying a first dance

unique father daughter dance

unique father daughter dance

unique father daughter dance with two brides at the Turnhalle on downtown Auraria Campus

unique father daughter dance – switching dads

wedding toast with two brides

a funny toast by Paige’s brother

 

fun reception candid dancing pictures at the Turnhalle on Auraria Campus in downtown Denver by local photographer Nicole Nichols Photography

fun reception candid dancing pictures at the Turnhalle

simple modern wedding cake and candy bar

simple modern wedding cake and candy bar

 

two engagement rings and two wedding rings

two engagement rings and two wedding rings

Silhouette of 2 brides kissing at sunset

a sunset kiss

end of night sparkler send-off pictures at the Tivoli in downtown Denver by local photographer Nicole Nichols Photography

end of night sparkler send-off pictures

 

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Jennie - Love the first look and the first dance photos! Beautiful!April 8, 2016 – 10:36 am

Amanda Tipton - Beautiful! Those father-daughter dance pics are SO sweet!April 2, 2016 – 8:32 am

Erica Swantek - Such a beautiful wedding. These brides look stunning!March 31, 2016 – 10:20 pm

Ash Meier, Colorado Wedding Photographer - I love the overlook down to the garden, and the two dresses hung up. Super cute!March 31, 2016 – 4:12 pm

Melissa - This is such a beautiful Denver wedding! That first look spot at tee botanic gardens is amazing. I love the ring shot and dress shots too.March 31, 2016 – 3:37 pm

Katie Green - Man these are all gorgeous! I think my favorites are the ring shots and the dance shots. Amazing!March 31, 2016 – 2:23 pm

Carrie Edwards - You captured their special moment perfectly. Wonderful job.March 31, 2016 – 2:13 pm

Ashley Kidder - They picked two seriously awesome venues for their wedding! They look like they had a great time and I bet they loved their images!March 31, 2016 – 2:01 pm

Cara - Such beautiful moments captured. Loving each and every one of these!March 31, 2016 – 1:33 pm

Shannon - Your work is stunning as always! I love the shot of the rings, it is very unique and artistic.March 31, 2016 – 1:16 pm

Monet - Such a beautiful day. These women looked gorgeous and you captured all the big and small details so well.March 31, 2016 – 12:00 pm

Denver Music Photographer: Alive on Arrival

Denver Band Photography: Performance and Fun Street Shots around Herb’s Downtown

AOA perform at Herb

AOA perform at Herb’s Bar in downtown Denver

It’s always a fun experience getting to work with musicians.  I used to do a lot more band photography when I lived in New Orleans, so its always fun to get to do that again here in Denver.  Below are some pictures of the local Denver band Alive On Arrival, or AOA.  They are a diverse group of musicians that not only cover a wide range of classic hits, but also have their own original jazz infused compilations.  The lead singer and the saxophone player are also the owners of Herb’s Bar in downtown Denver, so naturally this fun intimate music venue has become their home base for entertaining their fans.  Before one of their performances we did a few quick band photos outside around Herb’s and then I documented the first half of their show, as well as some of their bartenders in action.  These musicians certainly put on one heck of a performance and had the entire bar smiling and dancing.  At one point during the show they even announced “shots for all!” and patrons lined up at the bar to enjoy a celebratory free shot.   And since the lead singer is from New Orleans the band also loves to play some jazz and blues hits and southern favorites.  If you enjoy live music I would certainly recommend checking out Alive on Arrival, especially if they’re playing at Herb’s, the perfect casual and fun atmosphere for this extremely entertaining band.

Denver rock band having some fun on the city streets

Denver rock band Alive on Arrival

Alive on Arrival posing out side of Herb

Alive on Arrival posing out side of Herb’s

Denver rock band having some fun on the city streets

having some fun on the city streets

Alive on Arrival perform at Herb

Alive on Arrival perform at Herb’s Bar in downtown Denver

lead singer belts out some rocking tunes

lead singer belts out some rocking tunes

bartender at Herb

bartender at Herb’s Hideaway

guest singer for AOA

guest singer for AOA

AOA perform at Herb

AOA perform at Herb’s Bar in downtown Denver

bartender at Herb

bartender at Herb’s

night picture downtown outside of Herb

night picture downtown outside of Herb’s

 

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Amanda Tipton - Great shots! These are super fun!March 25, 2016 – 2:18 pm

Willy - Fantastic band photos in Denver! You do such a great job capturing the personality of the band and the fun it must be to see them perform!March 24, 2016 – 2:55 pm

Rachel - Fantastic use of light!March 24, 2016 – 2:02 pm

Jennie - How fun! I love the performance shots, including the “performance” of the bartender!March 24, 2016 – 1:37 pm

Shayla Velazquez - These are awesome! It’s always neat to see night life captured for a band! You did great! 😀March 24, 2016 – 1:15 pm

Brooke - What amazing shots! You totally captured the ambience of the band and place.March 24, 2016 – 11:57 am

Erica Swantek - Great job capturing the feel of the club! I love photographing musicians.March 24, 2016 – 11:51 am

Nicole Nichols Photography - Thanks Katharine, it was definitley a challenge! And you can’t tell from the pictures but it was a really tight space to shoot in with a large crowd of people to maneuver around, so lots of obstacles. =)March 24, 2016 – 11:09 am

Katharine Green - Wow this is such a difficult setting to do photos but you caught them perfectly and with amazing color and realism. Great job!March 24, 2016 – 11:05 am

Candice Benjamin - Fun! I get a great vibe of the space + people!March 24, 2016 – 11:01 am

Sunshine Lump - These are so fun! Makes me want to go check them out!March 24, 2016 – 11:00 am

Jamie Kraus - Fun photos! I love the second one and all the performance shots.March 24, 2016 – 10:54 am

New Wedding Album Options

Every couple of years my lab changes things up and offers new papers, covers, and even storage boxes.  This past year they added a wide selection of new options so I ordered a couple new sample books of some of my favorite recent weddings. In the same way that wedding pictures look so much better in print then on a computer screen, these books of course are more impressive in person then on my blog.   Whether you are a former client that never got around to ordering a wedding album, or an engaged couple considering hiring Nicole Nichols Photography to document your wedding day, I would be more then happy to schedule a time to show you these books in person. Just send me a message at nicolenicholsphoto at gmail.com or use my contact form (look for the link above), to set up a meeting.

I love this new Italian Deluxe Album “wooden” cover below, as well as the new beautiful case for storing.   The box comes with a range of colors to choose from so I selected a light blue and grey to match the couple’s wedding colors.  This wedding couple also had a lot of wood elements used for their wedding day, such as a cake made to look like aspen, candles decorated with wood bark, and even a wedding day logo of their initials carved into wood….so naturally it made sense to try out this new wooden cover with their wedding pictures.

new studio box option for wedding albums

new studio box option for wedding albums comes in a variety of colors

wood cover option with color name embossing for wedding albums

new wood cover option with color name embossing for wedding albums

lay flat full bleed wedding album

a sample 2 page spread of an Italian Deluxe wedding album

new studio box wedding album sample for Denver wedding photographer Nicole Nichols

new studio box option for wedding albums

These pictures below show a new parent book cover option for the Italian Deluxe Albums.  Now you can select a photo hardcover for your parent books, slipcovers still available as well as leather for the larger books.  For this wedding I  also got a sample of a metal wedding book which is now on display at the Denver Art Museum…just to clarify, not for display in their museum, haha, but for viewing by couples interested in getting married at DAM.  The Denver Art Museum is one of my favorite places to photograph.  So I’m very happy to know they now have this book to show to wedding prospects, and crossing my fingers it helps couples getting married there find me!

wedding book with metal cover and parent book with hardcover

wedding book with metal cover and parent book with hardcover

Open 2 page spread of Denver Art Museum sample wedding album

Open 2 page spread of Denver Art Museum sample wedding album

And below is another new keepsake box option.  It comes in a variety of fabrics and leathers as well to match your wedding album.  I love how sturdy this box is, it is sure to keep your wedding album safe from any scuffs and spills.  The album shown below placed inside this box is also one of the Italian Deluxe Albums.  These are by far my favorite line of books.  They are top notch quality and handcrafted in Italy.  I have a lot more samples of different styles of wedding albums and books, please contact me if you would like to check them out in person.

new leatherette keepsake box for Italian Deluxe wedding albums

new leatherette keepsake box for Italian Deluxe wedding albums

Italian Deluxe wedding album options

new leatherette keepsake box for Italian Deluxe wedding albums

Italian Deluxe wedding album options for Denver wedding photographer

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