These two love birds were on board with a crazy idea I had. With their destination wedding happening nestled up against a mountainside at Della Terra Mountain Chateau in stunning Estes Park, Colorado—I wouldn’t be surprised one bit that they would be down with doing a destination engagement shoot too.
We had a family trip planned on Catalina and ended up staying an extra night to show Brett and Jesse one of our absolute favorite places. I think Avalon is my favorite backdrop to photograph couples. The mountains in the background, the bay full of color and life, and the Casino standing oh so stately in the background—it’s a dream location with so much diversity in such a tiny lil town.
Jesse and Brett were one of the beautiful things that came about in spite of the pandemic, and I’m so immensely happy they found one another. I know I walk into couples’ lives after they have already been living and growing their relationships, without me knowing what life was like before they decided to wed—but getting to know and witnessing Jesse and Brett together, they are perfectly pieced together, it’s as if they always have been.
Another sweet aspect of their Catalina engagement session is Brett requested I shoot some on film. Almost 20 years ago I had to buy my first medium format film camera (a Mamiya 645) and learn to shoot slide film on it for school (goodness… I can’t believe that was that long ago). Halfway through college, the commercial photography industry shifted and I was required to get a digital camera. While I have stuck with digital for the last decade and a half, I have pulled out and lugged around a collection of film cameras here and there to document our own personal adventures. Having a client request film was exciting and new, and really felt like such an honor to be given an additional level of trust and respect, as if saying “we want you to play and create.” Film for me is an act of artistic exploration. The texture, tones and process feel like making music—it’s what I create when I’m not at work. Being asked to welcome that part in to serve a couple is something special.
Brett + Jesse, Brian and I adore the two of you and are so stinkin’ grateful you were up for the adventure! I can’t wait for next year! And if your Catalina engagement session is any indication of what your Della Terra Mountain Chateau wedding is gonna be, it won’t be anything short of epic, and oh so beautiful.
Laura ZellerThese are the most beautiful engagement photos I have ever seen. Beautiful couple and talented artist taking these. I enjoyed seeing these so much.