Artistic Denver Wedding Photography
Saudade, romantic, bold, deeply authentic photographs

Blog

How to take better pictures with your phone - REALLY! - Artistic Wedding Photographer Colorado

Four Tips for Taking Better Photos With Your Phone

It’s great to take out the big camera for special occasions, like when you're an artistic Colorado wedding photographer, but nine out of ten times, it’s better to use your phone. After all, you always have it with you, and the cameras on phones can take some pretty good images – may as well use them!

1.       Get closer. Taking a photo of your son or daughter on the swing? You really don’t need the entire swing set in the photo – fill up the whole frame with your kiddo’s laughing face. Yes, this is a tougher shot. You’re going to need to take more than one. Which leads me to my next tip:

smartphone photo tips

2.       Take more photos, and use burst mode: When do you ever nail something on the first try? Probably hardly ever! So why would that be the case with photos? Shoot a lot – especially action shots! If you’re like me, your phone is at full capacity, and you don’t have a lot of room for 30 photos of your friends attempting the perfect boomerang. But, there’s a simple fix – just delete the rejected photos. Save one from your burst, and save your space.

how to take better phone photos

3.       Notice contrast: Phone cameras are A M A Z I N G, but they are still so limited. They’re limited compared to professional gear, and they’re unbelievably limited compared to your own eyeballs. Our eyes are basically miracles. We can see the brightest brights and the darkest shadows in the same moment. Our cameras – even the most technologically advanced cameras on the planet – cannot keep up. To take better photos, we have to think like our cameras think! That means the name of the game is consistent lighting. I’ll tell you the truth – this one takes some practice. You have to be able to S E E it before you can photograph it!

camera phone tips

4.       Stop saying cheese. Seriously – go for more authentic moments than ‘look-at-me-and-smile’ moments. You know how to make your friends or family laugh. Take the extra few moments to create something fun for your photo subjects. And don’t be afraid to be silly – I know your pride takes a hit, but it’s going to be worth it to get that photo everyone loves.

why do my phone photos suck

That’s it for now! What do you think? Will you be able to use any of these? Which ones seem easiest to start using today? Would love to hear your feedback in the comments!

Tipsmelissa hirschComment
Mothers of Boys - Artistic Denver Wedding Photography

When Bad Things Happen to Good People - Mothers of Boys – Artistic Denver Wedding Photographer

Artistic Denver Wedding photography

In addition to working as an artistic Denver wedding photographer and an artistic Denver family photographer, I also cover a lot of events.

Some of my clients have me back for multiple events over the course of the year, and one of those organizations is the wonderful Mothers of Boys.

artistic denver wedding photographer

This is a group that’s exclusive: you have to be a mom of at least three boys and no girls to be a member. But once you’re in, you have access to amazing speakers, resources, and a community of supportive boy-moms who have seen it all, done it all, and are happy to help.

event photography cherry hills

It’s really a fab group, and they always have an interesting new speaker who is an expert in their field.

For their most recent event, they had a couple of attorneys, David Ganderton and Michael Frederick, who discussed legal issues adolescent boys can face today.

mother of boys denver

It’s so crazy the threats out there these days. (YES I FEEL OLD WRITING THAT.) But when I was growing up, there was AIM and Nokia phones. Texting just started to be a thing when I was a senior in high school. (TECHNOLOGY IMPROVES VERY QUICKLY.)

artisan pretzels denver

But my point is that there was a certain limit to the trouble we could get into. With apps and secret apps and constant access to social media…trouble is never too far away!

So it was so helpful when David and Michael shared their legal perspective. The biggest takeaway?

“Send” is forever.

artistic colorado event photography

Our phones keep a record of everything, which could be scary as an adult, but think about the nonsense you got into when you were a teenager!

That’s one thing I love as an Artistic Denver wedding photographer – I’m always learning new things. It’s too cool getting access to talks and educational events that I otherwise would probably never see!

artistic colorado photographer

Even though I LOVE Artistic Denver Wedding photography, I also love photographing events like this, too. :D

melissa hirschComment
Colorado Gives: Mothers of Boys + Kidsgiving365 - Artistic Denver Wedding Photographer
colorado gives

One of my favorite longtime clients is the Mothers of Boys – a group of moms in Denver who have at least three boys and no girls.

In addition to sharing support, resources, and bringing in wonderful speakers, the Mothers of Boys do service every year.

The MoB!

The MoB!

This year, several MoB members adopted families for the holidays through Kidsgiving: an organization that partners families in need with adoptive families who provide clothes, toys, and other gifts.

artistic denver wedding photography

It was really an incredible experience to give back with these organizations as an artistic Denver wedding photographer.

It was an undeniably intense day: families waiting with gifts, families waiting for their adoptive families, music, face painting, lessons in asking for help and lessons in giving.

non profit event photography

Many families receiving gifts opened one or more of their presents in front of their adoptive families, which was also quite intense and beautiful.

artistic event photography denver

One exchange was particularly emotional for me. A kid in high school was opening his present, and once he realized what it was, his face totally transformed. A family member next to him had the same reaction. They were totally blown away by whatever was in the box. I was photographing all of this, wondering what was in there, and then I saw it:

denver nonprofit photographer
professional nonprofit event photography denver

It was a camera.

I shot the reactions as long as I could, until I just felt too emotional to continue.

All I could think was,

“My first camera changed my life.”

I was taking a minute to compose myself when MoB founders Sandi and Eileen came over. “Are you ok?”

I totally lost it!

kidsgiving colorado
kidsgiving colorado

Even though I work primarily as an artistic Denver wedding photographer, I love photographing events, too. Especially events like this, full of love, laughter, and holiday spirit.

artistic denver event photography

Thanks so much to Mothers of Boys and Kidsgiving 365 for a day many people will never forget.

artistic denver photography
candid nonprofit photography
artistic nonprofit event photography

Melissa Hirsch is an artistic Denver wedding photographer based in Colorado.

melissa hirschComment
Published! Artistic Denver Wedding Photographer

What an exciting week last week!

artistic denver wedding photographer

Maybe you saw – Sheannette and Paul’s wedding was published on Offbeat Bride! I’m not the best at submitting my weddings and sessions for publication (definitely on my radar for 2018!), so I was absolutely thrilled when Offbeat Bride decided to publish Sheannette and Paul’s wedding day.

The couple wanted to get some artistic Denver wedding photography all over the city. We visited a courthouse downtown, the Oxford Hotel, and the Brown Palace.

artistic denver wedding photographer

The courthouse gave them a beautiful, classic urban backdrop in front of which to exchange their vows with their two children for their artistic Denver wedding photography.

artistic denver wedding photography
artistic denver wedding photographer
artistic denver wedding photographer

At the Oxford, we got photos on the street outside of the Oxford’s famous Cruise Room, where Sheannette and Paul spent countless hours getting to know each other.

artistic Denver wedding photographer

At the Brown Palace, we ran into Steven Tyler – no big deal 😊

DSC_5539.jpg
artistic denver wedding photography

We also got tons of artistic Denver wedding photos all over the hotel!

artistic denver wedding photographer
artistic denver wedding photography

Lastly, we went to Sheannette and Paul’s home to photograph the signing of their marriage license.

This is where we created a photo that went a little crazy on Instagram with over 3,500 likes!

melissa hirschComment
Styled Shoot – Black Tie Rooftop Reception – Artistic Denver Wedding Photographer

Last week, I got to photograph a gorgeous new venue and black tie tablescapes – all masquerade themed – for a styled shoot.

You may ask, what is a styled shoot?

It’s basically a collaborative art project for wedding professionals. And an awesome opportunity to create some artistic Denver wedding photographs and keep my skills sharp in the off season!

For this particular styled shoot, it was all about showing off this gorgeous venue and the incredible work of all the vendors involved.

Denver rooftop wedding

Downtown Denver Rooftop Reception Venue:

The 360 at Skyline features those amazing views that Denver is known for. You can see mountains and the cityscape in the same frame, which is basically the dream for an artistic Denver wedding photographer!

black tie wedding rooftop denver
denver rooftop wedding reception venue
new denver rooftop venue
rooftop lounge area denver colorado

Denver Rooftop Wedding Rentals:

Max and Livie and Event Rents provided stunning, unique details that elevated (no pun intended) the entire setup: masks, fur throws, plates and silverware, and lounge areas that ensure guests feel comfortable and swanky at the same time.

denver rooftop wedding venue
lounge rentals denver rooftop wedding
lounge area rentals denver
black tie place settings denver
black tie rooftop venue denver colorado

Black Tie Wedding Stationary Denver:

Lucky Onion provided the paper for this shoot – isn’t it amazing?! These laser cut details were so much fun to photograph and set the tone for this black tie Denver reception!

custom laser cut wedding invitations denver colorado
laser cut masquerade wedding invitations
table place cards custom denver colorado
custom RSVP cards denver colorado black tie
black tie custom invitation suite denver colorado

Downtown Denver Rooftop Centerpieces:

The Olive and Poppy created stunning centerpieces and florals for the shoot. The jewel tones were so perfect – they brought some sweetness and romance to the dramatic tablescapes.

black tie rooftop centerpieces denver
denver wedding flowers
highboy floral centerpieces denver colorado
denver rooftop centerpieces
Denver wedding flowers

Denver Rooftop Wedding Planners:

The Gardner Effect (TGE) put together this entire shoot – you do NOT want to put together a shoot without a planner! So important to have someone with a vision for the project to bring everything together and make it happen. As an artistic Denver wedding photographer I do not have the skills to pull this off!

denver wedding planners
denver wedding planner black tie
black tie wedding wedding planner
wedding planners denver colorado rooftop wedding
black tie rooftop wedding denver wedding planner

Denver Rooftop Uplights:

Elite Entertainment provided uplights that gave the shoot that little extra touch. Really tied the whole space together – and matched the sunset perfectly!

denver rooftop up light black tie
black tie uplighting denver colorado
do i really need uplights colorado

For more information about all these awesome vendors, check out their websites above!

Top FIVE things to do with your Holiday Party Photos - Artistic Denver Wedding Photography

We are squarely in December somehow (!) which means it’s time for holiday parties! Holiday parties are always a good time – people are celebrating their years with their clients and loved ones. And there’s always so much planning involved: food, décor, venue, invites, and more.

denver holiday party photography

It’s a great time to hire a photographer to capture all the elements you’ve planned – and all the happy moments with your friends.

I know what you may be thinking: All those elements you just described are expensive and took a lot of work! I’m not sure I’m really trying to book a photographer on top of all of that.

denver christmas party photography

So, here are a few things you can do with your holiday party photos:

1.       Newsletter: Use the images in your newsletter! Whether you’re connecting with members or clients or employees, they’re going to love seeing smiling faces in their newsletter. As an artistic Denver wedding photographer, I love capturing those fun, candid moments, as well as more traditional photos of people smiling at the camera – perfect for any newsletter.

2.       Write a blog post: I know I’m a little biased, but I think the photos make the blog post. If you’re a company or organization, it’s always good to write a blog – your holiday party photos make for some great content.

holiday party photos denver

3.       Share on social media: Facebook recently shared that their users upload about 350 million photos every day. People LOVE photos. Adding photos from you holiday party will make your followers smile – and isn’t that what your holiday party is all about?!

4.       Prints: Yes, prints are still around :D Prints make such wonderful gifts – if your people love them, they’ll be hanging on their wall for years and years to come. How awesome is that? Very awesome. Prints are one of my very favorite gift to give as an Artistic Denver wedding photographer.

christmas party photography denver

5.       Marketing for your next holiday party: How nice would it be next year to have a bank of photos, sitting there waiting for you to use in emails, social media, even print invitations to promote your holiday party?! One big checkmark on your to do list is DONE.

 

If you’re in the Denver area and still need a photographer for your holiday party, contact me today! There is still December availability starting at 300.00/hr.

Do I REALLY Need Getting Ready Photos? Artistic Denver Wedding Photographer

I see you! You’re just like me – questioning traditions, wondering if you really need getting ready photos or if that’s a portion of the day you can save some money on when it comes to your wedding coverage.

Love this sister and MOH moment! Getting ready at the Westin Beavercreek.

Love this sister and MOH moment! Getting ready at the Westin Beavercreek.

I’m not going to presume to know anything about your budget, but I would recommend you DON’T skimp on the getting ready photos.

Here are a few reasons why:

1.       The moments. As an artistic Denver wedding photographer, I love capturing those emotional,  once-in-a-lifetime moments. And the ‘getting ready’ portion of the day is full of them. Some of my favorites are when your loved ones see you in your dress for the first time. Same goes for the groom – it’s so special when your mom, dad, future in laws see you on your wedding day.

Makeup before ceremony time at Arrowhead Golf Course!

Makeup before ceremony time at Arrowhead Golf Course!

2.       The energy. There’s so much excitement and fun in the air. No one tells you this, but you know when you were in college or high school getting ready for a night out or a party? Well that really doesn’t happen in adult life, with one exception: weddings! I love to create artistic Denver wedding photographs capturing this unique part of the day.

Bridesmaid reveal at the Brown Palace!

Bridesmaid reveal at the Brown Palace!

3.       Details details details. Some couples really don’t care about detail shots, so if that’s you, skip ahead! But for the couples who love shots of their invitations, shoes, dress, jewelry, love letters, heirlooms, and more, it’s so important that your photographer is ready while you’re getting ready. Many of these artistic Denver wedding photos need to be taken before you get dressed – so there’s really no way around it!

Bridesmaid Reveal at Grand Hyatt Denver!

Bridesmaid Reveal at Grand Hyatt Denver!

4.       Telling your story. Your whole wedding day is a story. It has a beginning, middle, and end. The ‘getting ready’ portion is the beginning. As an artistic Denver wedding photographer, I want you to look back at your collection of photos and see that complete story and progression of your wedding day.

Getting dad ready at Devil's Thumb!

Getting dad ready at Devil's Thumb!

What to do instead:

1.       Less travel. Keep the following three locations in the same place or very nearby: getting ready, ceremony, and reception. The less time you and your photographer have to spend travelling, the more bang for your buck.

2.       Have your photographer leave early. If you have to choose between arriving late or leaving early, have your artistic Denver wedding photographer leave early. You won’t miss the late night dancing photos as much as you’ll miss those getting ready moments!


Still looking for your Denver Wedding Photographer? 2018 dates are still available! 

5 Surprising Facts About Working From Home - And 3 Bonus Tips for Supporting the Home-Workers in Your Life - Artistic Denver Wedding Photography

When I meet new people who work in an office and they find out what I do – and that I work from home – I get basically the same response:

“Oh my gosh, that’s SO nice.”

And honestly, they’re kinda right! It IS. If I don’t have any meetings or shoots, I can wear sweatpants and skip the makeup.

I’ve worked in offices (I was the editor of national magazine), in homes (I was a nanny), and at my home (as an Artistic Denver wedding photographer). I remember when I got a day to work from home during my office days, I was like,

“This. Is. The. Best.”

But you know, it’s human nature. As soon as you get something you want, you get used to it, and then you want something else. You start to miss elements of what you had before.

After working from home for the past year and a half as an artistic Denver wedding photographer, I’ve put together some surprising things about working from home.

So, here are some facts about working from home that you may not know.

1.       You forget to eat. Seriously. I love just rolling out of bed, taking the dogs for a walk, making a coffee, and getting to work. I put my head down and answer emails, write, edit, and do whatever else needs to get done. I will work for several hours before I look up at the clock and realize it’s lunchtime. This isn’t the best habit, but it happens ALL. THE. TIME.

2.       You’re still working! Yes, you sometimes get to wear sweatpants and don’t have to put on makeup. (Let’s be real – most days I put on makeup anyway #extra.) But you’re still working all day! In fact, BECAUSE I work at home, I oftentimes struggle to put down my work to relax. I always wanting to just cross one more thing off my list. My husband can totally vouch for this.

3.       Sometimes you say ‘forget it.’ If I don’t have a meeting and I’m caught up on editing and emails, I will some days just say ‘forget it’ and watch Netflix and hang with the dogs. I usually work all weekend as an Artistic Denver wedding photographer, so always try to take a day off during the week – even if I don’t always plan it ahead of time!

4.       There really aren’t that many days you’re at home all day long. At least for me, being an artistic Denver wedding photographer means I’m constantly out of the house shooting, running errands, going to meetings, and more. Those ‘sweatpants days’ are really pretty limited – maybe one a week.

5.       It gets lonely! Most days I have at least one meeting or shoot outside my home, but on days when I don’t, it gets super lonely. Sometimes I’ll go to a coffee shop (or beer garden) just to be around other humans (no hate towards my puppies! I hope they don’t read this. That would be awkward.)

How to support the home-workers in your life

1.       Don’t assume things are easy! Yes, I’ve worked in an office and there are absolutely special kinds of frustrations and obstacles in that kind of work. BUT the same is true of people who work at home.

2.       Notice if you think their job is less real. While I often feel a lot of respect for my work as an artistic Denver wedding photographer, sometimes I get the vibe that people think it’s kinda less valid than an office job.

3.       Cut them some slack if they can’t hang out. I know it seems like they have all the time in the world, but you’d be surprised how the day flies by!

melissa hirschComment
Wedding Dress Stories Part II: TBC Martina Liana Sneak Peek – Artistic Denver Wedding Photographer

You guys, I’m kinda addicted to Wedding Dress Stories, as I’ve started thinking of them. As anyone who has binge-watched Say Yes to the Dress knows, finding your wedding dress can be an emotional journey. There’s the second-place gown, the ‘HECK NO.’ And the ‘OMG, I NEVER would have thought I’d like this!’ And of course: “…this is the one.” If you’re me, a diehard romantic and an artistic Denver wedding photographer, that’s when you cue the tears.

the bridal collection photographer

When I watched Say Yes, I always thought, “Ya know, someone should photograph these wedding dress stories.”

I got to do just that several weeks ago during The Bridal Collection’s Sottero and Midgley trunk show, and I definitely fell in love. (You can read all about that event HERE.)

artistic denver wedding photographer

The support, the friendship, the pretty dresses (yes, I’m a total girl at heart). It’s a wonderful day when a bride finds HER gown. And as an artistic Denver wedding photographer, I just LOVE getting different angles and photographing all those emotional moments.

artistic denver wedding photography

So, when TBC invited me back again for their Martina Liana Sneak Peek, I said YES to those dresses. (See what I did there? Only slightly embarrassed by that super cheesy joke!)

When you need to facetime for a second opinion! 

When you need to facetime for a second opinion! 

Have you ever been to a sneak peek before? I never had, even though as an artistic Denver wedding photographer I have photographed a LOT of jaw-dropping gowns.

Here’s how they work:

A designer creates a collection of dresses. They aren’t yet mass produced – before they start production, they want to make sure brides actually like them! So, the release them in a select number of stores. (The awesome ones, like TBC.)

artistic denver wedding photographer

This is so cool for brides, because they get the opportunity to purchase a dress NO ONE in their area could possibly have yet. So unique.

Here’s the thing: the dresses are top secret! No photos allowed. You just had to be there to see them. How cool is that? As an artistic Denver wedding photographer, it was hard to resist, but I did it!

artistic denver wedding photography

What do you think? Would you have your wedding dress story photographed?

melissa hirschComment
How to Take BETTER Family Photos This Thanksgiving – Artistic Denver Wedding Photographer
Love real smiles like these from fellow photographers Randy + Ashley Studios! Keep reading for my tips about how to get better photos of YOUR family this Thanksgiving!

Love real smiles like these from fellow photographers Randy + Ashley Studios! Keep reading for my tips about how to get better photos of YOUR family this Thanksgiving!

Ohh Thanksgiving. No pressure of gift-giving. No potentially polarizing religious beliefs. Probably no snow yet.

Just sweaters, wine, a feast, and celebrating fall and family. That’s my kinda holiday!

It’s also often a time that families get together from far and wide to enjoy and celebrate the things for which they’re grateful. Which, if you’re an artistic Denver wedding photographer, you KNOW means it’s a prime opportunity for photos.

In honor of this delicious holiday, I’ve put together some tips for taking better family photos this Thanksgiving.

1. Skip the ‘cheese’. I know I know, it’s a steady go-to. Picking another prompt can be cheesy or goofy and maybe you’re not trying to draw that much attention to yourself. With much love and much respect, I suggest you forget about your hang ups and get silly. There are so many creative tips and prompts out there to get more authentic photos. Here are a few you can try:

 Pick someone with no shame in your family (every family has one!) And ask people about the silliest thing they’ve done. When they start laughing, snap away!

 Instead of “CHEESE”, have people guess each other’s favorite Thanksgiving side dish. Promise you’ll get laughs when your family members are WAY off!

Have them point to the person in the family who is most likely to clear their plate or have LOTS of leftovers.

2.  Repeat after me: I will be in as many photos as possible. Whether you hand off the camera or take a quick selfie, please please PLEASE get in those frames.

The #existinphotos movement has gotten BIG online for a reason – it’s too easy to hide behind the camera and not be a part of the day. But you ARE a part of the day, and when it’s over, the photos are all you will have left. Even if you’ve put on a few pounds or don’t like your outfit or need to get your hair done, get in those photos anyway. I know it’s uncomfortable, but I promise you – someone, sometime, will be SO glad to see your smiling face.

3. Avoid overhead lights. OK YOU GUYS. This is how you know I have your back. This is embarrassing, but you need to know it! I’ve taken some questionable photos of myself to demonstrate my point. Hang out by nice natural light. Go outside if you can. I know, it’s kind of annoying, but if you ask nicely, your family members will oblige you!

 
Starting with the well lit photo because I AM SO VAIN! There is a nice big window immediately to my right in this photo.

Starting with the well lit photo because I AM SO VAIN! There is a nice big window immediately to my right in this photo.

This isn't too bad, either! The big window is right in front of me here.

This isn't too bad, either! The big window is right in front of me here.

GOD HELP ME I HOPE YOU ARE VIEWING THIS ON A PHONE AND NOT ON A DESKTOP.  Here I am in my kitchen - the light is directly above me and it is NOT working. THE HORROR.

GOD HELP ME I HOPE YOU ARE VIEWING THIS ON A PHONE AND NOT ON A DESKTOP.  Here I am in my kitchen - the light is directly above me and it is NOT working. THE HORROR.

 

4. Don’t post anything without permission. Honestly, I think one of the reasons people are afraid of getting their photos taken is that they assume they’ll be online in 30 seconds. I’d recommend instead posting the photos in a private place online where people can download the images and post if they’d like to. You can use Dropbox or Pixieset – they both have free options. Just a warning, though, Pixieset is quite a bit more complicated!

5. Don’t always worry about the smiling. Get some authentic moments of people cooking, watching football, and enjoying the day. Sometimes these are the most REAL moments that you end up loving! Channel your inner artistic Denver wedding photographer.

And two BONUS recommendations:

1.  Hire a pro to get a REAL portrait and don’t even mess with trying to get a photo with everyone. I still have TWO Denver Extended Family Thanksgiving sessions available, and I’d LOVE to photograph your family!

2. Get a selfie stick. It’s kinda basic, but it’s a great way to get a flattering angle AND make sure you’re in those images. (See #2 above!)

OK, that’s all I have for now! What do you think about these tips? Would you try them? Let me know if you do – I’d love to see how they worked for you!

A Day in the Life of an Artistic Denver Wedding Photographer
Thank you Happy Hour Headshot for the photo! And thank you Hudson Hill for having us.

Thank you Happy Hour Headshot for the photo! And thank you Hudson Hill for having us.

I’ve been wanted to write this blog for a little while now, and the other day when someone asked me what my typical day was like, I took it as a sign to sit down and DO IT.

 

This room! So gorgeous. Did NOT think I'd be photographing it when I woke up that morning!

This room! So gorgeous. Did NOT think I'd be photographing it when I woke up that morning!

I think there are a lot of misconceptions out there about what photographers DO. There are so many behind the scenes stories left untold. So today, I will share honestly.

What I’ll say right now is that every day is different. There is no ‘usual’ when you’re an artistic Denver wedding photographer. Some days I’m in meetings and shoots all day. Sometimes I’ll have two days in a row where I don’t have any meetings, shoots to create artistic Denver wedding photography – or any reason at all to leave the house.

Mariachi band set the mood during cocktails.

Mariachi band set the mood during cocktails.

So I won’t call this a typical day, but it was a day.

6:30am

Scout starts squeaking. Every morning she makes a noise like a squeak toy until she gets to go outside. I take her for a walk while Kyle gets ready to go to work.

7:00am

I go back to sleep. This happens about 5% of the time. Most days I just stay up and make my coffee, but on this particular day, I was especially sleep deprived and decided to give myself a break and catch another hour of sleep.

8:30am

Scout begins squeaking again. I feed the dogs, take them for a longer walk. This is where things are about to get BORING, but you know what? It’s real life.

The Squeaker, AKA Scout.

The Squeaker, AKA Scout.

Our kitchen sink had been clogged for three days. THREE DAYS that we couldn’t use the dishwasher or even use the kitchen sink (so hand-washing dishes was out of the question, too.) This is a first world problem for sure, but it was inconvenient.

I go out to get coffee since I can’t really make it at home with the aforementioned sink problem. While I’m out, I decide enough is enough with that sink and go to home depot. I purchase a snake with no real understanding of how to use it. Figure I can watch some YouTube videos and put it together.

The coffee I WISH I'd had! This is from my trip to London at the little breakfast spot, Louie Louie.

The coffee I WISH I'd had! This is from my trip to London at the little breakfast spot, Louie Louie.

While I’m out, my very favorite planner (I'll call her out -Walli Richardson! Amazing planner.) reaches out to me: her client needs an artistic Denver event photographer tonight! It's a photo-mergency :) I’m free and happy to do it!

9:15am

Start charging my batteries and double check my memory cards for the evening. I don’t like formatting until I’ve delivered images from the session, so I always try to quadruple check! In case you didn’t know, this is the GLAMOROUS side of being an artistic Denver wedding photographer ;) 

This centerpiece! Wasn't expecting this gorgeousness when Walli emailed me. Such a fun surprise!

This centerpiece! Wasn't expecting this gorgeousness when Walli emailed me. Such a fun surprise!

10:15am

Watch videos about how to use a snake. Pull out random pieces of pipe. Basically guess where to put the snake. After about 45 minutes, I do it! I unclog the sink! I call Kyle at work and we do a happy dance. Also let him know I’ll be gone when he gets home. Yay, adulting! Run the dishwasher – FINALLY.

11:00am

Put the finishing touches on some book designs I’ve been working on: one for a family photo session, and one for a cake smash for the same lovely family. I love to tell a story with my book designs. This involves a lot of playing around with each spread (design speak for the two pages you see when the book is open), the order of the spreads, and the selection and order of the photos themselves.

3:00pm

Realize I need to start getting ready for the event tonight! Heading the Seawell Ballroom at rush hour means I’ll need plenty of time to get down there, plan to leave by 4:30.

Pick out my outfit, take a shower, do my hair and make up.

Realize I have actually forgotten to eat a meal, make some food.

4:28pm

OMG I GOTTA GO. I pack up my gear and do a quick double check. Camera? Batteries? Memory cards? Flashes? All flash accessories? More batteries? DO NOT forget batteries!

Can't take this photo without memory cards and batteries! 

Can't take this photo without memory cards and batteries! 

4:35pm

Out the door! Listen to Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown on the way - keeps me relaxed during traffic and in the right mindset to capture some artistic Denver event photos!

5:30pm

I arrive at the Seawell Ballroom. I’m set to start shooting at 6pm, so go check out the event – where is everything happening? What time? Whose event is it? Usually I know this stuff ahead of time, but this was a special circumstance!

Just loved this ice sculpture. So fun to photograph.

Just loved this ice sculpture. So fun to photograph.

5:50pm

Before guests arrive, I take a TON of detail photos. The flowers and the room are so so beautiful – I know the client has put a lot of time and planning into this evening, and I want to capture all that. The room was designed by the one and only DesignWorks - always jaw-dropping work. 

6:15pm

Start photographing guests. I love getting a mix of candid and what we call ‘camera-aware’ photos for events like this. Guests are super warm, kind, and gearing up for a great evening.

121_Seawell-Ballroom-Mission-Yogurt_DSC_4219.jpg

7:30pm

Break time! Delicious vegetarian dinner! Intermittently get up to photograph toasts, speeches, performances.

9:30pm

Dancing really gets going. Love getting right in the action on the dance floor!

One of the gracious hosts for the evening! Just love getting these real moments and embracing the fun and crazy party lights! 

One of the gracious hosts for the evening! Just love getting these real moments and embracing the fun and crazy party lights! 

10:00pm

Time for me to leave. I pack up all my gear and make my way back to my car.

11:00pm

I arrive home. I’m so tired and happy! I have a shoot the next day, so I manage to put my camera battery back in my charger before I crash.

 

And that was my day exactly one week ago! Yes, there’s a lot of beauty and excitement and glamor…but there’s also a lot of normal boring everyday stuff. I try to take one day off every week, but I end up working almost every single day. Sometimes it’s a LOT, but most of the time I love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I've just gotta throw in a THANK YOU to all my amazing clients whose support allows me to do what I LOVE. It's an honor and a pleasure to capture these moments for you. 

melissa hirschComment
Artistic Denver Wedding Photos - Candid Moments
artistic candid wedding photography denver

Weddings are both emotional and special. Two people are celebrating their love for each other amongst their respective loved ones. From seeing second cousins to friends from middle school, wedding days contain many special moments.

artistic Denver wedding photos

Many of our couples’ favorite artistic Denver wedding photos are those candid moments – a kiss on the dance floor, a hug for grandma after the ceremony, your mom’s reaction to seeing you in your dress for the first time. Things can happen very quickly at a wedding- almost in the blink of an eye.

candid artistic denver wedding photography

How are moments like these artistically captured without invading them? Candid photography. You don’t want your photographer to completely dominate your wedding day. This non-invasive method involves photographically documenting natural interactions instead of limiting clients to traditionally posed pictures.

artistic denver wedding photography

Candid artistic Denver wedding photographs tell a better story than posed ever could. The natural essence of candid photography can be felt through each picture. Smiles are brighter and laughter is cemented into a single moment. Photographers that specialize in candid photography often understand this, step back, and let fun run the day.

artistic denver wedding photos

While posed pictures are very important, especially when ensuring that everyone is able to take photos together, candid photographs more accurately capture one of the most important days of your life. They convey the feeling of your elegant wedding. Having a photographer on-hand that understands your needs is essential for catching those easy-to-miss moments. Looking back, you may see things you missed on the day of the wedding!

artistic denver wedding photos

Prepare ahead for your special day with your photographer. Do your research, ask questions, and find out what would help the photographer best capture the day with artistic Denver wedding photos. Most importantly, be open about what exactly you want and share your ideas. If you know your unique grandfather is going to dance at the reception and you want it memorialized, communicate that to your photographer.

artistic denver wedding photos

Streamlining your shot list and timeline will ensure your photographer will have plenty of time to capture 100% natural moments between you and your loved ones on your wedding day, and it’ll increase your relaxation time.

artistic denver wedding photos

Most importantly, stand back and enjoy the moment. One of the best things about candid artistic Denver wedding photography is the opportunity you get to relish the day and look back at the best moments later on.  

artistic denver wedding photos
Sanctuary Golf Course Wedding - Artistic Colorado Wedding Photography
sanctuary wedding

If you know me at all, you know that I love creating artistic Denver wedding photography, and the beautiful wedding of Molly and Max was perfect for creating these special images just for them! They are such a cute, unique couple, and it was a true joy to create artistic Denver wedding photography from start to finish.

sanctuary golf course wedding

My involvement in the preparations began at Blow Dry Lounge, where the bride was getting ready. Then, we headed to the venue, Sanctuary Golf Club in Sedalia, Colorado. Sanctuary wedding photography of Molly turned out beautifully, and it was all thanks to the lovely scenery (not to mention, of course, the lovely bride!). The wedding gown was a stunning, elegant number from none other than La Belle Elaine’s Bridal Salon, and the bridesmaids’ gowns were all from David’s Bridal.

the sanctuary wedding photos

Everyone was dressed to the nines with artistic flower arrangements provided by Newberry Brothers. Rabbis Rick and Susan Rheins officiated the traditional Jewish ceremony, and wedded the happy couple! After the ceremony, all the guests joined together for a gorgeous meal.

artistic denver wedding photography

I find that nothing unites people quite like food does! The newlywed couple was introduced for the first time to the sounds of “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran. Next, there was music and dancing led by Noble Productions and Elite DJ - perfect for creating artistic Denver wedding photos.

the sanctuary wedding photos
sanctuary wedding photos
the sanctuary wedding denver

 One small detail I really liked was the couple’s choice of song for the bouquet toss. It was “Dear Future Husband” by Meghan Trainor! Isn’t that the perfect tune for the toss? All the guests left feeling full and tired from joy, and what a happy day it truly was! I wish you all the best, Molly and Max, in the years to come. May you always feel like newlyweds when you are together!

the sanctuary wedding

Melissa Hirsch Photography specializes in artistic Denver wedding photography in Colorado and worldwide.

melissa hirschComment
Paint Mines Wedding Photos
artistic denver wedding photorapher

There’s not much I love more than getting back to my roots and doing a photoshoot just for practice - love setting aside time to learn all the subtleties and nuances of new gear before taking it to someone’s wedding, too. I recently invested in a new camera, and I was very excited to try it out. 

paint mines bride

The camera in question? The Nikon D4. You may not realize this (I certainly didn’t until I became a professional photographer), but cameras die! They only have a certain amount of ‘clicks’ in them, and when they’re done, they’re done. My previous go to camera was nearing that point, so it was officially time to get a new camera – there are worse things, right?!

artistic denver wedding photography

So, I got my D4 and knew a photoshoot was in order. The whole shoot was planned (with help, of course) in about an hour, and shot in only 20 minutes. Joining me was my dear friend and mentor, Travis Broxon. Thanks for tagging along, Travis! Paige at Wilhelmina, our lovely model for the day, was a joy to work with and an absolute pleasure to capture! Isn’t she gorgeous? I love how ethereal she looks in the light. Her flowers came from The Lemon Tree Floral and the elegant dress and styling was done by The Bridal Collection.

paint mines wedding photography

And what better place to shoot dramatic bridal fashion shots than at Paint Mines? I think the colors of the rocks give the shoot almost an other-wordly vibe. Paint Mines are definitely worth checking out at some point for everyone in the Denver area. I definitely can’t wait to do another shoot there when I get the chance.

artistic denver wedding photography

The thing about doing a styled shoot like this is that it gives me an opportunity to have fun and practice making something beautiful and more artistic. This is really what I love about photography: it’s the chance to capture a moment in time that is beautiful, and to be able to share that moment with the world.

artistic denver wedding photography
2017 Holiday Cards

You asked, and it’s happening! You want holiday cards, and I’m so excited to announce they’re finally here 😊

I’ve partnered with an incredible local paper, print, and design company, Lucky Onion, who custom-designed these holiday cards just for you.

As some of you know, I’ve been wanting to offer holiday cards for quite some time. But, for one reason or another, it never quite worked out…until now!

MH-FramedStrokesRose.jpg

 

THE DESIGN PROCESS

Cristy at Lucky Onion is truly an artist! We sat down together to discuss the logistics, offerings, and designs. We discussed what you, my lovely clients would LOVE, what you would NOT love, which options you MIGHT like, and more.

Then she put together some beautiful, unique designs and color options.

(Lucky Onion also creates wedding suites, corporate and social invitations, and so much more – and Cristy is so sweet and professional and just wonderful to work with.)

MH-ShimmeringJoyGold.jpg

 

THE CARDS

Metallic-like details, simple, timeless designs, and beautiful options from neutrals to bright pops of color, with your own family photo included.

MH-SimpleSaidRed.jpg

The paper:

Included: 130lb Satin white vellum stock

Add on: Pearlized shimmer white paper

Designs:

Can’t wait for you to see these gorgeous designs Cristy put together. Shiny, neutral, customizable words, color variations, and so much more.

MH-TenderWreathIceBlue.jpg

One side of printing with up to four photos with Cristy’s one of a kind designs. Wordy or want extra photos? No problem, add a second side! 

MH-TranquilSnowRed.jpg

 

ORDERING

Shoot me an email, give me a call (303.520.1674), or order online right now!

 

 

These holiday cards are perfect for personal use with your family OR wedding photos, but you can also order holiday cards for your business! Great way to use any of your artistic Denver wedding photos, artistic Denver family photos, or Denver event photography from this year.

melissa hirschComment
Unique Downtown Denver Family Photos

Day TWO of Mini Sessions!

I know, I know – with such amazing views in Colorado, it’s TOUGH to leave nature behind and get into the city. But honestly? I LOVE shooting downtown.

There’s something so classic about those big white columns. And the light in there is so soft and pretty!

artistic denver family photos

ARTISTIC DENVER FAMILY PHOTOS

Mini sessions were such a big success this year – thank you so much to all the families who came out! We had two dates available, one downtown and one in a park. It was so cool to get such different looks within a few minutes of each other – one of my favorite things about Denver family sessions. 😊

unique denver family photos

The short shooting times and lower price points made Denver mini sessions the PERFECT solution to updating those family portraits for holiday cards, or just to have a more recent photo of your family for your walls!

classic downtown denver photography

I have to say, I recently did a mini session with my little family, and it was awesome. I have a puppy who is pretty psycho (but very cute!), and whenever I wasn’t holding her, she squeaked VERY loudly. This situation wouldn’t have worked very well with a FULL session, so our mini session with Randy and Ashley Studios was the perfect solution for us and our adorable terror.

artistic denver family photography

By the way, did you get a chance to see the blog post from Day ONE of mini sessions on 10/8? Can I just tell you how lucky we were? The 8th was sunny and beautiful, the 9th was the first snow of the year. Yeah, that’s lucky!

family photography denver
artistic denver family photography

THANKSGIVING FAMILY SESSIONS

If you still want to book your family session, it’s not too late! I have TWO spots available especially for extended family portraits over the Thanksgiving holiday. I’m going to warn you though, the sun is setting EARLY, so we have to start shooting at 3pm.

Wednesday November 22nd

Saturday November 25th

All hi-res images: 750.00

Check out the blog post, and book instantly here!

melissa hirschComment
Denver Wedding Gowns

You guys. I had the most incredible day on Saturday! I spent the whole day at The Bridal Collection. This beautiful store had a Sottero-Midgley Trunk Show, and the dresses were just amazing. I have to say though, they paled in comparison to the wedding dress stories I was able to witness and photograph.

Don't worry - that's not her dress!

Don't worry - that's not her dress!

 

What are wedding dress stories? They’re the stories of how brides find their dresses. Every story I saw was different – some brides brought a huge group with chalk boards and champagne, some brides brought just their mama, and some brides came to find their dress solo.

artistic denver wedding photos

 

Here’s the thing – I can’t really share some of the BEST photos.

artistic colorado wedding photographer

 

These brides were purchasing their WEDDING DRESSES! And there’s no WAY I’m posting those.

 

colorado artistic wedding photography

But I hope you can still get a sense of the day – the emotions, the excitement – it’s kind of the moment that you BECOME a bride.

authentic denver wedding photography

 

One thing that caught me off guard was just how emotional the day was. I saw so many moms, sisters, future mother-in-laws, and brides tear up, it really got to me, too! I kept it together, but it was just barely at times.

denver wedding photography

 

The other thing that blew me away was how wonderful the stylists there are! They were so knowledgeable about the designs, materials, silhouettes, price points – unreal. But moreso than just that, they were so kind and didn’t make any brides feel pressured into a purchasing a dress.

 

authentic denver wedding photographer
artistic colorado wedding photography

As an artistic Denver wedding photographer, I loved capturing these moments, and it gave me a renewed respect for the work that goes into finding the perfect dress. It’s been a minute since I got married, and I honestly forgot so much about the wedding planning process – including finding my wedding gown.

Cupcakes provided by the Makery!

Cupcakes provided by the Makery!

 

Melissa Hirsch Photography is a Denver-based wedding photographer specializing in artistic, unique wedding photos in Colorado and worldwide.

melissa hirschComment
Thanksgiving Extended Family Sessions in Denver

It’s crazy, but every year I become more and more aware of the importance of family photos. I know printing is out of fashion as digital images become more and more prevalent, but oh my goodness, I have such fond memories of looking through old photo albums.

extended family photos denver

 

And you know how often you come across portraits of an entire family? I’ll be honest, it’s not very often. In my family, there are maybe a handful.

 

This is why, even though formal photos take time away from Denver weddings and holiday festivities, I really believe in their importance. Life goes SO quickly, and you have to honor the family you have!

 

How often is your WHOLE family together? Every month? Every week? Or less often – is it more like a few times a year?

 

With families living far and wide, and travel never being more accessible, for many families, holidays are the one time of year everyone is under one roof.

 

And as far as holidays go, isn’t Thanksgiving the best? Having a big meal with everyone you love? Can’t beat that!

thanksgiving family photos denver

 

This year, I’ll be away for Christmas and New Year to spend time with my own family, but I am so excited to share that over Thanksgiving, I’ll be in Denver and accepting a (VERY) small number of extended family photo sessions to commemorate those times where everyone is together.

 

Here are all the details:

 

On-Location Extended Family Sessions

-          Up to 45 minutes shooting

-          Mix of posed and candid photos

-          ANY number of family members

-          All hi-res images

750.00

 

Only TWO sessions available!

 

November 22nd, 3pm

November 25th, 3pm

 

It would be SUCH an honor to photograph your family! I can come to your home, or we can find a lovely park nearby.

 

Melissa Hirsch Photography is a wedding photography studio that specialized in authentic, unique, artistic wedding photographs in Denver and worldwide.

melissa hirschComment
Samsung Galaxy S8 Photos - My Only Camera in London

Samsung Galaxy S8 Phone Photos – My No-Camera Vacation to London

My (awesome) husband surprised me by purchasing tickets to London, where we went mid-October for a week on Fall Break. Oh man, is that an awesome city! I guess it’s a stereotype that Americans love London, but whatever, it’s true in my case.

A few of my favorite things about London:

1.       The accents. I just find them so charming! We’d walk into a pub, and eventually just stop talking to each other so we could listen to the people around us. I know that sounds kind of creepy, and maybe it is, but it was truly about appreciating the accents and not about eavesdropping!

The Porcupine, where I had some delish fish and chips, and may or may not have heard some amazing accents.

The Porcupine, where I had some delish fish and chips, and may or may not have heard some amazing accents.

2.       The sense of history. Dang, the US is a baby! The country of the USA (not to be mistaken for the amount of time people have been here) has existed for 1/10th of the time London has. And you can tell when you’re there! The architecture and the tradition is just striking, despite how modern and cutting edge London is in some ways.

View from the South Bank. 

View from the South Bank. 

3.       The double decker buses. We took these guys everywhere, and it was still fun at the end of the week. I always tried to sit in the front row up top – awesome views of the logic-defying maneuvers these buses took through the traffic.

Our preferred mode of transportation.

Our preferred mode of transportation.

4.       The cider. We found some delicious cider that wasn’t too sweet, wasn’t too dry. We got some pints to go, and sipped on it all day, like a couple of hoodlums. But it was a blast.

A park where we may or may not have consumed said cider.

A park where we may or may not have consumed said cider.

5.       The markets. Honestly visiting markets is one of my favorite things to do on vacation. You just get such a real sense of a place! We loved the Borough Market and Camden Market.

Just a little bit of seafood paella at the Borough Market.

Just a little bit of seafood paella at the Borough Market.

Camden Market/Cranes In The Sky. Yes, that was a Solange reference. 

Camden Market/Cranes In The Sky. Yes, that was a Solange reference. 

 

To tell you the truth, I could go on and on, but I’ll just share the photos. Speaking of…

Flat white at Louie Louie in Southwalk. AMAZING. They know how to do coffee in the UK, and I was SO glad. 

Flat white at Louie Louie in Southwalk. AMAZING. They know how to do coffee in the UK, and I was SO glad. 

I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard this, but London can be a little rainy, and pickpocketing can be an issue. Luckily, we didn’t run into issues associated with either of these risks, but they contributed to a very weird thing. A thing I’ve never done before.

Street art in Camden.

Street art in Camden.

I didn’t bring my camera out of our AirBnb. NOT EVEN ONCE.

That’s right, all these photos were taken with my phone. Amazing, right? Let me just say, it was SO liberating.

Dock on the South Bank.

Dock on the South Bank.

Even though I love photography so much, and there’s nothing like my very favorite gear (you can read about my favorite gear HERE), even photographers sometimes need a break. It’s important to take time away to refresh and see things in a new way, and vacationing camera-free was just what I needed.

Inside the King Cross tube station.

Inside the King Cross tube station.

Chinatown at night in London. We ate some amazing dumplings there that night!

Chinatown at night in London. We ate some amazing dumplings there that night!

Dutch pancakes at the Camden Market. So good!

Dutch pancakes at the Camden Market. So good!

London Eye. You have to!

London Eye. You have to!

My very last meal in London, and it FINALLY lived up to its reputation of having gross food. This carrot cake with custard was truly awful. But you know, if that's the only unappetizing meal in a week, that's doing pretty darn good!

My very last meal in London, and it FINALLY lived up to its reputation of having gross food. This carrot cake with custard was truly awful. But you know, if that's the only unappetizing meal in a week, that's doing pretty darn good!

Well, I guess it wasn’t totally camera free 😉

 

Melissa Hirsch Photography is a wedding photographer specializing in unique, artistc wedding photos in Denver and worldwide. 

My First Denver Photo Job

Maybe you don’t know how I came to be a professional Denver wedding photographer.

I learned on a film camera – the same camera my husband used when he was in high school, taking a photography class.

I loved it. I bought film with every dollar I had to spare. Kyle and I were just married, and he was in school, so spending money on film was perhaps not the most practical option. But still, somehow I managed to shoot and develop several rolls before I saved up to buy my first digital camera.

Many people entrusted me to take their photos as I was just starting and only charging enough to cover my gas to the location – and I’m so grateful for that! But I consider my FIRST gig to be a hair show put on by my amazing hair stylist and friend, Misty.

I pulled these photos DEEP from the archives - so please be nice! Truth be told, I'm a little self-conscious about sharing them!

denver event photographer

Misty is now at Indulgence A Salon in downtown Littleton, but at the time she was working at a salon in Cherry Creek called Asteria. They organized a fashion and hair show to benefit Transitions Global – an organization committed to empowering young women transitioning out of a life of sex slavery, aged 13-18. You can learn more about Transitions here.

unique denver event photographer
artistic event photography denver
artistic denver event photographer

I was so touched that Misty invited me to come along to photograph the event. I was nervous and excited to document the show, and I thought all my photos were so unique and artistic.

It’s funny – I’m still so proud of that work, but I’ve learned and grown SO MUCH. About lighting, about composition, about creating unique, artistic, authentic photos in Denver and worldwide, about creating interaction.

But, man, was it an incredible learning opportunity. The energy and excitement of the day – being around all the artists and models working together to bring a vision to life – it was intoxicating and exciting.

unique denver event photography

What’s changed in your work since your first job? What are the most important lessons you’ve learned?

Melissa Hirsch Photograph is a Denver-based wedding photographer available worldwide, specializing in artistic unique wedding photos.

melissa hirschComment