Kelli and Tom had chosen a gorgeous home in Silverthorne, Colorado to rent for their intimate, family only wedding. A few weeks before the wedding, they lost their reservation due to COVID-19 precautions. Kelli and Tom reached out to me and let me know the change of plans and needed to find another ceremony location ASAP!
They settled on staying at The Grand on Peak 8 and having the ceremony on the deck at The Lodge at Breckenridge which has a gorgeous wedding deck. On the day of their wedding, the sun was shining but the wind was blowing, HARD. Like 30+ miles an hour hard. So once we all arrived at the Lodge to get the computer set up to Zoom their family members in so that they could participate in the wedding ceremony, the difficult decision to move the wedding indoors was made. Even the kiddos had input and agreed that they’d all just blow away if they tried to do the wedding out on the deck. COVID couples are resilient, I’m telling you!
The wedding was intimate, and joyous as the couple exchanged vows with each other and their kids. Family and friends were able to attend virtually, and even grandpa dressed up for the occasion. It was an extremely sweet and thoughtful ceremony to blend these two families together.
The Grand on Peak 8 is an incredible place to stay for your wedding. The suites are spacious and have lots of beautiful light and modern details which make for the perfect getting ready space. They have plenty of kitchen space to bring in a private chef for your reception dinner and if you want to have an outdoor space with gorgeous views of Peak 8, make sure to check out Elevate bar which would be the perfect space for a welcome party or cocktail party once we can gather in larger groups again.
Review for Andrea, Breckenridge Wedding Photographer
Read Tom’s review that left me speechless:
Andrea was incredibly helpful and responsive. We simply couldn’t have pulled off our wedding without her. Not living in Breckenridge presented some issues for us, especially with COVID shut downs limiting our ability for site visits. She jumped into action and helped us with introductions to other providers (flowers, bakery, lodging, venues, etc.). I felt like we definitely benefited from her local knowledge. When our first venue fell through two weeks before our wedding, she sent a great list of other indoor and outdoor locations which saved the day. She went well beyond her role as a photographer to make sure we had an amazing wedding. I was originally impressed with her ability to assess our location for where the sun would be (several months before our date) so we could finalize our schedule and have the best lighting for our photos. We wanted to capture the peak fall colors and mountain backdrops in our photos and she nailed the execution. We both teared up when we saw the first photos as they completely exceeded our expectations. If you are reading this, you have found your photographer! Book now before she is unavailable!
I am continually so grateful for these kind of reviews. I take great pride in helping my clients not just with photography, but helping them with planning and logistics. A lot of my couples don’t live here or even in Colorado for that matter so, I love to be their girl in the mountains and give them my local knowledge and education in the wedding industry to make sure the day runs just how they want it.
Now, hopefully the proof is in the pudding…or the pictures!
How did the wind miraculously stop once we got out at our final destination for the evening? It was a beautiful and special day and I’m so grateful to be apart of this!
Photographer: Andrea Stark Photography
Florals: Garden of Eden
Hair and Makeup: Breckenridge Hair Company
Ceremony Venue: Lodge at Breckenridge
Accommodations: Grand Colorado on Peak 8
Transportation: Stage Coach Luxury Limo Inc.
It’s tricky to decide what to wear for fall portrait sessions in the mountains.When the cold comes in early September, sometimes it’s just too cold for a dress and sandals by themselves. I have some suggestions for new fall styles that will help you be fashionable, help you POP in front of those yellow aspen trees, and keep your color tones camera friendly.
First, let’s discuss color palettes. Just like in the summer, I recommend mute colors over bold primary ones. During fall, warm neutrals such as camel, taupe, cream, champagne, and great always look great. If you’d like to incorporate color into your session wardrobe, choose sophisticated jewel-toned versions of bright primary colors such as: mustard over yellow, burgundy over wed, camel over orange, sage or emerald over green, and navy over blue. These jewel tones will photograph beautifully in the Colorado fall season.
Now let’s talk about coordinating your outfit with your significant other or even your whole family. Keep in mind outfits will look most cohesive on camera when the color palette and wardrobe pieces coordinate, but don’t actually match. Meaning don’t everyone wear white and khaki (This isn’t your family photos circa 2010 on the beach, people!)
Wear a different dominant color, but stay within that color palette family. If you’re wearing a blush dress, then the guy can wear a navy coat with gray pants, paired with brown leather shoes. Little tip, it’s easier to pick your outfit first and then put together the guy or kiddos outfits based on that! That’s why I have these selections for you!
Shop this Colorado Fall style:
1 Fedora on Amazon
2 Warm Shaw on Amazon
3 Levi’s Jeans on Amazon
4 Naturalizer Boots on Amazon
5 Kendra Scott earrings on Nordstrom
Shop this Casual Chic Fall style:
1 Basic Dress on Amazon
2 Levi’s Jean Jacket on Amazon
3 Wrap Dress on Amazon
4 Booties on Amazon
5 Kids Cape on Janie and Jack
6 Kids Denim Leggings on Janie and Jack
7 Kids Booties on Janie and Jack
Shop these Flatter Figuring Wrap Dresses for Women and Girls:
1 Shirt Dress on Lulus
2 Girls Shirt Dress on HM
3 Linen Wrap Dress on Madewell
4 Floral Print Wrap Dress on Lulus
5 Navy Floral Wrap Dress on Lulus
6 Long Sleeve Shirt Dress on Amazon
Shop these Mens/Boys Plaid Styles:
1 Men’s Indigo Plaid on JCrew
2 Boy’s Linen Plaid on Zara
3 Plaid Jacket on Amazon
4 Men’s Cotton Plaid on Toad&Co.
5 Men’s Columbia Shirt on Amazon
6 Men’s Plaid on Gap/Old Navy
I’ve purchased a few of these pieces for my own wardrobe and can’t wait to wear them this fall! I love a good wrap dress so I got the blue striped shirt dress and the navy floral wrap dress from Lulus. I plan to wear them with my new Kendra Scott earrings that I got in my September Trunk Club from Nordstroms. Use my referral link to get a discount on your first trunk!
Already in Breckenridge and want something quick for your session? Here are my favorite boutiques on Main Street:
For the Guys, I recommend going to Mountain Goat on Breckenridge’s Main Street. For Ladies, my favorite boutiques in town are Ruby Jane, Beloved, Vintage Sweet and Chick, and Valley Girl. If you have little ones and need some last minute accessories or outfits, check out Ruby Jane and Breckenridge Kids.
I’d suggest clicking the Store links and see if your size is still available. Most of these pieces are handpicked by myself and my sister-in-law, Meaghen, who works for Amazon Fashion. If you choose to shop the Amazon links, I will receive a small commision with no extra cost to you!
Can’t wait for our portrait session!
For Photographers and Industry Professionals – May Not Be What You think!
“What if 2020 is the year we’ve been waiting for?
A year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, so raw — that it finally forces us to grow.
A year that screams so loud, finally awakening us from our ignorant slumber.
A year we finally accept the need for change.
Declare change. Work for change. Become the change. A year we finally band together, instead of pushing each other further apart.”
This poem is my reminder that lifts the absolute burden off my shoulders to feel like I am going to suffer because of all of this. It has totally shifted my perspective and helped me to keep moving forward when it didn’t look like there was much hope for my goals and dreams.
I know a lot of photographers and wedding industry professionals have taken a major hit this year because of COVID-19 and government restrictions. I’ve listened to webinars where someone will talk about how most won’t make it out of this. I’ve read threads of comments in photographer groups I’m a part of with a lot of disparaging of our industry. Coupled with all the cancellations and state restrictions on gatherings, it was a pretty negative experience.
Thankfully, this hasn’t been the case for me. In fact, I had just had my biggest month ever in June and July. I created additional revenue streams and am offering heirloom wedding albums and more lifestyle sessions. Quickly, I switched gears to focus on small, intimate weddings. Personally, I feel like this has set me up to better adapt to the current economic situation and still flourish.
Portrait Sessions for Families and Couples
I specialize in weddings BUT I have always offered other portrait sessions as well. I’ve always had a lot of different passions, and I also enjoy photographing Families and Seniors a lot!
Clients are reaching out again, and I’ve moved to doing much smaller elopement style weddings, engagement sessions, documenting proposals, and am back in full swing with summer family sessions for families vacationing in Breckenridge. I’m actually struggling to find dates to book the oncoming of inquiries for the next couple of months!
Focus on What Really Matters
I feel like this year has boosted me and allowed me to focus on what really matters. At the beginning of this, I told my husband that I was going to allow myself space to figure out what I want to bring with me out of this situation. I say all this to not boast. Trust me, that’s not my character. What I want to communicate to my friends in this industry is to keep your focus on what matters most. How are you doing and what do you plan on bringing with you out of COVID?
What Are Your Priorities?
One thing quarantine brought to light was my priorities. I have always said I wanted God and family to be my number one priority, but to be honest, it wasn’t. I was prioritizing work and being very self-centered. For the last year, everything has been about growing my business and continually filling up my calendar with as much work as possible. I didn’t even stop to think about how it was affecting my husband and daughter. I realized very quickly that “success in my career” was driving me to say yes to everything, not think of how that answer impacted my time with family, and most importantly not making me a healthy, joyous version of myself. There was no light left in me. I was burnt out quick and unsatisfied with where my life was.
Then in mid-March, I shot my last family session, responded to all the rest of the month-May cancellations and postponements and was forced to stop.
Space to Feel Joy and Gratitude
So here’s what has changed over the months of quarantine. I finally have that space I needed to feel joy again in my family and my business. I have bucket loads of gratitude. Gaining time back and being intentional with my loved ones has made me very happy. I’ve had to say some hard no’s to people I want to please but just can’t. I have been way more intentional about my relationship with friends and have finally put my husband’s needs before my own.
As we go into the last half of 2020, I’m going to keep reminding myself what I want in life and what I want to continue to leave in the past. The future may be uncertain, but I’m certain what I don’t want to take with me into the rest of 2020 and beyond. I’m so grateful for this forced time to refocus.
This is the best time to frame and hang family photos in your home! Find yourself staring at blank walls lately? Yeah, me too. This whole social distancing thing has got us isolating at home and me with a whole lot more time on my hands. I thought that this is the best time to finally order the prints I’ve been meaning to hang up on my wall and share the journey with you.
Once I placed my order, my prints took two days to get to my mailbox. That’s it. So in two days, you can be hanging up your own family portraits in your home. Don’t be afraid to reuse old frames or check out my affordable recommendations from Amazon, Target, and IKEA and order your own to be delivered straight to your door.
But let’s take it one step at time. Here are five easy steps I have found to have the best success in hanging family photos around your home.
1. Pick a Spot In Your Home to Hang Family Photos
Think about where you might want to hang family photos. For example, if you want a display above your dining room table, consider one large piece. My lovely family clients from Missouri printed their 24×30 canvas to hang behind their kitchen table.
Think about putting your favorite family photos in the place you’ll see when you first come in your home. So that the second you get home, you’re greeted with your favorite moments of your life.
Trying to fill an empty hallway or entryway? Consider doing three large prints side by side that compliment each other. That’s one project that I’m working on right now. I love keeping things symmetrical, so I’m printing 11×14 prints to go in these three frames from IKEA. For our hallway wall, all of the ones I printed are from Fall, so that the colors compliment each other well.
Want to know a Stark family rule? No family pictures in the bathroom! It’s my only DO NOT DO when it comes to family pictures. Please don’t hang family pictures in your bathroom. Just don’t. No one wants eyes watching them when they’re doing their business! Maybe I’ve watched too much Harry Potter and think that the portraits are alive and can see and talk to you. That’s just my preference, so do what you want, but that’s a rule in the Stark house.
2. Choose Your Arrangement to Hang Family Photos
How many photos are you framing? Do you need a collage frame or one large frame. How about no frame at all? My most popular product in the print store is 24×36 gallery wraps. Eliminates the need for frames all together!
To figure out which pictures I want to hang together and in what order here’s what I did:
Use a program like Google Slides or Docs. Insert your images to one slide and make sure they look good together. Don’t be afraid to move them around and take out a picture you originally thought you would use for one that better fits. Use pictures from the same session, season, or at least have the same color tone. I also recommend changing up the dynamics of the images. One close up in the middle, with a far away shot to the left and a medium shot to the right looks really nice together.
These are not all from the same shoot. Put they were all taken during the Fall season. It helps the color tones stay more consistent which is important when pairing multiple photos together.
Black and White Prints
Thinking about printing in Black and White? I love black and white. Especially if you don’t want a lot of color in your bedroom or in a certain place in your home. I love prints with a lot of white in them so that there is a good amount of negative space in the image. If I didn’t edit your image in black and white, just send me a quick email and I’ll add a nicely edited black and white image of your favorites to your personalized online gallery. You can always request a color and black and white version of each picture before I deliver your online gallery, too.
3. Pick Your Style and Size of Your Frames
Once you have an arrangement in mind, you can choose your size and frame styles to hang family photos. Once you have a photo you want to frame, think about getting the frame before you buy. Your high resolution family photos look awesome when styled in a diptych, which is two pictures side by side. I like to style one close up and one further away.
Pick a frame style that works with your home decor. If you have a traditional style, opt for a classic frame like these white frames at Target. For the minimalist, opt for the beautiful natural grains of wood like these from Ikea. When in doubt, a clean white frame or sleek black gallery frame work in most interiors.
Shouldn’t your home be a reflection of the people living in it? I’ve learned a few little things from the one and only Joanna Gaines in her 2018 Winter edition of Magnolia Journal. Her story about “Reframing Gallery Walls” taught me a few things about hanging up frames for gallery walls.
Designing a Gallery Wall
You can read the full article here, since I’m not an interior designer. Though because I am a former English teacher, I’ve written a quick summary of the few inspiring ideas I learned from the expert:
- Mix it up to help tell your family story on your walls. A gallery wall is one of the most literal ways your home can tell your story. Mix in family portraits, candids from family trips or even moments in your home, and anything else that brings you joy.
- Once you’ve decided on the art content, choose your frame sizes and color. Consider canvas prints for a more laid-back look, grid of identical frames in a symmetrical arrangement (this is my personal favorite), or a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. The third option would have been my favorite about 10 years ago.
- Your gallery wall can and should evolve over time, just as you do. Don’t get hung up on choosing your family portraits from your family session. You can change your prints in your frames out as often as you’d like!
Add dimension to your gallery by placing frames on a shelf or ledge. Think about using a picture ledge to rest your frames on. It also keeps you from hanging each frame on the wall and you can switch out the photos more often, layer the frames, and decorate the ledge with the change of season. My BFF Joanna says it helps to keep the overall look from feeling flat and brings the wall to life.
5 Easy Steps to Choose Photos For Your Walls
I’m a visual perfectionist who takes photography and family photos very seriously, so again, here’s a few quick tips to choose and hang family photos in your home your home.
- Choose frames first or print canvases so that you don’t even need frames
- Pick where you’re going to hang the photo and if it’s going to be horizontal or vertical
- Choose your favorites in your gallery and order your prints straight from your gallery
- Print pictures from the same shoot, time of day, and season to hang together
Here are some of my favorite ways my clients have styled family photos:
4. How To Actually Hang the Frames On the Wall
Now to the fun part! I use craft paper and painters tape to plot out my plan for hanging the pictures. Nothing is worse than being the one who’s trying to hold up the frame to the wall and stretching back to see if it’s going to look good. This way, you can step back and see where the frames are going to look best without putting a single nail in the wall.
It’s easy to create these paper templates. I just got a roll of craft brown paper from Walmart and measured each frame by tracing them and cutting it out. When you’re ready to hang, mark where the nail goes on the paper, and hammer the nail through brown paper.
Sorry, my kid lives in just a pull up these days.
5. Where To Get the Prints Made and Purchase Frames For Your Family Photos
Get the look:
Light wood single picture frames
White Three picture collage
Natural wood magnetic frame
I print through the same print lab that my clients use in their personalized online gallery. My clients photos come from Millers Lab, and they are my favorite for all high quality printing in pretty much every size you could want. Choose your favorite family photos from our session, order them to fit the frame you like and that fit your space, and you’ll love having them around just like I do every time I come home.
Having these family photos all around the house is something that makes me so happy, and I love that we were able to frame them all in such a simple, classic, and timeless way. Hopefully, my tips will help you with your own family photos.
To get you started, use the code STARK10 to receive 10% off your next print order in your online gallery. If you’re not a client yet, and you want to schedule a family session, I’m starting to book Summer sessions starting June 1st. Now’s the time to get on my calendar because summer sessions fill up fast.
Thank you to all my clients who sent me a peek into their homes of what their prints from our session look like! I love them and am so honored to be able to create memories for your family!