KRISTIN & TODD | ENGAGEMENT {Estes Park, CO}

One of the biggest compliments we receive is when a family that we have worked with in the past returns to us when they need photos once again. A few years ago we got to work with Kim & Jordan on their wedding at Brookside Gardens. Rick and I remember two things about her sister Kristin: her mad photo skillz of which Kim’s engagement photos were proof and her BIG heart. I remember tearing up during her maid of honor speech and just being in awe of how she did whatever she could throughout the entire day to help.

So say we were THRILLED when Kristin & Todd contacted us about their wedding was an understatement. These two are wonderful. Funny, laid back, naturals in front of the camera and really just amazing people. We recently spent the afternoon with them in Rocky Mountain National Park, shooting engagement photos as we explored. We always have to laugh when people tell us they MAY be a bit awkward in photos. Then they turn on that natural charm and absolutely kill it during their shoot. THIS IS SO KRISTIN & TODD!

Thank you for being awesome. We are so looking forward to next year!

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ARDENTOLOGY | THE WORKSHOP {Historic Train Depot}

Rick and I have been incredibly blessed in both our lives and with our business. The fact that we have the ability to make our living doing what we love is still something that we thank God for each and every day. It’s hard to believe that 9 years have gone by since I shot my very first wedding. Throughout the years we have made it a priority to learn as much as we can about our craft. Each year we invest in new equipment, workshops, DVDs, books… really anything we can get our hands on. There is a sea of how to and instructional materials. The truth is though that finding relevant and worthwhile education can be a daunting task. When Rick and I decided to start offering out annual Ardentology Workshop, we wanted to create a hands on, complete and worthwhile curriculum that would have our students leaving that same day better photographers.

Maybe your looking for the PERFECT Christmas present for that camera obsessed family member or friend. Maybe you got a new camera last Christmas and still have no idea how to use it. Perhaps you are a mom that wants to be able to document the life of your family. You could even be a budding young photography professional who wants to get serious about the in’s and out’s of our profession. Ardentology will start with the basics of working your specific camera and progress through everything you need to know to improve your photography skills. Throughout the day long workshop we will be covering the following (and more):ardentologynotebooks

  • Exposure
  • Aperture
  • ISO
  • Shutter Speed
  • Metering
  • Shooting Modes
  • Manual Mode
  • Lighting
  • Concepts of Creative Composition
  • 60 Minute LIVE Model Shoot w/Rick & Steph

This year we will be holding the workshop on Saturday January 24, 2015 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. at The Laramie Historic Train Depot in Laramie, WY. Your investment of $300.00 will get you instruction from both Rick and myself, the ability to hone your new found skills by hands on learning and a beautiful course book that allows you to bring it all home with you. Lunch is on us and although this blog post marks our OFFICIAL announcement of the workshop, spots are already filled so space is limited. To reserve your spot please feel free to contact us via email, info@ardentphotographyinc.com. We are closing registration this year on January 17th.

Check out what a few of our past student’s had to say about their experience:

“Ardentology was such a great experience for me this past winter. What a gift to be able to work with Rick and Stephanie, and see some of the magic behind the great photography they do. They both bring such unique knowledge and artistic skill to the table, and Ardentology was a great chance to soak some of that up! I would highly recommend it for anyone wanting to learn about composition of photographs, photography as an art form, as well as spend some time figuring out how to shoot on their camera using  manual settings. Signing up for Ardentology will be an awesome learning experience for any photographer, brand new or seasoned.” – Jillian Miller

“Ardentology workshop offered everything I hoped to learn and more. I bought a camera to learn how to shot in manual but found myself switching to auto because I didn’t have the understanding of Exposure-ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed. Rick and Steph put so much time and thought into the workshop to help us better understand the components of shooting in manual mode. I walked away a legit photographer and ever since then I am happy to say I love shooting in manual. I can do so much and let my creative side take over.” – Delilah Brubaker

“I always wanted to take beautiful pictures. In college I took the offered photography course, waste of money after going to Ardentology class. Ardentology is a hands on type learning so you learn what type of pictures to take exactly at the same time it’s taught!! Love these two wonderful God fearing people!!” - Jill Martin

 

What is a post WITHOUT photos? Check out this awesome photo recap of past Ardentology Workshops…

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Stacey Pearson - Was wondering if you could actually suggest a first time camera. I’ve taken many pictures with my $200 camera, but would like to invest into something better. Then, I’d be interested in signing up for the class.

Thank you!!!!

admin - Stacey – I would say if you are looking for something more advanced it could still depend on how much you are comfortable spending and what you want to shoot. The Canon Rebel T3i is a good camera that will be more advanced than what you have. But the Nikon D7100 is one of the best advanced camera’s you can buy. The D7100 would be our recommendation :)

admin - Stacey – I would say if you are looking for something more advanced it could still depend on how much you are comfortable spending and what you want to shoot. The Canon Rebel T3i is a good camera that will be more advanced than what you have. But the Nikon D7100 is one of the best advanced camera’s you can buy. The D7100 would be our recommendation :)

KATIE & KODY | ENGAGEMENT {Rock Springs, WY}

Rick and I love owning a business in Wyoming. You operate your business on handshakes. When you take good care of your clients, word gets out. When people love your work they tell EVERYONE. SO when Katie and Kody were looking for a Rock Springs Wyoming Wedding Photographer they didn’t trust this decision to the internet, they asked their friends for a recommendation.  I love that.

From our very first meeting with them we KNEW it was going to be a great fit. When we asked them what kind of a setting they wanted for their engagement session they told us they loved the mountains, had to include The Razr and of course bring along their fur baby Flop. What an afternoon we had with these two! We chased sunshine, photographed in all the best places the Snowies have to offer and had an absolute blast capturing a day in their lives.

Katie & Kody are getting married next year in Casper and Rick and I cannot wait! Want a sneak peek at our favorite photos from their session? Well you are in luck;)

 

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Nicole hartford - Yay! Love you guys!

Shelby & Karsten | Wedding {Laramie Valley Chapel Wedding}

Rick and I love it when we get to photograph Laramie Valley Chapel Weddings.  Something about shooting a wedding in your home church, for your church family and celebrating from behind your lens is just spectacular to us. Especially when the couple in front of your lens are two people that you have watched grow up before your very eyes. Rick and I first met Karsten and Shelby while on a mission trip in Pearl, MS. These two had a heart for the Lord, a heart for serving others and absolutely had a heart for one another;)Fast forward a few years and there we were sitting in our studio downtown, surrounded by their families picking out a wedding package!

We started their coverage the day before their wedding. We had so much fun covering their ‘Pre Nup Cup’, watching their families duke it out for the illustrious candy medal. They has water balloon fights, sack races, tug-o-war and basically any other competitive sport you LOVED as a kid.

The next day we were there for their beautiful God filled ceremony led into an amazing reception at the Laramie Ice & Events Center. Of course with the thoughtful way that this clever couple decorated the space you never would have known that they were celebrating in the same space where Laramie kiddos play hockey in the winter! These two are absolutely wonderful people, to see them surrounded by HUNDREDS of family members and friends was just amazing. People got to talking, then got to dancing and a great time was had by all.

Shelby & Karsten, thank you for letting us be a small part of your big event. We cannot wait to see what God has in store for the two of you. We will not only be praying for you but also expecting big things!

As always here area few of our faves:

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Sweets | Vendors We ♥ {Laramie WY Wedding Cakes}

‘The most dangerous food is wedding cake’ – James Thurber

Amen to this right? One of the absolute BEST perks of being a wedding photographer is getting to sample some of the best cake our country has to offer. All the flavors, toppings, fillings, custom creations… It’s is always fun to see what our couples pick out. What blows our mind even more than how delicious wedding cake can be, is the artistry that is involved. Sheet cakes begone, and fondant oh please… a ‘Sweets Cake’ will have it’s share of burlap  or perhaps set atop gorgeous rustic wood. It might be covered in fresh fruit or adorned with vintage candy. Or it might not be a cake at all, one of our favorite ‘cakes’ from these ladies was actually constructed out of delicate macaroons. What every cake from Sweets in Laramie is SURE TO HAVE however is the love from a baker who really cares about her patrons. Jessica listens to what her clients want and really strives to design something different than she has ever made for someone else. This is exactly why we are featuring her here on ‘Vendors We ♥’. Here are Jessica’s answers to a few of our favorite questions as well as a few of our favorite images from our last season working together:

Who or what got you started in the cake industry?

Honestly I kind of stumbled into. I left Laramie in the middle of getting my Journalism degree from the university and headed for Southern California to go to culinary school. Once I was there the baking and pastry path was an obvious choice for me. I loved the scientific attributes of baking and the artistry required for pastry work.

 

 What is your favorite part of being a baker?

Like I said I love the science. There is a lot that goes into balancing ingredients in pursuit of the perfect product. But above all I love getting to be a part of memories. From first birthday smash cakes, to wedding cakes, 50th anniversaries and everything in between. Every party you go to has a treat. I get to be a part of hundreds…thousands of parties – where people celebrate life and love with the people most important to them. That is so cool to me.

 

How did you decide on your company name?

Most people assume it’s just a simple name. I make sweet stuff therefore: Sweets. But the name actually comes from my dad. He has always been my friend, my supporter, my everything. Since I was a little girl he has called me “Sweets.”

 

What do you remember most about the very first cake you ever created?

Oh gosh. I don’t remember it specifically. I mean before school it was something simple – a family recipe – something that could be ugly as long as it tasted good. During school it was always terrifying. Making cakes with a classically trained, Master Pastry Chef breathing down you neck. Whew. Those guys are the real deal.


What do you find to be the most challenging part of your job?

Physically it wears on me. Cake Boss doesn’t talk about the long days, aching body and heavy lifting. Ha!


Where would be your dream destination wedding?

The mountains. Anywhere in the mountains.


Where do you find inspiration?

Everywhere. Nature, art, music, fruits, flowers, textiles, a great story (especially a love story), you name it.

 

How important in your opinion is hiring good wedding photographer when planning a wedding?

I think it is the most important. No one ever tell you that you can float through your wedding day in a daze and you wont even know what all was happening around you. A good photographer captures that and not only allows you to keep your story with you forever but shows you the story you may have missed. Some of my favorite photos from my wedding are from places I never even saw. Photos from the groomsmen getting ready, my family mingling, expressions and moments that are absolutely precious to me.

 

What wedding industry blogs or websites do you read often?

Style Me Pretty, Wedding Chicks, 100 Layer Cake, Green Wedding Shoes, Magnolia Rouge, Ruffled, Once Wed, Rock ‘N Roll Bride, the list goes on and on and on.

 

What is your favorite movie of all time?

Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Hands down.


What is one food that you absolutely cannot live without?

Coffee. That counts right?

 

Why should a newly engaged couple invest in creative and professionally made cakes & desserts for their big day?

Our cakes are made custom from the ground up. From the moment we sit down with a couple we begin to design a dessert spread that fits their story. We pride ourselves on not taking “Couple A” and matching them with “Dessert 1.” Our products are scratch made, made with love and 100% individual. From a simple court house wedding to an elaborate ranch affair for 300 – we are committed to providing a quality service with a quality product.


What do you feel is the main thing that differentiates you from other cake artists?

Every cake artist has their own style – like any other artist or photographer for that matter. My style is what makes me different I suppose. I am inspired by organic things, wild and non-manipulated elements, natural colorings, beautiful things that are real like seasonal fruits and herbs. I love texture. And my love for this artistry extends far past cakes alone. I love the classics. Pies, tarts, tortes, petit fours, cookies, bars, plated desserts, all of it. I love the opportunity to be creative. I love a challenge. Challenge me to put something crazy in your dessert table. I will love every minute of it.

 

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